Want to spend time with your significant other or take a breath of fresh air traveling on your own? Heading for a gap year, sabbatical or an escapade of your lifetime? Visiting Russia is best to unwind and see how big the world is. It is neither European, nor Asian, but a luring blend of the two continents. It is huge and diverse, so there are many places to see in Russia, and even more reasons for traveling to Russia.
Discover why travel to Russia, read our brief but insightful list of 21 reasons for visiting Russia.
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It is possible to travel to Russia on shoestring.
Visiting Russia has become substantially cheaper than before. Carriers from all over Europe started flying to Moscow and St. Petersburg, with tickets setting you back between 150$ and 250$ from most of European major transport hubs. Also must be noted that traveling to Russia is cheap and pleasant with short and long-distance car-pooling apps and local buses and trains. Taxi fares, accommodation rates and most of other expenses also compare favorably with those in Europe.
Visiting Russia has also become easier.
One of the principal reasons for visiting Russia is that its jewel, St. Petersburg can be visited much easier than in the past. Since late 2019, citizens of 54 countries that formerly required visas can apply for a free, St-Petersburg only, Russian e-visa. The similar development, but for 18, mostly Asian, nations occurred in Vladivostok. Note that in both cases on-line application must be made within 4-20 days of your traveling to Russia.
One of the reasons for visiting Russia is its architectural heritage.
Russia offers a number of ancient sites, some of them UNESCO-listed. Apart from a host of Orthodox cathedrals and Tsar’s palaces, there are a number of unique ancient sites such as Narin-Kala fortress in UNESCO-protected Derbent, the Uighur-built Por-Bazhin island fortress in Tuva; Kremlin of Kazan, a famous Chingizid burial place, and many more.
Moscow is one of the best places in the world to celebrate life.
Why travel to Russia? One of the most fundamental reasons for visiting Russia is traveling to Moscow. Europe’s second largest city is best to visit May to September, and is worth a visit not only because of its world-renowned Kremlin fortress and Red Square. It is a paradise for your senses. Enjoy its modern art, stunning 21st century architecture, kinetic night life, its old placid Arbat Lanes and a cornucopia of foods from all over the world, with options both for jet-setters and backpackers alike.
Russian is having unique customs & traditions.
Russian people are super-friendly and almost all of them cherish their traditions of hospitality. To see more of traditional Russia, head to the Golden Ring, a belt of cities around Moscow, where ancient monasteries sit right beside wooden huts that seem to have jumped out right from the 17th century. There, it is best to indulge in the traditional Russian pastimes: go to Russian steam-house, eat pelmenis, or go hunting or dog-sledding.
Its delectable food…
Even though one of the main reasons for traveling to Russia is the Russian food, it can offer much more gustatory delights. Former Empire, Russia is one of the best places to try Uzbek, Azerbaijani, Ukrainian, Georgian, Armenian and Kazakh cuisines, literally unknown both in the East and West. Try Uzbek samsa and langman, Georgian khachapuri and lobio, Armenian lavash and khorovatz, Ukrainian borsch, and Azerbaijani kharcho soup to feel as cheerful as a true Russian.
Russian handicrafts, the treasures of Eurasia.
When you travel to Russia, you will no doubt see the treasures of its architecture, and the opulence of its museums’ collections. But not less impressive will be the hand-made objects offered for sale. Hand-worked amber jewelry from former Prussia, traditional Russian woodwork from Palekh, and super-warm shawls from Orenburg are just few of the Russian artisans’ creations.
Russia is home to some of the world’s most high-end foodstuffs and beverages.
If Russia is known for some non-edible luxuries such as fur coats made from karakul, its comestibles are a real treat. One of the best reasons for visiting Russia its black caviar which can cost a fortune in the West. Other dainties include Kamchatka crab and red caviar; salted and dried soft parts of fish known as balyk, reindeer and horse meat, much prized among various nomadic peoples of Russia, birch juice known for its healing qualities, and an ancient Russian spirit Polugar.
Russian museums and ballet is the world’s culture heritage.
Probably one of the main reasons for visiting Russia is its culture. Don’t fail to attend ballet performances in St. Petersburg Mariinskiy Theatre or Moscow Bolshoi Theatre. These two are jointly the Mecca of Ballet. Not less tempting are one of the world’s largest collections of the world’s art in the Hermitage, and that of the Russian art in Russian Museum, both in St. Petersburg. Moscow amazes with its contemporary art “Garage Museum”, and unique galleries and museums of its own.
Eating in Russia is not only yummy but is also a good bargain and fun.
What can be better than going to a luxurious restaurant in the evening? Right, dining out in an opulent setting and not spending a fortune. In Russia eating out is, most often, good bargain, it is also delicious; good value dining outside is one of the most mouth-watering reasons for visiting Russia. Apart from local food, and that of former Soviet Republic, you can find all varieties of vegan, vegetarian, rawist, locavore and molecular food, and treats from almost each and every country. Moscow Arbat Street and St. Petersburg Nevsky Prospekt offer nice places for fine dining.
Visit Vyborg, a piece of Medieval Europe inside Russia.
Located on the Finnish border, just hours from St. Petersburg, Vyborg is the most European city of Russia and one of the prime reasons for traveling to Russia. Former Swedish trading window on Eurasia, the Medieval town has acquired forlorn and dilapidated appearance, but is still impressive. Its fortress, parks, and old town are supplemented with a one-of-its-kind library done out in Finnish Functionalist Style, and other more modern but not less exquisite pieces of architecture. Cafes, hotels, and restaurants are all in abundance.
Sample Russian Traditional Drinks and Spirits.
Russia has a decades-long culture of drinking alcohol beverages. Vodka, the most famous Russian drink is not in its origin. Allegedly, It was started with Russian bread wine Polugar, the little known progenitor of vodka. Other beverages include Sbiten, a honey and spices-based beverage drank in winters to fight off infections and strengthen up health, and kvass, Russians’ favorite. Also must be tried Central Asian shubat, camels’ milk, kumiss mare’s milk, and ayran, a cold salty yogurt; all of them healthy.
One of the best reasons for visiting Russia is the Trans-Siberian Railway.
To take in the diversity of Russian landscape go on a train ride across Russia. Starting in Moscow, you can end your train journey in Vladivostok, just hours from Japan by ferry. Apart from gob-smacking panoramas relished in the warm comfortable interior, you will meet lots of new people and be able to hop off to walk around most of the large towns on the railway. Also can be arranged a trip from Moscow to Beijing with parts of it made on the Trans-Siberian.
Pristine Kamchatka is one-of-its kind Safari Destination.
One of the most rational reasons for visiting Russia is to see a bear. What can be more Russian than a bear. To see real Russian bears go on a safari in Kamchatka. Apart from fishing in bodies of water pullulating with fish, and hunting in the peninsula’s primal forests, you can see bears frisking ashore, while you are speeding through the fresh-water scenic lakes. Also, one of the best things to see in Russia is Kamchatka volcanoes: fly on a helicopter around the volcanoes for utmost view.
Faiths and places of worship that make Russia so diverse….
If Kazan and Chechnya boast some of the world’s most famous mosques, Qul-Sharif Mosque in Kazan and A.Kadyrov Mosque in Grozniy; Russian Buddhist regions offer a host of Buddhist temples, such as Ivolginskiy Datsan and those on Olkhon Island. Christians have churches not only in North and Central Russia but also in Siberia and South Russia, there sites built by Greeks fleeing Turks. So all in all, the three major religions have a solid footing in Russia.
Stunning Baikal Lake.
The world’s largest freshwater lake by volume, Baikal is one of the best places to see in Russia. In winter, you can enjoy ice-fishing, ice-skating, hover-crafting, and skiing in the scenic mountains on its shores; in summer you can delight in swimming, yachting and many more. Throughout year the region’s Buddhist temples; and the beautiful carved wooden architecture in Irkutsk, and Taltsi Culture Reserve will introduce you to the nonpareil mix of the Asian and European cultures on Baikal.
Travel to Tatarstan for Nowrouz to celebrate Spring.
One of the best places to see in Russia is Tatarstan. The republic has UNESCO sites, and hosts many architectural treasures of Russia, such as Kazan Kremlin, Sviyazhsk island-town, and Bulgarian-State Museum reserve. But it is Nowruz festival, that truly conveys the spirit of the republic. Marked as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, Central Asian New Year takes place on the 20th of March, time to enjoy the Tatar food. Also, take part in dancing, sporting and other events held in the republic on Nowruz.
How to Travel to Russia in the heart of Europe? Discover Kaliningrad, former Koenigsberg.
One of the most unusual places to see in Russia is Kaliningrad, and the surrounding Russian enclave. The home town of Immanuel Kant was erased in WW2. Even though there is almost no ancient sites in town, there is plenty to do without. Head to Kurshkaia Duga, one of the most beautiful places to see in Russia. To see Prussian architectural heritage or a popular seaside resort go to Baltiysk, former Pillau. German castles can be found all over the province.
Visit Sakhalin, the magical Russian island in the Pacific.
One of the best places to see in Russia is Sakhalin. The island is one of the world’s largest, and features not only unique flora and fauna but also pieces of architectural and cultural heritage that you won’t normally associate with Russia. One of the principals reasons for visiting Russia and Sakhalin are the island’s Japanese buildings, from the time it was part of Japan, a population of indigenous peoples and a large Korean community, and what is more one of the word’s most beautiful and easternmost light-houses, Aniva Lighthouse, also of Japanese build.
Go surfing and skate-boarding in Kamchatka.
Kamchatka is not only wildlife safari trips and stunning vistas of volcanoes. One of the wildest and most exotic surfing spots on Earth is Khalaktyarskiy Beach on the Kamchatka. While at 5,5 meters, the waves are just what it needs to enjoy them without risking life, other factors such as cold water can put off. To make a right decision, consider that you can snow-board almost down to the surf, on some of the world’s most precipitous slopes, and that no UV will be much of an issue.
St. Petersburg, one of the principal reasons for traveling to Russia.
If Moscow is all about church domes, Eurasian spirit, and meandering lanes, St. Petersburg stands for Europe, cathedral spires, and straight broad avenues. Its architecture and art treasures combine with its youthful vibe and a geo-location on the seaside. One of the best reasons for visiting Russia and St. Petersburg is the city’s myriad of waterways, along which you can take a boat-tour with your itinerary lying along some of the world’s most Instagrammable canals and rivers.
Visiting all of Russia is a truly Herculean task. It is so vast and diverse that even in a year of traveling one can’t take in its gargantuan scale and size. But it is pleasure to visit its most interesting places to see in Russia. Some of the main reasons for visiting Russia is hitting its most famous landmarks and sites, or reaching the least known locales, which quite soon may become mainstream tourist destinations. Whether enjoying life in cosmopolitan and glamorous Moscow, immersing in cultural life in the Westernized and super friendly St. Petersburg, or heading to rough it in Siberia, don’t forget that you are in a country that has an unmatched number of not only cultural heritage sites but also of unique natural environments.