Tver is a city in Tver Oblast. It was the capital of the powerful medieval Tver Principality and one-time rival to Moscow as Russia's preeminent power base. The medieval center is long gone, a victim of centuries of fires, Nazis, and general rebuilding, but the downtown area is nonetheless quite attractive, dominated by neoclassical architecture erected during the reign of Catherine the Great.
Russians usually say "Tver-v Moskvu dver" (Tver is a door to Moscow). Since Saint Petersburg was founded, Tver has been a critical transit city on the road between two major cities. The main waterway for commerce in the region, the Volga, also passes through the city. Tver was famous for its merchants. One of them, Afanasiy Nikitin, reached India and was the first one of the first Europeans (after Marco Polo and Niccolò de' Conti) to travel to and document his visit to that land. He described his trip in a narrative known as The Journey Beyond Three Seas (Khozheniye za tri morya).
Tver is located 175 km northwest from Moscow on the railway and highway which connect Moscow and St. Petersburg.
There are two ways to reach Tver:
Tver was one of the first Russian cities where the railroad was built. In the 1850 railroad from Moscow to Saint Petersburg passed through the city. Now it is an important railway hub. Almost every train from Moscow to St. Petersburg stops here. The fastest way to reach Tver from Moscow or Saint Petersburg is getting on high-speed "Sapsan" train. Train ride from Moscow takes one hour and two hour from St. Petersburg.
There are also a lot of slower sleeper trains which run mostly during the nighttime.Some of them have a bus-like seats(sidyachiy class or СИД). This kind of trains also reach Tver from Kazan, Makhachkala, Sochi, Murmansk, Sukhumi, Tallinn, Helsinki, Petrozavodsk and many other cities. Most of these trains are going to Saint Petersburg or via it.
The cheapest option is a suburban train. Tver located close to Moscow so there is a busy commuter line connecting it with the capital.Thousands of commuters use this line every day. During the summer thousands of Moscovites filling the trains to reach their dachas (summer houses) or lakeshores for camping and making picnics. So if you chose a suburban train, beware the rush hours(during the working days in the morning to Moscow and during the evening to Tver).
There are two types of suburban trains on this line:
- Ordinary suburban trains or electrichki. Soviet-style trains with a plastic hard seats without air conditioners and with only two toilets in the head train cars (the toilets are extremely dirty). They are not fast and stops at the many platforms along the route.
- Express suburban trains or Lastochka. Modern Russo-German trains (Siemens Desiro-RUS) with an air conditioner, comfortable seats and clean toilets. They are twice as fast as ordinary ones. The ticket price is also twice as high as for ordinary suburban trains.
All suburban trains to Tver running from Leningradskiy railway terminal (Leningradski vokzal) in Moscow. The suburban trains ticket offices (prigorodnye kassy) and vending machines located outside the Leningradski railway terminal building just in front of Komsomolskaya metro station exit (near the fountain). If you get lost ask policemen or security to help you.
After buying the ticket you should reach the turnstiles (20 m along the glassed wall towards the corner-just follow the people who bought ticket together with you) and insert it into (strichcode toward the turnstile nest until the green light switch on and the gate will open).
Remember! Save your ticket until the end of the ride. It will be necessary during the ticket control in the train and during the leaving the railway station in Tver (and almost all train stations along the route except some rural ones).
Then go through the hall towards the platforms. There will be a big screen with a platform numbers and destination points. Tver will be marked as Тверь. Each platform have a screen with a train's destination point. If you chose an express suburban train, you should show the ticket to the train staff in front of the door. If you chose an ordinary suburban train just take your seat in the train car.
The bus service between Tver and Moscow/St.Petersburg is very unstable because of traffic jams. To save time, most buses between Moscow and St.Petersburg use the Leningrad highway which circumvents the city. However, the cities and villages of Tver Oblast are well connected to the regional center.
The main bus hub in the city is the Tver bus station located near the railway station. Between them there's the big "Karusel" shopping mall; walk 200 m from the railway station southeast along the tram line until you see a big building with glassed wall and letters "АВТОВОКЗАЛ" on it.
In the bus station there are air conditioning and free wi-fi. Chicken house fast food cafe and supermarkets are located just across the tram line. There is also some food booths inside the bus station itself. Using the toilet is free if you show the bus ticket.
There are several TV screens with a bus timetable (in Russian) but if you ask someone to translate, people will help you.
City transport is represented by tram line,trolleybus,buses and marshrutkas(mini buses).
The only tram line (route №5) starts from the bus station passes through the railway station, city center, bridge across Volga and ends on the north-western outskirts.
Trolleybuses and buses have a wide network around the city. They are more safe then marshrutky which are famous for their reckless drivers.
- 1 Resurrection Cathedral. Built in 1913-1916, it is a fine example of Russian Revival style.
Tver is an old Russian city but most of its architecture didn't survive the war and economic crisis of the 1990s. The city center is completely rebuilt. The remnants of old Tver begins from the northern end of Tryokhsvyatskaya street.Tryokhsvyatskaya street is a local version of Moscows Arbat. It is a walking street where a local artists selling their paintings and souvenirs. Embankment of the Volga river is also popular among the city residents. Several churches and palaces survived and most of them are museums now.
There are a lot of shops,shopping malls and markets along the city. Most of the shopping is concentrated in Trekhsvyatskaya street. Though, many interesting shops can be found around the city.
Shopping malls & department stores
- Rubin - The largest shopping mall in Tver.
- Karusel - big shopping mall near the railway and bus stations.
- Podwall - The first graffiti shop in Russia. It was founded in 1992. This shop gave push to the development of graffiti tourism in Russia and even abroad. Some graffiti writers from Poland, Czech Republic and Hungary visited Podval. The shop offers best paint, markers, books, magazines and accessories for graffiti. Worth visiting if you are looking for fun.
There are several international fast food chains in the city: McDonalds, Burger King, KFC, Subway. Most of them located in the main shopping malls food courts.
There is also Russian fast food chain called Chicken House (with it biggest cafes near the bus and railway stations) and a lot of other local cafes, canteens and restaurants.
- 1 La Piazza Sport, Tverskoy Prospekt, 18, ☏ . European-style eatery with pizza, burgers, beer, and billiard tables.
The situation is the same in another Russian cities.
- 1 Fun Duck, Ulitsa Vol'nogo Novgoroda, 19. Lots of cocktails and food options to choose from, in a convivial setting.
There are several hostels and hotels around the city.You can also rent a flat for a night.
- 1 Box Inn, Ulitsa Sovetskaya, 28, ☏ . Hostel with wifi and a/c. $9.
- 2 Khostel Kalinin Tver, Ulitsa Vol'nogo Novgoroda, 19. Another hostel with wifi and a/c. $14.
The main way out is the Tver railway station. If you want to get to other towns of Tver oblast, the bus station is a better option.