The Russian Federation is a vast country that is a part of both Europe and Asia. The Ural Mountains create the separation boundary between the continents, while the Arctic Ocean defines the northern frontier. The country is home to many different ethnic groups and religions, and its history has been characterized by war, famine, and poverty. It is also known for its political leaders like Lenin and Putin, as well as for its unique architecture that includes the Kremlin and Saint Basil’s Cathedral.
A trip to Russia requires some flexibility and a willingness to adapt, especially if visiting remote areas. The best way to get around is by car or train, but public transport is also available. It is recommended to bring an international driving permit from your home country and keep it in a safe place. In cities, restaurants and bars are more likely to accept credit cards, but you should carry cash as well. The currency used in the country is the ruble, and it’s usually easier to exchange foreign currency at airport terminals than at hotels or local shops.
While most people think of Moscow and St Petersburg when they hear “Russia”, there are so many more fascinating places to visit. Whether you’re interested in exploring the natural beauty of the North or want to see the ballet or opera, there’s something for everyone in Russia.
Most overseas visitors touch down in Moscow and connect to St Petersburg from there, but you can also travel to other major cities via daytime high-speed trains like the Sapsan (Moscow to Saint Petersburg takes 4 hours). You’ll have a choice of seats, ranging from economy class to business class. Economy class costs around US$70 per ticket, while first class is twice as much.
Medical care in most localities is below Western standards, and hospitals may not have all the necessary equipment or supplies to handle some types of injuries. Doctors may not be licensed or trained to provide advanced life-saving treatments, and some private facilities are known for extortion and corruption. In some areas, the threat of violence is real, and foreigners have been victims of armed robbery and kidnapping.
Extortion and fraud in the form of fake lottery winnings are common in the cities. These scams are targeted mainly at small businesses. It is important to report extortion attempts to the police.
The most prominent landmark of Russia is the Kremlin, a large complex of palaces, walls, and fortifications that houses the presidential residence and other government buildings. It is located in Moscow and is famous for its stunning architecture. Another famous structure in the city is the Saint Basil’s Cathedral, which was built in honor of a Russian icon and is famous for its vibrant color and design.
Another famous attraction is Lenin’s Mausoleum, which is located in Red Square and has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Lenin was a Soviet leader who worked for the betterment of his people. He implemented several reforms that were meant to lift the population out of poverty. He was a charismatic leader and is remembered for his dedication to supporting and uplift minorities in the country.