Staraya Ladoga is one of the most ancient cities in Russia and was first mentioned in 862. It was even the capital of ancient Rus when the semi-legendary prince Ryurik arrived in Rus after being invited to rule. He remained here for a short period before moving the capital to Veliky Novgorod. The city is therefore rich in history and is famous for its fortress which dates from 1116. Although the city is not directly connected with St Petersburg, Staraya Ladoga is not far from Volkhov which has a railway connection with St Petersburg.
|Total time on train
|5 hours (St Petersburg to Volkhovstroy return)
|Total time on bus
|approximately 40 minutes (Volkhovstroy to Staraya Ladoga return)
|Accessibility for foreigners rating
|3/5 - slightly off the beaten track, not many English speakers
Getting There and Back
There is no railway station in Staraya Ladoga but you can get to the nearby city of Volkhov by suburban train (elektrichka) from St Petersburg’s Moskovsky Railway Station. There are about nine trains a day which stop at Volkhov’s Volkhovstroy-1 Railway Station, incidentally there are also trains from Moscow which stop here.
Once at Volkhovstroy-1 Railway Station you need to walk to the bus stop which is located to the left of the station when facing it. Bus No. 23 goes to Novaya Ladoga and stops at Staraya Ladoga on route. The buses leave about every hour (04:50, 05:50, 06:40, 08:10, 08:50, 10:05, 11:00, 12:40, 13:45, 14:40, 15:15, 16:10, 17:00, 17:45, 18:45, 19:35, 21:15, 23:15) and take around 15 to 20 minutes. The stop in Staraya Ladoga is located close to the fortress, as soon as you see it get ready to get off. Buses back to Vokhov are just as frequent. The times stated on timetables are the time the bus leaves from Novaya Ladoga which is about 15 minutes drive from Staraya Ladoga.
Orientation and Main Sights
All the mains sights of the city are located in the centre of the city along Volkhovsky Proezd - the main road. The major sight in the city is the Staraya Ladoga Fortress which dates from 1116 but has been extensively reconstructed throughout the centuries. Inside the fortress is St George’s Cathedral, another symbol of the city.
The city also has two monasteries - the Uspensky Monastery and the Nikolsky Monastery. In total you will probably need around 4 hours to see all the sights in the city.
Restaurants and Accommodation
Staraya Ladoga only has a few cafes but you shouldn’t expect high-end cuisine. The most popular is the Knyaz Ryurik cafe. If you decide to spend the night in the city there is a small hotel in the city, which has been recently refurbished, however it is not that cheap considering the city where it is located.
The traditional range of Russian souvenirs can be found in the kiosks located inside and outside the fortress.