Rostov-on-Don is a glowing green city located on the Don river. While strolling through its streets, you will see wide leafy alleys and parks that make this large city seem calm and peaceful.
Rostov-on-Don is famous for the freedom-loving Cossack community who has inhabited it since 1749. In this city, apart from visiting its highlights such as the Nativity of the Theotokos Cathedral, Surb Khach Church or Tachanka Monument, you will get to know and experience genuine Cossack culture and their way of life.
Although Rostov-on-Don suffered during the October Revolution (when Cossacks organized a fierce resistance to the Bolsheviks) and World War II, it held on to that special Cossack atmosphere of freedom. You may even meet Cossack militia in the streets - the regiments cannot be mistaken in their bright, festive uniforms. These skillful warriors have always protected the southern borders and now form the reserve troops of the Russian army.
Rich traditions, bright national costumes, vivid festivities - all were admired by the famous Russian writer Mikhail Sholokhov, a Nobel Prize winner. He described the Cossacks in his books “And Quiet Flows the Don” and “The Don Flows Home to the Sea”. To get acquainted with Sholokhov’s works and life you may visit the the State M.A. Sholokhov Museum-Reserve or go to the Quay, where you will see many sculptures dedicated to his books’ characters.
To see the ancient treasures of the Don and to understand the freedom-loving and independent spirit of the Cossacks, you should visit the Regional Museum, which is famous for its unique archaeological collection. It contains many artifacts of the Cossack way of life as well as jewelry and weapons dating back to the late BC and early AD. A collection has been dedicated to the prehistory of the region, when it was inhabited by the ancient Scythian, Sarmat, and Savromat tribes.
One of the brightest attractions of Rostov-on-Don is the Nativity of the Theotokos Cathedral, built in 1885 by Konstantin Thon - the same architect who constructed the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, Grand Kremlin Palace, and Oruzheinaya Palata (Armory Chamber) in Moscow. This ivory cathedral is adorned by massive golden onion domes and is considered to be the center of the city's architectural ensemble.
The Fine Arts Museum displays a vast collection (6000 exhibits) of 19th century Russian paintings. Among the highlights are masterpieces by the famous Russian artists Repin, Levitan, Surikov, and Petrov.
The Rostov Zoo is a magical place with animals from all five continents. The pride of the zoo is the aquarium, housing dozens of fish species. The terrarium has rare species of crocodiles, turtles, and snakes.
The experience of this city isn't complete without trying Cossack national cuisine and listening to the traditional singing. A popular place of entertainment is the area on the left bank of the Don river, where you can find many restaurants, cafes, and special places to taste Don cuisine and shashlyk (a meat dish with an aroma that will make your mouth water). You will be pleasantly surprised by the wide choice of entertainment that the Rostov-on-Don has to offer.
Choose one of our Russian River Cruises and explore the best sites of this beautiful city.