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Tourist Places To Visit In Russia
The erstwhile USSR, Russia is today one of the growing dominant powers of the world. With the bounty of landmass that it possesses, Russia is the world’s largest nations, one that is blessed by sub-tropical beaches as well as high mountains, snow deserts as well as cities with ancient palaces. There are churches and lakes and caves with ice roofs, cities that were muses of poets as well as villages that have stories untold. From Moscow to St. Petersburg, Kazan to Irkutsk to Sochi, Russia is home to so many tourist places to visit. We have described some of the most coveted ones down here.
Moscow is the capital of Russia, and one of the most important cities in this region. With its rich history of ballet theatres, art galleries and symphony orchestrations, the Red Square and Kremlin as well as the statues of Stalin and Lenin, Moscow is a must visit destination. The city has seen a very tumultuous past, from the flag of Bolshevik revolt raised high in early 1900s to the starvation during the blockade of Cold War and the end of Communism. Today you will find yourself steeped in all that history as well as at the mercy of Russian culture - Vodka and breathtaking art. Also do visit Tretyakov Gallery, Pushkin Fine Arts Museum and Tolstoy House Museum.
Also known as Leningrad in the era of Communism, St. Petersburg is one of Russia’s oldest cities. It was founded in 703 by Tsar Peter and was made the imperial capital of his kingdom. The city is perched beside Neva River, which drains in the Baltic Sea, hence cruise ships come and dock here. St. Petersburg is also a very artsy city, what with the Winter Palace (with Hermitage Museum inside), Nevsky Prospekt street, more than 2000 libraries, museums and theatres, as well as galleries, pubs and cafes. The architecture style is bespoke neo-classical and baroque in this city, with churches, fortresses and palaces especially breathtaking during winters. The summer White Nights are very famous here, and celebrated in the form of the Stars of the White Nights Festival.
The Golden Ring is not one distinct city but a collection of several old towns and cities along a route that circles like a ring. The Golden Ring is breath-taking, with its meadows and orchards of oranges and cherries, cottages with idyllic fairytale feel and churches and fortresses that have domes in the shape of onion heads. A road trip down the Golden Ring proves fruitful. You must start in Moscow, and explore the cities of Vladimir, Suzdal, Kostroma, Yaroslavl, Sergiev Posad and others; finally ending your trip in Moscow, hence completing the ring. You will see cathedrals by lakes, traditional Russian homes, the local life as well as a Russia that doesn’t make the cut on popular media.
Kazan is Russia’s version of ‘East-meets-West,’ also adoringly known as the 'Istanbul of Volga.' Here, there is a lovely mix of Islam and Christianity, with minarets rising from in-between solid cathedrals and the Azhan calls blending seamlessly with church bells. The city is rich in its standard of living and attracts tourists from all over, mainly for the Kazan Kremlin, Kul-Sharif Mosque, Temple of All Religions and the beautiful shopping street called Bauman Street.
Irkutsk is the uncrowned capital of Eastern Serbia, another vast region of Asian Russia. It is considered a coveted stop when you take the Trans-Siberian Train from Moscow to the east. Another highlight of Irkutsk is the lovely Lake Baikalonly 45 km away. The city is home to cute wooden houses as well as Soviet block apartments that are as tasteless as that era. Irkutsk also boasts of art galleries, historic buildings and museums, as well as well-maintained theatres. For that reason perhaps its is also referred to as the Paris of Serbia. Do visit the City History Museum, the Geology Museum and the Old Town for its cafes and quaint walks.
Located at the confluence of River Volga and Oka, Nizhny Novgorod is the 5th largest city in Russia. The town, what it is today, began as a fortress back in the 13th Century and kept expanding. It was known as Gorky earlier, after Maxim Gorky. Today the town still holds the old fortified walls, the Archangel Cathedral, many monuments and too many concert halls and museums. Visit Nizhny Novgorod if history and medieval architecture is your thing.
One of the oldest cities of Russia, Vladivostok was founded back in the 10th Century. The city has some very rich history, so much so that it claims to be the birthplace of the country of Russia; because it is believed that the people of this land invited Prince Rurik of Scandinavia to take over and rule Russia. If that be so, then the dynasty owes its roots to this city. Some of the most beautiful sights to enjoy here in Veliky Novgorod include the Bell Tower, Saint Sophia Cathedral, Hanseatic Fountain and Lake Ilmen.
Sochi is a city on the legendary Black Sea and makes for an amazing winter destination for those who are into sports and adventure. You have the option of going skiing, watching Russian Formula 1 Grand prix as well as checking out the beaches when it is nice and warm during summer. The Caucasus Biosphere Reserve is a great place for people who love nature, and there are also quite a few unique northern tea plantations around to keep the tea-lovers occupied.
Yekaterinburg is really an industrial city but the presence of Ural Mountains makes it a very coveted destination when exploring Russia. This place also is a historic landmark as the city where the last king of Russia, Tsar Nicholas was executed with his family after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1918. Here's where the Bolsheviks established the Soviet Union as a Communist state. Yekaterinburg has a very cool culture, with its art galleries, theatres, libraries and the Ural mountains outlining the end of every street. A weekend here will fulfil your appetite for the mountains as well as the art.