Superlatives abound in Russia. It is by far the world’s largest country, covering about double the area of Canada, the world’s second-largest country. It stretches throughout northern Asia and the eastern third of Europe, spanning eleven time zones and encompassing a diverse range of ecosystems and landforms, including deserts, semiarid steppes, deep woods, and Arctic tundra.
The Volga, Europe’s longest river, and Ladoga, Russia’s largest lake, are both located in Russia. Russia is also home to Baikal, the world’s deepest lake, and the world’s coldest temperature outside of the North and South poles. Isn’t Russia just the perfect place to be this holiday season?
Summer (June to August) is the finest time to visit Russia, with its long, beautiful evenings and warm temperatures of 21°C to 25°C. It’s also the best — if not the most popular — season to go to Mongolia via the Trans-Siberian Railway.
The brief yet wonderful spring and autumn seasons provide a fantastic opportunity to see European Russia in peace.
Many people, however, believe that St Petersburg is at its most beautiful in the winter when it is covered with snow. Despite the cold, travel in the winter is still possible if you’re well-prepared — the Trans-Siberian Railway, for example, continues to chug across the ice-bound steppe.
Taking a flight to Moscow is the best and most convenient way to get to Russia from India. The Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi serves all flights to Moscow. The Russian carrier Aeroflot offers a direct trip from Delhi to Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport, which takes about 6 hours on average.
Mountains, valleys, cold areas and warm sands, and an astounding number of wonderful natural locations await any tourist to the world’s largest country. Moscow and St. Petersburg, two of Russia’s oldest cities, retain its imperial splendor, which can be seen not only in their architecture but also in their gorgeous parks, shopping malls, and even metro stations.
Now take a look at some of the best places to visit in Russia. Scroll and know more-
1. Lake Baikal
Lake Baikal is difficult to beat when it comes to breaking records. With a maximum depth of 1,642 meters and an estimated age of 25 million years, this gigantic high-altitude rift lake in Siberia is the world’s oldest and deepest lake. Baikal is also the world’s largest freshwater lake, with about 20% of the world’s fresh water.
In the summer, kayaking, boat trips, and island hopping to find shorelines and beaches are popular activities on Lake Baikal. Visitors can cross-country ski across sections of the lake and visit the frozen Tazheran Steppes caves in the winter when the lake freezes over.
Visitors to Moscow typically begin their explorations in the city’s centre, which includes the Kremlin, Red Square, and the magnificent St. Basil’s Cathedral. The retail mall GUM, with its glass and steel roof, is also a popular destination—even among foreigners who cannot afford the high-end goods on offer—and a fantastic spot to enjoy real Russian cuisine.
Even if museums aren’t your thing, Moscow has some fantastic options, such as the State Tretyakov Gallery (which only exhibits Russian art), the Pushkin Museum (which has more international collections), and the Kremlin Armory Museum (which has items like Ivan the Terrible’s ivory throne and gold-covered imperial carriages).
3. St. Peterburg
Although smaller than Moscow, St. Petersburg has so much to offer that seeing it all in one day is often impossible. St. Petersburg, in comparison to Moscow, has a more European vibe, with beautiful art and excellent design features mingling with history at every turn. You can walk about on foot to appreciate the architecture up close and personal, or take a cruise to see part of the imperial city’s 300 kilometers of canals.
Visit Moika Palace (particularly famous for being the site of Rasputin’s assassination) and the Neoclassical, 19th-century St. Isaac’s Cathedral, which is now a Russian Orthodox Museum, for a beautiful overdose of white and gold colors.
4. The Russian Tundra
The tundra is a one-of-a-kind ecosystem found exclusively around or near the Arctic Circle. Only moss, bushes, and some species of grasses can survive the winter here since the temperatures are too cold for trees to thrive. The tundra is usually associated with permafrost, which means the ground is permanently frozen. Marshes and streams form across the terrain in regions where the top layer of ground melts throughout the summer, resulting in stunning spots of multicolored icy water.
Murmansk, located on the Kola Peninsula, not only has breathtaking tundra vistas, but it’s also a terrific site to go on a Northern Lights trip.
From Russia to China, Kazakhstan, and Mongolia, the Altay Mountains run through Siberia. It is a popular tourist site for both locals and visitors. It was traditionally populated by many ethnic groups active in horse husbandry and forestry. The Altay Mountains are part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site that includes a variety of natural reserves and lakes.
Altay has a lot of unspoiled beauty, with frozen rivers and snowcapped mountains attracting cross-country skiers and other outdoor enthusiasts in the winter, as well as hikers, kayakers, and climbers in the summer.
Sochi is a summer beach resort town on the Black Sea that offers vast lengths of pebble and sand beaches, imposing specimens of Stalinist architecture, the Kinotavr summer film festival, and a plethora of spas and outdoor markets to suit all budgets and preferences. Mzymta, Russia’s longest river, runs through Sochi before emptying into the Black Sea, and it’s a popular rafting destination.
The UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Caucasian State Nature Biosphere Reserve, barely 50 kilometers from Sochi, is home to a number of unique species of flora and animals, including the endangered Persian leopard.
The Peterhof Palace is the city’s claim to fame, despite the fact that it is home to a university and a large Russian watch manufacturing. The palace grounds comprise almost 4000 hectares and were conceived and erected in the early 1700s for Tsar Peter the Great in a style that mimics the Palace of Versailles.
Around the palace, there are 173 garden fountains, some of which, like the Grand Cascade fountains, have special characteristics that activate water jets when visitors approach them. Marble statues, shaded walking lanes, and even an aviary pavilion can be found in the lower gardens, which are created in a French formal style.
8. Olkhon Island
Olkhon is one of the world’s largest lake islands, with high mountains, rich forests, and taiga covering it. The island is located in Eastern Siberia and has a small permanent population made up primarily of local Buryats, a Mongolic indigenous people who see the island as a strong spiritual site.
Visitors come to explore locations like the coastal sand dunes and the abandoned Peschanaya Village and old Soviet labor camp nearby, and tourism has become a growing sector on Olkhon Island.
Strong gusts expose tree roots on the shore, giving them the impression of a standing human.
Russia, the former Soviet Union’s largest and most powerful component, is still an interesting place to visit. From wonderful subtropical beaches to extremely frigid winter regions in the north, it is a land of extremes. Although the east has less people, its beautiful towns are among Russia’s most popular tourist destinations and can compete with the west.
Every step a traveler takes in Russia is steeped in history, from bloody battles to brilliant classical music and literature. Visitors may witness great art practically everywhere they go, not just in museums but even in churches. Indeed, Russia is one of the best places to wash away your pandemic blues!