Russia adventure travel may be anything from a visit to the 19th century majesty of St. Petersburg to the rugged beauty of Siberia. Russia, the world's largest country, spans nine time zones, is home to members of 160 ethnic groups, and offers visitors centuries of history, cultural, and natural beauty to explore.
The most popular travel destinations in Russia are Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Novosibirsk in Siberia, but Russia travel is really only limited by your imagination.
Russia's capital city is steeped in culture, architecture, and mystery. Among the many sights here are:
- Red Square - Red Square is the heart of Moscow. The vast central square is home to the Kremlin, the site of Tsarist and later Soviet government; Lenin's Mausoleum; the ornate GUM department store; St. Basil's and the Kazan Cathedrals. All of Moscow's streets run off of Red Square and it is a great starting point for any visit to Russia's capital and largest city.
- Lenin's Mausoleum - The small, granite building, inside the Kremlin walls has houses the embalmed body of Vladimir Lenin since his death in 1924. Millions of visitors have viewed the mausoleum.
- St. Basil's Cathedral - The most recognized symbol of Moscow, this colorful Russian Orthodox Church (pictured above) was built in the mid-16th century, commissioned by Tsar Ivan IV. The cathedral is known for its striking onion domes.
Exploring St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg, located in western Russian along the Baltic Sea, was created in the 19th century by Peter the Great. He envisioned the city as a rival of Europe's great capitals and built a beautiful city, filled with museums, palaces, and grand expanses. Among the many wonders to be found in this elegant city are:
- The Hermitage - one of the largest, oldest, and most important art galleries in the world, the Hermitage's vast holdings are housed in six buildings, including the former winter palace of the Russian Tsars (pictured at left). The museum's permanent collection spans centuries, and includes works by Italian masters, French Impressionists, and the fabled Faberge eggs.
- The Summer Palace - The 14-room, Baroque, summer house of Tsar Peter the Great is a well-preserved example of the Imperial style.
- The Bridges - St. Petersburg has over 300 bridges, representing a variety of design styles, crossing the Neva River and its tributaries. In fact, the city is often referred to as the "Venice of the North."
- Mariinsky Theater - The elegant home of the world renowned Kirov Ballet and Opera.
Siberia, in north central Russia, is a rugged, forbidding land, blanketed by a cover of snow and ice for over half of the year. The vast region was largely undeveloped until the completion of the Trans-Siberian Railroad in 1912. Since then, Siberia has grown to house over 25 million citizens. Among the attractions in Siberia are:
- Novosibirsk - Siberia's largest city is home to a noted ballet and opera company, a world-renowned zoo, and one of the most powerful media relay stations in the world.
- Trans-Siberian Railroad - The best way to explore Siberia is via the Trans-Siberian railway. This famous train connects Moscow, in the west, to Vladivostok, in the east - a distance of over 9000 kilometers. The train is quite comfortable and features a dining car and optional sleeping compartments. This Russia travel adventure journey takes six days.
Booking Russia Adventure Travel
Booking Russia Adventure Travel is best aided by a qualified travel agent, who specializes in travel to Eastern Europe. First, be aware that visitors from the United States and Canada will need a valid passport plus a Russian visa stamped in their passport. Make sure to allow plenty of time to have these documents processed. For the application form and other requirements, see the Russian Consulate Web site.