Ivanovo is a big city in Central Russia, on the Golden Ring circuit. It is the capital of Ivanovo Oblast and a former world capital of the textile industry. It was a hotbed of revolutionary and terrorist activity in the late 19th–early 20th centuries. For the hundreds of thousands of women who worked in the textile industry, Ivanovo is jokingly called "The City of Brides." Since the Russian economy opened up to competition from Asia, however, the textile industry has gone into decline along with the city.
If you visit Ivanovo, you will immediately see that this is a different sort of destination from most of the historic and pretty "Golden Ring" destinations. Ivanovo is a true Russian industrial city, with its Soviet heritage of pollution, dismal and blocky apartment buildings, and gloomy, dirty streets. Most likely, you will just want to pass through this city, but of course it might be interesting to overnight here and get a feel for such an archetypical gritty Russian city—to get a taste of what life is like for millions upon millions of Russians.
A daily overnight train arrives early in the morning from Moscow's Yaroslavskaya Station.
A bus from the main bus station (either to Ivanovo directly or to Kineshma via Ivanovo) in Moscow runs several times a day and the cost is around 450 rubles. They are usually very busy and the buses are usually old.
Buses cost 10 RUB (as of November 2011). Minibuses (marshrutka) cost 12 RUB. As usual, you need to buy a ticket every time you change the bus. Tickets are bought from the ticket inspector.
There is not much in particular to see in Ivanovo, and frankly, you could get a good idea of the city by just passing through on the bus to Kostroma. But the main street in the city center with restaurants and cafes is Lenina avenue.
- Museum of Industry and Art. Ivanovo's premiere museum is the place to go for anyone interested in the city; founded by the local 19th century industrial magnate, Diador Burilin.
- Palace of the Arts, 2 Pushkina ul.. Built in 1940, this was the 3rd largest drama theater in the USSR.
- Museum of Ivanovo Chintz, 11 Baturina ul.. Located in Burilin's former house.
- LTD BIM Factory, at the corner of Lenina and Baturina ul.. A monster of a factory, initially constructed in 1751.
- Buildings of the constructivism style. From the beginning of Soviet era.
- Lodz Cinema. Movie theatre showing contemporary movies in Russian. Named after Łódź in Poland, another textile industry centre.
- The Stitching and Embroidery Factory, 83 Khmelnitskovo ul., ☎ . Offers traditional folk embroidery (linens, decorated curtains, etc.).
- Aragvi, 1 K.Zor ul., ☎ . from 17:00. Georgian cuisine.
- Priboy, 117 F.Engels prospekt, ☎ . Russian cuisine, dancing on Tu, We, Su in the evening.
- Troyka, 102 Lenina ul., ☎ . from 17:00. Russian cuisine.
- Tet-A-Tet, 42 Lenina ul., ☎ . A bar.
- Zaglyani, 62 Lenina ul., ☎ . Another bar.
- Sovetskaya Hotel, 64 Lenina ul., ☎ . Located near the centre.
- Turist Hotel, 9 Naberezhnaya ul., ☎ .
- A full seven buses depart daily from the main bus station (and stop next to the rail station) for Kostroma (2.5 hours, ~250 RUR). Another four buses travel to Vladimir.
- Regional buses also can take you to nearby Palekh, which has much more charm than Ivanovo, and is a centre of Russian icon and miniature painting.
- A taxi to Moscow will cost you about 4000-5000 Rubles depending where you wish to go.