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Welcome to Rostov-on-Don

Rostov-on-Don (simply ‘Rostov’ to locals) is the gateway to the Northern Caucasus region, the historical hotbed of Cossack culture and peasant uprisings. Nowadays, it’s southern Russia’s largest and most cosmopolitan city. Flowing through the city is the Don River, a geographic and cultural landmark. Most famously, the river is celebrated in Mikhail Sholokhov’s novels of the Russian Civil War.

Being a pleasant city of green parks and monumental squares, Rostov can be an interesting travel destination as well as a good stopover for travelers on their way to the Black Sea coast. Located in an area rich in oil and minerals, the city remains a major railway junction linking southwestern Russia with the north. Home to hundreds of start-up companies, Rostov is a growing city boosted by its thriving transportation and manufacturing industries. A growing favorite with foreign visitors, this urban center is also southern Russia's main hub of culture, packed with libraries, museums, and theaters.

Geographical location: Rostov-on-Don is situated in the South-Eastern section of the East European Plain, on the banks of the river Don, 46 km far from its inflow to the Azov sea.

Climate: moderately continental, winter is mild, average January temperature constitutes –4.6 °C. Summer is hot, long lasting, sunny weather prevails, average July temperature constitutes +23 °C. Precipitation constitutes approximately 500 mm per year.

Time: Rostov-on-Don is situated in the Moscow Time Zone.

Territory: 348.5 sq. km.

Population: 1 114 800 people.

Distance to Moscow: along the Don river and the Volga river – 3 192 km; railway – 1 226 km; motorway – 1 198 km; airway – 960 km.

Attractions

Pushkinskaya Ulitsa

Street in Rostov-on-Don

Visitors may enjoy this idyllic promenade blissfully free of traffic and sprinkled with fountains, flowers, sculptures, cafes and restaurants with outdoor seating and music-playing buskers during the summer. A favorite sight near the eastern end of the boulevard are the wrought-iron globes, depicting scenes from Pushkin's most popular works. Pushkin Street leads into both the City Park (Gorky Park) and October Revolution Park with their amusement parks, multiple playgrounds, cafes and souvenir kiosks.

“Stella” obelisk at the Theatre square (Стелла)

Monument in Rostov-on-Don

Named "Stella" by locals, the obelisk appears as a winged tower, across the street from Maxim Gorky Drama Theatre. As one approaches the obelisk, inscriptions honoring the arts, science, agriculture, military, and education can be seen at the base. On the south side of the obelisk, the golden lady (Stella) hovers between the wings.

“Stella” obelisk at the Theatre square

Monument in Rostov-on-Don

Named "Stella" by locals, the obelisk appears as a winged tower, across the street from Maxim Gorky Drama Theatre. As one approaches the obelisk, inscriptions honoring the arts, science, agriculture, military, and education can be seen at the base. On the south side of the obelisk, the golden lady (Stella) hovers between the wings.

Soviet square

Monument in Rostov-on-Don

The 'Square of Soviets' is dominated by a colossal monument commemorating the Red Army soldiers who took part in the 1917–1923 Russian Civil War. Prior to 1930, the square was home to the Alexandro-Nevsky Cathedral, which you can now see in miniature next to the monument.

Zolotoy Kolos

Cafe in Rostov-on-Don

Mimicking the grand cafes of Old Europe, this sweet-treat haven is decked out with heavy drapes and chandeliers. It's a popular spot for families to grab a light lunch or to indulge in pastries, ice cream or dessert. Located just outside the gates of Gorky Park.

Don Riverside

Monument in Rostov-on-Don

Often referred to as "The Embankment", visitors and locals alike will enjoy a stroll along the riverside. More than a picturesque view, the Embankment is lined with several restaurants, statues, lighted fountains and a few shops. It is the center of nightlife in Rostov. Several steamboats are docked along the bank, and tickets for hour-long excursions can be purchased at the ticket booths on location for about 5 dollars.

A statue of And Quiet Flows the Don author Mikhail Sholokhov depicts the writer gazing thoughtfully at the river that helped to make his name. Nowadays, the river embankment is not so quiet, especially on summer nights, when a carnival atmosphere takes over.

Nativity of the Virgin Cathedral

Church in Rostov-on-Don

The lavish, gold-domed neo-Byzantine cathedral, built in 1856, overlooks the central market. If you approach from Soborniy av., it is framed beautifully by the elaborate buildings lining the pedestrian lane.

Central Market

Cafe in Rostov-on-Don

Central Market or “Centralny Rynok” in Russian - "Rynok" might be translated at "bazaar" or "farmer's market". This massive outdoor-and-indoor assortment of tiny shops and booths can be both exciting and intimidating for Westerners, who are unaccustomed to either bargaining or haggling with the shopkeepers. Shopping at the Rynok can be one of the most memorable experiences that Russia has to offer for an adventurous visitor, so don't be put off by the different feel of things. The majority of the Rynok is devoted to food and clothing, but you can buy literally anything here (though it might take a while to find). Even if one does not speak the language, sometimes shopping at the Rynok is far preferable to shopping at the nearby, overpriced, department stores. Just let the money do the talking. Browse the tables piled high with fresh fruit and berries, dried fish and herbs and handmade brooms, not to mention eye glasses, shoes and anything else you might need.

Regional Museum

Museum in Rostov-on-Don

The centrepiece of the regional museum are the exhibits covering the 3rd century BC until the 4th century AD, when Greek trading colonies flourished at the mouth of the Don. A large display on the 2nd floor is devoted to the Don Cossacks.

Rostov Musical Theatre

Theatre in  Rostov-on-Don

This modern and notable theatre presents ballet and opera between September and June. Most operas are sung in an original language. Ballets are exquisitely choreographed and are invariably accompanied by extravagant sets. Refreshments are always sold in the lobby during intermission.

Maxim Gorky Academic Drama Theatre

Theatre in Rostov-on-Don

Despite the name, this theatre is a venue not only for dramatic plays, but also comedies and concerts. The theatre is located on the city center square, directly across the street from the monument known as "Stella". Even throughout the summer months (when other theatres may be closed), Maxim Gorky Theatre still operates. Prices will vary depending on the show, but tickets are generally inexpensive when compared to other large theatres.

Underpass Soviet era Art 

streets in Rostov-on-Don

The classic tile mosaics of the workers, daily life and scenes from the Great Patriotic War can be found in a number of underpasses in the centre of Rostov-on-Don.

Bulochnaya No 5

Bakery in Rostov-on-Don

It smells like heaven in this friendly little bakery and sweet shop, featuring loaves of freshly baked bread, piles of pastries and impressive sweet and savory pies. It's worth sticking your nose in to get a whiff of the goodness.

Smetana

Russian food in Rostov-on-Don

Get your portion of pelmeni (Russian-style dumplings stuffed with meat) and vareniki (ravioli-like dumplings) and other Russian and Ukrainian favorites, all expertly prepared and presented. The bi-level setting is comfortable and cozy – reminiscent of a family home – with several different rooms to choose from. Very popular lunchtime spot.

Kid Friendly Attractions

Rostov Zoo 

Zoo in Rostov-on-Don

View over 5,000 animals, including some very rare species, at Rostov Zoo which is one of the largest zoos in Russia.This place is well worth a visit, especially if one is accompanied by children. Rostov Zoo is home to a staggering variety of animals, including giraffes, camels, polar bears, falcons, reptiles, fish, and simians. The zoo is a member of 37 programs involved in the conservation of endangered animals, and was one of the first zoos in Europe to breed white-tailed eagles.

Check out the aquarium area with its rare freshwater stingrays, as well as a variety of turtles, Central Asian snakes, and reptiles from Africa and America. A variety of food options are available inside the zoo.

H2O 

Waterpark in Rostov-on-Don

Opened in 2013, the all-season waterpark H2O offers 3 levels of attractions for all the family. Visitors can enjoy 20 different pools, 8 slides, a magnificent bath complex, a children's water town, 3 cafes & water bars and a small shopping gallery. This is a great recreational place for the whole family or company of friends at any time of the year.

Ferris Wheel Odno Nebo

Attraction in Rostov-on-Don

Rostov Ferris Wheel is a well-located attraction with comfortable heated cabins and perfect views. You can observe almost all the city including newly built football championship objects. Recommended for couples, families and children.

Touching Zoo 

Zoo in Rostov-on-Don

This extraordinary zoo gives its visitors a unique chance to see and touch (!) many kinds of animals.

Parks in Rostov-on-Don

One of the first things you'll notice about Rostov is that it's a city of parks. Among the most popular are the centrally located Gorky Park and Revolution Park. Both feature a lot of greenery and a range of facilities, such as cafes, rides, sculptures, and fountains. The old Ferris wheel in Gorky Park is one of the city's most recognizable sights. Park Skazka, with its numerous children's attractions and an aquarium hosting dolphin shows, stands out among the parks located farther from the center.

October Revolution Park

More than just a wooded area, this park is filled with multiple things to do: amusement park rides, ping-pong tables, Touching Zoo, kids playgrounds, cafes and many more.

Gorky Park

Leafy Gorky Park is home to blooming gardens, open-air cafes and plenty of cheerful kiddie rides. An impressive monument to the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution is also nestled into the greenery. When the weather is fine, the park is popular with chess-playing locals, families with children and plenty of lazy cats.

Transport

Shopping

The best way to move around the city is taxi service – you can easily get an Uber or Yandex taxi via app.

The best shopping can be done at the Central Rynok (Bazaar/ Farmer's Market) in Rostov downtown (check Attractions section for more details).

For a more Western-type mall experience, check out the Horizon (Megacenter Gorizont) on Mikhaila Nagibina St. or Megamag Shopping & Entertainment Complex (Megamag TrK) on the south bank of the Don River.

History

History

 Rostov-on-Don

The history of Rostov-on-Don transformation into one of the biggest cities of the South of Russia was quite dynamic: there are less than hundred years in between of the official admittance of Rostov as the city (1806) and the period of its intense growth and development (1880–1900). But in 1749, well in advance, Temernitskaya customs house has been founded on the place of the modern Rostov by the order of Russian Empress Elizabeth. Since then this time was commonly accepted as the countdown of the city history.

Another Rostov-on-Don predecessor was the fortress founded in 1761 for Southern Russian borders protection, also by the order of Elizabeth. It was named after holy hierarch Dimitry (1651–1709), Rostov and Yaroslavl metropolitan wellknown for his outreach educational activity.

 

Gradually the place name was transforming: Dimitry Rostovsky fortress at first, then Rostov fortress, then simply Rostov and finally the city has got the name of Rostov-on-Don. The city was situated at the land and water trade routes crossing – Rostov’s commercial port was accepting Russian, Greek, Italian, Turkish, Armenian and Persian merchants’ ships that ensured its fast growth and development.

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