Travel to Russia’s Top Cities

May 21, 2014 | Travel

Moscow

When people talk about Russia, the most talked about topics are Vladimir Putin and vodka.

Not a lot of folks realize that the country is in fact a very nice destination for those looking to make the most out of their travel.

If you want to have fun in a rather distinctive setting, away from the usual scenes in Paris, Bali, or New York, take a look at these top five tourist destinations in Russia.

1. Moscow

Moscow is without a doubt the most popular and known Russian city. It is the political, historical, and business center of the country. It also shows the country’s most extreme contrasts.

With over ten million people, it is home to both modern and ancient living. If you are contemplating on visiting, you should never miss the metro from the ornate stations and go to the Red Square, the Kremlin, Lenin’s mausoleum, the KGB museum, and the nine domes of St. Basil’s Cathedral.

Best Places to Go

  • St. Basil’s Cathedral
  • Red Square
  • Moscow Kremlin
  • Tretyakoy Gallery
  • Kolomenskoye Historical and Architectural Museum

Culture in General

Moscow is widely known for its clubs and bars. The city center, especially Rublevka, has a wide collection of luxury establishments to have fun. Go to Tverskaya Street to shop for everything Russian. Furthermore, Moscow is the heart of the nation’s performing arts, especially film and ballet. There are almost a hundred theaters, more than twenty concert halls, and more than a hundred cinemas.

Best Time to Visit

If you’re planning a trip to this iconic Russian city, the best time to do so is in April or May, where the sun starts to shine and temperature is warmer. This is also the time when hotel rates are affordable.

Sochi

2. Sochi

Sochi is a popular tourist destination not only because it currently hosts the 2014 Winter Olympics, but also of the title of being the biggest resort town in the Russian Riviera.

While it hosts the winter Olympics, the city is ironically temperate for majority of the year. The most popular destinations when you go to Sochi are the Arboretum and Riviera Park.

Best Places to Go

  • Agura Waterfalls
  • Hall of Organ and Chamber Music
  • Dendrary Botanical Garden
  • Krasnaya Polyana Mountain Cluster
  • Khostinsky Tisosamshitovaya Grove

Culture in General

Unlike the other tourist destinations on top of our list, Sochi is not that rich in literature or the arts. The city is primarily known for its resorts and mountains for skiing, which make it a very popular destination for skiing enthusiasts.

Best Time to Visit

Summer is the best time to visit this top tourist destination. You can enjoy both the sun and the sea while successfully avoiding the snow.

3. St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg is the second largest city in the nation. It is also unofficially regarded as the heart of the country’s culture. If you’re planning to visit the city, expect magnificent views highlighted by the splendid and remarkable architectural landmarks like the Kazan Cathedral and the Winter Palace.

If you are a fan of the arts, the world famous art collection at Hermitage will inspire you. Cruise through the Neva River delta and find some good quality nightlife, fine dining, and more of the arts.

Best Places to Go

  • Catherine Palace and Park
  • Church of our Savior on Spilled Blood
  • Peterhof State Museum Preserve
  • Naval Cathedral

Culture in General

St. Petersburg is home to the best and richest choral music tradition in this part of the world. The city is also the home of the modern and most recent movements in Russian popular music. But it’s not just about music and the arts. The city also owns a world famous literary tradition.

Best Time to Go

This should be in June, where the famous white nights begin. In these months, the city stays light until early midnight, giving the streets a different kind of atmosphere for having fun.

4. Yekaterinburg

If you’re looking to visit Russia to learn and study, Yekaterinburg should be on your priority list. It’s a great destination for those looking to have fun in theaters, libraries, and museums. There are also quite a few awkward and out of place monuments like that of Michael Jackson. You surely wouldn’t want to miss on the Yekaterinburg Circus building that seats about 2600 people in an intricately designed lace dome.

Best Places to Go

  • Kolyada Theater
  • Rastorguyev Kharitonov’s House
  • Museum of Hardstone Carving and Jewelry History
  • Yekaterinburg War Memorial

Culture in General

The city is famous for its libraries and theaters. There are quite a few popular theatre companies like the Yekaterinburg Academic Ballet and Opera Company, and the Academic Dramatic Theater.

Best Time to Visit

Since the city enjoys a continental climate, the summers are generally mild and warm. Winters on the other hand are quite cold. Therefore, it’s best to visit in June, July, and August.

5. Kazan

If Russian culture is what you’re after, Kazan is a definite stop. The city lies on the banks of the Volga River, where you can see a visual manifestation of architecture which is distinctive and playful. When you get to Kazan, never forget to visit the Temple of All Religions – a world famous cultural center designed and built by Ildar Khanoy.

Best Places to Go

  • Kazan Kremlin
  • Kul Sharif Mosque
  • Saint Peter and Saint Paul Cathedral
  • Leaning Suyumbike Tower

Culture in General

Kazan is probably most famous for the Kazan Kremlin, which is actually a World Heritage Site. One of the best attributes of the city is the fact that Muslims and Christians are living together in peace.

Best Time to Visit

You may want to go there in the months of May, June, July, and August. The average temperature will be a bit cooler. But if you really don’t mind the cold, you can visit even in November and December.

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