The Vatican of Russia: Art, Architecture, and Culture in Sergiyev Posad (1 day)

Golden Ring

The Vatican of Russia: Art, Architecture, and Culture in Sergiyev Posad (1 day)

from 184 $

Are you looking for a quick getaway from the big city? Do you want to see a completely different side of Russia and Russian history? Many tourists to Moscow are surprised by how many great options for day trips lie just outside the city. Sergiyev Posad is sometimes referred to as “The Vatican of Russia”, read below to find out why, but to do the magical place justice, you must see it for yourself!


One of our company chauffeurs will collect you from your Moscow hotel and take you to the classical, yet stunningly preserved Sergiyev Posad. It is about a 2-hour drive from the nation’s capital to the northeast. The town has many charms, from quaint side-streets to atmospheric restaurants, but nothing draws more attention than the enormous Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius. A Lavra is another term for a monastery, which indicates an elevated importance and hermitic style of living. In this case, the monastery is the absolute center of spiritual Russia.

Situated in the middle of the numerous religious buildings included in the complex is The Trinity Cathedral, where large walls of shimmering icons called iconostases house some of the most precious pieces of Russia’s long history. Andrei Rublev’s most famous icon, The Trinity, is one of these many artworks, although the original has been transferred to the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow. Rublev is by far the most adored Russian icon painter of all time, the subject of a critically acclaimed Tarkovsky film, and a window into the soul of Russia.

One unique aspect of the Trinity Lavra is its wildly diverse architecture. Differing from the more austere walls of the Trinity Cathedral, The Refectory (a large building attached to the Church of St. Sergius) boasts multicolored Baroque exterior walls and ornately carved archways. The towering blue and gold domes of The Assumption Cathedral set it apart as the biggest building in the Lavra. Constructed during the reign of Ivan the Terrible (Ivan IV Vasilyevich), your tour guide will describe what life was like for both monks and Russian citizens living in this infamous epoch of history.

To look at a wonderful view of the monastery, we head to nearby Krasnogorskaya Square. Aside from the photo opportunities it provides, this square is also abuzz with interesting contemporary local life. Lunch is included with the price of the tour at a local restaurant. If you like, we can tell you all about traditional Russian food and some of our favorite dishes that are sometimes overlooked by tourists. Have you ever heard of Golubtsi (stuffed cabbage leaves) or Syrniki (soft cheese curd pancakes)? Delicious! After lunch we will have a bit of free time and head back to Moscow in the mid-afternoon. You will have seen some of the most impressive architecture, icon painting, and religious sites in the all of Russia, all in one day.


Number of PeoplePrice

Prices are per person. Please feel free to contact us for group rates or any other questions!


  • Cost of transportation for all side-trips, museums, etc.
  • Entry ticket to all museums and sights
  • A guide who speaks your language
  • Meals, as detailed in the itinerary


  • All related costs of your visa to Russia
  • Your airline tickets. We will take care of airport transfers, but leave it to you to pick out the flight that suits you best for a price that matches your personal budget.
  • Travel insurance. Please buy at your own discretion.
  • Some optional side-tours and entry to performance arts events

If you have any special requests, please let us know! We can accommodate a wide range of personal interests, extra adventures, world-class performances, and our tour dates are totally flexible.


Once you decide on a tour, a deposit of 30% will be required in order to reserve it. Then, the whole tour must be fully paid one month prior to your arrival in Russia.


Yes! If you cancel more than 2 months before your departure, you will incur a 15% cancellation fee. When cancelling with 15-60 days’ notice, the fee will raise to 30% of the value of the tour. And finally, no refunds are given within 15 days of the start of the tour.