Russia Tourism has been rising since the fall of the Soviet Union and the communist regime. Russia is such an immense country with so many climates, cultures and people that covers the whole north of Asia from the shores of the Baltic Sea to the open Pacific Ocean.
St Basil's Cathedral with its onion domes in Moscow
Major Tourist attractions
With such a rich cultural heritage, Russia offers the best of itself to the visitors. You may be interested in large cities of nature, lakes or mountains, ballet, theater and museums as well as trains and river cruises. Russia offers all this in large quantities.
It features many sites designated by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites and many more places are on the tentative list. In this page and the following pages I am trying to summarize the Best and the Top of the Travel Destinations in such an important world country.
The World Renowned Red Square in Moscow
The Capital of Russia is the center of life in Russia. It is the center of government with a fascinating history dating for centuries.
What started as a small province outpost is today and for a long time a great city that saw the reign of Czars and dictators as well as presidents and prime ministers.
The city that inspired many spy novels offers great museums, art galleries, markets, restaurants and theaters. And very important in this capital you’ll find great shopping and nightlife.
This is not the Moscow we visited in 1975, behind the Iron curtain; Moscow today is elegant, cosmopolitan and chic.
While in Moscow, visit the Kremlin and the Red Square. In the Red Square, enjoy the colorful onion dome of St Basil's Cathedral, a symbol not only of Moscow but of Russia as a whole.
If you desire you may pay respect to the embalmed body of Lenin, the father of Communism. In the Kremlin you will learn about the many horrible dictators the Russian people had to endure like Ivan the Terrible and Stalin.
It is easy to move within Moscow thanks to the metro system with its art elaborated metro stations that are a tourist attraction by themselves.
Palace Square in St Petersburg Russia
St Petersburg Russia
It is called the jewel in Russia’s Imperial Crown. Called Leningrad during Soviet times it is the same adorable city that was the ruling seat of the Russian Czar for centuries until the October Revolution of 1917.
For History lovers this whole city is like a big open air museum that will keep you entertained every minute of your visit. In this city you will find the Hermitage Museum with one of the largest art collections in the world. Explore St Peter and Paul fortress with its baroque interior that until 1917 was a political prison housing important historic people like Trotsky.
St Isaac’s Cathedral is one of the largest in the world and the Church of Spilled Blood, built on the spot where Czar Alexander II was murdered in 1881.
Other important sites that we are developing in the future pages are the Summer Gardens overlooking the Gulf of Finland and Catherine Palace.
Waterfalls in Karelia from the White Sea to the Baltic Sea
Stretching from the Gulf of Finland to the coast of the White Sea, carved by a glacier thousands of years ago, is where Lake Ladoga and Lake Onega are located, being the largest lakes in Europe. This area is amazingly beautiful with rivers, lakes hills and lush forests ideal for many outdoor activities as hiking, biking, sailing and rafting. This is one of Russia’s best kept secrets.
Vladimir, built in the beginning of the 12th century was Russia’s capital for nearly two centuries before giving way to Moscow. In one day you may visit the ancient towns built during the 12th to 17th centuries called “The Golden Ring” of ancient town. There are a few main tourist attractions as the Golden Gates, the Assumption Cathedral and St Dmitry Cathedral, being the Golden gate the most memorable icon of the city.
The Church of St Sophia in Novgorod between
St Petersburg and Moscow
Located between St Petersburg and Moscow, this pretty town is one of the oldest towns in the country and was a leading political center when Moscow was still a provincial outpost. The once powerful Novgorod Kremlin is a true relic worth a visit. Within the premises of the Kremlin you’ll find St Sophia’s Cathedral , the oldest church in Russia and just out of town the 12th century Yurev Monastery.
Called the jewel of Russia’s Golden Ring of Ancient Cities, Suzdal is a living museum of Russians historical and cultural past. This is a place to enjoy the architecture with its onion-dome Kremlins, cathedrals and monasteries dating back to the 11th century.
Map of the Trans Siberian Railway from Moscow to Vladivostok
Trans Siberian Railway
This railway system, one of the longest in the world and world famous for decades goes from Moscow to Vladivostok a city on the Pacific Ocean near the borders with China and North Korea.
Construction began under the auspices of Czar Alexander III and was completed by his son, Czar Nicholas II, in 1916. Most travelers use it a overnight accommodation from one destination to the next. It offers cabins for all budgets, First, second and third calls sleepers some of them with private bathrooms and showers.
Yekaterinburg located on the border of Europe and Asia in Russia
This is the first major stop as we leave Europe and enter Asian Russia and the gateway to the Ural Mountains. In this town you may stay on one foot in Europe and another one in Asia at the Europe Asia border marker. Yekaterinburg is known as the City of the Romanovs because of the bloody murder of the Czar and his family in July 1918.
Visit the beautiful Monastery of Martyrs, Gamina Yama; a cross marks the spot where the Romanovs bodies were discarded. It is also a starting spot for many outdoor activities in Urals in summer as well as in the snowy winter.
Valley of Geysers
Located in Russia’s Far East in the Kamchatka Peninsula it is the second Geyser field in the world. Discovered in 1941 it has been attracting visitors since then.
For more information visit Russian National Tourist Office
Lake Baikal known as "The Pearl of Siberia" is the oldest lake on Earth
Many travelers on the Trans-Siberian Railway make it a point to stop at Lake Baikal, the deepest and oldest lake on the Planet Earth. This 25 million year old lake is surrounded by mountains and is considered to have one of the clearest waters of all world lakes.
Known as “The Pearl of Siberia” it offers many resorts for a nice vacation. And a n interesting note, Lake Baikal holds 20 percent of all the fresh water of the world.
Mount Elbrus is included in the list of the Seven Summits, meaning the highest peak in any of the seven continents. It is located in Southern Russia in the Caucasus Mountain Range and tops 5,642 meters in altitude. It attracts climbers both veterans and starters. Formed by a volcano considered dormant with no record of eruption, it is a great site to visit. A cable car takes visitors as high as 3,800 meters.
images credits for russia tourism:
st basils by alexanderevstyuga
red square by bart sligerland
palace square by jason rogers
karelia by ghirlandig
novgorod by mnaceli
trans siberia by stefan kuhn
yekaterinburg by slex kofman
all courtesy of wikimedia commons