It’s time you plan your holiday to Russia by choosing from the specially designed Russia tour packages
. Russia is one of the most incredibly diverse countries in the world, with almost unmatched treasures of culture, history and landscapes. From the onion-domed fairy-tale spires of Moscow and St. Petersburg to the serene Ural Mountains towards the west and the warm and glittering beaches of Sochi in the south-west, Russia is full of surprises. The nation boasts 28 World Heritage Sites of which seventeen properties are cultural, and eleven are natural. While one trip to Russia isn’t enough to cover all highlights, still some of the best attractions can be covered on your single Russia trip
Below are some of the best highlights of the largest country in the world.
World-Renowned Art and Architecture
When it comes to arts, Russia has always occupied a prominent spot in the world scene. Russia has so much creative art on display that it even graces Moscow’s historic Metro system. The country’s architecture is colourful, intricate and monumental, unlike anywhere else. A signature Russian architecture is most prominent in St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow, which showcases perfect examples of ‘onion domes’.
Discover the beautiful Moscow Metro Stations:
Never before has a subway system been more appealing than the beautifully done Metro stations in Moscow. Inaugurated in 1935, the design and artworks within the stations pay homage to Russia’s diverse artistic, architectural and literary legacy as well as depicts historical milestones of the Soviet Union. Every station contains a unique design lined with marble and decorated with chandeliers, intricate mosaic artworks, statues and gilded trimmings. Mayakovskaya Station looks like a ballroom, Kamsomolskaya Station is known for its yellow ceiling, Novoslobodskaya Station has the most colourful stained glass decorations and many more such stations. No wonder, Moscow’s metro stations are not merely ornate, but they are an underground art gallery. An entire day can be spent on station hopping and admiring the beauty and opulence. The metro is the easiest, quickest and cheapest ways of getting around Moscow.
Check out the museums:
Nearly every city in Russia houses at least one art museum. The collections of art in the St. Petersburg Hermitage Museum is so vast that it can occupy you for days. At the Moscow Museum of Modern Art, you can witness the most extensive collection of modern and contemporary Russian art in the country. In central Moscow, The Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts exhibits some of the most comprehensive collection of Russian and foreign art from ancient and modern times. These museums are often included in almost all Russia tour packages from India
Admire regal art at Catherine Palace at St. Petersburg:
Catherine Palace has its origins in 1717 when Queen Catherine I of Russia hired a German architect to build her a summer palace. It later became the summer residence of the Russian tsars. Also a World Heritage Site, the Palace is a must-visit artistic wonder in St. Petersburg. A remarkable edifice in ornate Baroque style with brilliant blue and white painted facade and gilded in gold. The interiors of the Catherine Palace are richly decorated with a variety of trims and unique furnishings.
Russia is a nature’s playground for lovers of nature. The country is home to Earth's most massive forest cover and has spectacular and diverse nature reserves. When in Russia, you can treat your eyes to some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world, from ancient mountain ranges to vast lakes, from remote, rugged wilderness to picturesque countryside.
Take a trip to Lake Baikal:
Located in Siberia and one of Russia’s most famous natural wonders, Lake Baikal is the deepest, the oldest and the largest source of freshwater in the world. Baikal dates back 25 million years and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In summer, you can encounter freshwater seals or enjoy fishing here. During the winter, the lake turns into a large ice rink where you can try your hand at ice skating, skiing and other winter sports.
Visit the Valley of Geysers:
Included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Valley of Geysers is one of the world's largest geyser fields. It is located inside the Kronotsky State Biosphere Reserve on the Kamchatka Peninsula on the far eastern part of Russia. A large concentration of steaming-hot geysers and springs are spread over an area of the eight-km squared canyon.
Climb the Altai Mountains:
Amazing by its diversity and beauty, the Altai Mountains (‘Altai’ comes from Mongolian ‘Altan’ which translates to ‘golden’) is the highest mountains in the Siberian ridges, separated by deep river valleys and large hollows. Altai has an abundance of caves, ancient sites, untouched national parks and tranquillity. The Katunsky Biosphere Reserve and Altai National Reserve together form the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Golden Mountains of Altai. The ecoregion in Altai covers a vast area where Russia, Mongolia, China and Kazakhstan meet. One can enjoy activities from road trips to rafting, mountain hiking to walks, and plenty of Instagram-worthy photographs. No wonder, thousands of tourists visit this place every year.
A geographically vast country, stretching from Europe to the Far East, Russia is home to some unique adventures. If you like being outdoors, then think beyond Moscow and St. Petersburg and go off-the-beaten-track and visit some incredible places that host the perfect experience for you.
Enjoy a scenic ride on Trans Siberian Railway:
Embark on an adventurous journey on the Trans-Siberian Railway. It is the world’s longest and most famous train ride. On this ride, you will travel from one side of Russia to the other gliding through epic changing landscapes, cultures and people of Russia. The Trans-Siberian train journey starts in Moscow to the eastern terminus Vladivostok and spans seven time zones. Do add this activity in the itinerary of your Russia tour packages
for an ultimate experience.
Stay with the nomadic reindeer herders of the Arctic:
Travel to Siberia’s remote Yamal Peninsula; quite literally ‘the end of the world’. This region has been home to the indigenous nomadic reindeer herders - ‘Nenets’ for centuries. Each year, the Nenets herd reindeer from summer to winter pastures across the Arctic Tundra. Visitors can get a first-hand glimpse at how these nomads travel with groups of thousands of reindeer to the grazing grounds. It is probably an eye-opening experience and one of the most off-beat adventures anywhere.
Search for the Russian tigers in the wild:
Russian Far East forests in Siberia is home to Amur (Siberian) Tigers. These predators are 10 ft long, larger and heavier than their Asian counterparts. You can adventure through Russia’s renowned wildlife reserves, Durminskoye, Sikhote Alyn and Lazovsky and Zov Tigra National Park in search of these wild beasts. Late winter is the best time to spot tigers as the tracks are more visible in the snow.
Cruise the Volga River:
The Volga River cruise gives you a unique opportunity to explore the Russian countryside and the treasure trove of the nation's grandest cities. As you sail through Europe’s longest river, admire the vibrancy of Moscow, the old world charm of Yaroslavl and explore Russian village life in Kostroma and Uglich. Visit Nizhny Novgorod, a picturesque old centre of the Volga region, and the historical cities of Kazan and Astrakhan. Practically, you will be cruising the whole length of the Volga River.
Fascinating cultural heritage
Russia is a rich blend of diverse and fascinating culture, spanning centuries of history, and encompassing art, food, traditions, literature, and more. The country can be a culturally rewarding destination because there is so much to absorb and appreciate.
Watch a Russian ballet show:
Although ballet came to Russia from France during the 1700s, Russia is the country that brought this dance form to its prime popularity. They say Russian ballet schools are the best in the world. If you have some time, for sure, make time during your Russia trip
for a ballet experience. Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre and Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg are internationally renowned for its impressive ballet troupe and great performances.
Look for the Russian Dolls:
Nesting dolls of Russia or matryoshka dolls, are painted to depict smiling women in lace shawls. The dolls are popular souvenirs for travellers to Russia. Russian dolls are also painted on the themes of Russian culture like scenes from Russian fairy tales or images of Orthodox Cathedrals.
Witness ethnic culture at the open-air museum of Kizhi:
Kizhi Island, located in the northern region of Russia on Lake Onega, is one of the first open-air museums in the country. The island is home to an endless number of artefacts from the indigenous people of Karelia region. The historical site dates back to the 17th century. Its collections include architectural monuments. The most famous among them is the Kizhi Pogost, a 121 feet tall wooden masterpiece built using no nails, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. At Kizhi, you can learn about traditional local crafts, such as boat building, toy making and embroidering. Ferries can be taken from the city of Petrozavodsk (capital of Karelia), which is five hours train journey from St. Petersburg, to Kizhi Island.
Taste Russian cuisine:
Besides vodka and caviar, Russian cuisine is more varied and flavourful. The culinary landscape here is strongly influenced by a combination of tradition, climate and diverse cultures of the neighbouring nations of Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. The most classic Russian recipes are made of meat, veggies and wheat, such as soups, dumplings and stuffed dough. Classics include Pelmeni (meat or veggies-stuffed dumpling), shchi (Russian cabbage soup), shashyk (a Russian kebab), blini (mini pancakes) among others.
When to visit Russia
Because of its geographical extension, Russia experiences drastically different weather depending on the location. To the north, it has polar areas while the south has a mild subtropical climate near the Caspian Sea. Most of the country witnesses a continental climate, with long and cold winters, and warm and short summers. Temperatures can drop down to extreme sub-zero levels as low as minus 62 degrees Celsius in winter. In the summer months, the maximum average temperature can reach up to a warm 30 degrees Celsius, especially in cities like Moscow. One of the best time to visit Russia
is during summer, and July and August are the peak tourist season. In summer, the days are longer, and tourists get more time to see tourist attractions. However, the long winter months are equally beautiful, when the entire nation turns into a snow-covered fairyland.
How to Reach Russia
The best and easiest way to reach Russia from India is to take a flight to Moscow
. All flights to Moscow operate from Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport. Delhi has a direct flight to Sheremetyevo International Airport in Moscow via Russian airline - Aeroflot, which takes about 6 hours average flight time.