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Novgorod vs Pskov

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London
posts: 2
Novgorod vs Pskov

I am currently trying to choose between 2 tours of Russia. Both cover St Petersburg and Moscow, but one offers an overnight stay in Novgorod, the other includes a stay in Pskov. Does anyone have experience of one (or both) of these towns: is one preferable to the other, and what are the highlights of each?

Pasadena, California
Destination Expert
for Pasadena
posts: 5,106
reviews: 27
1. Re: Novgorod vs Pskov

Ihave not been to Pskov, but we spent two days in Novgorod in July, and were extremely glad we went there. We were not on a tour, just our family which includes two teenage boys; we took the overnight train from Moscow (fun in itself) and then took a day train to St.Petersburg. Novgorod is worth going to for several reasons: 1)its major role in early Russian history with many amazing and scenic historical sites; 2)it is very interesting to see a smaller city and the contrast with the current economic centers of Moscow and St. Petersburg; 3) It is a tourist-friendly city with a lot to see and do. The ancient Kremlin, set on the banks of the river, is really spectacular-- walls and fortifications like a mini-Carcasonne, Russian-style. Among the things inside its pretty, park-like grounds are the oldest stone church in Russia (don't miss the amazing 12th century bronze doors, with relief scuptures of Bible scenes); a great history museum; an art museum; a fine restaurant set right in one of the fortified towers; and more. OUtside on the river bank is a beach with play equipment for kids, and a boat dock with tour boats for 1 1/2 hour boat rides up the very scenic river. Just outside of town is a museum of wooden architecture-- old wooden churches and peasant houses, etc.

There are very few non-Russian visitors there; I have no idea why, as Novgorod is a great destination and easy to visit, even for independent travellers. Train station is near the historic sites, taxis abound, hotels are okay, and signage in English, which we didn't see anywhere else.

Chicago, Illinois
posts: 32
reviews: 9
2. Re: Novgorod vs Pskov

I also haven't been to Pskov, but I was on a tour in July that spent one night/day in Novgorod. Like the previous poster, I found it a very interesting smaller city with an important history. In addition to the ideas in the previous post, the Yuriev Monestery, just outside of town, also is very interesting.

I have about 15 photos from Novgorod in my online album from the Moscow/Novgorod portion of the trip:

…webshots.com/album/409918453HFXAgm/2

Pasadena, California
Destination Expert
for Pasadena
posts: 5,106
reviews: 27
3. Re: Novgorod vs Pskov

Wow, the photos from the previous poster are just great. You must have gone on a really interesting tour, because some of the locations-- such as Victory Park in Moscow-- are not on the typical "tour" itinerary. We went there with Moscow residents and didn't see any obvious tourists at all. What tour company includes an overnight in Novgorod, anyway? That in itself is pretty rare.

Chicago, Illinois
posts: 32
reviews: 9
4. Re: Novgorod vs Pskov

Thanks, pasca. The tour was with Globus - Warsaw, Baltic Capitals and Russia. It was fast paced, but all around, an extraordinary cultural experience. I hope to be able to return to all of these locations some day in the not too distant future.