Kostroma is the big capital city of Kostroma Oblast, and a stop on Russia‘s Golden Ring circuit. It is a historic city, founded in the 12th century, and served as a sort of northern retreat for the powerful in Muscovy when threatened by southern and western invaders. Kostroma’s wealth of art and architecture is owed to the legacy of such retreats. Visitors should not miss the Hypatian Monastery and the historic city center around Susaninskaya ploshchad. Kostroma outside the historic center is grey and industrial and off the itinerary for most tourists.
In the summer, in addition to the expensive cruise boats, a hydrofoil service runs along the Volga River between Kostroma-Yaroslavl (2 hours) and Kostroma-Plyos (1 hour). It costs about RUB50 for a one-way trip. The service was suppressed (2008)
Bus #13 shuttles between the main square (Susaninskaya ploshchad) and Hypatiev Monastery. Trolleybus #2 runs between the main square and the train station. Public transport should cost you about 10 RUR per ride (as for 2010).
- The Trading Arcades, along Sovetskaya ul. and Susaninskaya ploshchad. An 18th century trading center, now houses shops and a market
- Susaninskaya Ploshchad. The main square is named after Ivan Susanin, a peasant who became a hero after misleading Polish invaders into a swamp, where they all died. The square has several buildings of note, including the Fire Tower, a delightful piece of 19th century architecture and currently a museum, and a literature museum within a 19th century guard house.
- Bogoyavlensky (Epiphany) Monastery. Located one block down Simonovskogo ul., this 14th century monastery houses the 12th century Icon of Fedorovsky Bogomater, which according to legend was found hanging from a tree by a Russian prince. The main cathedral dates back to 1559.
- 1 Saint Hypatia Monastery (Ипатьевский монастырь, Ipatievsky Monastery), Ulitsa Prosveshcheniya, 1. 9AM-5PM, services daily at 8AM and 5PM. A huge and important monastery (est. 1330), which contains the Museum of Wooden Architecture, the Bogoroditsky Cathedral (est. 1552), and the Spaso-Preobrazhenskaya Church (which was made without a single nail). Entrance RUB50.
(updated Mar 2019)
- Museum of Wooden Architecture, 1a Prosveshcheniya ul., ☎+7 922 39-15-12. 09:00–17:00. An outdoor architectural museum of wooden churches, houses, and a mill from the Kostroma region. Admission included in the Monastery entrance fee.
- Resurrection Church on the Lowlands ((Russian: церковь Воскресения на Дебре)), Кострома, Kostroma, Kostromskaya oblast’, Russia, 156005, ☎+7 494 232-05-71. 17th-century Russian Orthodox Church near the Volga River that, as the story goes, was commissioned by a merchant who ended up with barrels of gold instead of barrels of dye and decided it was the devil’s gift which could only be remedied by spending it to build a church, as per Wikipedia. (updated May 2017)