|Total States||22 republic|
|Airport City||Sheremetyevo International Airport (Moscow), Pulkovo International Airport (St. Petersburg), Koltsovo International Airport (Yekaterinburg), Yemelyanovo International Airport (Krasnoyarsk), Novy International Airport (Khabarovsk)|
|Offical Languages||Russian , English, German, French, Turkish|
|National Animal||Brown Bear|
|Food||Pelmeni, Blini, Beef Stroganoff|
Autumn : Sep - Nov
Summer : Jun - Aug
Winter : Dec - Feb
Sprint : Mar - May
Moscow, on the Moskva River in western Russia, is the nation’s cosmopolitan capital. In its historic core is the Kremlin, a complex that’s home to the president and tsarist treasures in the Armoury. Outside its walls is Red Square, Russia's symbolic center. It's home to Lenin’s Mausoleum, the State Historical Museum's comprehensive collection and St. Basil’s Cathedral, known for its colorful, onion-shaped domes.
St. Petersburg is a Russian port city on the Baltic Sea. It was the imperial capital for 2 centuries, having been founded in 1703 by Peter the Great, subject of the city's iconic “Bronze Horseman” statue. It remains Russia's cultural center, with venues such as the Mariinsky Theatre hosting opera and ballet, and the State Russian Museum showcasing Russian art, from Orthodox icon paintings to Kandinsky works.
It’s a wonderful time to visit Kazan these days, as the city just got a considerable makeover in anticipation of the numerous world-class events that have been set to take place here. These include the 2014 World Fencing Championships, the 2015 World Aquatics Championships, and the highly foreseen 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The capital of Russia’s Republic of Tatarstan is a vibrant melting pot of cultures, a multi-ethnic blend of Muslims and Christians who coexist peacefully on the Volga River. Its major historical sight is the UNESCO-listed Kazan Kremlin, filled with gorgeous churches, watchtowers, and museums. Furthermore, Kazan has an excellent range of bars, cafés, restaurants, and boutiques, most of them located on the lively pedestrian Bauman Street.
Suzdal is a town northeast of Moscow, Russia. It's part of the Golden Ring cluster of ancient towns. The Suzdal Kremlin is a centuries-old fortress. Within its ramparts, the Cathedral of the Nativity has gold-starred domes and 13th-century frescoes. The Archbishop's Chambers has striking 15th-century icons. North, the Monastery of St. Euthymius features the white stone Transfiguration Cathedral and history exhibits.
Irkutsk, city and administrative centre of Irkutsk oblast (region), east-central Russia. The city lies along the Angara River at its confluence with the Irkut River. It was founded as a wintering camp in 1652, during the first Russian colonization of the area; a fort was built in 1661, and Irkutsk rapidly became the main centre of Cisbaikalia and of the Russian trade route to China and Mongolia. It acquired town status in 1686. Its importance grew after the coming of the Trans-Siberian Railroad in 1898. Modern Irkutsk is one of the major industrial cities of Siberia and is especially noted for a wide range of engineering products. There are railway, aircraft, ship, and vehicle repair yards. Other industries include mica processing and consumer-goods manufacture. The Irkutsk hydroelectric station on the Angara River is within the city. Its reservoir extends back to include Lake Baikal, designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1996. The city of Irkutsk, with attractive embankments along the river and many surviving wooden houses on its tree-lined streets, is an administrative and cultural centre for Eastern Siberia and of the Russian Far East. Irkutsk State University (1918) and the Siberian branch of the Academy of Sciences are among the city’s many teaching and research institutes.
Tver is a Russian city northwest of Moscow, at the junction of the Volga and Tvertsa rivers. Beside the Volga, Tver Regional Art Gallery displays Russian artwork in the grand, 18th-century Tver Imperial Palace. City Garden park has a Ferris wheel and other rides. Across the river, the Museum of Tver Life displays domestic artifacts. Nearby, the Botanical Garden of Tver State University protects rare plants.
Nizhny Novgorod, formerly (1932–90) Gorky, city and administrative centre of Nizhegorod oblast (region), western Russia. The city lies at the confluence of the Volga and Oka rivers, 260 miles (420 km) east of Moscow.
Although some authorities give an earlier date, the city was founded, according to a major chronicle, in 1221 by Yury Vsevolodovich, prince of Vladimir, as Russian colonization was advancing to the Volga into lands formerly occupied by the Mordvinians. Nizhny Novgorod’s strategic site on the great Volga route from the Baltic to Central Asia—with links via the navigable Oka River to the Vladimir-Moscow region and via the Kama River to the Ural Mountains and Siberia—ensured its importance. In 1392 the town was incorporated into the principality of Moscow and soon became a Russian stronghold against the Volga Tatars. From there, Ivan III the Great in 1469 and Ivan IV the Terrible in 1552 launched their expeditions against the Tatar capital of Kazan. The Russian conquest of the Volga in the mid-16th century brought about increased trade for Nizhny Novgorod. The annual fair that was established in that city in 1817 became the largest and most important in Russia, attracting traders and goods from across Europe and Asia. The fair continued until the Russian Revolution of 1917. The well-known writer Maxim Gorky was born in Nizhny Novgorod in 1868, and in 1932 the town was renamed in his honour by the Soviet regime, although its original name was restored in 1990.
The great volume of trade passing through the city led to the early utilization of serf labour in manufacturing, causing an earlier onset of factory industrialization than in much of Russia, especially in heavy industry and engineering. The town’s industrial importance grew steadily, stimulated in World Wars I and II by the destruction of plants to the west. Modern Nizhny Novgorod is one of the largest cities of Russia and the centre of a large metropolitan area strung out along the Volga and lower Oka rivers. The city is home to the Gorky Automobile Plant (Gorkovsky Avtomobilny Zavod; GAZ), one of the largest in Russia, and also produces many types of ships and river craft, diesel engines, machinery and machine tools, and a wide range of chemical and consumer goods. Of its satellite towns, Bor, across the Volga, makes glass, notably safety glass for cars; Dzerzhinsk makes chemicals and fertilizers; Balakhna and Pravdinsk make paper; Bogorodsk produces leather goods and footwear; and Kstovo has a major oil refinery. Power for the metropolis comes from two thermal-electric plants in Nizhny Novgorod—the Balakhna peat-burning station and the hydroelectric station at Zavolzhye. During the general deindustrialization trend in Russia in the post-Soviet period, the city preserved its industrial profile, and, at the beginning of the 21st century, of the country’s cities with more than one million residents, it had the highest proportion of the working population employed in industry. Nizhny Novgorod is the focus of excellent communications by river, road, rail, and air. Railways connect it with Moscow, Kirov (on the Trans-Siberian line), and Arzamas, and electrified suburban lines serve the metropolitan area.
Vladivostok, seaport and administrative centre of Primorsky kray (territory), extreme southeastern Russia. It is located around Zolotoy Rog (“Golden Horn Bay”) on the western side of a peninsula that separates Amur and Ussuri bays on the Sea of Japan. The town was founded in 1860 as a Russian military outpost and was named Vladivostok (variously interpreted as “Rule the East,” “Lord of the East,” or “Conqueror of the East”). Its forward position in the extreme south of the Russian Far East inevitably led to a major role as a port and naval base. In 1872 the main Russian naval base on the Pacific was transferred there, and thereafter Vladivostok began to grow. In 1880 city status was conferred on it. The city also grew in importance after the construction of the Chinese Eastern Railway across Manchuria to Chita (completed in 1903), which gave Vladivostok a more direct rail connection to the rest of the Russian Empire. Yet the city is detached from the major Far Eastern node of land transportation routes.
During World War I Vladivostok was the chief Pacific entry port for military supplies and railway equipment sent to Russia from the United States. After the outbreak of the Russian Revolution in 1917, Vladivostok was occupied in 1918 by foreign, mostly Japanese, troops, the last of whom were not withdrawn until 1922. The antirevolutionary forces in Vladivostok promptly collapsed, and Soviet power was established in the region.
During the Soviet period Vladivostok remained the home of the Pacific Fleet, which was greatly enlarged in the decades after World War II. Vladivostok’s military importance was such that it was closed to foreign shipping and other contacts from the late 1950s until the waning days of Soviet power in 1990. Its chief role as a commercial port subsequently reemerged, both as a link to other Russian ports of the Far East and as a port of entry for consumer goods from China, Japan, and other countries. The port is the eastern terminus of the Northern Sea Route along Russia’s Arctic seaboard from Murmansk and is the principal supply base for the Arctic ports east of Cape Chelyuskin.
The principal exports of Vladivostok are petroleum, coal, and grain, while clothing, consumer electronics, and automobiles are the main imports. Into the port also comes much of the catch or processed fish from other Russian Far Eastern ports for onward transmission to the rest of the country.
When visiting Veliky Novgorod, or Novgorod as it’s often called, you’ll likely hear word of this being the birthplace of Russia. It seems many Novgorodians are proud of the fact but, when I sat down to write this guide, my research led me down a rabbit hole of speculations.
I learned that Novgorod’s favourable location is what led it to become a thriving trade centre in the 9th century. It was used as a base by Varangian viking settlers known as the Rus and this Land of the Rus came to be ruled by Prince Rurik. The legend of Rurik is very symbolic for the people of Novgorod but the Soviet Union rejected the notion that he was the legitimate founder of Russia. After more digging, I discovered the people of Derbent insist they are residents of Russia’s oldest city but Moscow refuses to accept the claims that Derbent is 5,000 years old. At this point, I stopped Googling.
Whether this was Russia’s first capital or not, there’s no denying history lovers will be excited about visiting Veliky Novgorod because of its historical significance. The many important monuments, churches and monasteries are what made UNESCO recognize Novgorod as a World Heritage Site in 1992. While it isn’t as extravagant as others in Russia, the red brick Kremlin is undoubtedly the main attraction of any visit to the city.
Veliky Novgorod translates to “Great New City” and is currently home to over 200,000 inhabitants. Even during a summer weekend visit, the city felt a whole lot quieter and more peaceful than most of the other stops during our month of independent travel. If you’re looking to venture beyond the big cities of Russia, Veliky Novgorod is a good choice especially if you’re travelling between Moscow and St. Petersburg.
Sochi is a priceless pearl of the Black Sea coast, surrounded with bright green riparian forests and exciting mountains that protect it from the northern and southern winds. This is the most popular beach resort in Russia for over 2.5 million people, who annual come there. It is a Russian President’s summer residence, where he receives other heads of states at the official level.
Stretching for 148 km, Sochi ranks the world’s second longest city, trailing only Mexico (200 km). The city’s boundaries stretch from the foot of the Caucasus Mountains along the Black Sea coast. Sochi is famous for its tea plantations, most northerly located in Europe, owing to the experienced tea grower I. A. Koshman, who was the first in 1901 to produce the tea variety adapted to that climate. Thus, Russia got its own brand of tea with a special unique flavor.
But spending holiday at the beach is not the only reason for the tourists to come here. Sochi is famous for a wide variety of attractions, both natural and historical-cultural: mountain canyons and underground caves, relict forests and nature reserves, waterfalls and lakes, cottages of famous people and museums - the list is endless.
Yekaterinburg is an industrial city in the Ural Mountains that has many things going for it. It is, however, largely remembered as the place where Tsar Nicholas, the last tsar of Russia, and his family were executed in 1918 during the Russian Revolution. Today’s Yekaterinburg has a vibrant cultural scene, home to many libraries, theaters and playwrights, and dance companies as well as popular Russian rock bands. Russia’s fourth largest city also has more than 30 museums, including the oldest wood sculpture in the world at the Shigir Collection; another museum houses more than 300 Nevyansk icons.
Moscow Metro is one of a kind. The London Underground might be older and the Shanghai Metro might be larger, but no mass transit system in the world can compare with the opulent architecture and grand ambition that lies beneath Moscow’s streets.
The system’s stations were designed to celebrate and reinforce Russia’s socialist dictatorship, with elaborate decorations and spectacular dimensions intended to act as subterranean ‘people’s palaces’. These stunning spaces were as much a destination as the above-ground districts they served and inspired awe from German playwright and poet Bertolt Brecht, who was present for the metro’s opening, both in their aesthetics and in the political message behind them.
The Moscow Metro was first opened in 1935 under Stalin’s Soviet Union, with a single 11km line serving 13 stations. In the eight decades that have followed, the metro system has been expanded to encompass more than 200 stations and 379km of track. During this time, the style of Moscow’s metro stations has taken in baroque architecture and art deco influences and continues to evolve today, with modern station developments adopting a more functional, internationalist approach.
Kolomenskoye is a former Royal estate located in the southern part of Moscow. The estate borrowed its name from the ancient road leading to the town of Kolomna.
KolomenskoeRussian: Коломенское is an area in the south of Moscow which served as a residence for Russian grand princes and tsars for many centuries. Today, it is home to the Kolomenskoe Historical, Architectural and Natural Landscape Museum Reserve. Its unique collections of treasures, art objects, and authentic household items attract thousands of visitors yearly. The park covers an area of about 390 hectares and regularly serves as a venue for exhibitions, historical reconstructions, fairs, and festivals. The museum opened in Kolomenskoe in 1923; at that time, it housed exhibitions of Russian arts and crafts.
The famous department store that stretches along one side of Red Square for some 242 meters, GUM is a popular place with tourists. Comprising of some 200 shops, visitors can buy just about anything They need here, but generally they will pay much more for goods here than elsewhere. Shops range from exclusive, upmarket boutiques to popular chain outlets and from fast food cafes to elegant restaurants. The three-level, glass-roofed building is quite exquisite and well worth exploring even if you’re not shopping. Also, there's a great Soviet-style grocery shop at the east side of the shop open 24 hours and a Soviet-style cantine Stolovaya N10 at the top floor.
Saint Basil the Blessed, also called Pokrovsky Cathedral, Russian Svyatoy Vasily Blazhenny or Pokrovsky Sobor, church constructed on Red Square in Moscow between 1554 and 1560 by Tsar Ivan IV (the Terrible), as a votive offering for his military victories over the khanates of Kazan and Astrakhan. The church was dedicated to the protection and intercession of the Virgin, but it came to be known as the Cathedral of Vasily Blazhenny (St. Basil the Beatified) after Basil, the Russian holy fool who was “idiotic for Christ’s sake” and who was buried in the church vaults during the reign (1584–98) of Tsar Fyodor I.
Moscow’s Red Square (Krasnaya Ploshchad) is known for its political symbolism, but was actually named for its loveliness: Krasnaya, or “red,” meant “beautiful” in old Russian.
The plaza has drawn crowds since it was a 1400s shantytown. Russians know the square as the front yard of rulers from Ivan the Terrible to Vladimir Putin. Westerners are apt to recall the Cold War’s lock-stepping armies. Along with Moscow’s great architectural jewels, including the crenellated Kremlin walls and St. Basil’s onion domes, Red Square remains the beating heart of Russia.
This is Moscow’s premier foreign-art museum, split over three branches and showing off a broad selection of European works, including masterpieces from ancient civilisations, the Italian Renaissance and the Dutch Golden Age. To see the incredible collection of Impressionist and post-Impressionist paintings, visit the 19th & 20th Century Art Gallery. The Museum of Private Collections shows off complete collections donated by private individuals.
What's left in the main building is also impressive, with many masterpieces from the Italian Renaissance. Artists such as Botticelli, Tiepolo and Veronese are all represented. The highlight is perhaps the Dutch masterpieces from the 17th century, the so-called Golden Age of Dutch art. Rembrandt is the star of the show, with many paintings on display, including his moving Portrait of an Old Woman. The rest of Europe is also well represented from this period.
Bolshoi Theatre, Russian Bolshoy Teatr, official name State Academic Bolshoi Theatre of Russia, leading theatre company for ballet and opera in Russia. The original group, which was made up of several smaller troupes, was organized in Moscow in the mid-1770s, performing primarily at the mansion of Count R.I. Vorontsov. In 1780 the first permanent theatre building in Moscow was opened as the company’s home, but it burned in 1805. A year later the Bolshoi Theatre was made a government institution, and a new building was opened in 1825. It, too, was destroyed by fire, in 1853, but it was rebuilt and enlarged in 1856 to accommodate an audience of more than 2,000. By the end of the 19th century the Bolshoi’s operatic and ballet productions of Russian and other European works were influencing the performing arts throughout the Western world. In 1924 a smaller auditorium was added to the theatre complex, and in 1961 the Kremlin Palace of Congresses, with a capacity of about 6,000, was acquired as a third performing space for bigger productions.
Catherine Palace and Park in Tsarskoye Selo is a treasure trove of ornate architecture, decadent interiors and peaceful parkland. Follow in the footsteps of Russian royalty, exploring the palace and park, both of which sport the extravagant design characteristic of the Russian ruling classes.
The palace started out as a smaller, unassuming building in 1717 and Peter the Great’s wife, Catherine I, gave her name to the grounds. It was later revamped by their daughter, Empress Elizabeth, who converted it into a much grander complex. Numerous architects tried their hand at designing the palace before Chief Architect of the Imperial Court, Bartholomeo Rastrelli, who also worked on the park alongside Johann Busch, took the helm. His mission was to compete with Paris’ Palace of Versailles
St. Petersburg's most popular visitor attraction, and one of the world's largest and most prestigious museums, the Hermitage is a must-see for all first-time travellers to the city. With over 3 million items in its collection, it also definitely rewards repeat visits, and new-comers can only hope to get a brief taste of the riches on offer here, from Impressionist masterpieces to fascinating Oriental treasures. One estimate has it that you would need eleven years to view each exhibit on display for just one minute, so many visitors prefer to organize a guided tour to ensure they have time to catch all the collection's highlights. Art aficionados, however, may find it more rewarding to seek out for themselves the works that they are particularly interested in.
One of the most beautiful and harmonious ensembles of architecture in the world, Palace Square remains the main public space of St. Petersburg after nearly three centuries. Like Red Square in Moscow, Palace Square in St. Petersburg has been the setting of many major events in Russian history.
The Winter Palace was constructed on the square between 1754 and 1762 by Italian architect Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli. It was the first building completed on Palace Square, and it became the main residence of the Russian Emperors. Legend has it that upon its completion the area was cluttered with piles of debris, and the public could freely take anything left over. After a few hours, the entire square was cleared by the townspeople.
The port of Saint-Petersburg was built by Peter the Great. It is located in the east part of Gulf of Finland of Baltic sea on the island called Neva Delta. The port of Saint-Petersburg is one of the world's most popular cruise destinations in the Baltic region and it is the largest industrial and transport centre of Russia.
Most cruise ships will dock at Vasilyevsky Island. Passenger Port of Saint Petersburg is called "Marine Façade".
The port of Saint-Petersburg is really big and can handle up to 7 big cruise ships 340 meters in length during one day.
Mostly all big cruise ships will dock at Vasilyevsky Island. Passenger Port of Saint Petersburg is called "Marine Façade". Construction of this new port began in 2005. It offers you brand new facilities with souvenir shops, cafes, restaurants and duty free shops. Unfortunately, there is no internet or Wi-Fi in port.
The grand imperial estate of Tsarskoe Selo in the town of Pushkin, 25km south of St Petersburg, is often combined on a day trip with the palace and sprawling park at Pavlovsk, 4km further south. It’s a great combination, but start out early as there’s lots to see.
The railway that connects Pushkin and Pavlovsk with St Petersburg was Russia’s first, opened in 1837 to carry the imperial family between here and the then capital. The town changed its name to Pushkin in 1937 after Russia’s favourite poet, who studied here and whose school and dacha you can also visit. While the palace and park complex's name has reverted to Tsarskoe Selo (The Tsar's Village), the town remains proudly named for the national bard.
The Peter and Paul Fortress is for the most part under the auspices of the St. Petersburg Museum of History, with a number of permanent and temporary exhibitions charting the various aspects of the compound's past. While the central visitor attraction is undoubtedly the Ss. Peter and Paul Cathedral, one of St. Petersburg's most striking buildings, there is plenty within the walls of the fortress to keep children and adults occupied for a full day at least. The Peter and Paul Fortress is also the centre of a number of St. Petersburg urban traditions, among them the daily firing of the cannon from the Naryshkin Bastion at noon and the "walruses" who use the beach in front of the fortress to sunbathe and swim in ice-holes in the winter. In the summer, the beach is a popular picnic site and is also used to host a variety of events, festivals and concerts, including the respected Petrojazz annual festival.
One of St. Petersburg's most famous and popular visitor attractions, the palace and park at Peterhof (also known as Petrodvorets) are often referred to as "the Russian Versailles", although many visitors conclude that the comparison does a disservice to the grandeur and scope of this majestic estate.
The complex consists of the Grand palace, about 20 museums total including small palaces on the grounds of Peterhof residence, and the famous Upper Garden and Lower Park with incredible fountains, which brought the proud nickname to the place: Peterhof, Russian Versailles.
1 ) The New Year
Festival Month - January
This is one of the most important festivals in Russia, as it is celebrated respectively throughout the nation. If you are planning to visit Russia during New Years then you must be present at Red Square for the amazing fireworks that happening at night. During this time you will feel the festive mood at every inch of the place with parties, feasts and open-air festivals in various parks where you can sing and dance as you like it.
2 ) Orthodox Christmas
Festival Month - January
In Russia, it is not like any other country, where the end of festivals come during the new year. In fact, it is a kind of start to the upcoming Christmas festivals. In Russia, you must know that Christmas comes on January 7 and the time in between you can witness the place getting decked up with utmost beauty. Each and every bridge, park, public places decorated with beautiful lighting. So you better plan your holiday in Russia during this time has no one should miss this for the world. Although it is celebrated at a different time, the spirit of Christmas women’s very much alive within Russia. So if you are planning to visit his country during January, you can celebrate Christmas a second time after celebrating it on 25th of December.
3 ) Maslenitsa Festival
Festival Month - February
This festival is also called pancake festival, for the whole week, it is pancakes everywhere. Basically, this festival celebrates the farewell of winter and the dawn of spring. If you visit Russia during this time you will face carnival-like celebrations going on everywhere for an entire week. It marks the last few days consuming milk and eggs. That is why it is friendship cakes which are referred by all during the week. So if you are planning to visit then you can eat many fresh pancakes and also witness the burning session of a straw structure which they call ‘Lady Maslenitsa’.