Of the eight cities of the Golden Ring Kostroma is the most distant from Moscow, and perhaps the most underrated.
Kostroma does not reveal all immediately. Meanwhile it has everything: ancient history, rich in events and monuments, the thoroughness of an old merchant town, standing on a large river, and even the glory of big jewelry center of the European part of Russia.
Volga clearly dominates in the urban space. Kostroma embankment is perceptible and well maintained. Behind the Volga stands the impregnable Ipatiev Monastery - the "cradle of the Romanov dynasty."Kostroma preserved most of its historic center. An extensive shopping arcade, church courts, a very high fire tower, a museum of wooden architecture are near modern shops, restaurants and hotels.
Streets layout in Kostroma is quite unusual: they fan outwards from the Volga River. According to the legend, Catherine II ordered court architects to design an urban plan for Kostroma. None of the projects satisfied her. Then one of the architects who had been trying to do the plan, asked for her opinion on what the city should be like. Catherine opened the fan she was holding and said, "Well, for example like this."
Besides sightseeing, in Kostroma you can work out at the local equestrian racecourse, in summer, have a boat trip, in winter, dogsled. And even fly a helicopter shuttle (Kostroma - Kineshma - Redridge - Nezhitino - Yuryevets). From Kostroma you can reach Nerekhta (an outdoor city museum), Zavrazhye (birthplace of Pavel Florensky, Arseny and Andrei Tarkovsky) or Galich (the oldest city in the Kostroma region).