When I wrote this post, it was going on 9:00 at night here, and I had just got back from a lovely evening stroll. Yaroslavl is far enough north that sunset doesn’t set until almost 11:00! It’s definitely messed with my sleeping patterns and productivity levels (I have plenty of time to write this essay! It’s only–oh. Oops…), but at the same time it’s a refreshing change from the short, cold winter days.

After actually managing to finish a final paper on this bright, beautiful day, I decided to take advantage of the surplus sunshine and stretch my legs. I headed to the center and went of my favorite walk, one that starts on bustling downtown streets, winds around cathedrals and memorial statues, rambles through parks, and follows the banks of both the Kotorosl and Volga Rivers.

Here, my friends, is what I saw:

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I hope you get to enjoy this beautiful stroll! It really was one of the most special parts of Yaroslavl to me.

Sincerely,

Sarah

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The Volkov Theater (Театр Волкова) is located in Yaroslavl’s downtown, and just so happens to be Russia’s oldest theater! The theater was founded in 1750 by Russian actor Feodor Volkov. Since its founding, performers such as the world-renowned Constantin Stanislavski–whose name leaves every actor today trembling in admiration–and revered Russian singer Leonid Sobinov have graced its stage.

The inside of the theater is even more beautiful than the outside, featuring marble staircases, statues, sculpted ceilings, and exhibits. One of my favorite exhibits is on the second floor, hidden in a little nook in the wall: it’s a desk and mirror set up with old photos and odds and ends just lying about–you feel like you’re peering through time into an actress’s dressing room! Other exhibits include photographs from past productions, as well as miniature displays of past sets. It’s a theater lover’s paradise!

I have now seen two Chekhov plays at the Volkov: Three Sisters and Untitled (also known as Platanov). I would particularly recommend Three Sisters. It was a masterful, emotional show with spectacular acting and sincerely phenomenal technical backing. Untitled was a good show as well, but I would recommend it more for those with a serious interest in Chekhov and higher level Russian skills, as it definitely is a bit slower. I also had the fortune of seeing Hanuma (Ханума), a play written by Avksenti Tsagareli in 1882 that feels like it was written yesterday. If you’re looking for something, comedic, colorful, and musical, definitely see this production!

Naturally, all shows are in Russian! If you’re worried about your language skills, try reading a plot summary of the play you’re going to see beforehand. If you are here as a tourist with no Russian at all, I would recommend going to one of the concerts that are frequently put on at the theater. This way, you can experience the Volkov theater’s atmosphere without a language barrier.

Performance Schedule

You Want to Go? Not Surprised!

To buy tickets, I would recommend that you simply go to the box office. Enter the front door of the theater and you’ll find the ticket касса on your right. The cashier will help you pick your seats, make your payment, and get your tickets right on the spot. Make sure to show your student ID! With it, you can see a show for as little as 5 USD whenever you’d like. Floor, balcony, and box seats are all available for varying prices.

The cashier’s area is the only inner part of the theater visible if you’re not buying tickets, but it’s still worth a peek. You’ll find a list of shows and performance dates for the current month as well as the next, and there is a video on repeat showing teasers from current and up-coming productions.

Useful Information:

Address:
150000 Ярославль пл. Волкова, д.1
Building 1, Volkov Square, Yaroslavl, Russia 150000

To visit the theater’s bilingual English/Russian website, click here!
People who enjoyed this post may also enjoy Hillary’s posts on her time at the Moscow Bolshoi in Tickets, Tickets, Tickets, Hillary Goes to the Theater, and Bread, Beer, and a Bolshoi Ballet.

Wistfully counting down my hours left in Yaroslavl,
Sarah

Hooray! It’s almost the weekend! What do you want to do? No matter what it is, I’ll bet Yaroslavl has it for you. A lot of friends who’ve visited Yaroslavl have been really surprised about just how active our nightlife here can be. Okay, we’re no Moscow or Petersburg, but Yaroslavl still holds its own when it comes to bars and clubs, especially if you know where to go. Plus, you don’t have to deal with the expenses or intensive face control that the bigger cities have, so in some ways, I’d argue that it’s even better!

Мед
“Myohd”, “Honey”
Dancing, drinks, restaurant, unique location

This award-winning club is located literally on the Volga! It’s a floating club that has a fantastic dance floor and good music.  Look up and you’ll see dancers on pedestals and on platforms suspended from the ceiling! There’s a restaurant as well as a bar here, for those who are feeling hungry after hours of dancing. This is definitely a place you shouldn’t dress down to go. Мед is only open on Fridays and Saturdays.

Король Королью
“Korol Korolyu”, “King of Kings”
Dancing, drinks, wild decor

This is one of the most fun places to come on a weekend night. This two-story club has been decorated like the inside of a cave–every last inch of it! Walk down to the bottom floor and you’ll find a dance floor centered around a stage with a wrap-around bar.  This stage hosts dancers dancing to the music with you, and occasionally full-on dance performances.

Тобаско
“Tobasco”
Drinks, hookah, snacks

Тобаско has a cozy atmosphere and lots of recurring customers. It’s a great place to relax with friends or to meet new people. The hookah is especially good here!

Коктейл
“Cocktail”
Drinks, food, hookah, dance floor

Cocktail is another great local hang out. The walls and ceiling are decorated beautifully with a cream-colored mosaic. Dancing is on the second floor, though bars can be found on both floors. The sushi here is particularly tasty and well-priced. Cocktail is open during the day as a restaurant as well and has a full menu of decent food.

Бристол
“Bristol”
Drinks, dance floor, food

Right across the street from Cocktail is Bristol. Bristol is a quieter spot, with more secluded places away from the dance floor for large and small groups to sit, talk, and eat. The dance floor is decent, though it’s not my first choice  if I were planning on dancing. Bristol is open during the day as a restaurant.

Расстагаев
“Rastagayev”
Drinks, food, hookah

This is just a great spot in general. You won’t find any dancing here, but this restaurant has really tasty food, drinks, and hookah for unbeatable prices. To top it off, it’s clean and pretty enough to bring a date! If you stop by, try the blinchiki. They’re 2 USD and absolutely heavenly with chocolate sauce, condensed milk, or a variety of other toppings! It’s also open during the day as a restaurant, and I would highly recommend it during that time as well.

Your Бар
“Your Bar”
Drinks, dancing, food

If you want to come here on a weekend night, you might want to reserve a table! Your Bar just opened up about a year ago and is booming with business. Thursday Flirt Nights are especially entertaining, with the waiters wandering around dressed as cupids delivering anonymous messages from table to table. Good drinks, fun dance floor, and great atmosphere!

Tips for Going Out:

  • If you’re planning on being out late, get a cab ride back to your hotel or apartment. Always settle the price of the ride before getting into the cab.
  • If Yaroslavl is unfamiliar territory to you, as with any new place it would be wise to watch your drink intake more than usual.
  • Dress up. While you may find this silly, you and your friends are more likely to be let in if you look like people who have enough money to spend on drinks. Also, the locals will all be dressed to the nines.
  • Women usually get in everywhere for free. This is not always the case for men.
  • It shouldn’t cost a thing to  just get in the door. If a bouncer tells you otherwise, he wants a bribe. You can argue with him, but that’s admittedly a much easier task if you’re a girl.
  • Brace yourself for a cloud of cigarette smoke. The idea of a smoking “area” doesn’t exist in any of these clubs or bars.
  • Especially if you’re a girl, bring friends with you when you go out. It doesn’t hurt to be safe.
  • If you want to check out any of these places for yourself, just google the addresses. You can get to them by foot from most Yaroslavl hotels, but again, it’s best to take a cab home.

Have fun!

Sarah

The next on the list of “Things to See” in Yaroslavl is my personal favorite: Спасо-Преображенский Монастырь, the Monastery of the Transfiguration of Our Savior. I have now visited this site in fall, winter, and spring–and I’ll do it again in the summer! Located within the kremlin walls, this is another spot where you’ll find a little something for everyone.

For the art lovers: The Icon Museum

The icon museum has hundreds of years of icons in one large room. Art history lovers may find it interesting to wander and compare the styles based on the century or place of origin.

For the history and gore lovers: The History Museum

I’ve found the docents in the art museum particularly helpful! They tend to be elderly babushki who would love to show you around (speaking Russian may help you out if you want to ask them questions, though). There are all sorts of artifacts and interesting information on excavations done in Yaroslavl and Rostov in this museum. One of my favorite parts is looking at the cool weapons and armor! Plus, there are also lots of original paintings recreating scenes in history to help you imagine just what people might have looked like in Yaroslavl long ago, like the one pictured above.

For the animal lovers: Masha the Bear

It’s a BEAR!!!!!

 Okay, so this isn’t Masha–this is just a statue near the monastery (I know, I had you fooled for a second, right?). Masha is an actual, live bear inside the monastery, and for a small fee you can go take a picture with her! Unfortunately, I always seem to arrive during her breaks. I’ll get a picture with the real Masha yet!

For the kids: The Natural History Museum
 

The natural history museum essentially is made up of taxidermy animals and a more visual experience of excavations. The children flock to this museum!

For the architecture lovers: The Grounds

This photograph was actually taken slightly outside the monastery, and hopefully give you an idea of its size. The Transfiguration of Our Savior Monastery houses some of the oldest buildings in Yaroslavl, so for people with an interest in history, art, and architecture, this is the place to come. You can ask in the history museum which buildings are the oldest!

For the pious: The Transfiguration of Our Savior Church

Спасо-Преображенский собор

Come on a Sunday morning if you would like to take a peek inside, plus get a glimpse of a Russian Orthodox mass. To be respectful, I would recommend that girls cover their hair (though not religious myself, I tend to put whatever scarf I’m wearing over my head when I pop into churches here). Modest clothes for men and women are recommended.

For the jewelry lovers: The Jewel Museum

In my opinion, this is the most beautiful part of the missionary. Unfortunately, no cameras are allowed into the jewel museum, so I can’t give you an example of what’s inside. You’ll just have to find out for yourself (spoiler: expect lots of gold, silver, diamonds, sapphires, rubies, and pretty much anything that sparkles or shines)!

For the shopping lovers: The Gift Shops

There is a collection of gift shops inside the monastery with just about all the souvenirs you could want from Yaroslavl. Next to them is a cafe–naturally complete with beer. Like I said, something for everyone!

If you are interested in visiting the monastery, arrive between 10 AM and 5 PM to see the exhibits. It will cost you 20 rubles (less than 1 USD) to get into the grounds and between 40-50 rubles (less than 2 USD) to see each exhibit. It costs a little more to take pictures. Pay up front at the little red booth, and make sure to show your student ID for a discount! Going on a weekday with a student ID costs me 100 rubles (a little over 3 USD) all together to see all the exhibits and to take pictures.

‘Til next time!

Sarah

After hosting a few visits to Yaroslavl, I began to realize that there were certain things I really wanted my friends to see before they left–and I want you to see them, too! So, welcome to the kick-off of our little mini-series, “Things to See” in Yaroslavl.

I’d like to start with the Музей “Музыка и время”, the Music and Time Museum, because there’s something in it for everyone! This museum is in a fantastic location–it’s along the banks of the Volga and near a lot of other great sites (and hotels!). In the museum, you can find:


There is, however, a method to the madness. When John Mostoslavsky founded the museum in 1993, he put into it things he personally collected throughout his life, all of which tie into the theme of either music or time. Musical instruments, bells, icons, clocks, records, irons–“Hem hem and how exactly do the irons fit in?” Well, the collection of irons show you the development of iron technology over time!

Our tour guide shows off the bell collection

Clever, right?

When you enter the museum, you are immediately  greeted by the small staff. I have found them to be incredibly friendly, and  they’re willing to give tours in multiple languages! In a whirlwind walk-through, your guide explains the various exhibits and demonstrates how the different instruments work.

After that, you’re given leave to explore the museum for yourself. Photography (as you can see) is permitted. There’s also a great little gift shop where you can find souvenirs for the city of Yaroslavl and for the Music and Time Museum specifically.

See? I brought my dad! Hi, Dad!

One of the reasons that this museum is such a great find is that it’s so incredibly unique. It’s an early Russian private business (you couldn’t have that under the Soviet Union), it’s in what used to be a home, and it has a pretty wild collection of knick-knacks. Neither the collection nor the tour reflect a typical museum experience. It’s definitely a recommended activity for families, too! Also, the museum is only a short walk from the center of town, and is located near the Yaroslavl Art Museum, the History of Yaroslavl Museum, the Spaso-Preobrozhenski Monastery, the Singing Fountains, and a handful of interesting statues and cathedrals. If you have limited time in Yaroslavl, this is definitely a stop to make as you whiz through our sites!

So, how do you get there? The address for this museum is:

Confession: The gramophone wasn't playing

Волжская наб., 33, Ярославль, Россия
(33 Volzhskaya Naberezhnaya, Yaroslavl, Russia)
The opening hours are from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM. Costs for tickets are 100 rubles (~3 USD) for adults and 60 rubles (~2 USD) for children. And, as with most sites here, there’s a student discount! Just show your student ID when purchasing your tickets.And that concludes our first  episode of “Things to See” in Yaroslavl! I hope that you enjoyed your tour, and that you get to see the Music and Time Museum in person someday.

Cheers!
Sarah

The ice might be melting in Yaroslavl, but it’s still snowy in Сахараж (Sakharazh) at Galya’s dacha! Galya, Natasha, and I went cross-country skiing and explored the frozen river, plus I got to experience the winter version of the Russian banya–which involved rolling “naturally” in the snow. Yikes, that was cold! Here are the photos from our last adventure (even the banya ones are G-rated, I promise!):

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If you’re curious about what the dacha looks like without the snow, what Russians typically do at their dachas, or want a more detailed account of the Russian banya experience, check out:

‘Til Next Time!
Sarah