Russia, also officially known as the Russian Federation, is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic. From northwest to southeast, Russia shares land borders with Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland (both with Kaliningrad Oblast), Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia, and North Korea. It shares maritime borders with Japan by the Sea of Okhotsk and the US state of Alaska across the Bering Strait.
The largest country in 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 an adventure not soon forgotten.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Russia: currently, there are 26 World Heritage Sites in Russia. 16 properties are cultural and 10 are natural. 24 more properties are on UNESCO’s tentative list.
Moscow is the capital city and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural and scientific center in Russia and in Eastern Europe. According to Forbes 2013, Moscow has the largest number of billionaire residents in the world, has been ranked as the ninth most expensive city in the world by Mercer. Moscow can be an overwhelming experience for visitors – there’s just so much to see in this vast and vibrant city, from the truly sublime to the ever-so-slightly ridiculous.
A city of palaces and museums, broad avenues and winding canals, St. Petersburg’s short history has endowed the city with a wealth of architectural and artistic treasures. Alongside world-famous attractions such as the Hermitage, St. Isaac’s Cathedral and the Mariinsky Theatre, the city has scores of lesser known but equally fascinating sights that reveal both the pomp and extravagance of St. Petersburg’s political and Imperial past, and also the mysterious, tragic genius that has touched so many of the city’s great artists and writers. Still considered Russia’s cultural capital, St. Petersburg reflects the country’s extraordinary fate like no other city, and its uniquely rich atmosphere exerts a powerful grip on even the most jaded traveler.
Although the phenomenon known as the “White Nights” is not unique to St Petersburg, in no other northern city have they received such poetic and literary acclaim. What could be more romantic than a walk along the banks of the city’s rivers and canals in almost broad daylight, no matter what the time of day? No other major European city can rival this experience nor the atmosphere on the streets of St. Petersburg during the summer months – lively, friendly, romantic and bustling with people throughout the night as well as the day!
From late May to early July the nights are bright in St Petersburg, with the brightest period, the White Nights, normally lasting from June 11th to July 2nd.
Sochi is often called the unofficial ‘Summer Capital’ of Russia, or the Black Sea Pearl. This is the country’s biggest and busiest summer sea resort, attracting more than four million visitors annually with its amazing mountainous coastline, endless shingle beaches, warm sunny days, and bustling nightlife. From May to September Sochi’s population at least doubles with tourists, including celebrities and the political elite of the country.
With the alpine and Nordic events held at the nearby ski resort of Roza Khutor in Krasnaya Polyana, Sochi hosted the XXII Olympic Winter Games and XI Paralympic Winter Games in 2014, as well as the Russian Formula 1 Grand Prix from 2014 until at least 2020. It will also be one of the host cities for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Sochi belongs to that tiny part of Russia, which is happily located in the subtropical climatic zone. In contrast to Mediterranean climates, Sochi has a very high humidity level, like that inAbkhazia or in some southeastern states of the United States. Despite high precipitation, Sochi enjoys 300 sunny days annually, which is unbelievable for any other part of Russia except the adjacent Krasnodar Krai coastal cities. This makes nearly all the year comfortable for visiting Sochi, except maybe November through January.
Kremlin and Red Square
Red Square is a city square in Moscow, Russia. The square separates the Kremlin, the former royal citadel and currently the official residence of the President of Russia, from a historic merchant quarter known as Kitai-gorod.
Red Square is often considered the central square of Moscow, because Moscow’s major streets—which connect to Russia’s major highways—originate from the square.
From medieval citadel to modern power centre, the Moscow Kremlin has played a dominant role in Russian life for over eight hundred years.
A potent symbol of two mighty imperial cultures – that of medieval Muscovy and that of the Soviet Union – the Kremlin is at once fascinating and foreboding, a mixture of lavish opulence and austere secrecy, and its eclectic mix of architecture reflects these paradoxes and seismic cultural shifts.
Today, the Kremlin remains as alluring and enigmatic as ever. Two thirds of the citadel territory are closed to visitors, but the remaining third contains enough treasures to occupy several days of sightseeing. Not only one of the largest and most interesting museums in the world, but also the official residence of the President of the Russian Federation, the Kremlin is the perfect place to begin your tour of Moscow.
Saint Basil’s Cathedral
Built between 1554 and 1561 and situated in the heart of Moscow, St. Basil’s Cathedral has been among the top tourist attractions in Russia.
It is not the building’s interior artifacts that attract visitors, but rather the cathedral’s distinctive architecture.
Designed to resemble the shape of a bonfire in full flame, the architecture is not only unique to the period in which it was built but to any subsequent period. There is no other structure on earth quite like St. Basil’s Cathedral.
The State Hermitage is a museum of art and culture in Saint Petersburg, Russia. One of the largest and oldest museums in the world, it was founded in 1764 by Catherine the Great and has been open to the public since 1852. Its collections, of which only a small part is on permanent display, comprise over three million items, including the largest collection of paintings in the world. The collections occupy a large complex of six historic buildings along Palace Embankment, including the Winter Palace, a former residence of Russian emperors. Apart from them, the Menshikov Palace, Museum of Porcelain, Storage Facility at Staraya Derevnya and the eastern wing of the General Staff Building are also part of the museum. The museum has several exhibition centers abroad. The Hermitage is a federal state property. Since 1990, the director of the museum has been Mikhail Piotrovsky.
Many travelers on the Trans-Siberian railway make plans to stop at Lake Baikal, the deepest and oldest lake on Earth.
Lake Baikal holds around 20 percent of the world’s fresh water. Located in Siberia, the 25-million-year-old lake is surrounded by mountain ranges.
The lake is considered one of the clearest lakes in the world. Known as the Pearl of Siberia, Lake Baikal is home to several resorts, making the area a popular vacation destination.