Ivanovo (Russian: Иваново) 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 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 руб. They are usually very busy and the buses are usually old.
A daily overnight train arrives early in the morning from Moscow's Yaroslavskaya Station.
Buses and Minibuses (маршрутка, marshrutka) cost 15 руб (as of October 2014). 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.
- 1 Museum of Industry and Art (Музей промышленности и искусства), Ulitsa Baturina, 6/40. 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.
- 2 Museum of Ivanovo Chintz (Музей ивановского ситца), Ulitsa Baturina, 11/42 (Across the street from the Museum of Industry and Art). Located in Burilin's former house.
- Palace of the Arts, 2 Pushkina ul.. Built in 1940, this was the 3rd largest drama theater in the USSR.
- 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.
- Trts "Serebryanyy Gorod", ТРЦ "Серебряный город, Ulitsa 8 Marta, 32, ☏ . Movie theater, bowling, amusement center, food court.
- Shesh besh, Marii Ryabininoy Ulitsa, 4/18, ☏ . from 17:00. This place is great if you're looking for some Azeri cuisine.
- Pitstsafabrika, Prospekt Sheremetevskiy, 85Г, ☏ . Pizza and sushi and tea in samovars.
- Khmel', Ulitsa Bagayeva, 14, Ivanovo, ☏ . from 17:00. Beer house, specializing in burgers, and, you guessed it: beer. (Maybe this belongs in the Drink section).
- Aragvi, Prospekt Lenina, д. 19, строение 1. Georgian cuisine. +7 493 257-63-62.
- Friedrich Bar, Prospekt Sheremetevskiy, 1, ☏ . This place is like party-time with food and drinks and lots of socializing.
- Pub Old Jack and Three Leprechaun, Ulitsa 10 Avgusta, 16, ☏ . A sort of dark ambience, but still lots of good food and drinks and cheer.
- Tourist Hotel, 9 Naberezhnaya ul., ☏ .
- Nice Hostel Ivanovo, Prospekt Lenina 20. Very utilitarian and community-minded. $15. +7 920 356-83-37
- Best Western Russian Manchester Hotel, 44 Bubnova Street. Kind of like a full-service hotel with restaurant and indoor pool, gym, spa, bar, breakfast, etc if you don't mind paying for it. $62. +7 493 293-19-70
- 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 руб depending where you wish to go.