Yaroslavl is both harmonic and uniquely preserved architectural ensemble of the millennium, occupying a prominent place among the masterpieces of world architecture. Restoration and reconstruction to preserve the enormous historical and cultural heritage of the city is being undertaken, namely the restoration of monuments of church and civil architecture, museum items and collections. The Uspensky (Assumption) Cathedral, the mother church of the city, has been recently restored and consecrated.
There are 37 hotel facilities in the city with 3308 beds (1815 rooms);
- 165 travel agencies (27 of which develop domestic tourism) registered by the Unified Federal Register of Travel Agencies,
- 28 museums (run by the state, municipal government, industrial enterprises, schools);
- 785 monuments of history and culture (7 archaeological, 43 historical, 13 cultural, 722 architectural).
Yaroslavl has a high potential for the development of domestic and incoming tourism. A natural cultural and historical diversity, combined with an actively developing culture and recreation complex, namely the Yaroslavl Children’s Railway, Yaroslavl Zoo, the Volga River embankment, a reconstructed Strelka (place of confluence of rivers) complex and Yaroslavl circus, The Millennium Park allows for the development almost all types of tourism, including that recreation most favoured by visitors (for the purpose of leisure and amusement), cultural and educational (including religious and pilgrimage tourism), business, sports, extreme, medical, ecological, academic, scientific and other types of tourism.
The development of the city’s industry and commerce is attracting business people in increasing numbers. Both business and congress tourism are developing rapidly . Yaroslavl has the best infrastructure for organising congresses. A solid base of experience in organising different types of events, from small meetings and briefings to the largest Russian and international forums, is well complemented with the availability of all kinds of hotels since world-class hotels ready to accommodate high level business people are continuously being built. The key feature of Yaroslavl business tourism is the possibility of combining business programmes with various excursions and amusement events, which might not just open the program, but may become a memorable closing of a successful meeting.
The city has all the necessary infrastructure for sports tourism, and if visitors to the city decide to combine sightseeing in the ancient city with a walk or horse riding they can do it with ease! The bravest tourists prefer water sports or mountain skiing. Yaroslavl hosts different sports events all the time, namely short track, biathlon, rhythmic gymnastics, martial arts, sport dance, track and field, skiing, basketball, volleyball, and other sports competitions. Young athletes take part in these competitions. The city has a great sports infrastructure for organising not only all-Russia but also international level events.
Big international sports competitions are not the only events attracting tourists to Yaroslavl, there are also cultural events. Event tourism is actively developing in Yaroslavl, as the city hosts the events which attract tourists from different Russian cities:
- The Maslenitsa (Pancake Carnival) week is an interesting event. Yaroslavl maslenitsa is the main maslenitsa of the nation, and its visitors have a chance to take part in traditional amusements and folk festivals, taste traditional Yaroslavl blini (pancakes), and experience the atmosphere of genuine fun and frolic! Exclusive hand-made craftworks can be bought or just seen at the annual Yaroslavl craft fair.
- Autoexotica Yaroslavia 2012 Show opens the season of the biggest Russian auto show Autoexotica. The program of the event includes the exhibition of unique cars, automobile competitions, an eye-opening show, a concert and the Avtoradio disco.
- Dobrofest music and amusement festival is a big entertainment event of European class bringing together the most popular yet different types of entertainments in one event.
The development of the children and youth tourism is a preferred direction of development of the Yaroslavl tourism industry. The city has rich resources for the development of this direction.
The main feature of the Yaroslavl Zoo is Kovcheg (The Arc), the demonstration and education centre representing the entire variety of animals. The thematic tours of Kovcheg are suitable for children of different ages, therefore the tours are easy-to-understand, they bring the joy of learning and give the ability to watch the animals and interact with them. The leisure infrastructure of the zoo is being constantly developed (summer cafés, playgrounds for children of all ages).
In the sphere of education of the coming generation of Yaroslavl citizens and city visitors, high hopes are put on V.V. Tereshkova Cultural and Educational Centre. The new planetarium is the implementation of the modern educational technologies; it includes an observatory, a unique 96-seat star hall with digital optical projecting equipment, interactive class, media cafe, and museum of cosmonautics. The cultural and educational centre offers excursions for people of all ages.
Yaroslavl Children’s Railway is one more unique tourist object which is popular with not only Yaroslavl citizens, but also with visitors from other cities and regions. In the summer of 2011 YCR opened the Museum of Extraordinary Travels from the 19th to the 21st century. It consists of three halls each representing the history of rail transport in the Northern region. The museum has a train driver’s cabin mock-up where you can watch a 5D film about the Severnaya (Northern) Railway with all the special effects. 1167 children are trained at the Children's Railway.
In addition, tourism simultaneously facilitates the development of many other spheres of economy, such as the services of travel agencies, hotels, transportation companies, communication, trade, production of souvenirs, food services, building industry, etc. Moreover, the development of tourism and leisure stimulates such spheres of economy as IT and telecommunication and the production of consumer goods.