View Full Version : Day Trip to Yasnaya Polyana from Moscow?

13-03-2014, 01:30
I live in Moscow, adore Tolstoy and want to check his estate out before I leave Russia in June. Totally okay with having a 5 AM-midnight sort of day, but I'm wondering if a day trip to the museum just outside Tula is feasible. Basically, I'd get up at the crack of dawn, take a train/minibus/something, hang out at the museum for the afternoon, and head back in the evening, presumably getting in pretty late. I don't particularly feel like splashing out for accommodation. Has anyone here done it? Tips, advice?

13-03-2014, 02:20
I haven't myself but there are plenty of agencies that will arrange something for you. For example:-


Also, here is a review from a British person that did it all themselves in 2012:-

Following instructions from the museum website, we decided to take public transport. Start with the metro to Domodedovskaya, head for the exit marked Orekovhy Boulevard (btw, it helps if you've bothered to learn the Cyrillic alphabet before setting off on this venture so you can decipher place and street names).

We were lucky and found a minibus with Tula on it straight away. Tapped my watch and raised an eyebrow and the driver wrote 11.10 in the vehicle's dust! I think they leave around every 30 minutes. Time for a quick scoot round the neighbouring fruit market and a coffee, before boarding and heading off on time. Cost was 350 roubles each and the trip took round 2.5 hours.

We asked to be let off at Ulitsa Mossima (Mossima Street). You then transfer to a local marstruka (mini bus) no. 114, 117 or 280. At this stage I wished I'd printed off the museum "Getting here" page in Russian, but I hadn't. Anyway, we got bundled on to the right mini bus and in my best Russian asked to be let off at Skolyana stop. The cost was miniscule (25 roubles each) and the ride took us around 25 minutes.

You head out of the city and into the countryside. The scary moment is when the driver puts you off along the highway at a nothing spot. At this point things get interesting - but here's what we did.

Turn your back to the highway, and you'll see a dirt path heading into the trees on your right. Take this path, and when it forks head left. You'll go past an institutional-looking 3- or 4-storey white school building (hence the bus stop name Skolyana, I guess), and take the steps in front of it. At this stage head towards the car park on your left, and continue past it up the hill when after 300metres or so you'll see the large white pillars announcing the site.

It took us around 5 hours door to door to get to the estate, and, in spite of information on the website, we found it closed at 4pm, so only had 45 minutes in the house. In the end, that was enough. It's very simply furnished, and we were able to shuffle around in the weird overshoes that you're required to wear in that time, on our own. Nothing in English and no real explanations - so read up before you go and let your imagination go to work. We spent another hour or so wandering round the orchards, woods and visiting Tolstoy's very beautiful resting place.

We couldn't quite face the return journey, so decided to get the train back. We retraced our steps to the highway, and flagged down a minibus no. 114 back to Tula city, explaining to the driver that we wanted to go to Muskovsky Voksall (ie, the train station from where the trains to Moscow go). He dropped us back on Ulitsa Mossima, and pointed up a long street. We could easily have picked up a trolley bus to get to the station, but chose to walk the kilometre or so. At the station, we asked for tickets to the next train to Moscow, expecting them to go every half an hour or so, only to find out that the next one (and possibly the last one for the night) left in 2 hours.

We needed to show our passports to buy tickets - not something we'd needed to do for buses - and were lucky to get away with flashing our tatty photocopy. The tickets were about the same price as the minibus and we took advantage of the intervening 90 minutes to get some dinner at the food court in the shopping mall across from the railway station. The train was dead on time, very busy and arrived back in Moscow round 10pm. A long day, but a very memorable one.


13-03-2014, 16:15
To add to the tripadvisor review, you could look out the daily 'fast' trains from Moscow to Tula (see rzh.ru for timetable and online booking). It would be a lie to call them fast - the journey takes about 3 hours, IIRC, but you can make it work. Might be more comfortable than the bus, and has the advantage of taking you into the centre of Moscow (Kursky Vokzal, I think) rather than somewhere on the southern fringes.

I went there in 2007. Enjoyed the trip, and found that the (non English-speaking) staff in the museum were very happy to have a foreigner to fuss over. It's worth noting that there was little food available at Yasnaya Polyana - probably worth bringing supplies with you. We stayed over at the hotel near the museum, which was fine but a little basic. It did mean we had time to look at Tula as well, which is a fairly pleasant city with museums devoted to its big industries - samovars and firearms. This is far from essential, and on a day trip you wouldn't have time for it.

Another option might be available. retropoezd.ru sometimes runs day trips by rail to the station more or less over the road from Tolstoy's house, pulled by a steam train. These would be more expensive, but would solve the travel hassles for you.

I'd also throw in a vote for Melikhovskaya, Chekhov's country estate. It's on the same railway line (get off at Chekhov, buses run semi-regularly from in front of the station) so you could plausibly make a literary weekend of it. But I prefer Chekhov to Tolstoy, so I'm biased :D

la primavera
17-03-2014, 11:33
I'm usually between Moscow and Tula. So the best option for you would be to take a bus that goes from metro station Ul.Akademika Yangelya. Travel time is about 2,5 hours, depends on the traffic. You come to Tula, go 100 metres approximately. Then you take a bus that goes to Kr.Polyana (15 minutes travel time). Better to do this trip at the end of April, at the beginning of May. 4 hours are enough for Kr.Polyana. But this option is great if you speak aat least a bit of Russian.
It's my favourite place in the whole Russia. So I wish you a nice trip. If you need more information or help, do not hesitate to ask me. I know a lot about this place. :verycool: