Top 10 places to visit in Russia



One of the super powers of the world, Russia offers a broad array of travel experiences, from treks up the slopes of glacier-capped mountains to strolls along the shoreline of Earth’s oldest lake. Historical sites and cultural activities in the country’s great cities abound as well. Whether you’re exploring the grounds of Moscow’s Kremlin or wandering through the steppes of Mongolia, a visit to Russia is a delight not soon forgotten. Our Team took a survey of the breathtaking beauty of Russia.


10. Mount Elbrus Valley:



Mount Elbrus is the highest mountain in Europe, and the tenth most prominent peak in the world. A dormant volcano, Elbrus is in the Caucasus Mountains in Southern Russia, near the border with Georgia. While the mountain was formed from a volcano, it is considered dormant, with no recorded eruptions. A cable car system can take visitors as high as 12 thousand feets, facilitating ascents to the summit. All you need to do is to hire a bus or a taxi from Moscow for a 6 hour ride to the range.


9. Kizhi Island:



Located in Karelia, a region in Northwestern Russia that borders Finland and the White Sea, Kizhi Island is best known for its incredible open-air museum. Karelians have lived in the region since the 13th century, torn between the cultures of the East and the West. The museum’s collection features the 120-foot high Church of the Transfiguration of Our Savior, a structure made famous by its 22 domes. Other tourist attractions includes dozens of wooden houses, windmills, chapels and barns. The peasant culture is represented with craft demonstrations and folk ensembles.


8. Vladimir:



The red-brick Trinity Church with the Museum of Crystal, Lacquer Miniature Painting & Embroidery, with pieces dating back to the 18th century; together makeup one of the most magnificent city to explore. Vladimir, a Russian city east of Moscow is a part of the Golden Ring, a cluster of ancient towns. In the city center, the Assumption Cathedral houses a richly decorated altar and 15th-century frescoes. The white stone walls of St. Demetrius Cathedral are carved with animals and biblical figures. West of here is an imposing white stone tower known as the Golden Gate, with 12th-century copper-gilded oak doors. Once the city’s main entrance, the tower now houses a military museum with a diorama of a 13th-century Tatar-Mongol siege.


7. Kaliningrad:



If you want to capture the traditional lives of Russians then this city is an essential on the hit list! Kaliningrad is the capital of the Russian province of the same name, sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania along the Baltic Coast. Traces of its German heritage can be seen in the surviving Brandenburg Gate and the riverside Fishing Village, a dining and shopping destination with re-created medieval-style buildings. Kaliningrad province holds most of the world’s amber reserves, and many prime specimens are displayed at the Kaliningrad Regional Amber Museum in the city center.


6. Vladivostoc:



One of the fastest emerging cities and a prominent junction, the Vladivostoc sings huge of the strength and grandeur of Russia as a super power. Vladivostok is a major Pacific port city in Russia overlooking Golden Horn Bay, near the borders with China and North Korea. It’s known as a terminus of the Trans-Siberian Railway, which links the city to Moscow in a 7-day journey. In the city center is Central Square, where a towering memorial pays tribute to local soldiers who fought Japanese forces in the early 20th century. Nearby, the Arsenyev Primorye Museum displays local cultural artifacts. Facing Golden Horn Bay, which is spanned by the modern-looking Zolotoy Bridge, is Korabelnaya embankment, a popular waterfront promenade lined with landmarks like a WWII-era submarine.


5. Irkutsk:



The de facto capital of Eastern Siberia, Irkutsk is by far the most popular stop on the Trans-Siberian Railway between Moscow and the east. With Lake Baikal only 45 km away, the city is the best base to explore the lake’s western shoreline. Travelers who visit historic Irkutsk may be pleasantly surprised by what they find. Decorated wooden houses stand beside standard Soviet block apartments, plus wide boulevards with not too much traffic for a city of more than 500,000 souls. Irkutsk was the site of many bloody clashes between Russian factions in various revolutions. It also served as a place of exile for intellectuals, artists and others, which may be why the city has five universities. Several churches, including Ascension Church, and geology and history museums call Irkutsk home.


4. Sochi:



“Russian Riviera,” Sochi prepared to step onto the world stage as the host of the 2014 Winter Olympics. Somewhat ironically, Sochi is really quite temperate for most of the year, with its Black Sea waters warm and swimmable well into October. The Arboretum and Riviera Park are among the city’s most popular destinations. Serving as a beautiful backdrop for Sochi are the Caucasus Mountains, home to the nearby snow skiing resort of Krasnaya Polyana. Sochi, a Russian city on the Black Sea, is also known as a summer beach resort, and was host of the 2014 Winter Olympics.


3. Kazan:



On the banks of the Volga River, Kazan sits austerely, its cityscape a visual confection of architecture that somehow manages to be both playful and severe. No matter your spiritual inclination, you simply must visit the Temple of All Religions, a Technicolor cultural center built by artist Ildar Khanov. Though still a work in progress, the “temple” is a feast for the eyes—and the spirit. The capital of the Republic of Tatarstan, a semi-autonomous region, it’s known for the centuries-old Kazan Kremlin, a fortified citadel containing museums and sacred sites.


2. Moscow:



Moscow, the grand capital of Russia, is a beauty in itself; a beauty that didn’t fade even with the scars of Globalization and Industrialization. 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 Armory. 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. The Garden Ring district has bars, nightclubs and museums like the Pushkin State Museum, with many Impressionist works, and the State Tretyakov Gallery, specializing in Russian art.


1. Saint Petersburg:



Russia’s second largest city may be known as Leningrad, but most people refer to it by its birth name, St. Petersburg. Founded in 1703 by Tsar Peter the Great, St. Petersburg was once the imperial capital of Russia; its name was changed to Leningrad in 1924. Because of its location on the Neva River, which feeds into the Gulf of Finland and then into the Baltic Sea, the city is a popular northern cruise destination and one of the most popular places to visit in Russia. Known as the cultural capital of Russia, the city boasts one of the finest art collections in the world at the Hermitage, with churches adding to the city’s magnificent art. Nevsky Prospekt is the city’s famous shopping and dining street.



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