• Alex

Russia travel guide 2021

Updated: Jul 19

Spanning wide from Europe in the west to Asia in the east, Russia’s home to 11 time zones, breathtaking sceneries and vibrant cities. Here, you can truly see the change of seasons and enjoy the beauty of nature whenever you come. Rich history only adds to the country’s distinct landscapes and makes it a world of its own. As many places outdo each other, we’ve compiled a travel guide to Russia comprising the best destinations to visit in 2021.

Image by Mitya Ivanov

Moscow

The capital of Russia, Moscow is also one of the world’s largest and most breathtaking cities with a population exceeding 12 million people. It’s most famous for its hard traffic, luxuries, extravagant architectural monuments, and posh nightclubs. Moscow is a must-visit destination for a number of reasons, for example, here you can:

  1. Dive into rich cultural life. Moscow is home to exceptional museums and galleries, world-famous ballet theatres, concerts and exhibitions that will satisfy even keen admirers of art.

  2. Discover the cradle of Orthodoxy. Moscow counts almost 800 Orthodox churches and 8 monasteries, scattered across the city center as well as in the outskirts. Many of them contain unique collections of old paintings and icons, some of which are dating back to the dawn of Christianity. These are also the resting places of Russian eminent political, military and cultural personalities.

  3. See an original mix of architectural styles. Founded over 800 years ago, Moscow boasts a rich history that is reflected in its diverse architecture, and you can easily travel through ages just walking around the city. Thus, Baroque of the 17 century develops into the Empire style of the late 18th-early 19th century, which shifts into Modern, Constructivism and the Stalin Empire style, mixed up with high-tech architecture of the recent years.

  4. Enjoy Moscow nightlife. As we all know, Moscow never sleeps. Despite harsh weather, the Russian capital gets hot at sunset with all kinds of parties from luxury night clubs to non-formal basement parties. In summer, crowds are gathering in open areas: on rooftops, near water, on a boat, in nature, and such.

  5. Taste Russian cuisine. Traditional food in Russia is hearty and filling, and lunch usually consists of at least three courses. Make sure to try famous herring under the furring coat salad, cabbage soups such as schi or bortsch, pancakes with caviar (just like a real tzar), pelmeni (boiled meat pies), numerous pies known here as pirogi. As for drinks, in summer you can refresh yourself with a glass of kvass, a soft drink made of rye bread, and vodka accompanied by pickled cucumbers will always warm you up on colder days.

St Petersburg

St Petersburg lies around 400 miles to the northwest of Moscow, it is the second largest city in Russia and the fourth-most populous city in Europe. Founded in 1703, St Petersburg became the imperial capital in 1713 and up to 1918. After World War I, it was renamed to Petrograd in 1914 and to Lenindrad in 1924, after the death of Vladimir Lenin.

St Petersburg is a very beautiful and artsy city, with the architecture mainly of neo-classical and baroque style, born from the ambition of Peter the Great and progressively built by generations of Russian royalty. The city is home to over 2,000 libraries, museums, theatres and galleries. Some of its main attractions include:

  • The Winter Palace with Hermitage Museum

  • The Pushkin and Catherine Palace

  • Peterhof with the Grand Summer Palace by the shore

  • Nevsky Prospect, the city’s main avenue

The city’s metro is also a work of art and is the deepest system in the world, with the average station 85 meters below the ground.

Known as Venice of the North, St Petersburg accounts for over 800 bridges and over 300 kilometers of artificial canals. Make sure to go on a canal tour if you happen to arrive in St Petersburg from spring to autumn.

St Petersburg is also well-known for a number of incredible churches and cathedrals, of which the Church of Savior on the spilt blood, the Kazan Cathedral and the St Isaak’s Cathedral are the most famous.

Another great thing to see if you come between May and July is the White Nights Festival, which the city holds in order to support art, music and dance as a part of St Petersburg’s culture. During this time, you’ll be able to see numerous performances in various theatres across the city, including the Mariinsky Theatre.

Novosibirsk

Novosibirsk is the unofficial Siberia’s capital, Russia’s third largest city and a worthwhile Trans-Siberian pit stop. Founded in 1893, the city boasts a warm, welcoming atmosphere and is home to nice wooden architecture, exceptional theatres and museums and a renowned research center. Novosibirsk is really easy to get to, as you can take a plane to it from almost any town in Russia and from a number of cities abroad. What’s more, there are many interesting places nearby, like Tomsk.

The city's main attractions include:

  • Zoo with over 11,000 inhabitants and 700 species from lions to polar bears to eagles.

  • Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, an astounding Byzantine edifice.

  • The USSR museum, where you can try on Soviet costumes.

  • Novosibirsk State Academic Opera And Ballet Theatre

  • West Siberian Railway History Museum


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