Travyde Travel and Discovery Guide to Russia

Explore Travyde's curated travel and discovery guides to 256 destinations in Russia!

Russia
Igarka
Pevek
Komsomolsk on Amur
Yuzhno Sakhalinsk
Ingushetia
Novokuznetsk
Zabaikalsk
Korsakov
Vladivostok
Petropavlovsk Kamchatsky
Saint Petersburg
Yakutsk
Gorno Altaisk
Skovorodino
Belogorsk
Kazan
Alexandrov
Tynda
Abkhazia
Tunkinsky National Park
Krasnoyarsk
Moscow
Khabarovsk
Kaliningrad
Derbent
Kronstadt
Vladimir
North Ossetia
Irkutsk
Altai Krai
Uglich
Izhevsk
Sochi
Ust Nera
Sikachi Alyan
Norilsk
Yoshkar Ola
Arshan
Olkhon
Yekaterinburg
Stupino
Karelia
Mordovia
Vladikavkaz
Okha
Kalmykia
North Caucasus
Vologda
Terney
Tambov
Ussuriysk
Wrangel Island
Nalychevo Nature Park
Rostov Veliky
Khasan
Sosnovy Bor
Nizhny Tagil
Birobidzhan
Chelyabinsk
Artyom
Novaya Zemlya
Bashkortostan
Novaya Chara
Yuryev Polsky
Novosibirsk
Volgograd
Nizhny Novgorod
Stavropol Krai
Nevyansk
Tuva
Nalchik
Kuril Islands
Novgorod
Vorkuta
Smolensk
Sheregesh
Kostroma
Dagestan
Cheboksary
Solovetsky Islands
Altai Republic
Kemerovo
Akhty
Kotelnich
Staraya Ladoga
Udmurtia
Chechnya
Tuapse
Bennett Island
Mineralnye Vody
Krasnodar Krai
Ulan Ude
Obluchye
Caucasian Biosphere Reserve
Peterhof
Salekhard
Achinsk
Pskov
Abakan
Russia is by far the largest country in the world, covering more than one-eighth of the Earth's inhabited land area, spanning Eastern Europe and northern Asia, sharing land borders with Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia, North Korea. Russia covers nine time zones and incorporates a wide range of environments and landforms. While geographically mostly in Asia, the bulk of Russia's population is concentrated in the European part and, culturally, Russia is unmistakably European. Following the Russian Revolution, Russia became the world's first constitutionally socialist state, the Soviet Union and a recognized superpower, which played a decisive role in the Allied victory in World War II. The Soviet era saw some of the most significant technological achievements of the 20th century, including the world's first human-made satellite, and the first man in space. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Russian SFSR reconstituted itself as the Russian Federation. Russia is country of contrasts in every way and in all its geographical and natural features too. Travelling along Russia you will see pampas, deserts and icebergs, valleys and high mountains….Thanks to its place between west and east part of the world, natural features, vast space and rapturous history full of names that changed the world, the country is rich in culture and diversity, the country that for centuries intrigues and fascinates all visitors.1

Quick Facts

Population

142,470,272 (July 2014 est.)

Major Cities

MOSCOW (capital) 10.523 million; Saint Petersburg 4.575 million; Novosibirsk 1.397 million; Yekaterinburg 1.344 million; Nizhniy Novgorod 1.267 million (2009)

Climate

ranges from steppes in the south through humid continental in much of European Russia; subarctic in Siberia to tundra climate in the polar north; winters vary from cool along Black Sea coast to frigid in Siberia; summers vary from warm in the steppes to cool along Arctic coast

Languages

Russian (official) 96.3%, Dolgang 5.3%, German 1.5%, Chechen 1%, Tatar 3%, other 10.3%

Ethnic Groups

Russian 77.7%, Tatar 3.7%, Ukrainian 1.4%, Bashkir 1.1%, Chuvash 1%, Chechen 1%, other 10.2%, unspecified 3.9%; note: more than 190 ethnic groups are represents in Russia's 2010 census (2010 est.)

Religions

Russian Orthodox 15-20%, Muslim 10-15%, other Christian 2% (2006 est.)

Terrain

broad plain with low hills west of Urals; vast coniferous forest and tundra in Siberia; uplands and mountains along southern border regions

GDP per Capita

$18,100 (2013 est.)

National Symbol

bear; double-headed eagle

Shared Borders

Azerbaijan 338 km, Belarus 1,312 km, China (southeast) 4,133 km, China (south) 46 km, Estonia 324 km, Finland 1,309 km, Georgia 894 km, Kazakhstan 7,644 km, North Korea 18 km, Latvia 332 km, Lithuania (Kaliningrad Oblast) 261 km, Mongolia 3,452 km, Norway 191 km, Poland (Kaliningrad Oblast) 209 km, Ukraine 1,944 km

Country Scorecards

Quality of Life

is a ranking of the generalized standard of living in a country.

Purchasing Power

is a ranking of how many goods can be purchased with the an unit of the country's currency.

Consumer Price Index

is a ranking of the prices of a generalized basket of common goods.

Safety

is a ranking of how safe the country is for both travellers and locals.

Pollution

is a ranking of the amount of pollution and its effect on humans and nature.

Healthcare

is a ranking of quality and availability of healthcare services.

Budgeting for Russia

Average Monthly Disposable Income After Tax663.63USD

Food and Drink

Inexpensive Meal10.06USD
Midrange Meal for Two40.25USD
McDonalds Combo6.29USD
Domestic Beer, 0.5L1.51USD
Imported Beer, 0.33L2.52USD
Coke/Pepsi1USD
Midrange Wine7.55USD
0.33L Bottled Water0.74USD
Water, 1.5L0.81USD
Milk, 1L1.07USD
Bread, 500g0.64USD
Apples, 1kg1.57USD
Oranges, 1kg1.61USD
Rice, 1kg1.12USD
Cappucino2.86USD
Cigarettes, Pack1.64USD

Transportation

Public Transportation, 1 Ticket0.58USD
Public Transportation, Monthly30.19USD
Gas, 1L0.8USD
Taxi, Start3.77USD
Taxi, 1km0.45USD
Taxi, 1hr wait7.55USD

Misc Expenses

Prepaid Mobile, 1min0.04USD
Internet, 6mbps, per month9.92USD
Levis Jeans89.08USD
Summer Dress, Zara/HM56.05USD
Nike Shoes89.94USD
Leather Shoes, Men103.71USD

Highlights of Russia

Suggested itineraries for Russia

Russian Ionics and The Golden Ring

1 favourite(s),Rating: 5/5

Recommended timeframe: 4 to 6 days

Russia is a huge and diverse country and visitors have lots to see and to do. This itinerary focuses on Moscow and St Petersburg as well as the Golden Ring to satisfy those who wish to explore Russian iconic sights in the two world class cities and still want to experience provincial and countryside lifestyle of Russia through the historic Golden Ring route. Embrace Moscow for its intriguing history and spectacular architecture and St Petersburg for its sparkling waterways and unrivalled elegance, where stories of the rich and powerful Russian families of the 19th century and the Revolution are brought to life through ancient Russian art, the renowned sights of the Kremlin Territory and Red Square, the palaces, summer houses and pavilions of the Petrodvorets estate. After a week in the mega cities, you might feel like taking a break from crowded, noise and pollution. Take you to the interesting ancient Russian cities and towns along Golden Ring route, where you get to see calmer, slower, more peaceful life, walk around hilly countryside, and just rest. You could also learn more about history of Russia through old churches, fortresses and beautiful monasteries; and more traditional provincial way of Russia that is not yet as much westernized and with some relics of the Soviet times.
Destination Introduction Days
Moscow

Moscow (Russian: Москва, Moskva) is the 860 year-old capital of the Russian Federation. A truly iconic, global city, Moscow has played a central role in the development of the Russian state and indeed the world. For many, the sight of the Kremlin complex in the centre of the city is still loaded with symbolism and history — Moscow was the capital of the former Soviet Union and signs of its previous life are very visible even now.

Yet, there's more to Russia and its capital than just memories of the USSR. Architectural gems from the time of the Russian Empire are still dotted throughout Moscow, whilst signs of modern Tsars (or at least people with similar levels of wealth) abound.

Today, Moscow is a thriving, exuberant capital city that overflows with life, culture and sometimes traffic. A sprawling metropolis, Moscow is home to numerous museums, Soviet-era monoliths and post-Soviet kitsch, but continues to pave the way forward as Muscovites move into the 21st century.

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Sergiev Posad

Sergiev Posad (Russian: Сергиев Посад) is a city in North Moscow Oblast, which is famous for its Troitse-Sergiev Monastery, the spiritual home of the Russian Orthodox Church. It is often visited as a part of the Golden Ring around Moscow.

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Yaroslavl

Yaroslavl (Ярославль, ) is the capital city of Yaroslavl Oblast in Russia and a point on Golden Ring itinerary.

With the population of almost 600,000 Yaroslavl is the second-largest city in Central Russia after Moscow. This doesn't make this city at the Volga bank any less provincial.

1000-year history and the location just in the middle of Golden Ring make Yaroslavl a good point for a weekend out of Moscow.

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Kostroma

Kostroma is the big capital city of Kostroma Oblast, and a stop on Russia's Golden Ring circuit. It is a historic city, founded in the 12th century, and served as a sort of northern retreat for the powerful in Muscovy when threatened by southern and western invaders. Kostroma's wealth of art and architecture is owed to the legacy of such retreats. Visitors should not miss the Hypatian Monastery and the historic city center around Susaninskaya ploshchad. Kostroma outside the historic center is grey and industrial and off the itinerary for most tourists.

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Suzdal

Suzdal (Су́здаль;) is a historic small town in Vladimir Oblast east of Moscow Russia, about 25 km north of Vladimir. It was once the capital of several Russian principalities and has many examples of early Russian architecture. It is probably the most interesting of the Golden Ring cities.

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Vladimir

Vladimir (Владимир) is the capital and the largest city of Vladimir Oblast. The city is one of the most visited destinations within the popular Golden Ring circuit, as it preserves several of the finest monuments of white-stone medieval architecture in Russia, along with a number of later buildings from the 16th–20th centuries.

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The 20 Most Popular Cities in Russia

Komsomolsk on Amur

Komsomolsk-on-Amur (Russian: Комсомо́льск-на-Аму́ре, kuhm-sah-MOHL'SK nah ah-MOOR-yeh, ) is a large city in Khabarovsk Krai on the Baikal-Amur Mainline. Home of around a quarter of a million people, it's the 3rd largest city of the Russian Far East after Vladivostok and Khabarovsk and a major industrial center.

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Komsomolsk on Amur by Marina Lystseva 1 By: Marina Lystseva
Yuzhno Sakhalinsk

Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk (Russian: Ю́жно-Сахали́нск, YOOZH-nuh suh-khah-LEENSK) , also spelled Uzno-Sakhalinsk and previously known in Japanese as Toyohara (豊原), is the largest city and capital of Sakhalin Oblast, in the Russian Far East, with a population of around 173.000. And a booming oil town.

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Yuzhno Sakhalinsk by Sergey Timofeev 2 By: Sergey Timofeev
Vladivostok

Vladivostok (Russian: Владивосто́к, vlah-dee-vah-STOHK) is a city in Russia. It serves as the eastern terminus of the Trans-Siberian Railway. Some travellers arrive here at the end or the beginning of a trip on the Trans-Siberian. But it has enough attractions and atmosphere to support a couple of days.

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Vladivostok by cheslav 3 By: cheslav
Saint Petersburg

Saint Petersburg (Russian: Санкт-Петерб́ург Sankt-Peterburg), known as Petrograd in 1914-1924 and Leningrad in 1924-1991, is the second largest city of Russia, with 5 million inhabitants, and the former capital of the Russian Empire. Founded in 1703, it is not ancient, but its historical cityscape is remarkably well-preserved. The center of Saint Petersburg occupies numerous islands of the Neva River delta, divided by waterways and connected by huge drawbridges. Since 1991 it and some historical suburbs, including Peterhof, have been listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site . It is home to one of the world's largest museums of art, the Hermitage. Many Russians know the city as Piter (Питер), a familiar diminutive of Saint Petersburg.

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Saint Petersburg by Galishev Pavel 4 By: Galishev Pavel
Yakutsk

Yakutsk (Russian: Яку́тск, yah-KOOTSK) is the capital city of Yakutia (an ethnic autonomous republic the size of India) and one of the oldest and coldest cities of Siberia.

Yakutsk has gained attention as potentially the coldest city in the world, but is worth a visit more for the great natural beauty of its surrounding countryside, unique cryogenic museums, and just for the spirit of adventure in the most remote lands of the world.

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Yakutsk by tumblroxia 5 By: tumblroxia
Kazan

Kazan (Russian: Каза́нь kuh-ZAHN’) is the capital of Russia's republic of Tatarstan and the center of the world Tatar culture.

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Kazan by IPAAT 6 By: IPAAT
Alexandrov

Alexandrov (Александров) is a city in the north-western part of Vladimir Oblast. The location is known as a medieval residence of Russian princes. It was home to several important events in Russian history. The residence is now transformed into a convent and preserves noteworthy architectural sights, while the city itself is quite unremarkable.

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Alexandrov by Sergey Ashmarin 7 By: Sergey Ashmarin
Krasnoyarsk

Krasnoyarsk (Russian: Красноя́рск kruhz-nah-YAHRSK) is a city in Eastern Siberia. It's located on both banks of the Yenisey River.

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Krasnoyarsk by Dmitry Antipov 8 By: Dmitry Antipov
Moscow

Moscow (Russian: Москва, Moskva) is the 860 year-old capital of the Russian Federation. A truly iconic, global city, Moscow has played a central role in the development of the Russian state and indeed the world. For many, the sight of the Kremlin complex in the centre of the city is still loaded with symbolism and history — Moscow was the capital of the former Soviet Union and signs of its previous life are very visible even now.

Yet, there's more to Russia and its capital than just memories of the USSR. Architectural gems from the time of the Russian Empire are still dotted throughout Moscow, whilst signs of modern Tsars (or at least people with similar levels of wealth) abound.

Today, Moscow is a thriving, exuberant capital city that overflows with life, culture and sometimes traffic. A sprawling metropolis, Moscow is home to numerous museums, Soviet-era monoliths and post-Soviet kitsch, but continues to pave the way forward as Muscovites move into the 21st century.

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Moscow by panoramio 9 By: panoramio
Khabarovsk

Khabarovsk (Russian: Хаба́ровск, khah-BAH-ruhvsk) is a city on the Amur river in the Russian Far East, near the Chinese border. Often overlooked due to its proximity to Vladivostok, Khabarovsk could easily be a highlight in the long line of predominately dull cities along the Trans-Siberian. But while most cities look their best when the sun is out, only in few is the effect as profound as in Khabarovsk – attractive parks, beaches, outdoor beer tents with live music, pretty girls promenading and classic architecture awaits if the weather gods favour you. Even if you are unfortunate, it's not a loss to go indoors: the city also houses some of the best museums east of Moscow.

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Khabarovsk by Habaroff 10 By: Habaroff
Kaliningrad

Kaliningrad (Russian: Калинингра́д kuh-leen-een-GRAHD) , also known by its original German name, Königsberg, is the capital city of Kaliningrad Oblast in Russia. It has about 450,000 inhabitants. It is also called 'Karaliaucius' in Lithuanian, as Lithuanians (cousins to the 'Old Prussians') used to live there. So it is truly 'City of the Four K s: Kaliningrad / Königsberg / Krolewiec / Karalaucius '. Following WWII, it was briefly known as Kyonigsberg (Кёнигсберг), the Russified form of the original German name.

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Kaliningrad by Sergey Samusenko 11 By: Sergey Samusenko
Vladimir

Vladimir (Владимир) is the capital and the largest city of Vladimir Oblast. The city is one of the most visited destinations within the popular Golden Ring circuit, as it preserves several of the finest monuments of white-stone medieval architecture in Russia, along with a number of later buildings from the 16th–20th centuries.

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Vladimir by Sergey Duhanin 12 By: Sergey Duhanin
Irkutsk

Irkutsk (Russian: Ирку́тск; eer-KOOTSK) is capital of the Russian province of Irkutsk Oblast in Eastern Siberia.

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Irkutsk by Elena Ogorodnikova 13 By: Elena Ogorodnikova
Sochi


Sochi (Russian: Cо́чи, SO-chee) is one of the southernmost places of Russia and the second-largest city of Krasnodar Krai, with a population of 415,000. Located along the Black Sea coast, it is about 1,600 km south of Moscow.

Sochi became world-known in 2007, when it won the bid to host the 2014 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.

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Sochi by BVA 14 By: BVA
Yekaterinburg

Yekaterinburg (Russian: Екатеринбу́рг yee-kuh-tee-reen-BOORK) is an important industrial and cultural center of Russia. It is official capital of Urals region of Russia.

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Yekaterinburg by Andrey Bogdanov 15 By: Andrey Bogdanov
North Caucasus

The North Caucasus is a region of the Caucasus located in Southern Russia, bordering Georgia to the south and Krasnodar Krai, Stavropol Krai, and Kalmykia to the north. Unfortunately, while this should be one of the world's most exotic and thrilling destinations, it is currently very dangerous and inadvisable to visit due to extremely high levels of corruption and criminal and political violence. Potential visitors should consider getting a taste of the North Caucasus in a safer area, such as Northern Georgia, Northern Azerbaijan or in the south of Krasnodar Krai around Sochi and Krasnaya Polyana. These regions are primilarily home to rather poor Muslim territories. Also, North Caucasus is home to Russia's most lawless regions.

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North Caucasus by panoramio 16 By: panoramio
Yuryev Polsky

Yuryev-Polsky (Юрьев-Пóльский) is an ancient town in the northern part of Vladimir Oblast. The town is included in the Golden Ring and preserves a unique white-stone monument, the 13th century Cathedral of St. George.

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Yuryev Polsky by Constantin Voutsen 17 By: Constantin Voutsen
Nizhny Novgorod

Nizhny Novgorod (Russian: Ни́жний Но́вгород NEEZH-nee NOHV-guh-ruht), colloquially shortened to Nizhny, is Russia's fifth largest city, ranking after Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Novosibirsk and Yekaterinburg. It had a population in 2005 of 1,297,600. It is the economic and cultural center of the vast Volga economic region, and also the administrative center of Nizhny Novgorod Oblast and Volga Federal District.

From 1932 to 1990 the city was known as Gorky (Го́рький), after the writer Maxim Gorky. Following the fall of the Soviet Union, the old name was restored.

Do not confuse Nizhny Novgorod with Novgorod (or, fully, Veliky Novgorod), which is a different city. In particular, do not shorten the name Nizhny Novgorod to Novgorod.

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Nizhny Novgorod by Pavel Dogadushkin 18 By: Pavel Dogadushkin
Nevyansk

Nevyа́nsk (ru: Невья́нск) is a historic town in the central part of Sverdlovsk Oblast. Unofficial capital of 18th-century Ural industry, Nevyansk retains little of its former heritage, but the single important edifice that remains from those glory days—the Leaning Tower—is well worth seeing. The unique and bizarre Leaning Tower is testament to the greatness of the Demidov family, who stood at the roots of the region's industry. Further attractions include artifacts from the Old Believers, some of whom still live in the area, local crafts and the scenic landscapes of the Central Urals.

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Nevyansk by Vershinin Yuri 19 By: Vershinin Yuri
Peterhof

Peterhof (in Russian: Петерго́ф) or Petergof (Dutch/German for "Peter's Court"), known as Petrodvorets (Russian: Петродворец) from 1944 to 1992, is a municipal town within Petrodvortsovy District of the federal city of Saint Petersburg, on the southern shore of the Gulf of Finland.

The town is famous for its a series of palaces and gardens known as the Peterhof Palace, laid out on the orders of Peter the Great, and sometimes called the "Russian Versailles", but also for the "Petrodvorets Watch Factory - Raketa", a 300 years old Russian watch manufacture. The palace-ensemble along with the city center is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The area was extensively damaged during World War II during occupation by Nazi Germany. Reconstruction efforts began almost immediately following the war, and they are still underway. Peterhof also hosts one of two campuses of Saint Petersburg State University.

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Peterhof by Alina Sbitneva 20 By: Alina Sbitneva