Russia’s vast geographical distances and cultural differences suggest that you view the country as a collection of distinct territories, each deserving separate attention.
The Northwestern Russia is home to Saint Petersburg, a world-class destination, which is considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world. But this region has much more to offer for tourists. The nature offers beautiful views of rivers and lakes, while the rich history provides an opportunity to visit elegant villas and palaces, churches, cathedrals, bridges and other places connected with life and work of such famous people as Alexander Pushkin, Vladimir Nabokov, Viktor Tsoy, Ilya Repin, Pyotr Chaykovsky and others. Outdoors lovers will enjoy the seasons which range from warm humid summers to very cold snowy winters.
St. Petersburg, stretching across the Neva River delta, is a beautiful port city renowned for its canals, museums, small student bars, and White Nights. When visiting, view spectacular architectural monuments like the Winter Palace and the Kazan Cathedral, and save enough time to go through Hermitage’s immense art collection. “Venice of the North” offers an abundance of art, nightlife, fine dining and cultural destinations for many repeat visits.
White nights is a very poetic natural phenomenon, which happens only for a few weeks starting in May and reaching its peak mid-June, when the sky doesn’t get dark. It is not unique to St. Petersburg, but this city is world’s only metropolis where such a phenomenon takes place. This is the time when the city is at its most lustrous.
When travelling through Russia’s North (and Far North), you can not miss Saha Republic, Republic of Karelia, Vologda Oblast and Murmansk Oblast, Solovetsky Islands, Barents Sea among many others notable destinations.
Russia’s Arctic North captivates travellers who are looking for rural Russia: gritty yet lively northern cities; serene villages surrounded by placid waters of small lakes; and unique, unmatchable in its grandeur Arctic scenery – breathtaking tundra, endless forests, snow-tipped mountains and the northern lights.
Yakutsk, Saha Republic’s capital, is the coldest city on the planet. It is very remote and yet it roars with optimism and gusto. Urbanistic architecture is more dramatic than anywhere in Russia. When visiting, be ready for extreme temperatures: it is hot in summer and freezing in winter (on average, it drops to as low as -40°C )
The Republic of Karelia is best known for its cosmopolitan capital Petrozavodsk and the fairy-tale island of Kizhi, it also famous for its natural attractions. Heavily blanketed by evergreen forests, the region claims Europe’s two biggest lakes, Ladoga and Onega, within its borders.
Veliky Ustyug is located in Vologda Oblast and is a hometown to Ded Moroz (Father Frost). He is a Russian equivalent of Santa Claus. Most notable are Father Frost festivals, held during the weeks leading up to New Year and other Russian holidays. This beautiful old town also bears a great historical significance and preserves many architectural gems.
Solovetsky Islands (also known as Solovki) are a remote White Sea archipelago. During Stalin’s regime, the islands were transformed into USSR’s most notorious prison camps.
The archipelago has a total of 6 islands, covered with more than 500 lakes, and a total area of 347 square km. The islands are mostly swampy and covered with pines. To visit Solovki would be a real adventure. Your only opportunity to do so would be during short summer, as the autumn brings storms and thick fogs and the winter - devastating blizzards.