However, there is more to Russia — this is also a country boasting of glorious civilisations, rich history, culture,music, theatres, art, literature, and beautiful cities like Saint Petersburg, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, and Sochi.
The year 2018 marks a special occasion in Russia’s history with the nation is all set to host the biggest sporting spectacle on the planet — The 2018 FIFA World Cup! This is undoubtedly going to be the best time to explore Russia while enjoying the festive spirit of the football world cup. Check out top destinations that you must visit during the 2018 FIFA World Cup (14 June 2018 to 17 July 2018).
The Russian capital is indeed the incarnation of beauty. Founded in the 12th century, Moscow is a buzzing metropolitan city with a renowned nightlife scene, restaurants, cafes, art and culture galleries, opera theatres, and wonderful architecture.
Places of interest — Kremlin, Saint Basil’s Cathedral, Red Square, Tretyakov Gallery, Bolshoi Theatre, Pushkin Museum.
Saint Petersburg is an embodiment of the best of Russia’s artistic and creative talents. Established as an Imperial capital by Peter I the Great, way back in 1703, Saint Petersburg today stands as a testament to the very best of Russian creative magnificence. From stately palaces to rich museums to opulent theatres; this stunning city is the main tourist destination of Russia.
Places of interest — Hermitage Museum, Saint Isaac’s Cathedral, Church of the Saviour on Blood, Palace Square, Peterhof Palace, Mariinsky Theatre, Pavlovsk Palace.
Kaliningrad, the western most city of Russia, has a typical Baltic look and feel and is sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania. Check out attractions like the Kaliningrad Amber Museum, Brandenburg Gate, Kreuzkirche, Königsberg Cathedral, Fort Friedrichsburg, and Kaliningrad Central Park.
Ekaterinburg is the fourth largest city of Russia located at the foot of the Ural Mountains. The city is one of the leading sport, industries and diplomatic centres in Russia. Visit the Church of All Saints, Rastorguyev-Kharitonov Palace, Historic Square, Ekaterinburg Zoo and Ipatiev House.
Kazan is one of the oldest cities of Russia known for its rich and diverse culture, and renowned for its higher education and sporting centres. Kazan is also a centre of Russian Tartar culture. Visit the Kazan Kremlin, Kaban Lakes, Temple of All Religions, the Qolsarif Mosque, Soyembika Tower, and the National Museum of the Republic Tatarstan.
The Black Sea resort town of Sochi rose to global prominence following the successful conclusion of the 2014 Winter Olympics. Sochi lies on the coast of Black Sea amidst the backdrop of the Caucasus Mountains, earning its nickname “Russian Riviera”. Enjoy plethora of activities like mountain climbing, skiing, hiking, diving, sailing, and para gliding, along with the pulsating World Cup matches.
Volgograd, situated on the banks of River Volga, has emerged as a key centre of shipbuilding, oil refining, steel and aluminium industry. Volgograd is also the hub of ecotourism and boasts of beautiful lakes and over 200 species of birds. See the statue of Mamayev Kurgan (a memorial complex dedicated to the fierce Battle of Stalingrad during WWII, among other attractions.
Rostov-On-Don was founded way back in 1749 and eventually became the home of the freedom-loving and fierce warrior community of Cossacks. Rostov-On-Don has wonderful, scenic beaches, charming parks, delightful cuisines, and is a major cultural and transportation hub of Southern Russia.
Founded as early as 1641, Saransk is the capital of the Republic of Mordovia. This small Russian city boasts of a rich ethnographic diversity and has preserved its culture, language, and customs. The city is also known for its famous ethnographic and folk festivals.
Samara served as the de-facto capital of the USSR during WWII. Today, Samara is one of the most prominent cities of the Volga region and is home to the Russian aerospace industry. In Samara, do visit the 37-meter deep bunker belonging to Joseph Stalin, and other key attractions like the Zhigulevskie Hills, and the Volga River, among others.
Nizhny Novgorod is a charming Russian city that flourished as a key merchant and business city due to its favourable location along the Volga River. The city is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Russia and has a 16th century Kremlin (fort) that has a two-kilometre-long fortified wall with 13 watchtowers. Nizhny Novgorod is also associated with the famous Russian writer Maxim Gorky.