Let's get the vodka out of the way - yes there is vodka in Russia and yes it is quite good, but this country has a ton of other things to offer and all of it sits on an incredible rebellious world-shaking history. Russia is a the largest country of the world and spans over nine different time zones. It is as diverse in culture and landscapes as it is vast. As there are plenty of famous cities, mouthwatering natural sites, lavish places and Soviet Era relics scattered across this huge country, it sometimes becomes difficult to decide which place to see and which not on any stealthily Russian adventure. To help yourself make this rather tricky decision, you need to continue reading this article.
As Russia is a vast country, it is simply impossible to give general advise on the weather and climatic condition you might encounter while in the country. Generally speaking, the summers are warm to hot whereas the winters tend to get very cold. In winters, temperatures can drop as low as -300 C and most of parts of the country receive very heavy snowfall as well. The areas with mildest temperatures are along the Baltic Sea. As far as the landscape of the country is concerned, most areas are typically flat with the exception of mountainous Caucasus region on the east of the Black Sea.
Although Moscow is the capital of the country yet Saint Petersburg is perhaps its most beautiful and popular city among the tourists. Most of the Petersburgers consider themselves as ‘Europeans’ instead of Russians but both modern and ancient buildings (e.g. Peter and Paul Fortress) represent the city as purely ‘Russian.’ The tour of the city is virtually incomplete if you fail to visit spectacularly beautiful Kunstcamera museum also featuring the world famous Voltaire’s Library and the marvelously decorated Hermitage. Similarly, anyone touring Saint Petersburg should visit the monument of Peter the Great at the earliest. This is the favorite place of newlywed couples who do not stop hanging their ‘trophies’ on the fence no matter how many times the monument is cleared.
Kazan and Saint Isaac’s Cathedrals look splendid in the day when sunlight dances on the elegant paintings and mosaics whereas the biggest square of the city, the Palace Square looks glorious in the night. For getting the true experience of the city, ensure to watch the bridges raise, take a stroll along Nevsky, see a ballet in Mariinsky Theatre and of course, never forget to go into the backstreets.
Unlike Saint Petersburg, Moscow features huge Soviet buildings and wide streets. Two of the most important and historic hallmarks of the city are Stalin skyscrapers and The Russian State Library featuring incredible 275 km of book shelves. However, the most popular places among tourists is the Red Square and Kremlin. The Red Square has served as an execution yard as well as a market in the past but it has now become the first port of call for both locals and tourists. The Red Square enables you to dip into the history of the city with utmost ease and it is still the center of city life. The Red square also features some exquisite and popular buildings like multicolored Saint Basil’s Cathedral, the Mausoleum an the Russian Historical Museum.
Kazan is one of the oldest capital cities in the world and it is still known as “the third capital of Russia.” The city celebrated its 1000th birthday in 2005 and despite of its impressive age, all the historic buildings and landmarks such as the Old Tatar Settlement, the Annunciation Cathedral, the central city, the Kazan Kremlin located in the city center have been preserved in best possible condition. The history blends interestingly with the modernism in the shape of many contemporary architectural monuments. The newly constructed Qolsharif Mosque and the “Frisbee” commonly referred to as the symbol of modern Kazan are the most important buildings that contemporary architectural style. The city is also the biggest example of the fact that both Christians and Muslims can coexist in complete peace and progress together.
It is often said that foreign tourists travel across the Russia more than the locals. The uniquely beautiful Russian cities and spectacular wilderness opens new door of opportunities for the tourists and therefore, you should consider visiting all the famous Russian tourists destination sooner rather than later.
Airlines servicing the route between Russia and Australia include China Southern Airlines, Korean Air, Air China, Etihad Airways, Air France, Lufthansa, Virgin Australia and British Airways.
Australia to Russia
Popular stopovers between Russia and Australia include Guangzhou, Urumqi, Shanghai, Auckland, Singapore and Helsinki.
More information at the Russia Holidays guide.