What you cannot miss about Russia
Visiting Russia will be an unforgettable experience, this immense Nation offers a wide range of travel experiences, from hikes on the slopes of glacier-covered mountains to walks along the shore of the oldest lake on Earth. Historical sites and cultural activities also abound in the country's big cities. Whether you're exploring the grounds of the Moscow Kremlin or wandering the steppes of Mongolia, a visit to Russia is an adventure that won't soon be forgotten.
Part of the longest railway system in the world, the classic Trans-Siberian railway runs from Moscow to Vladivostok, a city near Russia's borders with China and North Korea. Started in 1891 by Tsar Alexander III and completed by his son, Tsar Nicholas II, in 1916, the line is known as the Route of the Tsars. Most travelers use the train as an overnight accommodation from one destination to another. The train has first, second and third class carriages, some with private bathrooms and showers.
Mount Elbrus is located in the Caucasus Mountains in southern Russia. At 5,642 meters (18,510 feet), Elbrus is listed as one of the Seven Summits, the highest peaks on each of the planet's seven continents, attracting both experienced and novice climbers. While the mountain was formed from a volcano, it is considered dormant, with no recorded eruptions. A cable car system can carry visitors up to 3,800 meters (12,500 feet), making it easy to climb to the top.
St. Sophia Cathedral
Situated in Novgorod, the oldest city in Russia, the Saint Sophia Cathedral sits within the grounds of the city's Kremlin. Standing 125 feet tall and adorned with five spectacular domes, the cathedral is the oldest church in Russia. St. Sophia Cathedral features a number of ancient religious artifacts, including The Mother of God of the Sign, an icon that, according to legend, saved Novgorod from attack in 1169. The cathedral's three famously carved doors also date from the 12th century.
Many travelers on the Trans-Siberian Railway make plans to stop at Lake Baikal, the deepest and oldest lake on Earth. Lake Baikal has about 20 percent of the world's fresh water. Located in Siberia, the 25-million-year-old lake is surrounded by mountain ranges. The lake is considered one of the most crystalline lakes in the world. Known as the Pearl of Siberia, Lake Baikal is home to several resorts, making the area a popular vacation destination.
Once the capital of several Russian principalities, Suzdal is the jewel of Russia's "Golden Ring", ancient cities that the country has preserved as living museums of Russia's cultural past. Those wishing to experience the best of Russia's historic architecture, replete with onion-domed Kremlins, cathedrals and monasteries, will find it in Suzdal. Dating back to 1024, the entire city is like a large open-air museum that transports visitors back in time.
Founded in 1764 by Catherine the Great, the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia is a massive museum of art and culture displaying the highlights of a collection of more than 3 million items spanning the world. The collections occupy a large complex of six historic buildings, including the Winter Palace, a former residence of Russian emperors.
St. Basil's Cathedral
Built between 1554 and 1561 and located in the heart of Moscow, Saint Basil's Cathedral has been one of the main tourist attractions in Russia. It is not the interior artifacts of the building that attract visitors, but the distinctive architecture of the cathedral. Designed to resemble the shape of a burning bonfire, the architecture is not only unique to the period in which it was built, but to any subsequent period. There is no other structure on earth like Saint Basil's Cathedral.