Stretching from Europe in the west across Asia until it reaches the Pacific Ocean in the far East, Russia is a large country with a rich history with abundant natural beauty. It is one of the top places to visit in Europe. the is a great place for people with varied interests as it is home to several tourist places ranging from the mysterious expanse of majestic snow-capped mountains to ocean-sized lakes, and from remote rugged wilderness to picturesque countryside. Besides, Russia is also home to some incredible works of art, overwhelming palaces, and grandiose cities whose charm has inspired writers and poets for centuries. Deciding which places to visit in Russia will probably be the hardest part of your trip. So, trawell.in has listed some of the most coveted places in Russia down here which can be visited as part of Europe tour packages.
Moscow, the capital city of Russia, is one of the most important cities in western Russia, and one of the finest tourist places in Russia. With a magnificent mix of greenery, stunning architecture, and lots of historical reminders of times gone by, Moscow is one of those unique places in Russia that truly fits the description of the “Epicenter of diversity.” Red Square, St. Basil’s Cathedral, and Moscow’s Kremlin are the most prominent places to visit in Moscow. Besides, the city is also home to several museums where you can learn about Russia’s fantastic literary heritage, such as the Pushkin Memorial Museum, the Tolstoy House Museum, the Dostoevsky House Museum, and the Mayakovsky Museum.
Located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea, Saint Petersburg is the second largest city in Russia and among the top cultural destinations in the Europe. Often considered as Russia’s cultural capital, a trip to Saint Petersburg will prove full of cultural discoveries as it is packed with world-class establishments. The UNESCO declared the entire city center a World Heritage Site, featuring hundreds of prominent museums, cathedrals, sculptures, squares, and places of interest to explore. Hermitage Museum, one of the largest art museums in the world, Mariinsky theatre, Saint Issac’s Cathedral, the Kazan Cathedral, Winter Palace, Catherine Palace, the Church of the Savior, and the iconic Peterhof Palace are some of the famous places to visit in St. Petersburg. Besides, St. Petersburg has been home to many great Russian poets, writers, artists, and scientists.
Set on the Black Sea, Sochi is a coastal town located at the foot of the Caucasus Mountains. It is one of the best honeymoon places in Russia due to its soothing climate, scenic view, and stunning beaches. The place gained a lot of popularity after hosting the 2014 Winter Olympics. With an alluring mix of sandy beaches, luxury hotels, world-class restaurants, beautiful gardens, 20th-century neoclassical buildings, vibrant nightlife, and countless cultural and natural attractions, Sochi is a popular tourist spot attracting a total of more than 4 million visitors each year as part of Russia Tour Packages. Stalin’s Dacha, Mount Akhun, Vorontsovka Caves, Rosa Khutor Ski Resort, Olympic Park, and Riviera Dolphinarium are some of the popular places to visit in Sochi. Also, the city is home to the 3000-square-kilometer Caucasian State Nature Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that houses many unique species of flora and fauna, including the endangered Persian leopard. Travelers can enjoy swimming in the sea during summers whereas winters offer adventurous activities such as skiing.
Situated at the confluence of the Volga and Tvertsa Rivers, Tver is a city and the administrative center of Tver Oblast, Russia. With a lot of history and culture, it is one of the most famous tourist destinations in Russia that one must visit during the Russia Tour. The city was earlier known as Kalinin and later changed to Tver. The city is also dominated by neoclassical architecture erected during the reign of Catherine the Great. There are several things to do in Tver from visiting an 18th-Century Tver Imperial Palace where you can see the displays of Russian artwork, to a Botanical Garden that is home to 350 species of plants, flowers, trees, and shrubs that draw thousands of visitors every year. Today, Tver is the center of a major flax-growing region and is also an industrial center, with emphasis on textile manufacturing and other light industries and on the manufacture of railroad rolling stock.
Situated at the confluence of the impressive Volga and Kazanka Rivers, Kazan is the capital of Tatarstan in Russia. It is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Russia, and the residents enjoy one of the highest standards of living in Russia. The city hosted several world-class events that include the 2014 World Fencing Championships, the 2015 World Aquatics Championships, and the highly foreseen 2018 FIFA World Cup. Also, it is home to a famous UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Kazan Kremlin which is lined up with stunning churches, watchtowers, and museums. The city also houses one of the largest mosques in Europe, the colorful Kul Sharif Mosque. If you are a foodie, then this city is one of the best places in Russia to taste authentic Tartar cuisine.
Veliky Novgorod is the largest city and administrative center of Novgorod Oblast, Russia. Founded in the 10th century, it is one of the oldest cities in Russia and among the must-include places in Russia Tour Packages. The city claims to be the ‘Birthplace of Russia’ since the people of this land invited the Scandinavian Prince Rurik to rule Russia. If you are looking to explore the beauty of Russia beyond its big cities, Veliky Novgorod is one of the best choices that offer an entertainment treat, a splendid view, and an opportunity to relive the past. During your visit, one can visit the oldest church of the Russia-Saint Sophia Cathedral which was designated as a World Heritage Site in 1992, the Hanseatic Fountain, and Lake Ilmen. Besides, one can also give yourself a break with some adventures like cycling around the river and Kremlin Walls.
Located near the borders of China and North Korea, Vladivostok is a major port city overlooking Golden Horn Bay in Russia. Surrounded by Mountains and a bay, the city is an exciting blend of Asian, European, and Russian cultures. With Iconic bridges, stunning scenery, islands, beautiful beaches, and many parks, it is one of the most popular places to visit in Russia. The city is also the last stop on the Trans-Siberian Railway. The main highlight is the Russky Bridge, a stunning architectural marvel and the longest cable-stayed bridge in the world at 1,885 m that connects Vladivostok to Russky Island. Besides, the city is adorned with multifaceted attractions including Sportivnaya Harbor with its beautiful beach and promenade, the Eagle’s Nest viewpoint, Minny Gorodok, and Voroshilov Battery.
Located amidst Lake Onega, Kizhi Island is a tiny six-kilometer-long island in the Republic of Karelia, in the north of Russia. Declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this island has been inhabited since at least the 15th century. It is mainly famous for its spectacular open-air museum which hosts an amazing collection of wooden structures. This open-air museum is dedicated to educating visitors about everyday life, religion, entertainment, and families of rustic Russia in the 18th century. The most famous attractions on this tiny island include the Church of the Resurrection of Lazarus, the oldest wooden church in Russia, and the Kizhi Pogost site, with its Transfiguration Church which is home to 22 silver domes and a massive wooden altar, as well as 102 icons that decorate its walls.
Yekaterinburg is an industrial city and the fourth largest city located in the Ural Mountains of Russia. The city is known for its historical significance as this is the place where Tsar Nicholas, the last tsar of Russia, and his family were executed in 1918 during the Russian Revolution. Today, Yekaterinburg is home to a vibrant art scene featuring many libraries, theaters and playwrights, and dance companies as well as popular Russian rock bands. Also, it is home to 30 museums, including the Military Technology Museum, Nevyansk Icon Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, and the Ural Geological Museum.
Located in the Russian Far East, the Kamchatka peninsula was dubbed ‘The Land of Fire and Ice’ due to a string of over 160 volcanoes, 29 of them still active. Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky is the peninsula’s main city which is set beautifully on Avacha Bay and encompassed by towering snow-clad mountains and overlooked by gigantic volcanoes. The city cannot be reached by road, and the only way to get into the city is to fly in. The city center is dotted with tons of monuments, squares, and churches which makes it a favorite place to visit in Russia among history lovers. Tours to the volcanoes, skiing on Krasnaya Sopka Mountain, and a visit to the world’s only Museum of Salmon are some of the top things to do in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky as part of the Russia Tour. One can also visit a unique Vulcanarium Museum here offers an insight into the world of volcanoes and probably your only chance ever to touch the lava.
One of the most picturesque places in Russia, Lake Baikal is an ancient, massive lake in the mountainous Russian region of Siberia, north of the Mongolian border. Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is the largest and deepest lake in the world with a maximum depth of 1,642 m and an estimated 25 million years of age. Encircled by majestic beauty, lush green expanses, and spectacular snow-covered mountains, this lake is home to umpteen varieties of fauna and flora. During summer, the lake becomes a famous destination for kayaking, boat cruises, and island hopping to discover shorelines and beaches. During winter, the lake gets freezes and becomes a wonderful spot for ice skating and skiing. One can also enjoy fascinating wildlife tours and hiking experiences around Lake Baikal.
One of the ethnic tourist places in Russia, Altai is a Russian republic in southern Siberia whose terrain encompasses the Altai Mountains and surrounding tundra, alpine meadows and thousands of lakes. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, most part of Altai is protected as biodiverse reserves that are home to diverse wildlife species including argali mountain sheep and snow leopards. The other natural landmarks are twin-peaked, 4,506 m Mt. Belukha and expansive Lake Teletskoye. Apart, the frozen rivers and snowcapped mountains around Altai attract cross-country skiers in winter, as well as hikers, kayakers, and climbers in summer. One can also indulge in diving, cave exploring, and herb and mushroom picking here.
Santhi is an avid traveler and primary contributor to the blogs at Trawell.in. She has explored most of the states in India and gained vast knowledge on tourist destinations in India and abroad. She also contributes content to other travel websites.