Monday, January 24, 2022

Things To Do in Russia

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  • 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 addition, the state supports folklore ensembles in small towns or even villages, and gatherings of singing babushkas are still a well-established tradition in many regions. In regions traditionally inhabited by non-Russian ethnic groups, one can encounter ethnic music of all possible sounds, such as throat singing in Tuva or the rare instruments of Chukotka [www]. Sometimes only specialists can distinguish between the Cossack songs of the Urals and those of Krasnodar. Professional jazz musicians meet at the Jazz over Volga festival in Yaroslavl. If you stroll down the main street on a Sunday, you are sure to hear guitar, saxophone, harmonium or flute in every town.
  • The Victory Day military parade, celebrated on 9 May, is usually a Russian holiday. The city squares fill with men in uniform and military vehicles from the Great Patriotic War and World War II. The Day of the Defender of the Fatherland is a holiday when women congratulate their husbands and colleagues in the family or at work. It takes place on 23 February, just a few weeks before men give back to women on International Women’s Day, 8 March.
  • Dancing. Russian classical ballet is known all over the world and some national troupes exist even in such remote regions as Dagestan or Yakutia. The two most famous ballet companies in Russia, both among the best in the world, are the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow and the Mariinsky Ballet in St. Petersburg. The Lezginka is a very lively folk dance that is always performed at major Caucasian events. If you are interested in the folk style, attending a live concert by the Igor Moiseyev Ensemble is simply a must. Outside the big cities, you can easily find Irish dance, belly dance and ballroom clubs, not to mention hip-hop and all the rest.
  • Film Festivals. The most important film event in Russia is the Moscow International Film Festival, which takes place for 10 days at the end of June and welcomes leading stars from all over the world. Also of interest to film lovers are Kinotavr in Sochi, the Moscow Latin American Festival and the Zerkalo International Film Festival in Ivanovo, named after Andrei Tarkovsky.

Outdoor life

The association with Russia and its two largest metropolises, Moscow and St. Petersburg, is strongly embedded in the minds of tourists, but due to its vast expanse and low population density, Russia is also a paradise for nature lovers. Russia has a network of outstanding natural areas, including 35 national parks and 100 nature reserves (zapovednik), which together cover a larger area than Germany. You can find the list of Russian nature reserves (in Russian) here

Some Russian nature reserves on the internet:

If your papers are in order, you can visit these areas on your own. For those who want a guided tour, there are travel agencies that specialise in ecotourism in Russia, such as

How To Travel To Russia

By planeMoscow 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 trainDue 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

VisaCitizens 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...

Destinations in Russia

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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 attractionsRussia's history is the first reason tourists come...

Food & Drinks in Russia

Food in RussiaThe 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 RussiaThroughout 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 holidaysNew Year holidaysIn 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

TelephonesThe 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.GesturesIn 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 cuisineThere 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 powerRussian 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 RussiaLargely 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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