Places To Visit In Russia
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- TATA AIG Team
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Russia is home to 30 UNESCO world heritage sites. It’s the largest country in the world with a surface area equivalent to Pluto. So naturally, it is also a great place to start if you want to explore more of northern Asia. The country has it all — mountains, frozen tundras, valleys, the oldest lake in the world, warm sands, and so much more.
The 10 Best Places To Visit In Russia
Even Russia's oldest cities are prime spots for tourists and travellers, with cities like Moscow and St.Petersburg still maintaining their imperial grandeur. This is especially true even in their newer infrastructure, like parks, shopping centres, and metro stations.
Most international flights even have layovers in Moscow. Therefore, when planning your trip, it's best to set aside a couple of hours to explore this city if you ever happen to land here. An overseas travel insurance plan will also be your best companion if you're a solo traveller.
Other cities and sites include faraway destinations like Siberia and the Far East, which offer a chance to explore places like Yakutia, which has the lowest recorded temperatures along the northern hemisphere.
Here are the top 10 places to visit in Russia:
Moscow is one of the most famous places to visit in Russia. The Russian capital is an impressive mix of stunning historical architecture and greenery. First-time visitors should start from the city's centre, where Red Square, the Kremlin, and St. Basil's Cathedral are located. The GUM shopping mall is also an excellent place for tourists to visit if they ever want to try authentic Russian cuisine.
The State Tretyakov Gallery, which contains only Russian art, the Pushkin Museum, housing more international collections, and the Kremlin Armory Museum are great options for art and history enthusiasts. The Bolshoi Theater is also worth getting tickets to, as it's one of the world's largest ballet and opera theatres.
Overall some of the best sights in Moscow require some walking. Stary Arbat, for example, is a pedestrian-only shopping street. The River Moskva boardwalk is another spot that can be best enjoyed on a leisurely walk. The metro stations are also worth visiting for their fantastic architecture and embellishments. They are like works of art in themselves. The Mayakovskaya metro station and Kievskaya station are great examples of this.
St. Petersburg may be smaller than Moscow, but it has just as much to offer with its more European aesthetics with fine art and architectural designs. You can either explore the city on foot or opt for a cruise to explore the city through the canals that cut through it.
Some must-see places include the Moika Palace (most famous for being where Rasputin was killed) and the 19th-century Neoclassical St. Isaac's Cathedral, a Russian Orthodox museum. Or the city's most famous attraction, The Hermitage Museum - known for being the world's second-largest museum with a collection of over 3 million items. These include Catherine the Great's art collection and even prehistoric art from the nomadic tribes of Altai.
If you are okay with making the trip out of the city, Peterhof Palace is always worth visiting. The palace was built in the early 1700s as a summer retreat for Peter the Great. The palace also greatly resembles the Palace of Versailles in France.
The Altai mountain range extends from China, Russia, Siberia, Kazakhstan and Mongolia and is part of a UNESCO world heritage site. They were traditionally inhabited by various indigenous groups involved in horse husbandry and forestry.
Furthermore, Denisova Cave in Siberia is one of the unique places to visit in Russia, owing to the artefacts and the bone fragments of even prehistoric horses found here dating back 50,00 years.
However, a lot of the beauty of the place lies in its snow-capped mountains and frozen rivers. The area around Aktru Glacier is famous for trekking. For those interested, the resort town of Belokurikha is a popular starting point, with many tourism agencies offering organised trips.
This high-altitude lake in Siberia has a maximum depth of 1,642 metres and is estimated to be 25 million years old, making it the oldest and deepest lake in the world. Lake Baikal is also the world's largest freshwater lake containing over 20% of the world's freshwater. Tacking onto its list of record breakers, Baikal is also one of the clearest lakes in the world. This is more evident during winter.
The best time to visit would be in August when the lake's temperature is around 16 degrees Celsius, making it suitable for short swims. During the summers, people enjoy kayaking, boat cruises and island hopping. At the same time, during winter, activities like cross-country skiing are more prevalent.
The Russian Tundra
It's a unique biome that only exists in the arctic circle. Temperatures here can get so cold that only mosses, shrubs, and certain grasses can survive. During nesting season, there is rich birdlife in the Tundra region. If we talk about the animals, polar bears, grey wolves, and seals dwell in these frigid regions.
The city of Murmansk offers incredible tundra tours and is also the best place to see the Northern Lights.
Covered in green forests, steep mountains, and taiga, Olkhon is one of the world's largest lake islands. Making this destination of the best places to visit in Russia in the top 10 lists. The island has a small permanent population of local Buryats, a Mongolic indigenous group.
The island is also famous for its walking trees. A bizarre phenomenon where strong winds uncover the trees’ roots, making them look like they're standing up. The villages also offer several homestays - Khuzir being the largest one, and the island also has a National History Museum of Revyakin worth visiting.
Located in the Far East of Russia, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky is surrounded by volcanoes. It can not be reached by road; the only way in is by flight. The city also lies against Avacha Bay, which is excellent for waterside strolls and whale-watching tours.
The volcano tours should be your primary activity, but other activities like visiting the Vulcanarium Museum and Museum of Salmon and skiing on Krasnaya Sopka mountain are worth making time for as well.
Anapa has been a popular resort destination for decades. Located along the coast of the Black sea, its sandy beaches, spas and the Anapa lighthouse are key sights the place has to offer. The Anapa Archaeological Museum and the last remaining gate of an Ottoman fort are also worth visiting.
The Taiga Forest
The Tiagi forest is one of the top places to visit in Russia. It's a unique region consisting of only coniferous trees that sits between the frozen Tundras in the north and the mixed forests of the South.
Temperatures here can reach as low as minus -20 degrees Celsius. In the Siberian Taiga, it can quickly drop to -50°C during the coldest months. Tours here take visitors through the forest to spend days outdoors, after which they can warm up in steam baths in wooden cabins - a popular local tradition.
Dargavs is better known as the "City of the Dead". The small settlement has just over 150 residents. Located near the Georgian border, it’s accessible only by a one-hour drive; this tiny village is famous for its cemetery.
The town's unusual cemetery is made up of small stone buildings. These were created in the 18th century for plague victims as their final resting place. The person would move into the "home" with some food and personal items where they lived out their final days. The closest major city to Dargavs is Vladikavkaz, an industrial town.
These are the best places to visit in Russia if you plan to spend a few weeks there. As you can see, there is no end to the number of things you can do. There's something there for everyone.
Before embarking on your journey, however, consider getting a travel insurance policy. Tata AIG's travel insurance plans allow for an easy claim travel insurance policy process, so you aren't left hanging in an emergency.
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