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Russia has the largest river in Europe, the Volga; the world's largest lake, the Caspian Sea; the world's deepest freshwater lake, the Baikal; and Europe's highest peak, Elbrus.
17 million square kilometres of beauty
With one-sixth the entire land mass of the world within its borders, and so many natural and man-made wonders to see, Russia is a land that truly impresses!
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Russia covers more than 17 million square kilometres. It takes about a week to cross the country's ten time zones by train, and ten hours by air. Russia has the largest river in Europe, the Volga; the world's largest lake, the Caspian Sea; the world's deepest freshwater lake, the Baikal; and Europe's highest peak, Elbrus. Taking up an immense space, a home to different nationalities and cultures, it’s often called a bridge between the East and the West.
Moscow is the focal point of the whole Russian state, and to understand how Russia grew, we have to understand the history of Moscow. The city is said to date back eight-and-a half-centuries, with the first references to it in chronicles from 1147. It was built by Suzdal's Prince Yuri Dolgorukiy on the sweeping curve of the Moskva River.
From its humble beginnings as a hunting village, it grew steadily into a fortress city to become later on the seat of Russia’s political power and a cosmopolitan capital. Russia's most intense human aspirations, be they artistic, religious or political, have found their most passionate expression in Moscow.
With more than 17 million square kilometers to consider, planning a trip to Russia can be daunting, but you can start with the country’s top sites.
Russia's capital is one of the largest cities in the world. In contrast to St Petersburg, Moscow is a city of wide avenues and massive Soviet buildings – from the Lenin Russian State Library which has 275 km. of shelves, to Stalin skyscrapers representing Stalin’s Empire style. All tourists, however, go to see the Kremlin and Red Square first. Here you can visit the Mausoleum, the Russian Historical Museum (which formerly housed the Lomonosov State University), and multi-coloured Saint Basil’s Cathedral, whose architect is said to have had his eyes poked out so that he could not recreate it!
St. Petersburg is the second largest city in Russia and one of the world's major cities. It has more to offer than just the Hermitage Museum and the Kirov Ballet. Almost all basic trends in the world and Russian architecture of the 18th-20th centuries are found in St Petersburg; the city has played a vital role in both Russian and European history. Founded by Peter the Great in 1703, it was the capital of the Russian Empire for two centuries.
With temperatures known to hit a tarmac-melting 37°C (99°F) in the cities and fall to -30°C (-22°F) and lower during the Siberian winter, there’s no point generalising about Russia’s weather except to say, be prepared. While the notion of visiting a snow-blanketed Moscow or St Petersburg has a definite romance, most tourists prefer to come calling in the warm summer months of June, July and August.
Stretching for over 6,000 miles all the way from Moscow to the Russian Far East, the Trans-Siberian Railway can claim to be one of the wonders of the modern world. Spanning 7 time zones and passing 80 cities and towns on the way, the “Trans-Sib” is the longest continuous railway in the world, extending from European Russia, through the Ural Mountains, into Siberia, before finally reaching Russia’s Far Eastern shores.
You will pass the great plains of the Volga region and the dense forests of Siberia, travel along the world’s largest and deepest freshwater lake – Baikal – and enjoy stunning views of the Altai Mountains.
The Golden Ring is the name given to the chain of ancient towns lying to the north and east of Moscow. These towns contain a collection of architectural masterpieces, set in the charming landscape of central Russia. The Golden Ring is also an opportunity to get acquainted with life of the Russian provinces, unhurried and calm, miles away from the hassle and bustle of the big cities.
Kazan is officially called “the third capital of Russia”. In 2005, the city turned 1,000 years old. Despite its impressive age, the oldest Annunciation Cathedral, Kazan Kremlin, and the core of the old city, the Old Tatar Settlement and iconic buildings of the century-before-last, are still preserved in the centre of the city. Kazan is also where architecture lovers can see how Christianity and Islam coexist.
Our Staff Super Special Offers in Russia If you do not find a hotel you are looking for please scroll to the bottom of this page for more hotels and special rates!
Imperial Russia Trans-Siberian Railway Tour Vladivostok to Moscow ~ 12 Nights/13 Days
On this railway tour you will see Russia in all its historical greatness, in the mixture of cultures and fortunes, in the architectural splendor and extravagance unifying different people and religions.
Imperial Russia Trans-Siberian Railway Tour Moscow to Vladivostok ~ 14 Nights/15 Days
To understand Russia one should get on a train and cross it from the West to the East. For this purpose the Trans-Siberian Railway will be perfect – the most famous railway in the world – the path to the heart of Russia.
Trans Siberian Railway ~ St. Petersburg to Irkutsk ~ 8 Nights/9 Days
You start your journey in one of the most beautiful cities in the world – St. Petersburg. The journey continues via Kazan, Yekaterinburg, Novosibirsk, Irkutsk – each city conceals many secrets.
Hotel National ~ Moscow
A luxurious hotel situated in the heart of Moscow, surrounded by iconic historical sights including Red Square, the Kremlin, the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, and Bolshoi Theatre.
Trans Siberian Railway ~ Moscow to Beijing ~ 14 Nights/15 Days
Have you done the Trans-Siberian? It’s the journey nearly everyone wants to do, perhaps because it’s commonly said to be the longest you can make on a single train.