Russia: the world’s largest nation, borders European and Asian countries as well as the Pacific and Arctic oceans. Its landscape ranges from tundra and forests to subtropical beaches. It’s famous for Moscow's Bolshoi and St. Petersburg's Mariinsky ballet companies. St. Petersburg, founded by Russian leader Peter the Great, has the baroque Winter Palace, now housing part of the State Hermitage Museum’s art collection.
Trip Planning: The planning stage of your trip can be instrumental in its success and an enjoyable part of the experience itself. You have a world of options...and plenty to consider.
Entry and Exit formalities: Visitors must hold a passport valid for at least six months & beyond at the time of entering the country. Some nationalities can obtain visa on arrival and for nationalities who requires visa please refer to the Russian consulate website: www.vfsglobal.com/russia/uae
Transportation: Figuring out how to get around is one of your biggest pre-trip decisions. Get our holiday expert best advice on deciding between your options.
Based on your trip itinerary, our experts will help you choose wisely. You'll also find a wealth of practical travel tips.
Money: Use your money wisely. Know the best time to use cash or card — and how to avoid unnecessary fees either way — as well as tipping etiquette.
Phones and Technology: Phones and other smart devices can be huge time-savers...or expensive distractions. Get our tips for making the best use of technology during your trip, and for calling home with or without your own phone.
Packing Light: On your trip you'll meet two kinds of travelers: those who pack light and those who wish they had.
Sleeping and Eating: Your hotel and restaurant choices can be a matter-of-face chore…or they can provide rich opportunities to connect with locals and their culture.
Health & Hygiene: Take comfort: Doctors, hospitals, launderettes, and bathrooms aren’t that different. Dealing with them can even be part of the fun of travel.
Sightseeing & Activities: Once you're on the ground, the real fun begins…but it pays to have a thoughtful plan. Our experts will help you get oriented to your surroundings, use your sightseeing hours wisely, and find your way off the beaten path.
Things to see & do:
Moscow - on the Moskva River in western Russia, is the nation’s cosmopolitan capital. In its historic core is the Kremlin, a complex that’s home to the president and tsarist treasures in the Armoury. Outside its walls is Red Square, Russia's symbolic center. It's home to Lenin’s Mausoleum, the State Historical Museum's comprehensive collection and St. Basil’s Cathedral, known for its colorful, onion-shaped domes.
St. Petersburg - is a Russian port city on the Baltic Sea. It was the imperial capital for 2 centuries, having been founded in 1703 by Peter the Great, subject of the city's iconic “Bronze Horseman” statue. It remains Russia's cultural center, with venues such as the Mariinsky Theatre hosting opera and ballet, and the State Russian Museum showcasing Russian art, from Orthodox icon paintings to Kandinsky works.
Yekaterinburg - is a city in Russia, east of the Ural Mountains. It’s known for the golden-domed Church on the Blood, built in the early 21st century on the site of the 1918 Romanov executions. The Monument to the Founders stands by the banks of the Iset River. Exhibits at the nearby Sverdlovsk Regional Local Lore Museum include the Hall of the Romanovs, with personal items that belonged to the last royal family.
Nizhny Novgorod - is a large city on the Volga River in western Russia. It’s known for its 16th-century Kremlin, ringed by 13 fortified towers, including the Dmitrovskaya Tower. Within the Kremlin’s walls is the green-spired Cathedral of the Archangel Michael, rebuilt in the 17th century. Nizhny Novgorod State Art Museum, housed in a grand building, exhibits Russian and European paintings and a collection of icons.
Kazan - is a city in southwest Russia, on the banks of the Volga and Kazanka rivers. The capital of the Republic of Tatarstan, a semi-autonomous region, it's known for the centuries-old Kazan Kremlin, a fortified citadel containing museums and sacred sites. Kremlin landmarks include the tiered Tower of Soyembika, the blue-and-gold domed Annunciation Cathedral and the vast, colorful Kul Sharif Mosque.
Novosibirsk - is a city in Siberia, southern Russia, bisected by the Ob River. The Trans-Siberian Railway fueled much of the city's 19th-century growth, symbolized by the Novosibirsk Rail Bridge, which still stands today. In the city center is the 19th-century, Byzantine-style Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, with its golden domes. The expansive Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theatre borders Lenin Square.
Volgograd, formerly Stalingrad - is a city in southwest Russia, on the western bank of the Volga River. It was the site of WWII’s Battle of Stalingrad, commemorated by a huge statue, The Motherland Calls, part of the hilltop Mamayev Kurgan memorial complex. The Panorama Museum has a 360-degree painting of the battle, as well as weapons and artifacts. To the south, a large arch marks the Lenin Volga-Don Shipping Canal.
Vladivostok - is a major Pacific port city in Russia overlooking Golden Horn Bay, near the borders with China and North Korea. It's known as a terminus of the Trans-Siberian Railway, which links the city to Moscow in a 7-day journey. In the city center is Central Square, where a towering memorial pays tribute to local soldiers who fought Japanese forces in the early 20th century.
Veliky Novgorod - is a city in western Russian, on the Volkhov River. Within Novgorod Kremlin’s red-brick fortress walls is the 5-domed, 11th-century St. Sophia Cathedral. Nearby, the Millennium of Russia monument erected in 1862, shows historical figures and events. Housed in several buildings, the Novgorod State United Museum-Reserve has exhibits from the city’s past, including Russian icon paintings.
Omsk - is a city on the Irtysh River in the vast Russian region of Siberia. The central Vrubel Museum of Fine Arts, in 2 pastel-colored buildings, displays Fabergé creations, Russian paintings and porcelain. Nearby, the ornate facade of Omsk Drama Theater is topped with a winged sculpture. St. Nicholas Cossack Cathedral, dating from the 1840s, and the gold-domed Assumption Cathedral are holy landmarks.
Sochi, a Russian city on the Black Sea - is known as a summer beach resort, and was host of the 2014 Winter Olympics. Its parks include the palm-filled Arboretum. It's also notable for 20th-century neoclassical buildings such as the columned Winter Theatre. Forested Sochi National Park is a 1,937-sq.-km protected area in the nearby Caucasus Mountains. Some 70 km inland, Krasnaya Polyana is a prominent ski resort.
Murmansk - is a city in northwestern Russia, at the end of a deep bay off the Barents Sea. The Regional Museum of Local History has cultural and archaeological artifacts. The Murmansk Regional Museum of Art features 18th- to 20th-century Russian works. The S.M. Kirov Murmansk Regional Palace of Culture is a popular concert venue. The Lenin icebreaker is a decommissioned 1950s nuclear-powered ship, now a museum.
Vladimir - is a Russian city east of Moscow. It's part of the Golden Ring, a cluster of ancient towns. In the city center, the Assumption Cathedral houses a richly decorated altar and 15th-century frescoes. The white stone walls of St. Demetrius Cathedral are carved with animals and biblical figures. West of here is an imposing white stone tower known as the Golden Gate, with 12th-century copper-gilded oak doors.
Tobolsk - is a town in Tyumen Oblast, Russia, located at the confluence of the Tobol and Irtysh rivers. Founded in 1590, Tobolsk is the second-oldest Russian settlement east of the Ural Mountains in Asian Russia, and is a historic capital of the Siberia region.
Murom - is a historical city in Vladimir Oblast, Russia, which sprawls along the left bank of the Oka River.
Vorkuta is a coal-mining town in the Komi Republic, Russia, situated just north of the Arctic Circle in the Pechora coal basin at the river Vorkuta. Vorkuta is the fourth largest city north of the Arctic Circle and the easternmost town in Europe.
Sergiev Posad - is a city in Russia, northeast of Moscow. It's part of the Golden Ring cluster of ancient towns and known for the 14th-century Trinity Lavra St. Sergius monastery complex. The complex’s Descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles (or Assumption) has blue and gold onion domes and interior frescoes. The Trinity Cathedral houses the tomb of St. Sergius. Bells ring from a towering blue-and-white belfry.
Ryazan - is a city in western Russia. It's known for the Ryazan Kremlin, a complex of historic buildings, including a museum with embroidery. The Pozhalostin State Art Museum shows folk art at the house of 19th-century engraver IP Pozhalostin. The Memorial Museum Estate of IP Pavlov preserves the scientist's home, complete with stuffed versions of Pavlov's dogs. West, the Museum of Long-Range Aviation has war planes.
Rostov-on-Don - is a city in southern Russia. The Rostov Regional Museum of Local History has collections on Cossack lore and war history. Nearby, Rostov Regional Museum of Fine Arts displays Russian art from the 16th–20th centuries. The Rostov Academic Drama Theater of Maxim Gorky, built in the shape of a tractor, presents classic and contemporary plays. Outside, Theater Square has fountains and a Ferris wheel.
Tomsk is a city on the Tom River in Siberia, Russia. Part of Tomsk State University, the Siberian Botanical Garden features greenhouses with tropical plants. To the northwest, the Central Park of Culture and Recreation contains a lake and an amusement park. Farther north, Tomsk History Museum displays traditional tiles, samovars and porcelain. The Tomsk Regional Art Museum showcases Russian paintings and sculpture.
Astrakhan is a city on the Volga River in southern Russia. It's known for the Astrakhan Kremlin, an expansive fortress built in the 1500s. Its grounds are home to several Russian Orthodox churches, including the five-domed Assumption Cathedral. The Museum of Military Glory displays weapons and artifacts from war. The Astrakhan Drama Theatre stages Russian and Shakespearean classics in an opulent, 1880s auditorium.
Voronezh - is a city on the Voronezh River in southwestern Russia. Landscaped Petrovsky Park is home to a bronze statue of Peter I. Housed in a baroque building, the Voronezh Regional Art Museum has collections of Ancient Egyptian art and several centuries of Russian paintings. The ship museum Goto Predestination recreates 18th-century naval life. Scarlet Sails park has pine trees, playgrounds and an outdoor theater.
Pskov - is a city in west Russia, near Estonia. It’s known for the Pskov Krom, a citadel whose fortress and Holy Trinity Cathedral date from medieval times. Close by, the Art Museum-Reserve has a collection of religious icons and other works. The Museum-Reserve complex's Pogankiny Chamber is a 17th-century merchant’s house. Mirozhsky Monastery, south across the Velikaya River, is home to Byzantine frescoes.
Yakutsk - is a Russian port city on the Lena River, in east Siberia. It’s home to the Mammoth Museum, with millennia-old fossils of woolly mammoths. The Melnikov Permafrost Institute Underground Laboratory has a tunnel showcasing fossils, including a mammoth calf, in below-freezing temperatures. The Yakut State Museum of History and Culture of the Northern Peoples houses Ice Age fossils, including mammoths and rhinos.
Vyborg - is a town in western Russia, close to the Finnish border. Set on an island in Vyborg Bay, Vyborg Castle was built in the 13th century by Swedes. Today it houses a regional history museum. To the southeast, Hermitage-Vyborg Center exhibits paintings and artifacts from the State Hermitage Museum collection in St. Petersburg. Northwest of town, landscaped Monrepos Park is dotted with monuments and grottoes.
Norilsk - is an industrial city in Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia, located above the Arctic Circle, east of the Yenisei River and south of the western Taymyr Peninsula. It has a permanent population of 175,000.
Ozyorsk or Ozersk - is a closed city in Chelyabinsk Oblast, Russia.
Sarov - is a closed town in Nizhny Novgorod Oblast, Russia. It was known as Gorkiy-130 and Arzamas-16, after a nearby town of Arzamas, from 1946 to 1991. Until 1995, it was known as Kremlyov/Kremlev/Kremljov. The town is closed as it is the Russian center for nuclear research.
Magadan - is a port town and the administrative center of Magadan Oblast, Russia, located on the Sea of Okhotsk in Nagayev Bay and serving as a gateway to the Kolyma region.
Anadyr - is a port town and the administrative center of Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, Russia, located at the mouth of the Anadyr River at the tip of a peninsula that protrudes into Anadyrsky Liman. Anadyr is the easternmost town in Russia; more easterly settlements, such as Provideniya and Uelen, do not have town status.
Grozny is the capital city of Chechnya, Russia. The city lies on the Sunzha River. According to the 2010 Census, it had a population of 271,573; up from 210,720 recorded in the 2002 Census, but still only about two-thirds of 399,688 recorded in the 1989 Census. It was previously known as Groznaya.
Kaliningrad is the capital of the Russian province of the same name, sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania along the Baltic Coast. Dubbed Königsberg during centuries of Prussian rule, the city was largely reconstructed after WWII. Traces of its German heritage can be seen in the surviving Brandenburg Gate and the riverside Fishing Village, a dining and shopping destination with re-created medieval-style buildings.
Chelyabinsk - is a city in west-central Russia, close to the Ural Mountains. Ulitsa Kirova, a pedestrianized street, is lined with statues of figures such as a beggar and a man with a top hat. Nearby, the Regional Museum displays part of the meteor that exploded over the city in 2013. To the west, the pine tree-lined Y.A. Gagarin Central Park has an ice rink, and Chelyabinsk Zoo is home to leopards and polar bears.
Michurinsk is the second most populous town in Tambov Oblast, Russia.
Snezhinsk is a closed town in Chelyabinsk Oblast, Russia.
Zheleznogorsk is a closed town in Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia, with a developed nuclear industry.
Yelets - is a city in Lipetsk Oblast, Russia, situated on the Bystraya Sosna River, which is a tributary of the Don.
Gorno-Altaysk - is the capital town of the Altai Republic, Russia. In the past the town was known as Ulala and then Oyrot-Tura.
Volsk - is a town in Saratov Oblast, Russia, located on the right bank of the Volga River, opposite the mouth of the Bolshoy Irgiz, 147 kilometers northeast from Saratov, the administrative center of the oblast.
Derbent, formerly romanized as Derbend - is a city in the Republic of Dagestan, Russia, located on the Caspian Sea. It is the southernmost city in Russia, and it is the second-most important city of Dagestan.
Zelenogorsk - is a closed town in Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia, located on the left bank of the Kan River 180 kilometers above its confluence with the Yenisei River. It was formerly known as Krasnoyarsk-45 and was involved in enriching uranium for the Soviet nuclear program.
Irkutsk - is the largest city and administrative center of Irkutsk Oblast, Russia. Irkutsk is the 25th largest city in Russia by population, the 5th largest in the Siberian Federal District, and one of the largest cities in Siberia.
Asbest - is a town in Sverdlovsk Oblast, Russia, located on the Bolshoy Reft River on the eastern slopes of the Ural Mountains, 70 kilometers northeast of Yekaterinburg. It was previously known as Kudelka.
Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy - is a city and the administrative, industrial, scientific, and cultural center of Kamchatka Krai, Russia. The city is widely known simply as Petropavlovsk. The adjective Kamchatsky was added to the official name in 1924.
Severomorsk, previously known as Vayenga, is a closed town in Murmansk Oblast, Russia. Severomorsk is the main administrative base of the Russian Northern Fleet.
Novotroitsk is a town in Orenburg Oblast, Russia, located on the right bank of and along the Ural River, 276 kilometers from Orenburg, on the border with Kazakhstan. In the east Novotroitsk almost borders Orsk: the distance between the two cities is less than 2 kilometers.
Azov, formerly known as Azoff or Azak, is a town in Rostov Oblast, Russia, situated on the Don River just 16 kilometers from the Sea of Azov, which derives its name from the town.
Makhachkala - previously known as Petrovskoye, and Petrovsk-Port, is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Dagestan in Russia.
Novouralsk - is a closed town in Sverdlovsk Oblast, Russia, located on the eastern side of the Ural Mountains, about 70 kilometers north of Yekaterinburg, the administrative center of the oblast.
Seversk - is a closed city in Tomsk Oblast, Russia, located 15 kilometers northwest of Tomsk on the right bank of the Tom River. Population: 108,590; 109,106; It was previously known as Pyaty Pochtovy, Tomsk-7.
Arzamas - is a city in Nizhny Novgorod Oblast, Russia, located on the Tyosha River, 410 kilometers east of Moscow.
Kremlin- Moscow's most recognizable structure is without a doubt the Kremlin, a 15th-century fortified complex that covers an area of 275,000 square meters surrounded by walls built in the 1400s. The Grand Kremlin Palace—which has over 700 rooms—was once home to the Tsar family and is now the official residence of the president of the Russian Federation, although most heads of state choose to reside elsewhere.
Bolshoi Theatre - is home to the largest and one of the oldest ballet and opera companies in the world. While the theater has undergone several major renovations over the past century—including a recent one in 2011 to restore some of the imperial architectural details—it still retains all of its Neoclassical grandeur. The Bolshoi Theater you see today opened in 1824, after several older versions burned down. Inside, red velvet, a three-tiered crystal chandelier, and gilt moldings give the place a Byzantine-Renassaince grandiose feel like no other.
Gum- Moscow's oldest and most upscale shopping center is an architectural marvel. GUM (short for Glávnyj Universálnyj Magazín or "Main Universal Store") was built in the late 1800s in neo-Russian style to showcase a beautiful mix of a steel skeleton and 20,000 panels of glass forming an arched roof.
Lenin's Mausoleum - the final resting place of Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin, occupies a central spot in Red Square. His body has been in the mausoleum since his death in 1924. Lenin's embalmed body can still be seen today, lying down in a bulletproof glass sarcophagus as if he's sleeping.
All of Moscow's main streets start at Red Square, so it's easy to see why this is considered the heart of the city. A massive space of 330 meters by 70 meters, the square is flanked by the Kremlin, Lenin's Mausoleum, two cathedrals, and the State Historical Museum. In 1945, a massive Victory Parade was held here to celebrate the defeat of Nazi Germany by the Soviet Armed Forces.
St. Basil's Cathedral - one of the most recognizable buildings on the square, was built in 1555. The unique cathedral has architectural details inspired by Byzantine and Asian design, as well as details that resemble those found in famous mosques. There are nine individual chapels inside the church, all decorated with colorful mural art.
Museum of Cosmonautics - The museum's amazing collection—which includes over 85,000 items—is still awe-inspiring. Main exhibits include the space capsule used by Yuri Gagarin, the first human to travel into outer space; a USSR flag with moon fragments; a Soviet spacesuit; and a rocket propulsion unit from the 1960s. A special two-story hall showcases sections of the Mir space station interior, and there are also models of the first sputniks and a replica miniature spaceship.
Moscow Metro - Riding the Moscow metro is an experience all in itself, but even just heading underground to walk through the stations is something no visitor should miss. With 223 stations and 12 metro lines crosscutting through Moscow.
Arbatskaya station - was designed by a skyscraper architect, so it's no surprise that it features multicolored granite slabs and impressive bronze chandeliers. Park Kultury station, located next to Gorky Park, is covered in marble and features reliefs of people involved in sports, while Teatralnaya station is decorated with porcelain figures dancing and wearing traditional Russian costumes.
Moscow State Integrated Art & Historical Architectural& Natural Landscape Museum Reserve - is a cultural open-air museum complex comprised of four different historical sites. The most important site, the Kolomenskoye Estate, was once the summer residence of Tsars as far back as the 14th century. The complex, which covers almost 300 hectares, is home to fairy-tale wooden palaces; a tent-roof stone church built in the 1500s; a water tower; fort towers and structures; and the 24-room Museum of Wooden Architecture, which includes the restored dining room of Tsar Alexei I.
Tretyakov Gallery - The largest collection of Russian art in the world sits here, with over 180,000 paintings, sculptures, and religious art dating back to over a millennia ago. The gallery, built using beautiful red and white colors from classical Russian architecture, is located near the Kremlin and it was built in the early 20th century. Significant art pieces include the Vladimir Mother of God; a Byzantine icon of the Virgin and child dating back to the 1100s; Andrei Rublev's The Trinity icon from the 15th century; and several works by Ilya Repin, the most famous realist painter in Russia. On the grounds of the museum, there is also an 86-meter-tall statue of Peter the Great, as well as a number of Socialist Realism sculptures.
Arbat Street - Moscow's one-kilometer-long pedestrian street has been around since the 15th century. Originally a trade route in the outskirts of the city, Arbat Street is now very centrally located, home to posh buildings and lots of places to eat and shop. Beautiful street lamps and two significant statues—one of Princess Turandot (from Puccini's last opera) and one of Soviet-era poet Bulat Okudzhava—adorn the street.
VDNKh All-Russian Exhibition Centre - The park's most famous landmarks are the Moskvarium, a marine biology center home to over 8000 species of marine animals, the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, and a shopping center selling traditional products from former Soviet countries. There's even a film museum showing Soviet cartoons or even a full-length film (for an extra fee) and an education center offering masterclasses on everything from becoming a barista to video montage.
Gorky Park - Named after the famous Russian writer Maxim Gorky (who was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature five times but never won it) and sitting right across the Moskva River, Gorky Park covers 120 hectares of beautiful ponds and green spaces.
State Hermitage Museum - Founded when Empress Catherine the Great started acquiring works of art in the late 1700s, the museum didn't officially open to the public until 1852. Today, the Hermitage is the second-largest art museum in the world after the Louvre, and it's home to a collection of over three million items. The Hermitage technically occupies six buildings, although the main part of the museum is housed in the Winter Palace, which served as the home of the Russian emperors until 1917, and it's a massive structure with 1,500 rooms.
Peter and Paul Fortress - was originally a fortified area meant to protect the state from foreign attacks. It was constructed in 1703 and then extended and modified for the following four decades. While the fortress never saw any actual combat, it still has a dark story behind it, as it served as a prison and execution quarters during the Bolshevik revolution in the early 20th century. Today, it's part of the State Museum of the History of St. Petersburg.
Palace Square - St. Petersburg's main city square is a massive open public space right in front of the Winter Palace. The Alexander Column, built in the 1830s of a single piece of red granite, stands 47 meters tall at the center of the square. It was commissioned by Alexander I to commemorate the victory against Napoleon. Many major events in Soviet/Russian history have taken place right on the square—Tsar Alexander II was shot here in 1879, and Bolshevik troops started the Revolution here in 1917 by storming the Winter Palace, where the royalty lived. Since then, the square has also been used for marches and demonstrations, from military parades to celebrate Victory Day (which marks the end of WWII) to New Year's Eve celebrations.
Peterhof Palace - Located less than 30 km from central St. Petersburg, the 18th-century Peterhof Palace complex consists of a series of buildings, several formal gardens, and a total of 173 fountains fed by underground springs. Designed in the style of the Palace of Versailles, Peterhof is best known for its "Grand Cascade," which consists of 64 fountains located on a series of terraces outside the main entrance of the palace. It features 30 rooms decorated with truly imposing gold colors, lots of marble, and items brought back from Asia mixing in with Baroque-style fireplaces and giant mirrors. Bus is possible but you can also catch a boat from St. Petersburg. It takes 45 minutes on the Neva River.
Eliseyev Emporium - building was inaugurated in 1903, it was one of the most luxurious structures of its time. This might not be the case anymore, but the Art Nouveau details, stained-glass windows, crystal and metal candelabra, and hand-painted wall patterns are still quite impressive. The main attraction here, however, is the window displays, which feature moving puppets representing characters from The Nutcracker. The most famous stop inside being the Eliseevy Merchants' Shop, Russia's oldest confectionery shop, which also sells high-end meats, spices, and dressings. The Eliseyev Emporium is also home to a unique homemade ice-cream shop selling flavors such as spicy basic and strawberry, green tea with jasmine, and "tender violet."
Vasilyevsky Island - Located just across the river from the city center and the Winter Palace and connected to the mainland by two bridges and a metro line, this small island is home to a number of landmarks and beautiful parks—including a Museum of Electrical Transport; the Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography; the Old Saint Petersburg Stock Exchange; and the Baroque Menshikov Palace, which serves as a branch of the Heritage Museum and holds mainly 17th-century Russian art. The Russian Academy of Sciences has several branches on the island, as well—and visitors might particularly appreciate visiting the Institute of Russian Literature, which holds original manuscripts of some of Russian's most famous writers, including beloved poet Alexander Pushkin.
Nevsky Avenue - Named after the Alexander Nevsky Lavra monastery that sits on this same street, the 4.5-km-long Nevsky Prospect (or Avenue) is the heart of St. Petersburg. Home to the 18th-century Great Gostiny Dvor, one of the oldest shopping arcades in the world, Nevsky Avenue, has high-end shops, fancy restaurants, and luxury hotels. Nevsky Prospect is all about opulent architecture. Palaces and churches stand side by side, including the Late Baroque Stroganov Palace; the early 19th-century Kazan Cathedral; and the Russian National Library, housed in a building dating back to the 1700s.
Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood - One of the most beautiful sights in St. Petersburg is this multicolored church designed in traditional medieval Russian style. Alexander III ordered its construction in 1883 on the site where his father had been assassinated two years prior. It took over 20 years for the church to be finally completed, partly because of budget and partly because the materials needed for its interior décor (which included 7,500 square meters of mosaics to cover the walls and ceilings).
Mariinsky Theater - Catherine the Great ordered the formation of the imperial opera and ballet troupe in the late 18th century, but it wasn't until 1860, almost 80 years later, that the company got its own theater. Once it opened, Mariinsky Theater was the most preeminent music hall in Russia—the place where major masterpieces from Tchaikovsky and Mussorgsky were first premiered. A masterpiece of Neoclassical architecture with Neo-Byzantine design elements, the Mariinsky Theater looks opulent from every angle—from the U-shaped auditorium to the ceiling mural to the massive crystal chandelier.
Rivers and Canals - St. Petersburg's canals once played an important role in preventing floods—and while they still do keep waters at bay, they are now mainly used for transportation and to enjoy beautiful cruises down the Neva. The canal system stretches for over 300 kms, with hundreds of bridges crossing over them. The two most popular waterways are the Griboyedov Canal and the Winter Canal. The Griboyedov Canal flows under 21 bridges and alongside some of the city's most famous landmarks, including the Church of Our Savior on the Spilled Blood. The city's shortest canal, the Winter Canal, runs by the Winter Palace and the Hermitage Theater.
Cruiser Aurora - is a retired Russian naval ship with an armored deck. Built in the earlier 1900s, it served during the Russo-Japanese War in 1904–1905 and survived the Battle of Tsushima, where Russia suffered massive losses both in human lives and in the number of ships sunk or destroyed. It was also a shot from an Aurora cannon that marked the beginning of the Russian Revolution in 1917.
Saint Isaac's Cathedral - is the world's largest Orthodox basilica, though the building has been converted into a museum, and religious service is rarely held here anymore. The cathedral was named after Saint Isaac the Confessor, a Christian monk who founded an important monastery in Constantinople. The cathedral was finished in 1858, after 40 years of construction work plagued by criticism about the Neoclassical building being "plain and not too impressive."
Rosa Khotur Ski Resort-This is a very popular ski resort, located close to the Krasnaya Polyana. It has fun activities for everyone and makes for an ideal way to spend your day at Sochi.
Park Riviera - is a thrilling amusement park. With rides for sheer enjoyment and a big adrenaline rush and cafes to step into to unwind, this oneÍs. Located in Sochi
Lake retsa- Enjoy a beautiful drive up north from Sukhumi and come across the gorgeous Lake Ritsa in Sochi.
Park Arboretum - If you love exotic plants, birds and animals, do visit the Park Arboretum in Sochi, which includes lots of rare plants as well as a floral arena or arboretum, with birds and animals.
Frunze Park - is often called as the only remnant of the Tsar rule. It is a park built almost like a resort and provides visitors with a lot of peace.
33 Waterfalls - This is a UNESCO site and an area of great pride for the residents of Sochi. A collection of 33 waterfalls, all varying in their height, gush down the mountains, making for a beautiful picture.
Singing Fountain - is SochiÍs most visited tourist attraction, built back in 1970 and is a beautiful place to visit while youÍre in the city.
Stalin’s Villa - History lovers should not leave Sochi without stepping into StalinÍs villa. Stalin had this villa built some years before World War II and it is visited each year by thousands of people.
Churches & Cathedrals-Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood (St. Petersburg), St. Basil's Cathedral (Moscow), St. Isaac's Cathedral State Museum-Memorial (St. Petersburg), The Naval Cathedral of Saint Nicholas in Kronstadt (Kronshtadt), Kolomenskoye Historical and Architectural Museum and Reserve (Moscow), Konigsberg Cathedral (Kaliningrad), Church of the Intercession of the Holy Virgin (Bogolyubovo),Cathedral of the Assumption (Uspensky Sobor) (Smolensk), Holy Assumption Cathedral (Vladimir), The Holy Dormition Pskovo-Pechersky Monastery (Pechory), The Church of Ilya the Prophet (Yaroslavl), St. John the Baptist Church (Yaroslavl), Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul (Peterhof), Peter and Paul Fortress (Petropavlovskaya Krepost) (St. Petersburg), Annunciation Cathedral (Kazan), Christ The Savior Cathedral (Moscow) Cathedral of Saint Demetrius (Vladimir), Monastery of st Ipaty (Kostroma), Church of Prince Demitry the Martyr (Uglich), The Resurrection Church on the Debra (Kostroma), Epiphany Cathedral (Kazan), Transfiguration monastery (Murom), Holy Trinity Convent (Murom) Church of Nativity of Most Holy Mother of God (Nizhny Novgorod), Gefsimansky Chernigovsky Skit (convent) (Sergiyev Posad), Nikolsky Women's Monastery (Pereslavl-Zalessky), Cathedral of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God (Irkutsk), Spaso-Prilutsky monastery (Vologda), Ascension Cathedral (Novocherkassk), Kazan Cathedral (Moscow).
Nature & Parks-Catherine Palace and Park (Pushkin), Kurortny Park (Kislovodsk), Park And Gardens of Peterhof (Peterhof), Ruskeala Mountain Park (Ruskeala), Pavlovsk Palace and Park (Pavlovsk), Gorkiy Central Park of Culture and Recreation (Moscow, Neskuchny sad (Moscow), Sokolniki Park (Moscow), P. Belousov Central Park of Culture and Recreation (Tula), Sparrow Hills (Vorobyovy Gory) (Moscow), Bird Park Vorobyi (Vorobi), Victory Park (Moscow), City Park and Embankment (Petrozavodsk), Monrepos Park, Historical, Architectural and Natural Museum Preserve (Vyborg), Olimpiyskiy Park (Sochi), Stary Park Cultural Center (Kabardinka), The Solnechny Ostrov (Sunny Island) Park (Krasnodar), Southern Cultures Park (Adler), Roev Ruchey Zoo (Krasnoyarsk), National Park Lake Pleshheyevo (Pereslavl-Zalessky), Gagarin Park (Chelyabinsk), Gatchina Palace and Park (St. Petersburg), Park Alyye Parusa (Voronezh), Muravyov Amursky Park (Khabarovsk), Alexander Park (Pushkin), Arkhangelskoye Estate and Museum (Arkhangelskoye), Central Park of Culture and Rest Lopatinsky Garden (Smolensk), Izmailovsky Park (Moscow), Essentukskiy Park Resort (Essentuki), Valaam Archipelago (Sortavala).
Ski & Snowboard Areas-Rosa Khutor Ski Resort (Esto-Sadok), Krasnaya Polyana Mountain Cluster (Sochi), Gazprom Mountain-Tourist Centre (Esto-Sadok), Gornaya Karusel Sport-Tourist Complex (Esto-Sadok), Roev Ruchey Zoo (Krasnoyarsk), Mount Elbrus (Baksan Valley), Gorny Vozduh (Mountain Air) (Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk), Ski Resort Dombay (Dombay), "Laura" Cross-country Ski & Biathlon Center (Esto-Sadok), Year-Round Resort Arkhyz (Arkhyz), Ski center Metallurg-Magnitogorsk (Magnitogorsk), Ski Resort Big Wood (Kirovsk), Gorny Vozdukh Ski Resort (Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk), Ski Resort Sorochany (Kurovo), Alpika-Service Skiing Resort (Esto-Sadok), Tsey Alpine Resort (Vladikavkaz), Park Novodevichi Prudy (Moscow), PandaPark Fili Rope Park (Moscow), Sobolinaya Mountain Ski Resort (Baykalsk).
Aquariums-Planet Neptune Oceanarium (St. Petersburg), Moskvarium (Moscow), Nemo Anapa Dolphinarium (Anapa), Voronezh Oceanarium (Solnechny), Moscow Oceanarium (Moscow), Sochi Discovery World Aquarium (Kurortny Gorodok), Oceanarium Crocus City (Moscow), Primorskiy Oceanarium (Vladivostok), Adler Dolphinarium (Adler), Dolphinarium (Vityazevo), Anapa Dolphinarium (Bolshoy Utrish), Aqua-Mir Dolphinarium (Nebug), Morskaya Zvezda Dolphinarium (Lazarevskoye), Murmansk Oceanarium (Murmansk), Dolphinarium Naberezhnye Chelny (Naberezhnye Chelny), Dolphinarium (Yeysk), St. Petersburg Dolphinarium (St. Petersburg).
Mountains-Krasnaya Polyana Mountain Cluster (Sochi), Ruskeala Mountain Park (Ruskeala), Mount Elbrus (Baksan Valley), Mountain Levitan (Ples), Cerkovka Mountain (Belokurikha, Mountain Zelenaya (Sheregesh), Mount Cheget (Baksan Valley), Mountain Ring (Kislovodsk), Mountain Maloye Sedlo (Kislovodsk), Voskresenskaya Mountain (Tomsk), Belukha Mountain (Gorno-Altaysk), Sestra Mountain/ Sister Mountain (Nakhodka), Lisya Mountain (Nizhny Tagil), Sekirnaya Mountain (Bolshoy Solovetsky).
Volcanos-Canyons-Forests-Valleys-Volcano Mutnovsky (Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky), Dancing Forest (Rybachy), Gorely Volcano (Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky), Hadjoh Gorge (Kamennomostsky), Lotus Valley (Golubitskaya), The Great Baikal Trail (Listvyanka), Mamedovo Canyon (Lazarevskoye), Chegem Canyon (Nalchik), Tizdar Mud Volcano (Za Rodinu), Ancient volcano Girvas (Kondopoga), Mountain Pass Katu-Yaryk (Ulagan), Avachinsky Volcano (Kamchatka Krai), Chernyayevsky Forest (Perm) , Sukko Valley (Anapa), Svirsk Gorge (Lazarevskoye), Pribaikalskiy National Park (Irkutsk).