Stretching east of Voroshilovskiy prospect, this is the main walking promenade of Rostov-on-Don. The 3.5km street was named after one of Russia’s greatest poets — Alexander Pushkin. It starts at the children’s park October Revolution (Oktyabrskoy Revolutsyii) and heads in a straight line west. The biggest street of the city, this landscaped boulevard is lined with thousands of trees, flowers, fountains, restaurants, food kiosks, benches, memorials and statues, with outdoor seating and music-playing buskers during the summer. It’s particularly enticing at its eastern end, between the university and the October Revolution Park. The walkway passes the Don State Public Library which is one of the biggest libraries outside Moscow. It also skirts the northern edge of the city’s main Gorodskoy Sad (Gorky Park) right in the city centre.
Interesting fact: Born into nobility, Pushkin’s roots can be traced back to Russia, Germany, Scandinavia and Africa. He is considered by many to be the greatest Russian poet and the founder of modern Russian literature. His internationally acclaimed works include the novel Evgeny Onegin, which has been translated into many languages and adapted into several film versions, ballets and theatrical performances.
Don River lookout
The writer Mikhail Sholokhov wrote one of his most popular works here, titled ‘And quiet flows the Don’. So when you look to the river, you can appreciate the silence. The Don River lookout, or the Embankment, is another walking area that makes its way along by the slow flow of the Don River. The Embankment is lined with several restaurants, statues, fountains and a few souvenir shops; it also has an outstanding picturesque view. During the summer, the street performers will make your walk down the embankment even more enjoyable. Here, you can also take a cruise along the river Don. There are several cruise ships offering entertainment packed cruises, there is even a ‘discotheque’ boat! The place is considered to be the centre of Rostov’s nightlife, especially on summer nights, when a carnival atmosphere takes over.
Located right in the city centre, it’s one of the largest zoos in Russia taking up approximately 100 hectares of land. The Rostov Zoo boasts a highly representative wildlife collection – it’s home to over 5,000 species of animals, including some very rare ones. Visitors are welcome to observe tigers, lions, pygmy hippopotamus, Asian elephants, the exotic Dagestan and Bezoar goats, Siamese crocodiles, flamingos, among others. Birds of prey, apes, monkeys and ungulates can also be admired here. A family of porcupines has recently joined Rostov Zoo’s old-timers. Check out the aquarium, with its rare freshwater stingrays, as well as a variety of turtles, Central Asian snakes, and reptiles from Africa and America. The zoo is a member of 37 programs involved in the conservation of endangered animals, and was one of the first zoos in Europe to breed white-tailed eagles.
The market is located in the downtown area, on Stanislavskovo Street, just four blocks south of the central intersection of Bolshaya Sadovaya Street. It is a massive outdoor and indoor market, with many tiny shops and kiosks that have everything from clothes, shoes, fish, meat to delicacies and fancy salads, sold by Chinese ladies. Market shopping is one of the most memorable experiences that Russia has to offer. Though it doesn’t sell anything touristy like souvenirs as Rostov doesn’t get too many tourists, but if you are looking to experience the local life — this is the perfect place to visit.
Maxim Gorky Park is located in the city centre with the main Bolshaya Sadovaya Ulitsa on the other side, and near Pushkinskaya Ulitsa. It has a lot of greenery and a range of facilities, such as open-air cafes, rides, sculptures, fountains, and plenty of cheerful kiddie rides. An impressive monument to the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution is also nestled into the greenery. When the weather is fine, the park is popular with chess-playing locals, families with children and plenty of lazy cats. The Ferris wheel in Gorky Park is one of the city’s most recognizable sights.
Interesting fact: Maxim Gorky is a Russian and Soviet writer who was a five-time nominee for the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Teatralnaya Ploshchad and Maxim Gorky Academic Drama Theatre
Located on the eastern end of Bolshaya Sadovaya Ulitsa, it’s the biggest strolling area in Rostov. The Maxim Gorky Academic Drama Theatre is also located here. Here you will also find a World War Memorial, the famous Stella, and parks – October Revolution (Oktyabrskoy Revolutsyii), first of May and Viti Cherevichkina. On hot summer days…and Rostov has plenty of those, you can enjoy the musical fountains in the centre of the square.
The Memorial Stele
Located a little east of the city centre, it’s a 72mtr (236ft) high memorial with a golden angel at the top. It was erected in 1983 and commemorates the liberation of Rostov-on-Don from the Nazi’s.
Ploshchad Sovetov (‘Square of Soviets’) is best appreciated for the large monument commemorating the Red Army soldiers who fought in the Russian Civil War that took place from 1917 — 1923. Up until 1930, the square was home to the Alexandro-Nevsky Cathedral whose miniature version you can now see displayed next to the monument.
The Majestic Monument «Cart-rostovchanka» is a symbol standing on the south side of the city’s entrance. An obligatory background for all the major celebrations, weddings, birthdays, captured in photos by both residents and guests of Rostov-on-Don. Quite unforgettable, it is definitely a must see.
Margarita Chernova’s House
This amazing two-story mansion on Bolshaya Sadovaya Ulitsa was built in 1899. It was a gift from the merchant Paramonov to his ladylove, the beautiful Margarita Chernova. At the end of 19th ― beginning of 20th century the mansion was the place for numerous receptions, musical evenings, and balls. Several memorable events took place here, including performances of renowned poets and singers — Fedor Shalyapin, Nikolai Gumilev and others. The locals call it “The House with caryatids” for its magnificent outdoor décor.
Nativity of the Virgin Cathedral
Lavish, gold-domed Nativity of the Virgin Cathedral built in 1856 in neo-Byzantine style is the main cathedral in Rostov. Like many other Russian Orthodox churches and cathedrals, it’s situated near the central market; thus, always full of people. With the Dmitry Rostovsky statue in the square, it is framed beautifully by the elaborate buildings lining the pedestrian lane if you approach from Soborniy pereulok.
Bridges over the Don River & Embankment
This city network of bridges and overpasses was constructed between 2007 and 2010 and consists of steel and concrete composite structures across the River Don. Almost all the bridges were designed by the St.Petersburg engineering firm TransMost, and constructed by the Moscow contractor MostoTrest.
The centrepiece of the regional museum are the exhibits covering the 3rd century BC until the 4th century AD, when Greek trading colonies flourished at the mouth of the Don. A large display on the 2nd floor is devoted to the Don Cossacks.
The first Russian civil radio station
A small blue building with a rotunda on the left bank of the river, along the Embankment. Here, the famous inventor and physicist Alexander Popov and his team built the first civil radio station in Russia, and perhaps, in the world.