Russia is a vast and diverse destination with a remarkable history, stunning architecture and cosmopolitan cities. Moscow, home to Red Square & the Kremlin and St Petersburg, with the famous Hermitage, are top cities for long weekends and worth combining for a week long holiday too.
If you're keen to venture off the beaten track, Yekaterinburg, home of the Romonovs, is a real highlight and we recommend travelling there on the Trans-Siberian railway from Moscow, an experience in itself.
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Despite being the biggest country in the world, most people centre their travel in Moscow to the western areas which include the capital Moscow, popular St Petersburg, Karelia and the picturesque Golden Ring. However there is still a lot of merit travelling east where you’ll be met with marvellous cities like Ekateringburg, the Ural mountains, Lake Baikal and journey’s end – Vladivostock! See below some of our favourite places in Russia to help inspire your holiday!
Russia isn’t just St Petersburg and Moscow – but north east of the capital lies the enchanting region called the Golden Ring. So called for its wealth of architectural and artistic riches – it is a collection of historical towns and cities. This area is where ancient Russia developed and the horizon is marked with the golden spires and onion domes of colourful monasteries with bells ringing out from towering belfries, making it one of Russia’s most enchanting destinations.
See more of the real Russia with so many interesting and unique things to do - here's a few lesser known things to do on your holiday to Russia.
Metro’s the world over can be very similar – but not the Moscow Metro. Opened in 1935 it is one of the most elaborate metro systems with every station and even some of the trains beautifully decorated with classic artwork and ornate stained glass. It’s like going on a journey through an art gallery rather than just a transport system!
The simple Russian banya (sauna) is a perfect escape from the extravagance of Moscow and is an age old tradition in Russia that isn’t going away any time soon. In a tranquil location by a lake you can indulge in a beautiful BBQ lunch, with a little too much vodka before unwinding in the banya, learn the art of dried birch beating (they call it massaging!) each other and feel recharged and ready for your next stop of your Russian experience!
Located beneath the iconic 'To the Conquerors of Space' titanium sculpture shaped like a rocket taking off, the incredible Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics in Moscow is packed with over 3,500 exhibits. Sit inside Space Station Mir, marvel at the capsule that took Yuri Gagarin into space, play with fun gadgetry and even sample astronaut food!
Often labelled the 'Venice of the North', the city of St. Petersburg is situated across 42 islands separated by some 90 different rivers, Neva's arms and channels. Discover a completely different view of the city from these waterways with a cruise along the main canals passing lots of picturesque landmarks along the way.
During the Cold War, this gulag in Novgorod held many of the Soviet Union’s most vocal opponents. Closed down in 1987, this camp was due to be destroyed like all others but a group of historians, human rights activists and former inmates managed to save it and it opened to the public in 1996 as the Memorial Centre for the History of Political Repressions.
There aren’t many places where you can stand on either side of the border of a continent! A country border maybe, or even the equator – but a continent? Well you can in Yekateringburg! The border with Europe and Asia cuts right through the city and it is fun to place on leg either side and get that famous photo shot!
For all our tours and tailor-made holidays we provide you with a clear categorisation of all hotels we use. The REGIONAL CATEGORY indicates the local rating of each hotel in each respective country. We have also rated each hotel using OUR CATEGORY, which will be in line with generally accepted western hotel grading standards.
Basic hotels and simple accommodation is a no frills option with an adventurous authentic feel.
Standard accommodation equates to a Western 3-star standard, always featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant.
Superior accommodation equates to a Western 4-star standard, featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant and often a swimming pool and/or a fitness centre.
Deluxe accommodation equates to a Western 5-star standard, usually featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, excellent service and customer care.
Lavish accommodation equates to a Western 5-star plus standard - the creme de la creme. Featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, this accommodation is a cut above the rest. Sheer opulence!
From the Ural mountains in the west to the great Lena River in the east, the sheer size of Siberia is difficult to comprehend yet the region offers much for the intrepid traveller. Stunning landscapes of endless forests, grassy meadows, pretty rivers and crystal clear lakes offer a wealth of activities either in the depths of winter or the height of summer – visitors will always find something to keep them entertained.