Every step a tourist takes in Russia is steeped in history, from bloody conflicts to brilliant classical music, architecture, and literature. Tourists can find great works of art practically wherever they go, not just in museums but even in churches.
Take a look at our choices for the best destinations to visit in Russia, including spectacular, opulent palaces to immense wild expanses.
Saint Petersburg was established in 1703 as a seaport, which was critical to the future growth of the then Tsardom of Russia under Peter the Great. Compared to older European capitals, it is relatively new. It is perhaps the only city on earth to have garnered so much historical significance in such a brief span of time.
It was regarded as the Russian Empire’s “key to paradise,” hence the city’s name is immensely meaningful. According to the Holy Bible, the city’s namesake, Saint Peter, was a guardian of the keys to paradise.
The splendor of Saint Petersburg has been extolled by many great Russian and international painters, poets, authors, and musicians. Saint Petersburg is now one of Russia’s most prominent cultural, technological, and commercial centers, with hundreds of galleries and exhibition halls.
According to historical accounts, the history of Russia’s most significant political, economic, cultural, and scientific center began In 1147 when Prince Yury Dolgoruky invited his relative and ally, Prince Svyatoslav Olgovich, to attend him in Moscow, which was then but a modest holding concealed in the immense Russian wilderness.
Moscow had become a community by the 1200s, and by the 1400s, it had become the Russian State’s capital. Today, Moscow, with its rich history, architectural wonders, and countless cultural treasures, has become a center stage for international events shaping the course of Russia and the world at large. Today, tourists from all over the world come to see Moscow’s magnificence, the capital of the largest empire to have ever existed on Earth.
If you’re planning on seeing both Moscow and Saint Petersburg, you can easily visit both on your trip to Russia by taking a Vodohod cruise.
Holding around 20% of the entire world’s fresh water supply, Lake Baikal is both the world’s oldest (25 million years) and deepest (1,700 meters) lake. In 1996 it was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This stunning lake is situated in Siberia’s south-eastern region and is known for its pristine waters and rich biodiversity, with over 1,700 species of flora and fauna.
Gatchina is a town and former residence of the Russian Tsar, located 45 kilometers away from Saint Petersburg.
Designed by the renowned architect Rinaldi as a hunting retreat for Count Grigori Orlov in 1781, the imperial palace at Gatchina is an outstanding example of early Russian classical architecture. It later became Emperor Paul’s favorite estate, and he declared it an official Emperor’s residence.
Having been built as a lonely castle, the palace cuts an imposing figure across the surrounding landscape as it stands above the still waters of Lake Serebryany. The palace is unlike any of St. Petersburg’s suburban summer mansions, with its colossal grandeur, many towers, native limestone-clad walls, and an underground tunnel connecting to the lake.
Veliky Novgorod is one of Russia’s oldest cities, dating back to between the 9th and 10th centuries. It served as the political hub for broad swaths of land ranging from the Baltic to the Ural Mountains.
Veliky Novgorod was Russia’s most important cultural hub for centuries, producing records, novels, hagiographies, and analytical writing. In the city today, several remarkable examples of medieval architecture and art have been preserved.
Vladivostok, established in 1860, is among Russia’s most significant seaports. It is the home port of Russia’s Pacific Fleet and is situated near the Sino-Russian border and North Korea. Surprisingly, Vladivostok has maintained its strategic significance up to the modern day.
Since it lies fewer than 100 kilometers to the east of the Chinese border and just across the Sea of Japan from Honshu, the largest of Japan’s islands, Vladivostok is known as Russia’s window to Asia. Because of its position, it serves as a significant way station for Japanese, Korean, and Chinese imports into Russia and a melting pot for many different cultures.
Vladivostok was designated as a Soviet naval marine base in 1958 and closed to foreigners until 1991, when Russia’s first President, Boris Yeltsin, issued a decree declaring Vladivostok’s re-opening to the international public on New Year’s Day 1992.
Vladivostok was a very international city between its creation and designation as a Soviet naval marine base in the late 1950s. In Vladivostok in the early 1900s, Russian citizens were significantly outnumbered by the city’s Chinese population, and there were considerable numbers of Japanese in the period after the revolution.
Vladivostok is now open to everybody, and it is one of Russia’s most significant regional cities. People visit from around the world expecting to make new amazing experiences and even perhaps potential business relationships in the city.