Russia Destination Guide and Cruise Finder

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Regions

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Central Russia (Federal City of Moscow, Ivanovo Oblast, Kaluga Oblast, Kostroma Oblast, Moscow Oblast, Ryazan Oblast, Smolensk Oblast, Tver Oblast, Tula Oblast, Vladimir Oblast, Yaroslavl Oblast)
The richest part of the entire country, dominated by spectacular architecture and historical buildings. It is Russia’s gate to Europe, and houses the capital city Moscow.
Chernozemye (Belgorod Oblast, Bryansk Oblast, Kursk Oblast, Lipetsk Oblast, Oryol Oblast, Tambov Oblast, Voronezh Oblast)
South to Central Russia, the region is famous for its rich, deep, black soil (Chernozem in Russian means “Black soil”). This region was the important battleground during World War 2 for Russia.
Northwestern Russia (Federal City of Saint Petersburg, Arkhangelsk Oblast, Karelia, Komi Republic, Leningrad Oblast, Murmansk Oblast, Nenetsia, Novgorod Oblast, Pskov Oblast, Vologda Oblast)
Home to the former imperial capital Saint Petersburg also known as Northern capital. It combines some beautiful landscapes of the large lakes Ladoga and Onega, medieval forts of Pskov Oblast with the lacustrine region of Karelia, and provides a gate for the country to interact with Scandinavian territories.
Kaliningrad Oblast (often considered as a part of Northwestern Russia)
The only exclave of Russia (an area not connected directly to the rest of Russia), the Kaliningrad oblast allows a gate for Russia to share borders with Poland and Lithuania, and is a key site for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Southern Russia (Adygea, Chechnya, Dagestan, Ingushetia, Kabardino-Balkaria, Kalmykia, Karachay-Cherkessia, Krasnodar Krai, North Ossetia, Rostov Oblast, Stavropol Krai)
The warmest region in the entire country, with beautiful resort cities such as subtropical Sochi, and it also brings a path to the mountainous North Caucasus.
Volga Region (Astrakhan Oblast, Chuvashia, Kirov Oblast, Mari El, Mordovia, Nizhny Novgorod Oblast, Penza Oblast, Samara Oblast, Saratov Oblast, Tatarstan, Udmurtia, Ulyanovsk Oblast, Volgograd Oblast)
The most industrialized region in the entire country, known for producing wide-scale military equipment in cities such as Izhevsk. The region is widely known for its rich culture and history.
Urals Region (Bashkortostan, Chelyabinsk Oblast, Khantia-Mansia, Kurgan Oblast, Orenburg Oblast, Perm Krai, Sverdlovsk Oblast, Tyumen Oblast, Yamalia)
One of the wealthiest regions, known for producing much of the resources Russia needs today and is named after the vast Ural mountains.
Siberia (Altai Krai, Altai Republic, Buryatia, Irkutsk Oblast, Kemerovo Oblast, Khakassia, Krasnoyarsk Krai, Novosibirsk Oblast, Omsk Oblast, Tomsk, Tuva, Zabaykalsky Krai)
The largest area in the country diverse in landscape and yearly temperatures with stunning lakes, the world’s longest rivers, but swampy in most parts in the centre and north. Provides a gate to enter into much of Asia.
Russian Far East (Amur Oblast, Chukotka, Jewish Autonomous Oblast, Kamchatka Krai, Khabarovsk Krai, Magadan Oblast, Primorsky Krai, Sakhalin Oblast, Yakutia)
One of the coldest places in all of Russia, even home to the coldest city in the world, Yakutsk. Worldwide renown for national parks, beautiful scenery and mountains and even allows the traveller to see the volcanoes of Kamchatka. The region is also a gateway to enter into North Korea, China, and Mongolia.
Crimea (Republic of Crimea, Sevastopol)
Russia’s favourite tourist spot for beaches and resorts. Part of Russia since 1783, this region was transferred to Ukraine in 1954, and retaken by Russia in 2014.

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Cities

Here is a representative sample of just nine Russian cities with their Anglicized and Russian Cyrillic names:

The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg

  • Moscow  — Russia’s gargantuan capital is one of the world’s greatest cities and has endless attractions to offer an adventurous visitor
  • Saint Petersburg  — Russia’s cultural and former political capital is home to the Hermitage, one of the world’s best museums, while the city centre is a living open air museum in its own right, making this city one of the world’s top travel destinations. It’s also the second largest city in the country.
  • Irkutsk  — the world’s favourite Siberian city, located within an hour of Lake Baikal on the Trans-Siberian Railway
  • Kazan — the capital of Tatar culture is an attractive city in the heart of the Volga Region with an impressive kremlin
  • Nizhny Novgorod  — often overlooked despite being one of the largest cities in Russia, Nizhny Novgorod is well worth a visit for its kremlin, Sakharov museum, and nearby Makaryev Monastery
  • Sochi  — Russia’s favorite Black Sea beach resort has been largely unknown to foreigners, but this has started to change in a major way after hosting the 2014 Winter Olympic Games.
  • Vladivostok  — often referred to (somewhat ironically) as “Russia’s San Francisco,” full of hilly streets and battleships, this is Russia’s principal Pacific city and the terminus of the Trans-Siberian Railway
  • Volgograd  — formerly Stalingrad, the scene of perhaps the deciding battle of World War II, and now home to a massive war memorial
  • Yekaterinburg  — the hub of the Urals region and one of Russia’s principal cultural poles is a good stop on the Trans-Siberian Railway and an arrival point for visitors to the Urals, the second Russian financial centre.

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Other destinations

Lake Baikal, the deepest lake in the world

  • Border of Europe and Asia — it’s clearly defined in Yekaterinburg, and a very popular stop for photo ops straddling the continents!
  • Dombai — while neither as internationally famous nor as well kept nowadays, this is the most beautiful mountain resort area of the Northern Caucasus.
  • Golden Ring — a popular loop of pretty historical cities and towns forming a ring around Moscow.
  • Kamchatka — the region of active volcanoes, geysers, mineral springs, and bears walking in the streets.
  • Kizhi — one of the most precious sites in all Russia, Kizhi Island on Lake Onega is famous for its spectacular ensemble of traditional wooden churches.
  • Komi Virgin Forests — profoundly remote, and hard-to-visit, but this is by far Europe’s largest wild area, containing Russia’s largest National Park of Yugyd Va.
  • Lake Baikal — the “pearl of Siberia” is the world’s deepest and largest lake by volume and a remarkable destination for all who love the outdoors.
  • Mamaev Kurgan — a massive monument and museum on and about the battlefield upon which the twentieth century’s most pivotal battle played out: Stalingrad.
  • Solovetsky Islands — far north in the White Sea and home to the beautiful Solovetsky Monastery, which has served as both a military fortress and a gulag throughout its tortuous history.

courtesy © wikimedia.comPhoto credit: bill barber via VisualHunt / CC BY-NC

Photo credit: iakoubtchik via Visual hunt / CC BY-SA

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