With its 539,000 people (2018), Ryazan is the 3rd largest city in Central Russia after Moscow and Yaroslavl. Neither the size nor the proximity to Moscow (200 km) helps to upgrade the city's image: Ryazan is totally provincial.
As an industrial center and a transport hub, Ryazan is not a major tourist destination. But its history and several attractions make the city a good weekend escape from Moscow.
The city was founded in 1095 AD, but its initial site was completely destroyed by Mongols in 1237 - Ryazan was the first obstacle on their way to conquering Russia. Years after the new Ryazan was built few dozen kilometers away from the destroyed site.
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Ryazan's local small airport Turlatovo doesn't operate regular flights and is being used for small aircraft and training. So, the closest air terminals are Sheremetyevo, Domodedovo and Vnukovo of Moscow. From those airports Ryazan can be accessed by train, by bus, or by car/taxi.
Of Moscow's major airports, the closest to Ryazan is Domodedovo. A direct bus between Ryazan and Domodedovo runs several times a day. As of summer 2016, the travel time is 3-3½ hours; the fare, 600 руб. The schedule (in Russian) can be found at the Domodedovo Airport web site.
The Ramenskoye (a.k.a. Zhukovsky) airport, SE of Moscow, which opened in 2016, is fairly convenient, as it is near the Moscow-Ryazan railway.
Ryazan is an important transit rail hub. There are 2 train terminals in the city (Ryazan-1 and Ryazan-2). Most trains proceed to the east and arrive at the larger Ryazan-1 terminal, while those going to the south stop at Ryazan-2.
An ordinary ride by elektrichka from Moscow's Kazansky Rail Terminal (Казанский вокзал) takes almost 4 hours.
A faster and more comfortable option is to take an express train from the same terminal. The ride takes a little less than 3 hours, the cost depends on the class of the car. There are 3 express trains daily, going in the early morning, midday and evening.
Ryazan is also a major stop for many long-distance trains going from Moscow to the Southern Russia and Volga Region. A few trains proceed to Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. Key destinations are:
From Moscow buses to Ryazan departure from Vykhino (Выхино) metro station. The buses leave 1-2 times per hour starting from 06:30 to 19:30. The price is comparable with elektrichka, or even cheaper. Other destinations accessible by bus from Ryazan include:
- Gus-Khrustalny (F Sa Su M - 1 daily)
- Ivanovo (1 daily)
- Kasimov (6-10 daily)
- Kolomna (9 daily)
- Lipetsk (2 daily)
- Murom (1 daily)
- Oryol (1 daily)
- Vladimir (1 daily)
The Central bus terminal of Ryazan is outside the city center, so you will probably need to get around by local bus, trolleybus, or a taxi. There is also the second and less important Prioksky terminal, serving bus routes to suburbs, e.g. Solotcha.
By car or taxi
Ryazan is about 200 km from Moscow by M5 federal road. As elsewhere in Russia, the road conditions differ greatly from a 4-lines highway to narrow bottle-necks with usual traffic-jams. Depending on traffic situation the way from Moscow may take from 2 to 6 hours (beware Friday evenings and Saturday mornings in the summer).
If you're hiring a taxi from Moscow to Ryazan, use only certified providers.
You can get around the city by taking a minibus, a taxi or a bus. The public transport system is represented by ancient trolleybuses which are pretty slow.
- Kremlin of Ryazan. The city's major architectural attraction with a number of old churches and a very beautiful cathedral. Kremlin is located at a high river bank, and you can enjoy an amazing view from it. The city center here changes into the rural floodplain of the Oka river. There are several museums and exhibitions inside the kremlin, you can also buy local souvenirs there. free access to the territory, charge for the entrance to museum exhibitions.
- Ivan Pavlov's Museum. The museum of a famous Russian physiologist, Nobel-prize winner
- Art Museum. Good collection in an old beautiful building. A lot of good paintings, not typical for regional museums in Russia.
Drama Theater - beautiful old building
Puppet Theater - prize winning director Valeriy Shadskiy
Take a 3-hour boat trip from the Kremlin embarkment along Oka-river and back. With Russian pop-music and spontaneous dances on the top deck.
Visit bee and honey museum and horse-breeding institute in Rybnoe.
- Lovech Hotel, Dimitrov square, 4 (Next to the train-station Ryazan-2.), ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. The largest hotel in the city, but a bit out of the center. Next door to Ryazan-2 train station. Wi-fi. Staff may be expected to speak some English. US$110-200.
- Priokskaya. Cosy small hotel right next to the Kremlin on a quiet street in the center. Bar and billiards on the 1st floor. Staff may be expected to speak English.
Konstantinovo - the estate and museum of Sergey Yesenin, a famous Russian poet. Great views of Oka river and beautiful rural scenery. About 50 km from Ryazan via the town of Rybnoe.