In the past 20 years, since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Russia has emerged as an intriguing destination with exciting, vibrant cultures, gorgeous landscapes and millennia of history – from imperial magnificence and opulence to revolution and international communism. The largest country in the world is waiting to be explored.
Russia covers one eighth of the Earth’s inhabited landmass. Needless to say, the variety of cultures and landscapes is astounding. You can cross the vast wilderness of the Steppes in the north-east on the famous Trans-Siberian Railway, frolic on the sun-dappled shores of the Black Sea and ski on the snowy slopes of the Caucasus Mountains to the south, both playgrounds of the oligarchs. If you asked a Russian for the most beautiful place in the world, many would say the dazzling Kamchatka peninsula on the very eastern edge of Russia. Across this vast country there is one unifying feature: a sense of proud hospitality born of centuries of tradition.
The most popular destinations for most travellers in Russia lie in the western regions of the country and its two most important cities, Moscow and St Petersburg. At the centre of the nation’s capital there is the breathtaking Red Square and the imposing Kremlin alongside the striking spires of St Basil’s Cathedral. In the old capital, St Petersburg, you will find the ultimate symbols of Russia’s opulent imperial past. The Winter Palace’s magnificent scale and grandiose architecture is impressive alone, but even more so because it adjoins the State Hermitage Museum. The second-largest museum in the world, it houses one of the most impressive collections of art and artefacts in the world.
In both cities, those wishing to find authentic Russian experiences should consider heading to the baths and saunas, the most iconic and luxurious of which is Sanduny in Moscow – it has been welcoming the most select clients and visitors for more than 200 years. And one of the favourite traditions in Russia is the pairing of caviar and vodka. Across the country you will find opportunities to sample the finest in the world, with guided tastings to find the most exquisite of both delicacies.
Tempted by what you’ve read? Need a few more ideas about where to go, what to see and how to go about it? Contact us – we’re always happy to help you choose your dream stay.