Russia has long been a cultural powerhouse, and still today, it remains one of the world’s most fascinating countries to visit. From its subtropical beaches to its snow-covered winter landscapes, the country offers a host of attractions and experiences.
Moscow and St Petersburg
Both of Russia’s capital cities are home to some of its most iconic sights, and they also serve as excellent base for exploring the country further afield. From the Kremlin and Red Square to the stunning St Petersburg Metro system, there are countless things to see in both of these cities.
Founded in 859, Smolensk is the oldest city in Russia, and it’s well worth a day trip. You’ll find a number of attractions in this former mining town, including the Cathedral of St. Ignatius and the Smolensk Historical Museum, as well as numerous historic churches and fortresses.
Located in the Ural Mountains, this industrial city is well known for its music and dance companies, as well as its many libraries and theaters. In fact, it’s the home of the Bolshoi ballet company, and you can often see world-class performances there.
The Kremlin and Red Square
If you’re looking for history and culture in Russia, then the country’s capital should be at the top of your list. Here you’ll find the opulent Kremlin, as well as some of the country’s most famous landmarks such as the Red Square and the Alexander Palace.
Other must-visit destinations include the historic towns of Vladimir, Suzdal, Kostroma and Yaroslavl. These ancient towns offer a glimpse into life in Russia back in the days when the country was ruled by tsars.
The Great Russian Lakes
During spring and summer, the country’s lakes offer plenty to keep you busy, whether it’s swimming, sailing or simply enjoying the natural beauty of the waterways. It’s also a great time to explore the UNESCO-listed Gorky Park, which boasts a variety of lakes and waterfalls.
The best time to visit Russia is between May and September, when you’ll enjoy long days and warm weather in the major cities. You’ll also get to experience the famous White Nights phenomenon in St. Petersburg, which sees the skies light up for 24 hours a day in May and June.
It’s also the perfect time to soak up the sunshine at a beach, and many of the country’s resorts will be hosting their own festivals and events during this month. For example, in, the Circle of Light festival celebrates the city’s birthday with laser and pyrotechnics shows, while Queerfest, which is held annually in, celebrates LGBTQ+ culture with a series of events.
You’ll also be able to see traditional Russian dancing at the many theaters around the country.
It’s always a good idea to learn a few basic words in Russian to help you feel more comfortable while traveling in the country, particularly if you don’t speak any of the local language. It can help you feel more welcome and ensure that your trip goes smoothly, and it will also save you some money on your travel costs!