Russia

Even though the USSR collapsed, and so did much of the old, soviet-era lifestyle, Russia emerged again to be a significant world power, especially under the Putin-Medvedev power duo. The largest country globally, Russia has always been strengthened and saved precisely by that—its sheer size (and terrible winter cold!!) made it impossible for Napoleon and Hitler to conquer it. But putting aside politics, Russia has changed very much since the fall of communism and the resultant fallout, giving it a boost towards modernization, at times surpassing some major Western European countries. While some clichés remain, like boozing vodka and the inevitable below-zero frigid cold of the winter, Russia is a rather beautiful country of imposing mountain ranges, like the Urals, and massive lakes, Pykal being the deepest on Earth. To the Far East is famed Siberia and the rugged tundra, and other is Kamchatka mirroring the great Alaskan outdoors and wildlife.

 

POPULAR DESTINATIONS

 

Moscow

The capital and Russia's largest city, Moscow is more like a significant Western European city, but with a uniquely Russian style of traffic jams, rumbling, and a relatively cosmopolitan air, all surrounded by its famed golden-domed temples, amazing public parks, like Gorky and Tsaritsyno Parks; and significant landmarks like the Kremlin and hundreds of Soviet-era buildings, the most visited being Red Square and Lenin's Mausoleum. The Bolshoi Theatre and the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts are also major attractions. The city has undergone significant changes from its communist past. Now, nowhere is this more reflected, though, than Tverskaya Street, Moscow's most fashionable lane packed with shops, cafes, fine restaurants, and stylish boutiques where anyone can indulge his/her fancies.

 

St. Petersburg

Built by Peter the Great in the early 18th century, this city was meant to be Russia's entrance port into European waters and rival to the flashy and rather outlandish displays of its major Western counterparts, London and Paris. And in so doing, Peter not only built a modern city in its time but one that is marked by greatness and history. The town has much cultural and historical importance as evinced in its many sights, like the magnificent Hermitage, once the Tsar's Winter Palace stormed by the Bolsheviks during the Revolution of 1917, now one of the world's most renowned museums, even surpassing the Louvre some dare say. Other significant landmarks attesting to the greatness of this city is the imposing Bolsheokhtinsky Bridge; the impressive and colorful Church of the Saviour on Blood; the eclectic Singer House; and the city's (and perhaps Russia's) most excellent avenue, the Nevsky Prospect, lined with elegant rococo buildings, palaces, shops, fine restaurants, and other significant landmarks like Stroganov Palace (don't forget to try the dish!) and the colossal Kazan Cathedral.

 

Krasnodar Territory

This fantastic territory is a paradise on Earth! And the most popular destination, of course, is Sochi. "It has it all: lovely beach, gorgeous view of the Caucasian mountains, cheap and great local food, with a lot of resort options.   

 

BEST THINGS TO DO IN RUSSIA

 

St Basil's Cathedral

 It is an Orthodox church in Red Square of Moscow and Russia's most famous cultural figures. The structure, now a museum, is formally known as the Cathedral of the Most Holy Theotokos' Intercession on the Moat, or Pokrovsky Cathedral. St Basil's Cathedral was built in the 16th century by order of Ivan the Terrible. Since then, it has fascinated travelers coming to Moscow. Some found it fantastic; its unusual beauty entranced others. It rises above Moscow's Red Square and enthralls our collective imagination of Russia, perhaps a "colorful toy resting in the palm of this cobblestone field" or a majestic icon of glory and power.  

 

Moscow Kremlin

The Kremlin is one of the enormous active fortifications in Europe. Once you get behind the 2,235 meter-long kremlin walls, five squares are to walk around, several buildings to explore, 20 towers to discover the names of, and the world's biggest bell and cannon to admire.

 

Lenin's Mausoleum

It is also known as Lenin's Tomb, situated on Red Square in Moscow's center, a monument that serves as the resting place of Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin. First opened to the public in August 1924, the Mausoleum attracts around 2.5 million visitors every year, who don't mind holding in line and going by an absolute body search to get into the famous building.

 

Red Square

The heart of Russia's capital, Red Square, is the largest and most famous square in Russia. The place is surrounded by beautiful architecture with unforgettable sites such as the Kremlin, St. Basil's Cathedral, Lenin's Mausoleum, and other celebrated attractions.

 

State Hermitage Museum

The Hermitage in St. Petersburg is the second-largest art museum in the world after the Louvre, and it's home to a selection of over three million items. It holds impressive Russian art collections, an Egyptian antiquity collection, and the most extensive collection of paintings.

 

Palace Square

St. Petersburg's central city square is a large open public space right in front of the Winter Palace. It is used for marches and demonstrations, from military ceremonies to celebrate Victory Day (which marks the end of WWII) to New Year's Eve celebrations.

 

Vasilyevsky Island

It is a beautiful and small island n St. Petersburg, home to some landmarks and lovely parks.