Pereslavl-Zalesskiy Travel Guide

Pereslavl-Zalesskiy Travel Guide



Pereslavl-Zalessky is a city on the shore of Lake Pleshcheyevo, 140 km from Moscow. It is one of the most interesting centres in the Yaroslavl region where you can find numerous churches and monasteries. After sightseeing, tourists can stay near the lake and enjoy the tranquillity and charm of the location.

Historical Overview

The city was founded in 1152. Many ancient settlements from the Neolithic era were located on the eastern shore of the lake at the mouth of the river, later named Trubezh. The land of Pereyaslavl was called Zalesye. In the 16th century, the city founded by Yuri Dolgoruky was named Pereslavl-Zalessky.
The history of Pereslavl-Zalessky began with the founding of the Saviour-Transfiguration Cathedral on 6 August 1152. The construction of the building was completed five years later. The fortress wall around the city was built under the reign of Yuri Dolgoruky. The wall was massive, measuring 2.5 kilometres long and from 10 to 17 metres high. The first Kremlin built in Pereslavl-Zalessky was twice as large as the first Moscow Kremlin. Like any other city of north-eastern Russia, Pereslavl-Zalessky has many monasteries (the Nikitsky Monastery, the Nikolsky Convent, etc). Pereslavl-Zalessky also suffered during the invasion of the Tatar-Mongols. For the first time, the city was destroyed in 1238. In 1302, the city became part of the Moscow principality. In 1609, Pereslavl-Zalessky was liberated from the Polish interventionists.


Before the events of the beginning of the 20th century, there were 27 parish churches in Pereslavl-Zalessky. Today, only 9 of them continue their activity. Ten churches were destroyed by the Bolsheviks in 1926. Peter I used Pleshcheyevo Lake to create the Russian fleet. In 1688, he built the first ships. Four years later, a whole navy was stationed here. In 1702, by decree of Peter I, it became a museum exhibit. In 1783, a fire destroyed the historical monument of the Russian fleet. Nevertheless, today the museum has many exhibits that tell about the life of Peter the Great and the formation of the Russian fleet. The construction of the flotilla attracted many carpenters, carvers, blacksmiths and loggers, affecting the development of crafts in the city.

In 1707, the city became part of the Moscow province. Since then, industry has actively developed here. Modern Pereslavl-Zalessky contains a number of large industrial enterprises, although the city remains a reserved, cosy place and one of the most remarkable cities of Russia’s Golden Ring.

Where to Stay

To explore all the attractions of Pereslavl-Zalessky in one day, stay in the city centre. West Hotel is just 6 minutes from the beach and close to the main sites. Sokolsky Guest House features a small garden and terrace. Petrovsky Hotel is located on the main Kardovskogo Street, 1 km from the lake. It you would like to stay right on the lake, choose Cottage on Pleshcheyevskaya 82. It’s a spacious, well-equipped cottage for a large group of people. Guests of Victoria Plaza can also enjoy panoramic views of the lake. On the opposite side of the lake, you’ll find Eko-camping SFERA and the lovely House at the Lake.

Bars and Restaurants


When in Pereslavl-Zalessky, it’s highly recommended to try some of the local dishes. Take a look at the Monpansie, Fisch Herberg, Albitsky Sad, Pirog and Borshch or Troyka restaurants. La Foret and Fit-café are nice places to relax with a cup of tea. You will definitely like smoked chicken, stuffed fish, Russian salads with mayonnaise and pelmeni (dumplings). At ArMar, you can also try such Georgian specialities as khinkali, shaurma or khachapuri. Kvas, sbiten and cranberry liqueur klyukovka are the most popular beverages.

What to See


  • The Pereslavl Kremlin is the historical centre of the city surrounded by a ring of earth ramparts about 8 metres high. The Kremlin is 800 metres long and 600 metres wide. There are several places of worship within its territory, the most significant and oldest being the Transfiguration Cathedral.
  • The Goritsky Monastery (Museum) was founded in the early 14th century by Ivan Kalita. It was abolished in 1744. Today, Pereslavl-Zalessky State Historical, Architectural and Art Museum-Reserve is housed on the site. Within the museum, you can see the interiors of churches and climb the bell tower, which offers the best view of the city and the surrounding area.
  • The Nikitsky Monastery was founded in 1010, i.е. it existed at the time when Pereslavl was located near the Alexandrov Hill. Some time ago, the monastery celebrated its millennium. This is one of the oldest monasteries in Russia. Prince Vladimir Svyatoslavich gave the Rostov-Suzdal region to his son, Boris. At the end of the first millennium, Boris and Bishop Hilarion founded the first churches on Pleshcheyevo Lake, introducing Christianity to these pagan lands.
  • St Nicholas Monastery is one of the most beautiful monasteries in Pereslavl-Zalessky. It stands not far from the Kremlin and is visible from different points in the city. It was founded in the 14th century by Saint Dmitry Prilutsky. During the Time of Troubles, the building was destroyed by the Poles. It was subsequently rebuilt in 1645. At first, the monastery was for men only, but in 1898 it became a convent for women.
  • The Holy Trinity Monastery of St Daniel is one of the remaining monasteries in the city and is located in the south-eastern part of the city. It was founded at the beginning of the 16th century. Its founder is buried within the monastery. The cathedral was built in 1530-1532, its architecture similar to ancient Russian temples.
  • The Museum of Masks is located in a centre known as the Berendey House. Here, you will find masks from fairy tales and literary heroes, made using the papier-mache technique from the second half of the 20th century by S.I. Potapov, a local craftsman. In the museum, you can see images of heroes of fairy tales and works by N.V. Gogol, Sh. Rustaveli and A.S. Pushkin.
  • The Transfiguration Cathedral is the most ancient Pereslavl temple in the historic centre of the city. It was built of white stone in the place where Alexander Nevsky was born on 30 May 1220. Nevsky was a great Russian commander, famous for his marches to the Baltic Sea and victory in the Battle of the Ice. The cathedral is a rare example of ancient Russian stone architecture.
  • The Museum-Estate of Peter I contains a wide collection of items from Peter's times, an art gallery, and the Botik Museum with the only surviving vessel of the Floating Flotilla.
  • The Museum of Teapots is a small museum of teapots which attracts travellers with its bright, uncomplicated painting with cheerful inscriptions. The upper room with a real Russian stove is full of all kinds of teapots, samovars and simple household items from past centuries.


As Pereslavl-Zalessky is located far from the railway, the easiest way to get there is by bus, which departs from Shchelkovsky bus station (in Moscow). Alternatively, you can go to Yaroslavl or Vladimir by train and then change to a bus. To get around the city and the lake, take a taxi.