Vladimir (Владимир) is the capital and the largest city of Vladimir Oblast. The city is one of the most visited destinations within the popular Golden Ring circuit, as it preserves several of the finest monuments of white-stone medieval architecture in Russia, along with a number of later buildings from the 16th–20th centuries.
Cathedral of the Assumption in Vladimir
Vladimir is in the central part of the Eastern-European plain, on a steep hill beside the Klyazma River. The land to the north from the city is known as Vladimir Fields (Владимирское Ополье), while the land to the south is mainly covered by forests.
Vladimir is somewhat elongated along the river that forms its southern boundary. From the north, the city is bounded by a "semi-circle" road, formerly a part of the M7 highway. Inside the city, small rivers flow into the Klyazma and form deep valleys that were originally used as fortifications.
The inner layout of Vladimir is fairly simple. The main street runs roughly from west to east close to the Klyazma River and passes through the historical center. Different parts of this street have different names: Московское шоссе (entry from Moscow) – проспект Ленина – улица Студёная гора – Дворянская улица – Большая Московская улица – Большая Нижегородская улица – Добросельская улица (entry from Nizhny Novgorod). Several major streets branch off to the north, cross the "semi-circle" road and turn into the roads towards Suzdal and Ivanovo (Суздальское шоссе) or Yuryev-Polsky (улица Горького). A single street (Муромское шоссе) also runs to the south, crosses the river and continues towards Sudogda, Murom, and Gus-Khrustalnyi.
The main sights, along with a number of hotels and restaurants, are found in the historical center, close to Bolshaya Moskovskaya Ulitsa (Большая Московская улица). If you arrive to Vladimir from Moscow, you enter this part of the city at the Golden Gate. Moving further to the east, one leaves the historical center after passing the Nativity Monastery and the Hotel Vladimir. The Cathedral Square (Соборная площадь) is in the middle of this way. The train and bus stations are found to the east from the historical center, at the bottom of the hill.
Vladimir was founded in 1108 by Vladimir Monomakh. There is an alternative version that ascribes the foundation of the city to Vladimir the Red Sun in 990. Yet the exact year does not seem to be very important for the average traveler, since the oldest existing monuments date back to the middle of 12th century only. At that period, the city was rapidly developing due to the activity of Prince Andrey Bogolyubsky who established the capital of North-Eastern Russia in Vladimir. The city's period of greatest importance was probably in the late 12th and early 13th century, up to the Mongol invasion. Several of Russia's greatest architectural monuments were built in Vladimir during that time, including Assumption Cathedral and the Golden Gates, both of which are World Heritage Sites.
In 1238, Vladimir was besieged and taken by the Mongol hordes under Batu Khan. The city never recovered fully. Though it remained the pricipality's capital for a century, Vladimir gradually lost its political and cultural significance to Moscow. Untill the middle of 15th century, Vladimir was the official capital of North-Eastern Russia, but the actual government worked in Moscow. The transfer of the capital was completed in 15th century: the Assumption Cathedral in the Moscow Kremlin, modeled after one of the oldest cathedrals in Vladimir, became the state church. The holy icon of Our Lady of Vladimir was also moved to Moscow.
Vladimir continued to be a provincial capital. It gradually grew in size due to its advantageous loocation in the middle of Central Russia. The development of the city was enhanced by the construction of the Moscow – Nizhny Novgorod railroad in the late 19th century. Presently, Vladimir is a partially industrialized city, although the historical center remains almost untouched since the beginning of 20th century. In 1992, Vladimir was included in the World Heritage List of UNESCO.
Vladimir is conveniently located halfway between Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod, so you will be able to get in from both cities. It is also possible to visit Vladimir during a trip over the Golden Ring.
Vladimir Semyazino airport does not have regular passenger communication. Nearest airports are located in Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod, both receive international flights. From there, you can easily reach Vladimir by train, by bus, or by car.
All the trains arrive to Vladimir main station located next to the central bus station and close to the historical center. Basically, there are two options for getting in by train:
- From Moscow: take a local train (electrichka) or a long-distance train. Local trains depart from Kursky Station and run 3 times per day. The trip takes about 3 hours. Long-distance trains depart from different stations (Kursky Station, Yaroslavsky Station, or Kazansky Station) -- check your ticket in advance! There are 6 or 7 long-distance trains that operate on convenient daytime schedule, and about 10 trains arrive to Vladimir during the night. The best option is to use a special express-train Moscow-Vladimir that leaves Moscow (Kursky Station) daily at 18.00 and starts back from Vladimir at 7.30. The trip takes 2.5 hours. Note that the express train is considered as a long-distance one, so the number of tickets is limited. Additionally, you have to buy the tickets at the proper cash desk and present an ID for every ticket (see Russia:Get around for details). Adventurous travellers may also use an indirect connection with the change in Petushki. This station has an hourly service of local trains to Moscow, while local trains between Vladimir and Petushki run 3 times per day. Basically, such a connection is quite long (the whole trip from Moscow to Vladimir takes 3.5-4 hours), but it may be helpful in case you miss other trains, and the buses are overcrowded.
- From Nizhny Novgorod: all the trains to Vladimir depart from the main railway station of Nizhny Novgorod (Gorky Moscovsky). There is a direct express train, starting from Nizhny Novgorod at 16.10 and going back from Vladimir at 7.00. Formally, this train is local, but it makes few stops, and the trip takes 3.5 hours only. From five to ten long-distance trains offer convenient schedule for getting in Vladimir during the day, and there are more trains during the night. Again, adventurous travellers may try indirect connections with changes in Kovrov, Vyazniki, or Gorokhovets. However, this is not recommended (the trip takes at least 7 hours) unless you are going to visit other places along the way.
You can also consider trains while planning a trip from towns located along the Moscow - Nizhny Novgorod railway (e.g., Pokrov, Kovrov, Vyazniki, Gorokhovets) to Vladimir. Otherwise, it is advisable to use buses, since local railway lines are slow and rather indirect.
Vladimir has two bus stations:
- Central bus station is located next to the railway station, close to the historical center. This station operates bus routes to every town in Vladimir Oblast as well as many intercity routes (to Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Ivanovo, Ryazan, etc.) Normally, you have to buy tickets inside the station. The square near the central bus station is a hub of private bus routes that are usually operated by minibuses. Such routes do not have a strict schedule and depart as soon as the minibus is filled up. You should pay directly to the driver or to a special person who collects money near the bus. The private routes serve Moscow, Murom, Gus-Khrustalny, and Ivanovo (via Suzdal). The last bus to Moscow departs at around 20.00.
- Local bus station is located near the Central Market (take trolleybus #10 from the central bus station). This station serves a number of very local bus routes to nearby villages. You are unlikely to use it.
Basic options of travelling to Vladimir by bus are as follows:
- From Moscow: "official" buses depart from the central (intercity) bus station located at Shelkovskaya metro station. There are at least ten buses per day, either running between Moscow and Vladimir or heading for further destinations (Kovrov, Ivanovo, Gus-Khrustalny, Murom, Vyazniki). Basically, it is more convenient to use private buses that depart from the square near Kursky railway station. Such buses leave every 30 minutes or even more often. The trip takes at least 3 hours, the price is about 220 rubles as of October 2008. Expect a longer trip during the weekdays (especially in the evening due to traffic problems near Moscow) and long queues for the buses during rush hours (e.g., Friday and Sunday evenings).
- From Nizhny Novgorod: buses to Vladimir depart from Kanavino bus station. There are 8-10 buses per day (either to Moscow or Vladimir), and the trip takes about 5 hours.
- From other places: you will find at least 2 or 3 daily buses to Vladimir from any town of Vladimir region and from central cities of neighboring regions. The most frequent connections (every 1-1.5 hours) run from Suzdal, Murom, Gus-Khrustalny, and Ivanovo (via Suzdal).
Vladimir is easibly reachable from Moscow (180 km along the M7 road), Nizhny Novgorod (240 km along the M7 road), Ivanovo (115 km along the A113 road), and Ryazan (230 km along the R123 and R73 roads, via Tuma and Gus-Khrustalny). In the city, you will find a lot of space for free parking on side streets and several parking areas on the main street (Bolshaya Moscovskaya) as well.
The historical center is easily and conveniently explored by foot, so the regular traveller is unlikely to use the public transport in Vladimir. Still, there is an extensive network of trolleybuses, buses, and minibuses (marshrutki), serving the whole city. The most useful option is the trolleybus #5 that connects the train station to the historical center and runs along Bolshaya Moscovksaya Ulitsa. Normally, you have to pay to the driver or to a special lady who sits in the bus and collects the money.
These monuments are recognized by UNESCO and included in the World Heritage List. They are essential tourist destinations in Vladimir.
Cathedral of the Assumption
- Cathedral of the Assumption (Успенский собор), Соборная площадь (Cathedral Square), . It is one of the most historically important Russian Orthodox Churches. For a short period in the 14th century, the cathedral was the seat of the Metropolitan, the leader of the Russian Ortodox Chuch. Originally, the cathedral was built in 1158 and had one dome only. However, the major reconstruction followed already in 1185: four smaller domes were added, and the building was considerably enlarged in order to resemble St. Sophia's Cathedral in Kiev. Later on, a similar project was utilized for the cathedral of the Assumption in Moscow Kremlin. The neghboring bell tower of eclectic style was built in 1810 to replace the former hip-roof tower. The interior of the cathedral includes a number of ancient frescos from late 12th century (northern wall) and 15th century (vaults), the latter being painted by Andrei Rublev and Daniil Chyorny. Presently, the cathedral combines church and museum activities. Services are normally held in the morning and offer free entrance. During the opening hours of the museum  (Tue-Sun, 13.00-16.30), the tickets are sold.
- Cathedral of St. Demetrius (Дмитриевский собор), Соборная площадь, . This is the other ancient cathedral of Vladimir. The buliding was constructed in 1194-97 as an in-house church of the Prince's court. Originally, galleries linked the cathedral to the palace, but they were removed during the reconstruction in 19th century. At present, St. Demetrius' Cathedral is a detached church, a unique monument of ancient Russian architecture. The bottom part of the walls is flat (here the galleries were attached), while the upper part is covered by fine stone carvings. These carvings depict stories from the life of King David and praise the harmony of the world. Yet the meaning of some carvings remains unknown. The cathedral hosts a small museum that presents enlarged images and detailed explanations for a number of carvings as well as a small piece of original frescos from late 12th century. The museum  is open Wed-Mon, from 11 till 17 or 18. Don't forget to have a look from the nearby viewpoint!
- Golden Gate (Золотые ворота), Большая Московская ул. (west from the Cathedral square), . Once the entrance to the walled city, the gate was originally built in 1158-64. At that time, the city was surrounded by a rampart with five stone gates. The Golden Gate is the only remaining part of the complex and the unique monument of ancient fortifications in Russia. The ramparts were removed in 19th century, and the gate was reinforced by four circular bastions at the buttresses. These bastions strongly changed the appearance of the gate, so it may be advisable to see the picture of the original building, e.g., in a museum of military history inside the gate. The remaining part of the rampart is found south from the gate, along the Kozlov rampart street (ул. Козлов вал).
There are lots of churches in Vladimir, and one is unlikely to visit all of them. The following list includes several representative examples from various styles.
- Nativity Monastery (Рождественский монастырь), Большая Московская ул. 68 (east from the Cathedral square). The monastery was founded in the end of 12th century and played important role for Russian Orthodox Church during the Middle Ages. None of the ancient buildings survived, but it is worth to see the stone walls and towers from 18th century. Though there was no real threat to Vladimir at that time, the walls imitate fortifications of ancient Russian monasteries. You will also find a church and several living houses with fine decorations from 17th century. Presently, the monastery is a home to the bishop of Vladimir region.
- Cathedral of the Assumption (Princess Convent) (Успенский собор Княгинина монастыря), Княгининская ул. (north from the Trading Rows). The history of the Princess Convent is traced back to 12th century. The central building, the Cathedral of the Assumption, was originally built in the beginning of the 13th century. In 16th century, the cathedral was rebuilt in its present shape (known as "Moscow style" of church architecture). You can see numerous kokoshniki below the dome and compare this type of decoration with the ancient one from St. Demetrius' Cathedral. Note fine frescos from 17th century inside the Cathedral.
- Church of the Assumption of our Lady (Богородице-Успенская церковь), Большая Московская ул. 106а (east from the historical center). This church from 17th century (built in 1644-49) presents another example of original russian architecture. Apart from kokoshniki, you will find a hip-roof bell tower, a typical feature of the 17th century-style.
- Church of St. Nikita (Никитская церковь), Княгининская ул., 8 (next to the Princess Convent). This church was built in baroque style in the middle of 18th century. Bright green color and huge building sharply contrast to the harmony of the ancient white-stone cathedrals. Still, the decoration of the church is remarkable. At present, the church is not functioning and houses a restoration workshop.
- Church of St. George (Георгиевская церковь), Георгиевская ул., 6 (cross Bolshaya Moscovskaya st. near the Trading Rows and head south). Another example of baroque-style architecture. This church is rather small and looks modest as compared to the Church of St. Nikita. The nice appearance is supplied by the neighboring hip-roof bell tower. For a long time, the Church of St. George housed a concert hall, but now it should start regular services.
- Church of St. Michael the Archangel (Михаило-Архангельская церковь), ул. Студёная гора, 1a (west from the Golden Gate). This impressive dark-red church was built in the end of 19th century in neo-Byzantine style. It is probably one of the best (or, at least, most harmonious) representatives of this style in Russia.
- Church of St. Trinity (Троицкая церковь), Дворянская ул., 2 (next to the Golden Gate). The red-brick church of eclectic style (with an emphasis on russian revival, though) from 1913-1916. Presently, it houses a museum of crystal, miniature paintings, and embroidery.
- Church of Our Lady of the Rosary (Костёл св. Розария Пречистой Девы Марии), ул. Гоголя, 12в (south from the Golden Gate). This catholic church from late 19th century is a rare example of neo-gothic building in Vladimir region. The church was constructed for Polish-Lithuanian troop that stayed in Vladimir. At present, the church works under the supervision of Roman Catholic church. This lovely place is worth a visit, especially during catholic holidays.
Since 18th century, Vladimir is a provincial city, so its secular buildings are rather small and modest. Do not expect to see any masterpieces. Still, it is possible to find a number of nice buildings from different periods and styles.
- House of the Assembly of Nobility (Дворянское собрание), Большая Московская ул., 33 (next to the Cathedral Square). This building in the empire style from early 19th century has once been a cultural center of Vladimir.
- Trading Rows (Торговые ряды), Большая Московская ул., 19 (between the Cathedral square and the Golden Gate). A very typical building for russian architecture of late 18th – early 19th century. The Trading Rows in Vladimir follow the general classicism style with an original project from late 18th century, although the present appearance of the building is heavily disrupted by the signboards and advertisements.
- Old drugstore (Старая аптека), Георгиевская ул., 3 (close to the Trading Rows and the Church of St. George). A small lovely building from late 18th century.
- City Bank (Городской банк), Большая Московская ул., 29 (next to the Cathedral square). The red-and-white neoclassical building from 1896.
- City Museum (Городской музей), Большая Московская ул., 64 (east from the Cathedral square). This red-brick building of russian-revival (pseudo-russian) style is now a home to the history museum.
- Water tower (Водонапорная башня), ул. Козлов вал (south from the Golden Gate). The pseudo-russian style water tower is likely one of the most impressive and unusual secular buildings in Vladimir. It was constructed in 1868 as a part of the first water-supply system and re-built in 1912. Presently, the tower houses an exhibition on the history of Vladimir.
- House of the Temperance Association (Народный дом общества трезвости), ул. Гагарина, 7 (south from the Trading Rows). A very unusual mix of neoclassical and art nouveau styles. In the beginning of 20th century, this house was one of the cultural centers of Vladimir.
- House of Realschule (Реальное училище), Никитская ул., 1 (next to the Golden Gate). An art nouveau building from 1913 with colored brick and nice decorations. Presently, the building is occupied by Vladimir university.
- Building College (Строительный колледж), ул. Дзержинского, 6 (west from the Golden Gate). A rare example of the building from Stalin's Empire style in Vladimir. The project is rather regular and dates back to 1950, although a small tower is certainly an unusual feature that originates from art nouveau or russian-revival fashion.
The two important museums of Vladimir are the Cathedral of the Assumption and the Cathedral of St. Demetrius that exhibit ancient frescos (see the "Must-see list" above). You can also visit other museums:
- Regional history museum (Областной исторический музей), Большая Московская ул., 64 (west from the Cathedral Square), . W–Mo, 10.00–16.00 or 17.00. The museum covers the history of Vladimir region from the very beginning (Stone age) till the February Revolution of 1917. During the Middle Ages, the history of the region was tightly bound to the history of Russia itself, so one can find a lot of information on the Vladimir principality and the development of north-eastern Russia prior to the Mongol invasion and along the period of the Mongol yoke.
- Military museum (музей воинской доблести), (inside the Golden Gate), . F–W, 10.00–18.00. The museum presents a number of old weapons and a huge gallery of military leaders, originating from Vladimir region. The best exhibit is a special diorama that depicts the assault of Vladimir by Batu Khan in 1238. The diorama gives an idea how the the ancient city looked like.
- Exhibition "Old Vladimir" (экспозиция "Старый Владимир"), ул. Козлов вал (inside the water tower, south from the Golden Gate), . Tu–Su, 10.00–18.00. The museum reconstructs the routine life and the atmosphere of Vladimir from late 19th century. The exhibition is more or less generic for any provincial russian town from this period. Don't miss the observation platform on the top of the tower!
- Museum of crystal, lacquered miniature painiting, and embroidery (экспозиция "Хрусталь. Вышивка. Лаковая миниатюра"), Дворянская ул., 2 (inside the Church of St. Trinity, next to the Golden Gate), . W–Mo, 11–19. The collection of exhibits from different crafts that were traditionally developed in Vladimir region. Magnificent crystalware are manufactured in Gus-Hrustalnyi and neighboring towns. The miniature paintings are hand-made articles from Mstyora, a small settlement near Vyazniki, while embroidery is a traditional handicraft of the whole region. If you do not plan a trip to the destinations specified above, visiting this museum may be a good option. There is a shop of crystalware as well.
- Art gallery, Большая Московская ул., 58 (Cathedral square, a long building between the ancient cathedrals), . Tu–Su 10.00–16.00 or 17.00. The regular provincial art gallery with a collection of Russian fine art. The building also houses the so-called Children museum center. The center presents a number of fascinating historical exhibitions that were specially designed for young people.
- Memorial house of Stoletov family (Дом-музей Столетовых), ул. Столетовых, 3 (eastern part of the historical center), . F–W, 10.00–16.00 or 17.00. The museum reconstructs a typical merchant house from 19th century. Stoletov family is well-known in Russia: Nilokay Stoletov was a military leader, while his brother, Alexander Stoletov, was a famous physicist. The exhibition occupies a wing of the house that originally belonged to the family.
- Planetarium, Большая Московская ул. 66а, ☎ +7-(4922)-32-22-90. Daily, 09.00–17.15.
- Museum of S.D. Vasilisin (Музей С.Д. Василисина), ул. Завадского, 7 (western part of the city), . School museum of Sergey Vasilisin, a national hero who took part in battles near Murmansk during World War II.
- Monument of the 850-th anniversary, Соборная площадь (Cathedral square). This amusing monument was laid on 1958 (the 850-th anniversary of Vladimir) and completed in 1969. It is a typical example of the "Soviet realism" style. The monument shows three aspects of Vladimir's history (or three faces of the city): a warrior with a sword, an architect with a design, and a worker with a tractor. All together they look quite funny. Don't miss this monument!
- Lunacharsky regional drama theater (Областной драматический театр им. Луначарского), Дворянская ул., 4 (next to the Golden Gate and the church of St. Trinity), ☎ (4922)32-42-58, 32-30-92, 32-27-77.
- Puppet theater (Владимирский областной театр кукол), ул. Гагарина, 7 (north from the Trading Rows), ☎ (4922)32-31-41, 32-36-88, 32-42-28.
- Evening theater (театр Вечерний), ул. Гагарина, 7 (north from the Trading Rows), ☎ (4922)32–36–88. The evening version of the puppet theater with real (mainly, comedy) performances.
- Razgulyai Folklore Theater (театр фольклора Разгуляй), Добросельская ул., 194a (extension of Bolshaya Moscovskya St., in the very eastern part of the city), ☎ (4922)21-67-70, 31–29–77.
- Taneyev regional concert hall (концертный зал им. Танеева), просп. Ленина, 1 (west from the Golden Gate), ☎ (4922)36-63-54, 32-74-94.
- Kinomax-Burevestnik (Киномакс-Буревестник), просп. Ленина, 29 (western part of the city), ☎ (4922)24-55-78, (4922)24–08–61.
- Khudozhestvennyi (Художественный), Большая Московская ул., 13 (in the historical center), ☎ (4922)32-39-64, (4922)32-37-77. The cinema is in the special cinema-house from 1913.
- Horizon (Кругозор), Большая Московская ул., 38 (in the historical center), ☎ (4922)32–49–00.
- Russia (Русь), Суздальский просп., 8 (eastern part of the city), ☎ (4922)21-10-18, 21-06-18.
Traditional Russian souvenirs can be found right on the street next to the Golden Gate. It is also possible to find icons and other authentic gifts in the nearby St. Demetrius' Cathedral. Don't miss the shop of local crystalware in the church of St. Trinity.
Vladimir has several shopping centers and lots of smaller shops that offer a great variety of food, drinks, clothes, etc.
- Trading Rows (Торговые ряды), Большая Московская ул., 19a (betwenn the Cathedral square and the Golden Gate), ☎ (4922)45-16-37, 45-16-42, . daily, 10-22. This is a huge mall in the very center of the city. Here, you will find a number of small shops, boutiques, services as well as a food court (upper floor)
- Supermarket Valentina (ЦУМ Валентина), Дворянская ул., 10 (next to the Golden Gate and the church of St. Trinity), ☎ (4922)42-02-02, . Mon-Sat, 9-21; Sun, 10-20. Another mall located in the city center. This shopping center is less luxurious as compared to the Trading Rows and houses lots of useful services, including a huge food supermarket (ground floor) and a small food court (upper floor)
- Cruiser (Крейсер), просп. Ленина, 46 (western part of the city), ☎ (4922)45-09-79. Mon-Sat, 10-21; Su, 10-19. A huge mall with a food supermarket, a supermarket of electronics, smaller shops, numerous cafes and restaurants.
- SPAR – an international network of supermarkets. The shops are open daily from 9 till 21 (sometimes, from 10 or till 22).
- Мостостроевская ул. 2 (the largest one) – south-western part of the city
- ул. Балакирева, 35 – western part of the city
- ул. Дзержинского, 11 – western part of the city
- ул. Егорова, 4 – north-eastern part of the city
- пр. Ленина, 43
- пр. Ленина, 65
- Большая Московская ул. 19а (inside the Trading rows)
- Октябрьский пр. 43 – north-western part of the city
- ул. Растопчина, 19а – north-eastern part of the city
- ул. Чайковского, 44 – western part of the city
- Further shops in the city center:
- Dobryak (Добряк) – пр. Ленина, 23 (round-the-clock)
- Magnet (Магнит) – a food supermarket: ул. Усти на Лабе, 1 (daily, 9–21)
- Blinchiki (Блинчики), Большая Московская ул. 32 (across the street from the Trading Rows). This small cafe preserves soviet and pretty much fast-food style. However, the menu is rather diverse. The pancakes are very tasty and will certainly satisfy your hunger.
- Canteen # 2 (Столовая № 2), Вокзальная ул. 15 (west from the train station). Daily, 07.00–19.00. A cheap soviet-style canteen.
- Magic flute (Волшебная флейта), просп. Ленина, 2, ☎ +7-(4922)-32-10-09.
- Mister Hamburger (Мистер Гамбургер), Большая Московская ул., 15. Daily, 10.00–22.00. Local version of McDonalds.
- Pasties (Пирожки), Большая Московская ул. 22, ☎ +7-(4922)-32-61-66. Daily, 08.00–20.00.
- Potato father (Картофельный папа), Большая Московская ул. 22а. Daily, 10.00–23.00. Fast-food with potato-based meals.
- Food court of the Trading Rows, Большая Московская ул., 19a. The food court (upper floor of the mall) houses a number of national and international fast-food stands: Sbarro, Baskin Robbins, Kebab-tun, Tashir-pizza, etc.
- Supermarket Valentina (ЦУМ Валентина), Дворянская ул., 10. The food court on the upper floor includes several fast-food brands (Tashir-pizza, Mister Hamburger, Vo-Blin, etc.) that work all day long. On the ground floor, there is a very budget dining hall with more adequate food (open Mon-Fri, 11.30-15.30).
- Shesh Besh (Шеш Беш), Большая Московская ул., 78 (eastern part of the historical center). A stylish restaurant of Azerbaijan cuisine. Don't expect to find a variety of food (and, especially, vegetarian food) here. Still, different kinds of meat, either grilled (shashlyk) or chopped (lulya-kebab), are perfect. Additionally, there is a buffet with a selection of salads and pickles, spicy eastern-style soups, nice grilled fish, and home-made tea. It is certainly worth to have lunch or dinner in this restaurant, unless you are alrealy experienced in Azerbaijan cuisine. Main dishes: 150–250 roubles (2008).
- Coffee house Na Chekhova (кофейня На Чехова), Большая Московская ул., 67 / ул. Чехова, 2 (eastern part of the historical center). Don't trust the name: this is a regular restaurant rather than a small coffee house. The design is stylish, the choice is wide, and the food is excellent. If you are a gourmet, this coffee house is probably your choice in Vladimir, because you are unlikely to find more delicious and less trivial food in a city like this. Moreover, the prices are really encouraging. Main dishes: 200–350 roubles (2008).
- Sushi bar Kabuki (суши-бар Кабуки), ул. Спасская, 1/8 (east from the Golden Gate), ☎ +7-(4922)32-38-98.
- Biblos (Библос), Большая Московская ул., 14, ☎ +7-(4922)32-32-69.
- Vladimir (ресторан Владимир), Большая Московская ул., 74 (inside the Hotel Vladimir). +7-(4922)32-73-52.
- Angel's fate (Доля ангела), Большая Московская ул., 16.
- Salmon and Coffee (Лосось и кофе), Большая Московская ул., 19а (inside the Trading Rows).
- Sport-bar Corner (Спорт-бар Корнер), Девическая ул., 3.
- Labyrinth (Лабиринт), Большая Московская ул., 8.
- Old city (Старый город), Большая Московская ул., 41, .
- Flamingo (Фламинго), Октябрьский просп., 4.
- Inside, ул. Батурина, 28 (northern part of the city; take trolleybus # 7, 8, or 15 from the Golden Gate), ☎ +7-(4922)-47-85-55.
- At the Golden Gate (У Золотых ворот), Большая Московская ул. 15.
Beer is probably the only local speciality in Vladimir. Formerly, Vladimir brewery was known for a variety of beer sorts. At present, the diversity is substantially reduced, because the brewery joined the brand of "live beer" Fifth Ocean (Пятый океан) – a wheat-free unfiltered beer with a special storage technology that allows to keep fresh unfiltered beer for rather long time. This beer is produced in several breweries and distributed all round the country. In Vladimir, it can be found in SPAR supermarkets. Additionally, there are few sorts of filtered lager beer produced under the general brand Vladimirskoe (Владимирское). The latter is not very special, but it is local and may be thus expected to be fresh.
- Velvet (Бархат), просп. Строителей, 20 (north-west from the historical center), . A huge nightclub with several bars, disco, a hookah-room, and a strip club.
- Golden ring (Золотое кольцо), ул. Чайковского, 27 (north-west from the historical center), . A huge complex including a number of bars, a casino, a nightclub, bowling, billiard, and a strip club.
- Sun (Солнце), ул. Большая Московская, 33 (historical center), . A night club with a bar and a sushi bar.
- Lump sugar (Рафинад), проспект Ленина, 46 (buses 12, 25, 26, 17 from the historical centre, or 20, 21, 24, 23 from other locations), ☎ (4922)45-27-27, .
Ekaterina 14:14, 10 March 2010 (EST)Ekaterina The club "Night" was deleted as it doesn't work anymore. Two more clubs were added.
- Dawn (Заря), ул. Студёная гора, 36а (west from the Golden Gate), ☎ +7-(4922)-32-14-41, . Soviet-style accommodation close to the historical center. All the rooms are equipped with WC and toilet. The "renovation" implies the renewal of the furniture, but the rooms do not look modern anyway (suites are better though). Breakfast is served in the cafe inside the hotel and may be included in the price depending on the room quality. The hotel does not have its own parking, but there is a toll guarded parking nearby. Double room (non-renovated/renovated): 1100–1200/1600–1800 rubles (2008).
- Hotel of Vladimir Training Center (гостиница при ГУП Владимирский учебный центр), ул. Кирова, 18а (north from the historical center, take trolleybuses #7,8,14,15 from the Golden gate or trolleybus #10 from the train station), ☎ +7-(4922)-23-14-49. Soviet-style accommodation far from the historical center. Bathrooms are private or shared depending on the room quality. No breakfast, no guarded parking (still, it is possible to leave the car near the hotel). Double room: 1060 rubles (2008).
- Hotel of the Academy of public service (гостиница при РАГС), ул. Горького, 59а (north from the historical center, take trolleybuses #2,8 from the Golden Gate or #10 from the train station), ☎ +7-(4922)-23-22-27. Soviet-style accommodation far from the historical center. Private bathrooms, poor renovation (if any), no breakfast, no parking. Double room: 1100 rubles (2008).
- Cosiness (Уют), ул. Горького, 52 (north from the historical center, take trolleybuses #2,8 from the Golden Gate or #10 from the train station), ☎ +7-(4922)-43-21-52. Hostel-type accommodation (former dormitory) with an inconvenient and hard-to-find location. Bathrooms are shared, and shower is additionally charged.
- Pilgrimage hostel (Паломническая служба Владимирской епархии), ул. Студёная гора, 1 (west from the Golden Gate), ☎ +7-(4922)-36-62-32, .
- Daily apartment rental, ☎ +7-(905)-109-43-13, . This budget option is especially helpful during the high season. You can order a single-room apartment or a room in the mini-hotel. See Russia:Sleep for more details. Double room or single-room apartment: 1000–1500 rubles (2008).
- Vladimir (Владимир), Большая Московская ул., 74 (east from the Cathedral square), ☎ +7-(4922)-32-44-47, 32-30-42, 32-27-01 ([email protected]), . A nice hotel in the heart of the city. The rooms are freshly renovated and fully equipped. Breakfast is included, while parking is additionally charged. There is a restaurant in the ground floor. Laundry and tourist information are also available. Double room: from 2500 rubles; quadruple room: 2900 (2008).
- Golden Ring (Золотое кольцо), ул. Чайковского, 27 (very far from the historical center, take trolleybus #8 from the Golden Gate of #10 from the train station), ☎ reservation: +7-(4922)-400-800, +7-(495)-975-75-34; reception: +7-(4922)-24-88-07 ([email protected]), . A huge complex, including the hotel and entertainments (bars, disco, casino, etc). The location is very inconvenient and suits for organized tours rather than for individual travellers. The rooms are equipped with all the basic facilities, but the quality is average (suites are more attractive, as usual). Breakfast is included. Guarded parking is available for extra price. Additional services (laundry, internet, sport hall) are also available.
- Orion (Орион-отель), 2-я Никольская ул., 3 (north from the Golden Gate, close to the historical center), ☎ +7-(4922)42-00-02, . A nice mini-hotel in the center of Vladimir. All the rooms are modern and fully equipped, breakfast is included. Additional services (guarded parking, internet in the lobby) are charged. There is a cafe as well. Double room: from 2600 rubles (2008).
- Russian Village (Русская деревня), Московское шоссе, 5а (western part of the city, very far from the historical center: take trolleybuses #1,5,15 from the Golden Gate), ☎ +7-(4922)-38-36-90. Three wooden cottages conveniently located in the outskirts of Vladimir, close to the entry from Moscow. A tavern and a restaurant are attached to the hotel. Rooms are fully equipped. Breakfast is not included, guarded parking available. Double room: about 2000 rubles (2008).
- Erlangen House (гостевые комнаты Эрлангенского дома), Большая Нижегородская ул., 25 (east from the historical center (about 10 min. walk) and close to the train station), ☎ +7-(4922)-32-37-95, 32-45-04. A nice mini-hotel close to the city center. Breakfast included, free parking. Still, no other facilities available.
- Profkursy (Профкурсы), Добросельская ул., 217 (eastern part of the city, very far from the historical center: take trolleybus #1 from the Golden Gate), ☎ +7-(4922)-21-37-60. An old and ugly hotel in the outskirts of Vladimir (entry from Nizhny Novgorod). The only advantage is the proximity to Bogolyubovo. No parking.
- Vladimir courtyard (Владимирский дворик), ул. Подбельского, 12 (in the historical center, south from the Cathedral square), ☎ +7-(4922)-32-71-06, 32-36-53, . A nice mini-hotel in the center of Vladimir. The rooms are modern and fully equipped. Breakfast included, parking available. Internet access in the lobby. Double room: 3000 rubles (2008).
- At the Golden Gate (У Золотых ворот), Большая Московская ул., 15 (in the historical center, close to the Golden Gate), ☎ +7-(4922)-42-08-23, . A modern mini-hotel located in the old buidling in the very heart of Vladimir. Breakfast included, parking available. A restaurant is attached to the hotel. Double room: 3500 rubles (2008).
- Monomakh (Мономах), ул. Гоголя, 20 (south from the Golden Gate), ☎ +7-(4922)-440-444, . A small hotel with own restaurant and guarded parking, central location. Double room: from 2900 rubles (2008).
- Mon Plaisir (Мон плезир), ул. Разина, 20а (west from the historical center, take trolleybuses #1,2,4,5,7,8,15 from the Golden Gate), ☎ +7-(4922)-37-37-75, 37-04-47 ([email protected]), . A small hotel with guarded parking, cafe, and entertainmens (fitness-club, billiard). Double room: 2800 rubles (2008).
- Prince Vladimir (Князь Владимир), ул. Растопчина, 1а (eastern part of the city, entry from Nizhny Novgorod), ☎ +7-(4922)-37-37-21, +7-(901)-992-37-21, .
Out of the city
- Gladiator (Гладиатор), ул. Зелёная, 17 (микрорайон Коммунар) (leave Vladimir towards Murom and turn left after the hotel Klyazma), ☎ +7-(4922)-42-51-79 ([email protected]), . A modern hotel in the outskirts of the city. Services include a restaurant, a sauna, and a sport club. Double room: from 1200 rubles (2008).
- Klyazma (Клязьма), Судогдское шоссе, 15 (on the road to Murom), ☎ +7-(4922)-32-64-83, 32-42-37. The hotel in the outskirts of the city. Regular rooms are very old and basic, while the suites were recently renovated. Breakfast included, parking available for additional price. A cafe is attached to the hotel. Double room (non-renovated/renovated): 1400/3000 rubles (2008).
- Ladoga (Турбаза "Ладога"), Сосновая ул. 12 (leave the city towards Murom and turn left to Lunevo), ☎ +7-(4922)-32-26-10 ([email protected]). A country house that offers the rental of rooms and cottages. There is a dining-hall serving three meals a day. Extra facilities (billiard, sauna, rental of sport equipment) available. Double room: 1200 rubles (2008).
- Motel Pechki-Lavochki (Мотель "Печки-Лавочки"), село Борисовское (on the road to Suzdal), ☎ +7-(4922)-37-06-11, +7-(901)-992-06-11. Accommodation in russian style. The motel offers regular rooms or small cottages (izbushki), both are fully equippped. A cafe is attached to the hotel. Double room: 1500–2000 rubles (2008).
- Motel Vladimirskiy (Мотель "Владимирский"), Ноябрьская ул. 134 (микрорайон Юрьевец) (west from the city, on the road to Moscow), ☎ +7-(4922)-26-06-84.
- Motel Yamschik (Мотель "Ямщик"), ул. Ясная, 1 (микрорайон Юрьевец) (west from the city, on the road to Moscow), ☎ +7-(4922)-26-35-55. Accommodation with either private or shared bathrooms. A tavern is attached to the hotel, and a sauna is available. Double room: 700–800 rubles (2008).
- Motel Yamskaya Zastava (Мотель "Ямская застава"), Ноябрьская ул. 71б (микрорайон Юрьевец) (west from the city, on the road to Moscow), ☎ +7-(4922)-26-35-47. Rooms with private bathrooms. A cafe is attached to the motel. Double room: 1400 rubles (2008).
The below list includes a number of post offices located in the city center. The full list of the offices can be found here: 
- Main office, ул. Подбельского, 2 (a block north from the Cathedral square), ☎ +7-(4922)-32-44-60. Daily, 9–21.
- Office #1, просп. Ленина, 9, ☎ +7-(4922)-36-63-44. M–Sa, 9–20.
- Office #6, Большая Московская ул. 75б, ☎ +7-(4922)-32-44-01. M–Sa, 9–20.
- Office #20, ул. Усти-на-Лабе, 2, ☎ +7-(4922)-32-51-98. M–Sa, 9–20.
- Office #25, Октябрьский просп. 14, ☎ +7-(4922)-32-51-98. M–Fr, 8–17 (lunch time 12–13).
- Regional scientific library (Владимирская областная научная библиотека), ул. Дзержинского, 3 (close to the Golden Gate), ☎ +7-(4922)32-32-02. M–Th, 10–20; Sa–Su, 10–18.
- At Gagarina street (На Гагарина), ул. Гагарина, 1 (next to the Trading rows), ☎ +7-(4922)-32-64-71. Daily, 9–21.
- Yellow bug (Жёлтый жук), Дворянская ул. 10 (third floor of Supermarket Valentina). M–Sa, 9–21; Su, 10–20.
- Kinomax-Burevestnik (Киномакс-Буревестник), просп. Ленина, 29 (western part of the city, attached to the same-name cinema), . Daily, 9–21. 25-40 rubles/hour + payment for the traffic (2008).
- Youth (Юность), ул. Мира, 49 (north-eastern part of the city), . Daily, round the clock. 80 rubles/hour (2008).
- Coffee Bean, Большая Московская ул. 19а (third floor of the Trading Rows). Free Wi-Fi.
- Whiskey-pub (Виски-паб), Большая Московская ул. 19 (inside the Trading Rows), ☎ +7-(4922)-32-23-24. Free Wi-Fi.
- Milk, просп. Строителей, 20 (inside the Velvet night club). Free Wi-Fi.
From Vladimir, you can easily reach any place in Vladimir Oblast, and the trip should not take more that 3-3.5 hours. Below, the nearest destinations are listed:
- Bogolyubovo – a village near Vladimir with remarkable white-stone monuments from 12th century. The must-see destination for any traveller coming to Vladimir.
- Suzdal – the pretty, but quaint, world heritage site. Suzdal supplements Vladimir in the UNESCO list and presents lots of architectural sights from 13th-17th centuries.
- Yuryev-Polsky – another part of the Golden Ring, a very provincial town with a nice and unusual white-stone cathedral dating back to 13th century.
- Gus-Khrustalny – the town at the crystal factory. The local crystalware is really remarkable and compares to the international brands. Additionally, the town is a gateway to one of the few active networks of narrow-gauge railways in Central Russia.
- Vyazniki – a remarkable town with several ancient churches, interesting secular buildings, and a really splendid viewpoint on the hill above the Klyazma river. Vyazniki is close to Mstyora, a famous region of handicrafts, including miniature painting and magnificent emroidery.
- Sudogda – some people say that this is one of the most typical provinical towns in Central Russia. Sudogda preserves the complex of provincial buildings from 19th century and sufficiently reflects the present state of Russian province.
- Kovrov – an industrial center and the second largest city of Vladimir region. Kovrov does not have any popular tourist attractions, but a number of buildings from late 19th – early 20th century are remarkable.
- Lakinsk and Sobinka – small industrial towns to the west from Vladimir with several notable buildings from late 19th – early 20th century.
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