Russia is a vast country stretching over a huge expanse of eastern Europe and northern Asia. It’s home to some of the world’s greatest museums, including the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg and the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow. But there’s more to this fascinating and often brutal country than just its cultural highlights.
Russia’s natural beauty is also a draw for tourists. The country’s lakes, rivers and forests are rich in wildlife and give it its distinctive landscape. The Siberian Lake Baikal is the largest freshwater lake in the world and contains 23% of the planet’s fresh water.
Another reason to visit Russia is its unique national story, told in the many museums. The most famous of these are in Moscow and Saint Petersburg, but there are more to discover throughout the country.
The history of Russia is a fascinating and sometimes brutal tale, which has given rise to a national narrative that’s often seen as unfailingly patriotic. This story is the basis of the country’s culture, which has produced a wealth of art and literature.
While there is no doubt that many Russians believe in the official narrative, it’s difficult to know how many do so for genuine reasons and how many simply accept it because of their family and cultural traditions. A growing number of people are turning to alternative sources for news and information, but this trend is still a long way from replacing traditional media in the country.
In addition to the great museums, another reason to visit Russia is its metro. It’s the most important type of public transport in both Moscow and St Petersburg, with over 7 million passengers per day. It was first introduced in Soviet Russia under Stalin and its first stations were designed to be almost like palaces for the working class, a reflection of the socialist ideology of the time. Today, the underground system in Russia is truly amazing with trains arriving every minute during rush hour in Moscow and every two minutes in St Petersburg.
Another thing to remember about visiting Russia is the importance of learning a few words of Russian. If you want to get the most out of your trip, having some basic conversational skills will help you interact with locals and make your experience more authentic. Luckily, there are many language courses available online that will help you prepare for your trip to Russia.
While it is possible to travel to Russia without a visa, you should be aware that some restrictions may remain in place due to recent tensions and security concerns. It is recommended that you follow the advice of local authorities and stay informed about any changes in your destination city. During your trip, you will need to register with the police in each new city that you stay in. If you are staying in an apartment or hotel, this will be done for you by the staff, but if you are traveling independently, you will need to do it yourself.