Thursday, August 11, 2022

Destinations in Russia

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Regions in Russia

  • Central Russia (Moscow, Ivanovo Oblast, Kaluga Oblast, Kostroma Oblast, Moscow Oblast, Ryazan Oblast, Smolensk Oblast, Tver Oblast, Tula Oblast, Vladimir Oblast, Yaroslavl Oblast).
    The richest side of the country, dominated by spectacular architecture and historic buildings. It is the country’s gateway to Europe and is home to the capital Moscow.
  • Chernozemye (Belgorod Oblast, Bryansk Oblast, Kursk Oblast, Lipetsk Oblast, Oryol Oblast, Tambov Oblast, Voronezh Oblast).South of central Russia and famous for its deep, rich black earth (Chernozem is the Russian term for “black earth”), it was an important battlefield during World War II.
  • Northwest Russia (St. Petersburg, Arkhangelsk Oblast, Karelia, Komi Republic, Leningrad Oblast, Murmansk Oblast, Nenets, Novgorod Oblast, Pskov Oblast, Vologda Oblast). Here is the former imperial capital of St. Petersburg, also known as the “Capital of the North”. It combines the beautiful landscape of the Great Lakes Ladoga and Onega and the medieval fortresses of Pskov Oblast with the lake region of Karelia and is a gateway to Scandinavia.
  • Kaliningrad Oblast (often considered part of north-west Russia). Kaliningrad Oblast is the only exclave of Russia that borders Poland and Lithuania and will be the venue for some of the 2018 World Cup matches.
  • Southern Russia (Adygea, Chechnya, Crimea, Dagestan, Ingushetia, Kabardino-Balkaria, Kalmykia, Karachay-Cherkessia, Krasnodar Krai, North Ossetia, Rostov Oblast, Stavropol Krai). The warmest region in the whole country, with beautiful resorts like the subtropical city of Sochi, and also brings a way to the mountainous North Caucasus.
  • Volga Region (Astrakhan Oblast, Chuvashia, Kirov Oblast, Mari El, Mordovia, Nizhny Novgorod Oblast, Penza Oblast, Samara Oblast, Saratov Oblast, Tatarstan, Udmurtia, Ulyanovsk Oblast, Volgograd Oblast). The most industrialised region of the country, known for large-scale production of military equipment in cities like Izhevsk, with a rich culture and history.
  • Ural Region (Bashkortostan, Chelyabinsk Oblast, Khanty-Mansia, Kurgan Oblast, Orenburg Oblast, Perm Krai, Sverdlovsk Oblast, Tyumen Oblast, Yamaly). One of the richest regions known for producing a large part of the resources Russia needs today and which owes its name to the huge Ural Mountains, which also form the border between Europe and Asia.
  • Siberia (Altai Region, Altai Republic, Buryatia, Irkutsk Oblast, Kemerovo Oblast, Khakassia, Krasnoyarsk Krai, Novosibirsk Oblast, Omsk Oblast, Tomsk, Tuva, Zabaykalsky Krai). The largest area of the country, diverse in landscape and annual temperatures, with beautiful lakes, the longest rivers in the world, but largely marshy in the centre and north. It is a gateway to much of Asia.
  • Russian Far East (Amur Oblast, Chukotka, Jewish Autonomous Oblast, Kamchatka Region, Khabarovsk Region, Magadan Oblast, Primorsky Region, Sakhalin Oblast, Yakutia). One of the coldest regions in Russia, also home to the coldest city in the world, Yakutsk. Famous worldwide for its national parks, beautiful landscapes and mountains, and the volcanoes of Kamchatka. It is also a gateway to North Korea and China.

Cities in Russia

Here is a representative selection of nine Russian cities with their anglicised and Cyrillic Russian names:

  • Moscow (Москва) – The capital of Russia is one of the largest cities in the world and offers a variety of attractions for the adventurous visitor.
  • Irkutsk (Иркутск) – the most popular Siberian city in the world, located less than an hour from Lake Baikal on the Trans-Siberian Railway.Kazan (Казань) – the capital of Tatar culture is an attractive city in the heart of the Volga region with an impressive Kremlin.
  • Nizhny Novgorod (Нижний Новгород) – often neglected despite being one of Russia’s largest cities, Nizhny Novgorod is worth a visit for its Kremlin, Sakharov Museum and nearby Makarev Monastery.
  • St Petersburg (Санкт-Петербург) – formerly known as Leningrad, the cultural and political capital of Russia, is home to one of the world’s finest museums, the Hermitage, while the city centre is a living open-air museum in its own right, making it one of the world’s leading tourist destinations.
  • Sochi (Сочи) – Russia’s most popular resort on the Black Sea was largely unknown to foreigners until it hosted the 2014 Winter Olympics.
  • Vladivostok (Владивосток) – often called (somewhat ironically) “the San Francisco of Russia”, full of hilly streets and battleships. The most important Russian city in the Pacific is the terminus of the Trans-Siberian Highway and Railway
  • Volgograd (Волгоград) – formerly known as Stalingrad, this city may have been the site of the decisive battle of World War II and is now home to a huge war memorial.
  • Ekaterinburg (Екатеринбург) – the centre of the Ural region and one of Russia’s most important cultural centres is a good stop on the Trans-Siberian Railway and a point of arrival for visitors to the Urals, Russia’s second largest financial centre.

Other destinations in Russia

  • The border between Europe and Asia – it is clearly defined in Ekaterinburg and a very popular stop for photo shoots between the continents!
  • Dombai – although it is neither as internationally known nor as well preserved today, it is the most beautiful mountain resort in the North Caucasus.
  • Golden Ring – a popular loop of beautiful historic cities that form a ring around Moscow.
  • Kamchatka – the region of active volcanoes, geysers, mineral springs and bears walking the streets.
  • Kizhi – one of the most valuable sites in all of Russia. Kizhi Island in Lake Onega is famous for its spectacular complex of traditional wooden churches.
  • The primeval forests of Komi – deeply isolated and difficult to visit, but it is by far the largest wilderness area in Europe and contains Russia’s largest Jugyd Va National Park.
  • Lake Baikal – the “Pearl of Siberia” – is the deepest and largest lake in the world by volume and a remarkable destination for all those who love nature.
  • Mamaev Kurgan – a massive memorial and museum on and around the battlefield where the most important battle of the 20th century took place: Stalingrad.
  • The Solovetsky Islands – located north of the White Sea, they are home to the magnificent Solovetsky Monastery, which has served as both a military fortress and a gulag throughout its turbulent history.
  • Caucasian dolmens – ancient structures of unknown utility, located in many places in the Caucasus, can be found even near Greater Sochi. For example, guides from Lazarevskoe (a region of Greater Sochi) can show you large stone dolmens in the local forests. (Locals sometimes show small dolmens for a fee, but they are usually fake and made of concrete).

How To Travel To Russia

By plane Moscow and St Petersburg are served by direct flights from most European capitals, and Moscow also has direct flights from many cities in East Asia, South Asia, Africa, the Middle East and North America. Non-stop flights from the USA to Russia are offered by Singapore (Houston to Moscow,...

How To Travel Around Russia

By train Due to the vastness of the country and poor road safety, the best way to move around the country quickly is by train. Russia has an extensive railway network connecting almost all cities and towns. For intercity travel, the train is usually the most comfortable solution for journeys...

Visa & Passport Requirements for Russia

Visa Citizens of the following countries do not need a visa: Citizens of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) (90 days, Belarus unlimited)Argentina (approved for 90 days)Bosnia and Herzegovina (30 days)Brazil (90 days)Chile (90 days)Colombia (90 days)Cuba (30 days)Ecuador (90 days)Fiji (90 days)Guatemala (90 days)French Guiana (90 days)Honduras (90 days)Hong Kong...

Weather & Climate in Russia

The enormous size of Russia and the remoteness of many regions from the sea lead to the predominance of a humid continental climate, which prevails in all parts of the country except for the tundra and the extreme south-east. The mountains in the south hinder the influx of warm...

Accommodation & Hotels in Russia

In most cities, quality hotels are really rare: most were built in Soviet times several decades ago and have been recently renovated in their facilities, but rarely in their service and attitude. Even for a local, it is quite difficult to find a good hotel without the recommendation of...

Things To See in Russia

Russia is huge, and the attractions for visitors are exceptionally long, although many of them are in hard-to-reach areas of the most remote countries on earth. The most famous sights are in and around the country's capitals, Moscow and St Petersburg. Historical attractions Russia's history is the first reason tourists come...

Things To Do in Russia

Music - Russia has a long musical tradition and is known for its composers and performers. There is no doubt: the bigger the city, the more orchestral performances there are. Classical music is performed in various theatres, where national and guest concerts are planned in the coming weeks. In...

Food & Drinks in Russia

Food in Russia The foundations of Russian cuisine were laid by the peasant diet in an often harsh climate, with a combination of fish, poultry, game, mushrooms, berries and honey. The cultivation of rye, wheat, buckwheat, barley and millet provided the ingredients for an abundance of breads, pancakes, muesli, kvass,...

Money & Shopping in Russia

Money in Russia Throughout its history, Russia has had different versions of the rouble (рубль), which is divided into 100 kopecks (копеек). The latest manifestation, the rouble (replacing the rouble), was introduced in 1998 (although all banknotes and the first coin issues bear the date 1997). All currencies before 1998...

Festivals & Holidays in Russia

Official holidays New Year holidays In addition to New Year's Day (Новый год Novy god), 1 January, 2 January and 5 January are also public holidays, called New Year's Day (Новогодние каникулы Novogodniye kanikuly). This holiday covers 6 and 8 January, with 7 January declared a public holiday by law. Until...

Language & Phrasebook in Russia

Russian is the main language in Russia. This language belongs to the East Slavic language family and is closely related to Ukrainian and Belarusian. Other Slavic languages such as Bulgarian, Croatian and Czech are not mutually intelligible, but still bear a slight resemblance. Russian is considered one of the...

Internet & Communications in Russia

Telephones The country code for Russia (and Kazakhstan as a former member of the Soviet Union) is 7. Russian telephone numbers have a three-, four- or five-digit area code (depending on the province) followed by an individual number with 7, 6 or 5 digits respectively, which always gives a total of...

Traditions & Customs in Russia

Russians are reserved and well-mannered people. Gestures In Russia, smiling is traditionally reserved for friends, and smiling at a stranger can make them feel uncomfortable. If you smile at a Russian in the street, there is a good chance that they will not react in the same way. An automatic American...

Culture Of Russia

Folk culture and cuisine There are more than 160 different ethnic groups and indigenous peoples in Russia. The country's great cultural diversity ranges from the ethnic Russians with their Slavic Orthodox traditions to the Tatars and Bashkirs with their Turkic Muslim culture to the nomadic Buddhist Buryats and Kalmyks, the...

History Of Russia

An imperial power Russian identity dates back to the Middle Ages, with the first state known as Kievan Rus and its religion rooted in Byzantine Christianity (i.e. Greek Orthodox as opposed to Latin Catholic) adopted in Constantinople. However, it was not considered part of ordinary Europe until the reign of...

Stay Safe & Healthy in Russia

Stay safe in Russia Largely as a result of the transition from state socialism to market capitalism, Russia experienced an increase in criminal activity in the 1990s. As those who controlled capital through the state had to transform their business activities towards the rationality of free enterprise, profits and fraud...

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