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Mighty Russia, the largest country in the world, spanning across nine different times, is as vast as it is diverse. Russia really has it all, from lavish palaces, Soviet-era relics, and famous cities, to the amazing oceans, mountains and natural destination that will take your breath away.

With all these different destinations to explore, it’s often hard to choose where to go on any stealthy Russian adventure. To help you make this tricky decision fast and way easier, we’ve listed nine of the best and most visited places in all Russia, so you can make the best of your vacation. 

1. Moscow

Moscow

Moscow, The home to the amazing Kremlin, legendary Red Square and the iconic St Basil’s Cathedral. The beautiful city of Moscow is not only the capital of Russia but also the political and cultural heart of the country. 

The Red Square is home to some of the city’s most recognizable landmarks and is a fascinating place to see all that is old about the city, colliding with the new. 

Within Red Square, travelers will find the fantastical St Basil’s Cathedral, the iconic Kremlin, Lenin’s Mausoleum and the glitzy Neo-Russian facade of the GUM shopping mall. As well as boosting the country’s popular landmarks. Moscow is a beautiful home of the best and famous museums and art galleries.

Usually, visitors start exploring the city from the center where the Red Square and Kremlin are located, so keep that in mind.

2. St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg

A magical city with a rich and fascinating history, St. Petersburg is the jewel in Russia’s Imperial Crown. Compared to Moscow, St. Petersburg is the city that looks and feels more European. 

The city is made up of a series of canals, this UNESCO World Heritage site is dotted with elegant baroque bridges, impressive rococo architecture, and spectacular palaces. You can either explore it on foot and admire those amazing places, or hop on a tourist cruise to explore part of the 300 kilometers of canals that cut through the imperial city.

Explore Peter and Paul Fortress – the oldest building in the city, with its impressive baroque interior. And visit the fabulous Winter Palace, once home of the tsars, where you will find the world-famous Hermitage collection. 

Take a look around St Isaac’s Cathedral, one of the world’s largest cathedrals and the beautiful Church on Spilled Blood, which was built on the spot where Tsar Alexander II was murdered in 1881. 

There are so many things to do in this iconic city.

3. Sochi

Sochi

One of the best and famous summer beach resort towns that are sitting right on the Black Sea, Sochi offers stretches of pebble and sand beaches with plenty of outdoor summer activities and festivals to lease all tourists. 

Walking along the sea embankment is a pleasant experience especially at night when the lights are on and the weather is nice. Environmentally conscious tourists may want to explore the Caucasus Biosphere Reserve.

Despite summer beaches, Sochi is known as the best winter sports destination in all of Europe, in fact, Sochi hosted the 2014 winter Olympics, The Russia Formula 1, and the famous 2018 FIFA World Cup.

4. Golden Ring

Golden Ring

Golden Ring gathers several cities outside of Moscow that fill the senses with awe. Beautiful and amazing countrysides filled with quaint cottages, cherry orchard onion-shaped domes and iconic beautiful cherishes that contain the country’s oldest art, make this spot a special place to visit. 

Golden Ring is known as the number one destination of all Russia alongside Moscow, today, it is very popular with tourists from all around the world. The traditional way to explore the cities makes a counters clockwise loop that begins and ends in Moscow.

5. Kizhi Island

Kizhi Island

Known especially for its gorgeous open-air museum, this amazing complex of great culture, historical, and nature features some of the beautiful wooden collections that are part of the UNESCO World Heritage list.

Kizhi Island is not as popular as Mesco or St. Petersburg but it targets very unique nature travelers who enjoy history and pure culture.

During your visit to Kizhi Island, don’t miss the most popular attractions which are the Church of the Resurrection of Lazarus and the Kizhi Pogost site.

6. Novgorod

Novgorod

When you finish exploring Moscow and heading to St. Petersburg, do yourself a favor and stop by Novgorod, one of the oldest towns in Russia history. This pretty town is of historic interest and was once the leading political and cultural center of Russia when Moscow was just a small provincial outpost.

visit the powerful Kremlin in Novgorod which is now a relic of the town’s past political significance.

Visitors can explore the Cathedral of St Sophia, which is possibly the oldest building in Russia, and the Church of Our Saviour-at-Ilino with its breathtaking frescoes. Outside of the town you can find the picturesque 12th-century Yuriev Monastery and enjoy a happy evening.

7. Yekaterinburg

Yekaterinburg

Yekaterinburg is the fourth-largest city in Russia with a population of more than 1.5 million, and one of the most visited cities in all of Europe. Located 30 km from the border of Europe and Asia.

Yekaterinburg is known as City of the Romanovs as it is synonymous with the murder of the Romanov family in July 1918.

While in the city, you can visit the Byzantine-style Church on Blood which reverses the Romanovs and is close to the partially demolished house where they were all executed. 

There are a lot of things you can do in this amazing city like dog sledding or ice fishing in winter, hiking through the lush taiga forests during the summer, and plenty of historical and cultural sites for every season.

8. Lake Baikal

Lake Baikal

King of superlatives, Lake Baikal is the deepest, largest, and oldest freshwater lake on the planet, reaching a maximum depth of more than 1,600 meters with an estimated 25 million years old.

This immense stretch of water, better described as a sea than a lake, it contains more water than all the North American Great Lakes combined, and it’s also considered one of the clearest lakes in the world.

In summer, Lake Baikal becomes the number one destination for all kayaking, boat cruises lovers. 

At 72 km long it is one of the world’s biggest lake-bound islands and from Khuzir, its surprisingly busy capital, travelers can hire bikes or take part in one of the organized tours and explore its rocky surface.

9. Vladimir

Vladimir

Russia’s old capital for nearly two centuries before giving way to Moscow. Founded in 1108, Vladimir Lately has become one of the top destinations in all Russia.  

Founded in 1108, Vladimir actually was the capital of Russia for nearly two centuries before Moscow took the title. It forms part of the Golden Ring of ancient towns, going back from the 12th to 17th centuries that have great historic, architectural, and religious significance in Russia. 

The best thing about Vladimir is that you can easily see the major sites of interest within a day or two, So it will not cut a lot of your travel time. The famous symbol of Vladimir is the striking Golden Gates that was built in 1163 to form part of the city’s defenses. 

In Cathedral Square is the amazing Assumption Cathedral, which despite being completely destroyed by fire in 1185, was immaculately restored and is a breathtaking sight.

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9 Magical Places To Visit In Russia – Europe Travel

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