Top 20 Places to Visit in Russia
Russia is the world’s largest country. As such, it boasts an extensive list of places worth visiting. Its tourist attractions include the glacier-capped mountains’ slopes and strolls along lake’s shoreline. There are many exciting things to do here. Russia, rich in culture and history, offers something for almost everyone. Below are the top 20 best travel destinations. These picks guarantee you a terrific trip.
20. Yaroslavl Quay
It’s commonly referred to as the ‘temple of love’. This city’s situated at the Volga River bank. The Volga River is a bit older and vast. Yaroslavl Quay rose and came into being under Yaroslav, a famous prince. It’s said that the city was developed further in the honor of Yaroslav. Now, it features an administration post.
The distance from this area to Moscow is 300 kilometers. That makes this land among the largest transport center. In particular, there are two railway stations, a river station, and an airport. Most people consider it as among Russia’s most beautiful cities. It’s decorated with art and well groomed.
19. Kizhi Island
It might not be as popular as the St. Petersburg and Moscow cities. But, Kizhi Island is an equally noteworthy destination in Russia. It’s situated right at Lake Onega’s heart. It’s widely known for its fantastic open-air museum. It’s a one-of-a-kind complex of exclusive natural, historical, and cultural interest. Also, it hosts an impressive collection of distinct wooden structures. Some of those structures are UNESCO World Heritage-listed.
Among the most famous attractions on the KIzhi Island include the Kizhi Pogost Site. We’d attribute that to its magnificent 22-dome Transfiguration Church. Also, you’ll be able to view some of Russia’s finest samples of wooden architecture. As a visitor, you’ll win an opportunity to explore ancient rural settlements. They’re like the ones in the Karelia region. These settlements are scattered all over this beautiful, pristine nature paradise.
18. Trans-Siberian Railway
Traveling on the Trans-Siberian Railway is among the most exciting things to do. In fact, it’s the longest railway line on earth. In particular, it connects Moscow with the Japan Sea and Russia’s Far East. Also, there are branch lines into North Korea, Mongolia, and China. This line is just over 5,700 miles long. Tsar Alexander III began constructing this line in 1891. Later, Tsar Nicholas II, his son, completed it in 1916.
Till date, it’s still being expanded. Most people prefer to this line as the Tsar’s Route. It had already grown famous even before its completion. Most travelers make use of the train as overnight accommodation. We can compare it to hitting two birds with just one stone. You can travel on Russia’s top tourist attractions to visit some of the best sceneries in Russia. This train features 1st-, 2nd-, and 3rd- class sleepers. Some have private showers and bathrooms. Also, there are sophisticated, onboard programs with all-inclusive expedition packages,
17. St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg is among the oldest Russian cities. It is home to the Hermitage Museum, the Savior’s Church, and the St. Isaac Cathedral. St. Petersburg is indisputably the brightest Russian city. It welcomes visitors from various countries to explore its beauty and historical places. Also, there are religious monuments.
It’s a golden opportunity to experience Russia’s nightlife. But, ensure to visit the Photo Fortress, which was constructed during Swedish attacks. The first wooden house built in St. Petersburg was Peter the Great’s Cabin. It was Peter’s home till 1703. Also, it’s preserved till date. Most importantly, don’t forget to sight-see the popular Blue Bridge.
Some time back, Suzdal was the capital of various Russian principalities. Today, it’s the jewel of the Russian ‘Golden Ring’. The country preserves such cities as living museums of its cultural past. Maybe, you intend to experience Russia’s best historic architecture. Then, you’d not regret visiting Suzdal. It’s filled with onion-dome-topped monasteries, cathedrals, and Kremlins. This city dates way all back to 1024. We’d liken Suzdal as a massive, open-air museum which transports tourists back in time.
15. Valley of Geysers
It’s an exciting destination for adventure-lovers. In fact, it’s among the world’s largest geyser fields. Also, it’s the only one in the entire Eurasia continental part. This valley’s situated in the Russia’s Far East along the Kamchatka Peninsula. It was discovered by Anisfor Krupenin and Tatyana Ustinova back in 1941.
It’s situated on the Kronotskiy State Reserve. This reserve is part of the ‘Volcanoes of Kamchatka’, a UNESCO World Heritage-listed site. It has grown to feature among Russia’s most popular tourist sceneries. In particular, it attracts lots of interest from tourists and scientists alike. Almost 200 geysers exist in this region, along with many perpetual, hot-water springs. Over 30 geysers have been named.
The largest geyser erupts with approximately 60 water tons once or twice every year. You’ll find 20 large jets and over 200 smaller, thermal springs in the Kamchatka region. It’s a wonder to watch jets of water erupting right from the ground. They reach up to 40 meters high. On your visit to Russia, it’d be wrong to miss out on exploring these geysers.
14. St. Sophia Cathedral (Novgorod)
It’s among the most popular attractions throughout Russia. This cathedral’s situated in Novgorod, the oldest Russian city. St. Sophia Cathedral, located within the city’s Kremlin grounds, is an ancient, religious building. Vladimir of Novgorod constructed this cathedral at his father’s behest. Before, it was a 13-domed wooden church. But, the 5-domed stone structure later replaced it. The new structure looks simpler, when compared to the previous one. But, it’s no less impressive when compared to its prototype.
Also, this cathedral boasts a selection of various ancient, religious artifacts. As well, it has 3 famous, carved gates which also date way back to the 12th-Century. The cathedral’s exterior is remarkable with its epic splendor and majesty. That further evokes the invincible might and glorious memories of Novgorod. The interior’s as majestic as the exterior. This picturesque attraction is worth every minute of sightseeing.
This Russian city hosted the 2014 Olympic Games. It’s situated along the Black Sea’s Coast. Very few places in Russia have subtropical climatic conditions. Sochi is among those few regions. It’s among the most excellent tourist destinations in Russia. Besides the hotels and beaches, you’ll come across many buildings of the Stalin era. This city’s main treasures are modern sports buildings. It has four different city districts. Ensure to visit the Sochi Arboretum. That’s a botanical garden which boasts particular kinds of tropical trees. These distinct tree species have been collected from various countries. For a comprehensive history of Russian religion, Sochi should feature on your bucket list.
12. Stolby Natural Reserve
It’s situated on the north-western spurs of the Sayan Mountains. It’s the most popular holiday Siberian destinations. This reserve’s main attractions include the cliffs and rocks. They’re referred to as Stolby in Russian, which means ‘pillars’ in English. They’re actually named after their shape. In fact, the smallest cliffs are 55-60 meters high. But, the highest cliffs go as high as 600 meters. Hiking and rock climbing are among the most popular activities here. Say you’re interested in the local fauna and flora. Then, the reserve offers guided tours of the fir taiga which sprawls under the rocks. They offer an impressive combination of a zoological and botanical tour.
11. Moscow Kremlin
The Kremlin is among Russia’s must-see attractions for anyone who intends t visit Moscow. It has played a dominant role in the Russian life for more than 800 years. Also, it’s an enigmatic and alluring place to visit. Also, the Moscow Kremlin is an exclusive symbol of two imperial cultures. Such are the Soviet Union and the medieval Muscovy. Today, it is home to Russia’s top governmental offices.
As such, two-thirds of these Citadel territories are not accessible for visitors. But, the open part has enough treasure to occupy endless sightseeing days. It’s an incredible opportunity to explore the Russian history till date. There’s a walled enclosure that houses four cathedrals. The latter was constructed back during the 15th and 16th centuries.
As well, there are several notable museums. In particular, you ought to visit the Armory. Here, you’ll find ancient royal treasures. Or, you can check out the Diamond Fund Exhibition. It comprises a collection of jewelry. That’s inclusive of the 190-carat diamond which was awarded to Catherine the Great. The Moscow Kremlin is foreboding and mesmerizing. It’s a blend of ascetic secrecy and generous magnificence.
10. The Golden Ring
This region is quite popular. We’d attribute that to the picturesque old towns, onion-domed churches, and medieval fortresses. The Golden Ring’s among the most enchanting travel destinations which Russia has to offer. This ring is situated in Moscow’s north-east side. It’s a clutch of old villages which seem like thousands of miles away from the sleek, capital city of Russia. It offers tourists a memorable taste of the bygone times. It’s an outstanding opportunity to explore the Golden Ring’s century. You’ll love the old crafting traditions, unique architecture, and history.
9. Lake Baikal
This lake’s so large that it’s often mistaken for a medium-sized sea. Most travelers on the Trans-Siberian Railway make stops at Lake Baikal. It’s situated in Siberia’s Southern Central. This lake is over 20 million years old. Also, it holds almost 20% of fresh water in the entire world. Mountain ranges surround it. Such factors make it an immense, yet breathtaking region of natural beauty.
It’s considered as among the world’s clearest lakes. Most people refer to it as Siberia’s Pearl. You’ll come across multiple resorts in Lake Baikal. Spending your holiday here would be a worthwhile decision to make. Summer travelers are definite to enjoy the unimaginable vistas across the waters.
As well, you’ll love the soaring mountain ranges found on the opposite shore. Also, visitors marvel at the powder-white surface during winter. The surface is mainly scored with several ice roads and frozen steel-hard. In fact, you can swim in it and drink its water. Or, you can opt only to admire it from the 2,000-kilometer shoreline.
This city is over 1,000 years old. It’s an ever-eclectic place that’s balanced between the Muslim cultures and the Russian Orthodox. Cathedrals and churches are right next to mosques. The Soyembika Tower is among the city’s most notable landmarks. This tower is named after Kazan’s last queen, Soyembika.
According to legend, the queen threw herself off that tower. But, the Muscovites captured her after conquering the city. This region’s eclectic food is a delicious mix of Tatar and Russian. In fact, it’s among the city’s main highlights. But, you can still give the traditional tea with an exquisite pastry dish a try.
7. St. Basil’s Cathedral
This temple was constructed back in the 1550s on Red Square at Moscow’s heart. Ivan the Terrible ordered the Cathedral to mark the capture of Kazan from the Mongol forces. It’s a crazy mystification of patterns, shapes, and colors. It’s thus the climax of a style that’s unique to Russian architecture. In turn, that makes it among the gorgeous places to visit for a Russian vacation.
The distinctive design is what attracts visitors the most, rather than the interior artifacts. This cathedral was designed to resemble a bonfire’s shape in full flame. The clear anarchy of forms conceals a comprehensive plan of 9 chapels. The architecture isn’t just unique to the period when it was constructed, but also to the next period. Today, it’s a museum and among the most impressive tourist attractions.
This attractive Russian city is a picturesque port that’s situated along the Pacific Ocean. It’s closer to Korea, Japan, and China than it is to the Siberian Lake Baikal. An astounding 4,000-mile distance from Moscow lies this town. Vladivostok boasts uninterrupted sea views and a scenic location. Also, it comprises many hilly streets which will remind you of the storied San Francisco.
Just several years ago, this point of the modern Trans-Siberian Highway was closed. But today, this city blossoms with endless entertaining opportunities, lovely cuisine, and modern architecture. The cuisine is particularly excellent. It blends Asian and European culinary traditions. It results in delicious meals, based on oriental flavors and seafood delicacies. During summer, the liveliest spot is usually the Sportivnaya Harbor. It greets tourists with dozens of street vendors selling food, drinks, and colorful souvenirs.
This area stretches right from the White Sea Coast all the way to the Finland Gulf. A glacier carved this region out many years ago. Karelia has the two largest European lakes: Lake Onega and Lake Ladoga. It’s a beautiful region of lakes, rivers, hills, steppes, and forests. The rich, yet lush landscape makes it possible for you to enjoy an entire host of outdoor pursuits. Such include hiking, biking, sailing, whitewater rafting, swimming, and horse riding. As well, you can pamper yourself in the health retreats and spas. clean lakes and virgin woods make Karelia among the best kept Russian hideaways.
4. Hermitage Museum
It’s among the most fabulous places worth visiting in Russia. Also, it features among the world’s most prestigious and largest museums. The Hermitage Museum is situated in St. Petersburg. It was founded by Catherine the Great back in 1764. Besides the Louvre, there’s no other museum which rivals the Hermitage.
You’re definite to enjoy viewing the Impressionist masterpieces and the fascinating oriental treasures. It’s a huge museum of culture and art. It boasts a collection of over three million items which span the globe. It’s especially strong in French Impressionist paintings and Italian Renaissance. Also, it possesses exemplary collections of works crafted by Picasso, Matisse, and Rembrandt. \
You shouldn’t miss the exclusive Roman and Greek antiquities collection. As well, the exhibits of Central Asian and Siberian art are worth exploring. The larger bulk of the Hermitage collections is housed within the Winter Palace. The latter was formerly an official home of the Tsars. The Hermitage Museum demands more than one visit.
It’s a name you might come across on shelves of the Russian grocery stores. This historical town’s name is a particular brand of salty mineral water. It’s famous for the mineral water and hot springs. Yessentuki has, for long, been a favorite destination among the health-conscious. You’ll find plenty of hotel resorts, most of which are quite affordable.
Direct flights to the Mineralniye Yodi Airport can be found in St. Petersburg) and Moscow. Several hotels offer airport pickups. Or, you can board a train heading into Yessentuki. The journey will take almost 40 minutes when traveling by a shuttle bus.
2. Altai Mountains
Ecotourism is booming in the Altai Mountains as new hotels and resorts pop up all over the region. They’re often referred to as the ‘Golden Mountains’. There are themed and guided tours of nearby areas. For example, there are hikes following the specific routes described in the local legends. They’ll be instructed to you as you hike.
Other activities include kayaking, fishing, and sailing. Spa treatments are available, including unique saunas to large cedar barrels. The Altai region is popular for its herbs and honey. As well, herbal tea ceremonies and honey treatments are offered to all the tourists.
1. Mt. Elbrus
This mountain is situated in the Caucasus in Southern Russia. It’s over 5,000 meters high. In fact, Elbrus is included among the Seven Summits. Those are the highest summits on every continent. This mountain appeals to both novice and experienced mountain climbers alike. It was initially formed right from a volcano. But, it’s now considered dormant without any recorded eruptions. Cable car systems take tourists as high as 12,500 feet. That helps facilitate ascents to this summit.
Most people believe that Russia’s not a place for any tourists. Others claim that there’s nothing worth seeing. They’re definite to lure art, history, and religion fanatics. Religious scholars have abundant information. Such info is well-preserved and Russia‘s monuments from the Middle Age. In case you’re planning a tour to Russia, your need to take certain displays. Choose your destination wisely Read this guide once again before deciding on one