HOT gives you 8 reasons that set Russia apart from regular holiday destinations.
Bubbling pot of cultures
From its colorful folk costumes to its ornate religious symbols, Russia boasts a visual cultural past. Home to at least 190 ethnic groups, the country’s diverse atmosphere encourages the production of inexpensive Russian souvenirs, gifts, toys and crafts including Matryoshka dolls. Pick them up in the midst of your Russian exploration, and they will serve as a colourful reminder of your time in Russia.
With innumerable historical stories strewn across Russia, your kids will see their textbooks come to life. Some of the most renowned historical sites include the Kremlin, the Winter Palace in St Petersburg and the Kizhi Pogost. But if you still crave for more, drop it at treasured museums like the Hermitage and the Russian Museum in St Petersburg.
Russian architecture is heavily influenced by cultural and religious beliefs, with its most characteristic feature being the onion dome. St Basil’s Cathedral is an exquisite example of this kind of architecture. Other sites worth visiting are Ivan the Great Bell Tower, Catherine Palace and the Grand Kremlin Palace.
Russia is a potpourri of various forms of art, music, dance and other forms of entertainment. While folk tunes coming off a Balalaika, a Russian stringed musical instrument, will urge you to hit the dance floor, the world-renowned Red Army choir will give you goosebumps. Alternatively, classical music aficionados can witness a ballet or opera performance at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow.
Russian cuisine offers some of the most scrumptious delights. The country’s most popular dishes include Blini, a thin pancake, Kasha, a porridge made usually with buckwheat, Pelmeni or dumplings, Mors, a drink prepared from berries, and Pryaniki, a Russian spice cookie.
The country’s diverse natural surroundings make it a budding ground for ecotourism. Almost each region of Russia has a natural marvel to take pride in. Popular ecotourism destinations in Russia include the Kaliningrad Region on the Russian border and Central Forest Nature Biosphere Reserve near Moscow.
Majestic lakes and rivers
Dive into the chilling waters of Lake Baikal (world’s deepest lake) or hike along its shores. The shores of Lake Baikal have ample resorts, hotels and camping grounds for a stay over. If you’re in a mood to splurge, take a luxury cruise along the Volga and Svir rivers and the expansive lakes of Onega and Ladoga. Seek peace on the tranquil banks of these water bodies lined with a contrast of idyllic forests and open plains.
A journey that allows you to see 80 cities – the Volga river, Ural mountains, Baraba steppe, Yenisei river, Barguzinsky mountains, the woods of Siberia, Khekhtsir Range and Lake Baikal – the Trans-Siberian railway is an epic trip that will leave you with vivid memories for a lifetime.