Kostroma Oblast has an important legacy as the northern retreat for Muscovite nobles in times of Mongol and Tatar invasion of Central Russia. As such, the city of Kostroma gained numerous architectural treasures, making the city a major attraction of Russia's Golden Ring.
English and other major languages are often spoken by people working at major tourist sites in Kostroma, but outside of these places it may be hard to find anyone who speaks anything other than Russian.
Kostroma is about a 6.5 hour overnight or early morning train ride from Moscow, a 2.5 hour elektrichka ride from Yaroslavl, and a daily overnight train from Saint Petersburg. There are also daily buses running between Moscow and Kostroma. The bus is significantly slower than the train if coming from Moscow, but marginally faster if coming from Yaroslavl. Lastly, there is an often crowded 2 hour hydrofoil which runs from Yaroslavl to Kostroma daily in the morning.
Kostroma is nearby Plyos, which can be visited as a day trip by hydrofoil from Pier #1.