Russia - Sudzhal and/or Sergiyev Posad

Hi, We are a family of five and are going to be in Moscow for 6 nights in January 2013. My husband and I were there years ago so I want to do something other than the standard things in the city.
Has anyone been to either Sudzhal ot Sergiyev Posad (also known as Zagorsk)? There are day trips to each. Should we do both or one - and which one? Any help much appreciated. Louise

Posted by Harold
New York, NY, USA
2852 posts

You might find this New York Times article, about driving the Golden Ring towns, to be of interest (it was just published last week): http://tinyurl.com/cgmxl99 I haven't been to Sergiyev Posad. Suzdal was quite interesting, as was Vladimir, and I would highly recommend a guided tour to one or both (they're about an hour apart). I went with my Russian-speaking sister, and this was fine, but if I went alone, not speaking Russian, the trip would have been almost impossible. Even if you don't learn a word of Russian, make sure you (and your kids!) learn the Cyrillic alphabet - it makes everything much easier. The article above almost implies that Suzdal was "touristy," but we only saw a few non-Russian tour groups there. A few restaurants did have English menus. Also, if you were last in Moscow "years ago," you'll hardly recognize it, so you may find more of interest than you expect. I was there in 2001 and 2010, and found all kinds of changes, the most pleasant being the decrease in cigarette smoking. Yes, many restaurants now actually have non-smoking sections!

Posted by Nicholas
Seattle, Washington, United States
282 posts

I've only been to Suzdal, and not Sergiyev Posad. You can check out my thoughts and pictures of the visit on my blog here. Between the two, I would probably choose Sergiyev Posad as the day trip. Suzdal is a very sleepy town and the kremlin in Sergiyev Posad looks much more interesting/impressive. Suzdal was nice (and my mother, whom I traveled with from St. Petersburg to Ulaanbaatar, loved it), but again, very sleepy, smaller town. Not too much going on and probably less in the winter. ;)

Posted by Harold
New York, NY, USA
2852 posts

I missed the time of your visit. I was there in September. In winter, I think the wooden village (I forget the real name) in Suzdal would still be interesting, and Vladimir had several interesting small museums. I agree any town ambiance would probably be buried under lots of snow.