The Russian Federation, is a transcontinental country spanning Eastern Europe and Northern Asia through 9 time zones. It extends from the Baltic Sea in the west to the Pacific Ocean in the east, and from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Black, Azov, and Caspian seas in the south. Russia is the largest country in the world, the ninth-most populous.
Western Russia borders both Scandinavia and the Baltic countries and is home to a vast array of different landscapes. Endless forests, glimmering lakes, and lively cities give way to remote, desolate lands and the freezing world of the Arctic wastelands. Moscow, Russia’s capital city, is home to prominent landmarks such as Red Square and the iconic St. Basil Cathedral. Also located by Red Square is the Kremlin, a massive walled complex of government buildings and palaces that is home to the Russian president.
St. Petersburg is arguably the country’s cultural capital, boasting a myriad of art galleries, theatres, museums, and a dazzling array of impressive architecture – as is best exhibited by its three enormous Tsarist palaces. The main attractions include the Winter Palace, which showcases the wealth and power of Imperial Russia. Housing more than 3 million artefacts and art works from Europe, Asia and Russia, the Hermitage Museum is the greatest of its kind in the world. Arkhangelsk and Murmansk are the places to head to if you want to explore the cold Arctic regions or the Barents Sea.
Southern Russian is a fascinating place to visit with the Black Sea lying to one side of it and the Caspian Sea to the other. Mountain ranges in its south are full of different people, cultures, and customs. Elista is a fantastic city to visit as it boasts a number of Buddhist monasteries and is the capital of the only Buddhist region in Europe. Blessed with the warmest climate in Russia, the region is a very popular holiday destination. The fantastic beachside resort town of Sochi offers up the best of both worlds, as you can enjoy lots of great watersports in the summer and go skiing in the nearby mountains in winter. Krasnodar, Rostov-on-Don, and the spa town of Mineralnye Vody are some of the other interesting cities that you can visit in Southern Russia.
The Volga region is made up of the Volga Basin and centred around the river of the same name. Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan, and Volgograd count amongst the country’s largest and most important cities. Each has a wealth of interesting monuments, historical sights, and cultural landmarks to explore. For those interested in battle history, Volgograd was the setting for one of the 20th century’s most important and devastating wars – the Battle of Stalingrad.