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Embark on a journey through Russia's rich history, majestic landscapes, and vibrant culture. Plan your dream Russian adventure on Travel Notes.

About Russia

From the bustling cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg to its beautiful countryside and wilderness areas, Russia is a vast and diverse country with much to explore.

Russia's vast and diverse attractions provide an unique travel experience for those interested in history, culture, and nature.

Countries neighbouring Russia: Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, China, North Korea and Alaska, USA; across the Bering Straight.

Russia Travel Pics

Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul Hermitage Staircase Soviet Railway Emblem Saint Petersburg, Russia From Russia With Love

Travel Map Mapping Russia

Map of Russia

Map of Russia

Russia, or the Russian Federation as it's officially known, is by far the largest country in the world - covering more than one ninth of the Earth's land area.

Russia's history, culture, and vast landscapes make it a fascinating and diverse country.

From the historic cities to the natural wonders, there's much to explore and appreciate in Russia.

Russia Overview

Russia is the largest country in the world, spanning Eastern Europe and northern Asia.

Russia has maritime borders with Japan to the east and is surrounded by various seas and oceans, including the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Pacific Ocean to the east, and the Black Sea and Caspian Sea to the south.

Capital and Major Cities

The capital of the Russian Federation is Moscow.

Other major cities include Saint Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg, and Kazan.

Culture

Russian culture has made significant contributions to literature, music, ballet, and visual arts.

Famous Russian authors include Leo Tolstoy and Fyodor Dostoevsky.

Russian classical music, particularly by composers like Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff, is renowned worldwide.

Economy

Russia has a mixed economy, with significant natural resources, including oil and natural gas.

Industries include aerospace, defense, agriculture, and technology.

Geography

Russia is known for its vast and diverse geography, including tundra, forests, mountains, and plains; with the Ural Mountains dividing European Russia from Asian Russia.

The country has the world's largest freshwater lake, Lake Baikal, and is home to extensive natural resources.

Hermitage Museum

Located in Saint Petersburg, the Hermitage Museum is one of the largest and oldest museums in the world, housing a vast collection of art and cultural artifacts.

History

Russia has a rich and complex history that spans centuries.

It was formerly the core of the Russian Empire and later the Soviet Union.

Notable historical figures include rulers like Ivan the Terrible, Peter the Great, and Catherine the Great.

Language

The official language is Russian.

Politics

Russia is a federal semi-presidential republic. The President is the head of state, and the Prime Minister is the head of government.

The political system has been characterised by a strong presidency, and Vladimir Putin has been a dominant political figure since the early 2000s.

Population

Russia is the most populous country in Europe and the ninth most populous in the world, with a population of over 145 million people.

Religion

The predominant religion is Russian Orthodoxy.

Other religions, including Islam, Buddhism, and Judaism, are also practiced.

Space Exploration

Russia has a rich history in space exploration.

The country launched the first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1, in 1957, and Yuri Gagarin became the first human in space in 1961.

Trans-Siberian Railway

A popular route with tourists, the Trans-Siberian Railway is one of the longest railway lines in the world; connecting Moscow with Vladivostok, in the Russian Far East.

Visiting Russia

Russia has a rich cultural heritage and diverse natural landscapes, making it an intriguing destination for travellers.

However, recent geopolitical events have significantly impacted travel and tourism in the country.

Before planning a visit to Russia, be sure to check travel advisories and visa requirements.

Russia Highlights

Golden Ring

Experience the historic towns of the Golden Ring, such as Suzdal, Yaroslavl, and Sergiev Posad.

These picturesque towns are known for their well-preserved architecture, ancient churches, and traditional crafts.

Kazan

Explore Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan, known for its blend of Russian and Islamic cultures.

Visit the Kazan Kremlin, an UNESCO World Heritage Site, and see the Kul Sharif Mosque.

Lake Baikal

Visit Lake Baikal, the world's deepest and oldest freshwater lake, located in Siberia.

Explore the charming town of Listvyanka, go hiking along the lake's shores, and take a ferry to Olkhon Island for stunning views.

Moscow

Many visits to Russia start in the capital city of Moscow.

Explore the iconic Red Square; home to the Kremlin, St. Basil's Cathedral, and the State Historical Museum.

Don't miss the opportunity to visit the Bolshoi Theatre and take a stroll through Gorky Park.

Russian Cuisine

Try traditional Russian cuisine, including borscht (beet soup), pelmeni (dumplings), blini (pancakes), and various types of caviar.

Don't forget to taste Russian vodka and explore local markets.

Saint Petersburg

Known as the 'Venice of the North', Saint Petersburg is a city of grand architecture and cultural treasures.

Visit the State Hermitage Museum, the Winter Palace, the Peter and Paul Fortress, and the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood.

Take a boat cruise along the Neva River to appreciate the city's beauty.

Sochi

If you're interested in a more sub-tropical experience, visit Sochi on the Black Sea coast.

Known for its beaches and hosting the 2014 Winter Olympics, Sochi offers an unique combination of sea and mountains.

Transbaikal and Kamchatka

For those seeking adventure, consider exploring the wild landscapes of Transbaikal and Kamchatka.

These regions offer opportunities for hiking, wildlife spotting, and experiencing Russia's natural beauty.

Trans-Siberian Railway

Embark on a journey along the Trans-Siberian Railway; one of the world's longest train routes.

This epic train journey offers a unique opportunity to witness the vastness of Russia's landscapes, from the Ural Mountains to the Siberian taiga.

Veliky Novgorod

Explore Veliky Novgorod, one of the oldest and most important cities in Russia.

Visit the St. Sophia Cathedral, the Novgorod Kremlin, and the Yaroslav's Court.

Moscow

Map of Moscow

Map of Moscow

Opening Up

On Arbatskaya, the main pedestrian street in Moscow, the red flag was a tourist commodity worthy of currency, along with other Lenin memorabilia and former soviet uniforms, Russian dolls, tin-badges and revolution-era cameras.

Turn back the clock with this original work of Soviet Memorabilia.
Turn back the clock with this piece of Soviet Memorabilia.

This original Soviet clock can only be purchased in the Sovietski Store.

From Russia With Love:
The thawing of attitude saw people of St. Petersburg and Moscow take to the streets; Lenin statues fell and individual traders sprouted up like new shoots in the spring.

Embassies in Moscow

British Embassy in Moscow:
Smolenskaya Naberezhnaya 10, 121099 Moscow, Russia.

Where to Stay in Moscow

Hotels in Moscow.

Russia Tourism

Federal Agency for Tourism

The Federal Agency for Tourism (Rostourism) was a federal executive body of the Russian Federation, created by Presidential Decree No. 1453 of November 18, 2004 and dissolved on October 20, 2022. Its functions were reportedly delegated to the Ministry of Economic Development.

Inbound Tourism

Founded in 1929, Intourist remains the leading company in the inbound tourism market in Russia.

International Russian Travel Market

Held in Moscow each year, OTDYKH Travel Market is Russia's leading travel and tourism event.

Since 1995 OTDYKH is the must attend event for travel professionals interested in Russia.

Held in September, before it gets too cold in Moscow, the offers the best time and place to negotiate with Russian partners about winter programmes and pre-sell summer packages.

Ministry of Culture

The Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation is the federal executive body which deals with culture and arts issues.

Russian Convention Bureau

The Russian Federation offers a huge range of opportunities for business and cultural events organisation.

The Russian Convention Bureau was established in November 2017 with the support of the Government of the Russian Federation for the effective development of the country's event industry, integration into the global meeting industry

Russian National Tourist Office

Based in New York, the Russian National Group represents the Russian National Tourist Office and Russian Association of Travel Agencies in the United States.

As such, RNG provides a full range of travel and travel related services through professional and reliable ground operators in Mother Russia.

Visit Russia

The Visit Russia website is run by a private travel company, Optima travel, headquartered in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

For those interested in actually visiting Russia, suggested tours are then promoted on their Russia Tours website.

The Trans-Siberian Handbook:
The must-have guide for travellers contemplating travelling overland through Russia by train.

Russian Visas

Getting a Russian Visa

All foreign nationals are required to have an entry visa to visit the Russian Federation.

At a Meeting of the State Council Presidium on Tourism Development on September 6th, 2022, where development of the national tourism industry in current conditions was discussed, Russian President Vladimir Putin again toyed with the idea that visa-free travel to Russia be looked into.

The Embassy of the Russian Federation to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is located at 6/7 Kensington Palace Gardens, London. The Residence of the Ambassador is at number 13 and the Consular Section at 5 Kensington Palace Gardens.

The Russian Visa Application Center in London is located at Suite 203 – 205, Second floor, Davina House, 137-149 Goswell Road.

Some foreign nationals may be able to schedule an appointment online, depending on where they live.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Consular department may or may not be issuing unified e-visas.

Visa House has been working in the field of Russian visas since 1993.

Russia in Transit

If you are transiting through Moscow Sheremetyevo airport, you may also purchase a visa at the airport, to visit Red Square and The Kremlim while you wait for your connecting flight. And believe me, there can be some very long waits.

If you're staying in Russia for more than 3 days, you'll need to register your visa through your hotel or sponsor.

For those travelling to a number of Russian cities, all points of entry and all itinerary stops in Russia need to be printed on the visa.

It's also a good idea to make photocopies of your passport and visa and carry them with you at all times.

Travel Advice to Russia

The British Government's travel advice for British citizens planning a visit to Russia.

Russian Customs Regulations

You need to fill out a customs declaration upon arrival in Russia with the amount of currency brought into the country declared and all valuable items listed (including your mobile phone).

Make sure that the declaration is officially stamped by customs officers on entry, to prevent difficulties in taking currency and valuables out.

Russian Consulates:
Listings of Russian Consulates around the world.

Russian Phrasebook:
You're in Russia. Chances are you'll have to stand in line at least once. With this book in hand, this potentially dreary experience could become a social event. Talk politics, meet the love of your life or simply ask where the toilets are.

Russia Today:
English-language news channel based in Moscow.

Russian Visa Guide:
It is possible to arrange your own Russian visa. In practice, however, most travellers choose to hire a professional visa travel agency to do the groundwork. For an extra $30-$70, agencies will prepare, proof-read, and submit your paperwork to a consulate on your behalf and mail your passport along with Russian visa back.

St. Petersburg

Russian Folk Show

Enjoy an exotic Russian folk show in the former Ballroom of the Nikolayevsky Palace. Featuring the best folk companies in St. Petersburg with delicious Russian appetisers served in the intermission.

The State Hermitage Museum occupies six magnificent buildings situated along the embankment of the River Neva, right in the heart of St. Petersburg.

The Hermitage collections of works of art (over 3,000,000 items) present the development of the world culture and art from the Stone Age to the 20th century.

One of the largest and oldest museums in the world, the State Hermitage in Saint Petersburg was founded by Catherine the Great, in 1764, and has been open to the public since 1852.

Although badly damaged by fire in 1837, the original plans from architect Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli were used for the reconstruction of this grand state entrance.

The Jordan Staircase of the Winter Palace leads up to the exhibition rooms.

Pulkovo/Rossiya

Passengers travelling through St. Petersburg, on Rossiya flights, get a free hotel stay if their connecting flight is the following day or they have more than a six hour wait.

Pulkovo Airport has two air terminals: Pulkovo-1 for domestic and charter flights; and Pulkovo-2 for international flights.

Park Inn Pulkovskaya Hotel:
The hotel is situated close to the Moskovskaya metro station, in one of the most beautiful St. Petersburg districts. Only 10 minutes, free shuttles can also whisk you into the city within 20 minutes. The hotel is especially convenient for guests planning to visit the famous royal estates: Peterhof, Pushkin, Pavlovsk and the residence of the Russian President - Constantinovsky Palace.

Rossiya Airlines:
The regional airline of St Petersburg operates charter flights to some 86 cities abroad and 35 cities within Russia.

Tit For Tat Diplomacy

The British Consulate in St Petersburg was shut down by Russia on 17th March, 2018; in retaliation for Britain's expulsion of Russian diplomats, after a nerve agent attack in Salisbury, suspected to have been curried out under Russian orders.

Russia and the UK:
News relating to the special relationship between Russia and the United Kingdom.

Where to Stay in St Petersburg

Hotels in St Petersburg.

The Republic of Karelia

Known as 'the country of lakes' Karelia is located along Russia's border with Finland.

Petrozavodsk, the capital city of Karelia, can be reached by overnight train from Saint Petersburg; leaving around 10pm and arriving in Petrozavodsk around 7am.

Karelia Tourism

The Tourist Information Centre of Karelia is located at Kuibysheva Street 5, in Petrozavodsk.

Hotels in Petrozavodsk.

Around Karelia

The Republic of Karelia consists of 16 metropolitan regions and two urban districts, with 808 inhabited localities.

Belomorsky, Kalevalsky, Kemsky, Kondopozhsky, Kostomuksha, Lahdenpohsky, Louhsky, Medvezhegorsky, Muezersky, Olonetsky, Petrozavodsk, Pitkyarantsky, Prionezhsky, Pryazhinsky, Pudozhsky, Segezhsky, Sortavala, Suojarvsky.

The Urals

The Ural Mountains are stuffed with gems and precious stones.

You can buy fantastic handmade jewellery and souvenirs in Ekaterinberg: malachite, garnet, turquoise and jasper made into colourful, sparkling rings, necklaces, key chains and jewellery boxes.

Ekaterinberg

Founded in 1723 by Tzar Peter the Great (and named after his wife, Catherine), Ekaterinburg (Yekaterinburg) is the third largest Russian city, administrative centre of Sverdlovsk oblast and the capital of the Urals.

The city witnessed the death of monarchy in Russia, as it was in Ekaterinburg that the last Russian tsar, Nicholas II and his family was assassinated; in Ipatiev house by the Bolsheviks on July 16, 1918.

When Josef Stalin ruled the Soviet Union, Ekaterinburg became the largest passing point for the so called political criminals, who were sent to develop the lands of Siberia and the Far East; the inhuman work was another name for a death sentence.

There are many outstanding historical monuments in the area. Maybe take a one-day tour to Verkhoturje - a truly amazing village not far from Ekaterinburg, where you can see the most beautiful churches in Russia and listen to stunning legends about the famous ancient monastery.

Ural Airlines:
Located at Sputnikov str., 6 in Ekaterinburg.
Tel: +7 /3432/ 242-850, 266-789
Fax: +7 /3432/ 266-416
Information phone +7 /3432/ 268-845.

Russian Tours

Driving Across Siberia - Vladivostok to Moscow

The 10,000 kilometre road journey is probably best taken from west to east, as the most arduous part of the journey is undertaken first and the vehicle's resale value is higher in Moscow.

Belgorod

Visit Belgorod - the Golden Gate of Southern Russia - to find old Orthodox cathedrals, cloisters, and buildings that witnessed the steps of Peter the Great and other Russian historical figures. View the unique Russian landscapes and memorials commemorating historical events from the ancient ages to the biggest tank battle that took place near the village of Prokhorovka, in 1943.

Discover the wonders of Lake Baikal in the Republic of Buryatia, on the Russian-Mongolian border.

Cruising To Russia

Cruising The Baltics:
Enjoy a cruise of Russia, the Baltic States and Scandinavia.

Russia Travel Guides

Lonely Planet Russia (Travel Guide) Killer in The Kremlin

Russia Travel Guides - Russia Maps.

Weather in Europe:
Local weather forecasts for destinations around Europe.

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