Russia Attractions

The Black Sea

On the Caucasian Riviera, which stretches from Novorossiysk to the Georgian city of Batumi, there are numerous charming harbor towns, health resorts and bathing resorts. Here the holiday guest expects a pleasant Mediterranean climate and exotic vegetation. The coastal road from the modern port city of Novorossiysk to Sochi enables a good north-south connection. Tuapse is an important transport hub with many opportunities for recreation and excursions in the surrounding mountains and forests. The Sochi spa lies at the foot of the majestic Caucasus. The main attraction is probably the lake promenade lined with magnificent trees. The Great Riviera Park offers numerous leisure and tourist facilities and a greenhouse with exotic trees and shrubs from all over the world. The botanical garden is also worth a visit. The thermal springs in Matsesta, south of the city, have been used for more than a thousand years. The lookout tower on Bolshoy Akhum Hill, 23 km outside of Sochi, offers a unique view of the city, sea and mountains. To the south of Sochi, other health resorts invite you to linger, and the huge Caucasus Nature Park impresses with its mighty high mountain landscape.

The modern resort Dagomys north of Sochi overlooks the Black Sea and nestles among forested hills amidst subtropical vegetation. The complex offers several hotels and restaurants, cafes, bars and sports facilities. An esplanade leads to the beach where you can rent boats and pedalos. The Panorama Bar on the top floor of the Dagomys Hotel lives up to its name. A visit to the nearby Dagomys tea plantation is also recommended.

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Siberia

Siberia consists of over 12.8 million square kilometers of endless taiga and huge forests. There are a million lakes and 53,000 rivers here. A trip on the famous Trans-Siberian Railway on the longest railway line in the world is one of the greatest travel adventures on earth (see International Travel ).

Khabarovsk- on-Amur is the largest industrial center in Eastern Siberia and an important transport hub. Founded in 1858, the city got its name from the eminent explorer Khabarov, who toured this region in the 17th century. The local history museum gives an insight into the different ways of life of the individual Amur peoples. A treeless steppe stretches across the Amur River and you can see across the border to China.

Located on the upper Volga north of Moscow, Yaroslavl is one of the most interesting Old Russian cities. 75 monasteries and churches are waiting to be visited. A large number of other important buildings testify to the long history of the city. Built in 1750, the theater is one of the oldest stages in Russia. The most important sights in the over 1000-year-old city of Uglich are the Kremlin with the princely chambers and the fresco paintings in the Dmitry Church. Another city with rich architectural heritage is Kostroma. The Ipatiev monastery is particularly impressive here. The town of Plyos is best known for the Russian painter Levitan, who captured the scenic beauty of the area in many of his paintings. An interesting museum is dedicated to him. The city of Nizhny Novgorod, formerly Gorki, has only recently been open to visitors again. The city, which is more than 750 years old, offers numerous buildings worth seeing.
The main sights of Cheboksary are the Cathedral and the Trinity Monastery.

In Volgograd (formerly Stalingrad, before that Tsaritsyn) there are several memorials to the terrible encirclement battle that took place here during World War II. The documentation in the Victory Museum on Mamai Hill commemorates the victory of the Red Army over the German Wehrmacht. Almost completely destroyed in World War II, the metropolis is now an important economic center. Boat trips are available and the nearby Cossack villages can also be visited. The historic city of Astrakhan at the mouth of the Volga is rich in architectural sights. The Savior Church and the Kremlin are very beautiful.

Rostov – on-Don: The Resurrection Cathedral is worth seeing. Several parks and the beach are ideal for relaxing. Rostov is the gateway to the Caucasus.

Many of St. Petersburg’s most interesting sights, especially the palaces and museums on the left bank of the Neva, can easily be explored on foot. The magnificent Winter Palace was the headquarters of the Russian tsars and today houses the world-famous State Hermitage Museum. The Hermitage Museum was founded in 1764 when Catherine the Great acquired an art collection of 255 paintings in Berlin. Today, the Hermitage houses over 3 million works of art, encompassing sculptures and paintings from every art and style period from ancient Egypt to the early 20th century. The Summer Palace with its beautiful park is also definitely worth a visit. On the palace square ‘Bloody Sunday’ took place on January 22, 1905, which triggered the first Russian revolution. On that day, thousands of striking workers marched to the Tsar’s palace to present a petition to Nicholas II. As the train reached the square, soldiers opened fire and shot dead hundreds of demonstrators.

The statue of Peter the Great, the Bronze Horseman, is one of St. Petersburg’s most recognizable landmarks and was commissioned by Catherine the Great. In 1833 the Russian writer Alexander Pushkin immortalized the horseman in his ballad ‘The Bronze Horseman’. The majestic building of the Admiralty, once the headquarters of the Russian Navy, was built in 1823 by Adrian Sakharov on the banks of the Neva and dominates the entire riverbank with its 70 m high tower and golden dome. St. Isaac’s Cathedral is crowned by a dome gilded with over 100 kg of gold, shaping the silhouette of St. Petersburg. Alexander I had this cathedral built in 1818, it took more than three decades until the building was completed in 1858. Special sights in St. Petersburg are also some stations of the St. Petersburg subway (Metro). Many metro stations are massive halls decorated with marble columns, mosaics and frescoes, more reminiscent of museum rooms than a subway system.

The Nevsky Prospect, a wide boulevard, is one of the most famous streets in Russia, stretching from the Admiralty to the Alexander Nevsky Convent through the center of St. Petersburg. Nevsky Prospekt is home to some of the most magnificent palaces and buildings, some of the most exclusive shops, the city’s largest department store, Gostiny Dvor, the Russian National Library with the unique Faust Cabinet and the Museum of Russian Art. The Kazan Cathedral is also located here, which was built by Andrei Voronikhin in 1811 and combines several architectural styles. On the square in front of the Kazan Cathedral there are statues of two famous Russian generals.

One of the main shopping streets in Moscow is Tverskaya near Red Square. Arbat Street forms the backbone of a traditional artists’ and literary quarters, where the writers Pushkin and Tolstoy also lived. Today, Arbat Street is a pedestrian street lined with arts and crafts shops, as well as being a popular stage for street performers. The world-famous Bolshoi Theater is located on Teatralnaya Square. The current building dates back to 1824 and the interior is decorated in majestic red and gold. Opera and ballet performances in the Bolshoi Theater are among the cultural highlights of any visit to Moscow. The Moscow University is located in the Vorobyovy Mountains in the south-west suburbs of the city. The observation tower in the park in front of the university complex offers an excellent view of the city and the large Luzhniki Stadium. The Novodevichy Monastyr Convent near Sportivnaya metro station houses rare ancient Russian artifacts. The building itself offers one of the finest examples of Moscow architecture of the 16th and 17th centuries. In the adjacent streets Ostoshenka and Prechistenka are beautiful townhouses. The world-famous dancer Isadora Duncan lived together with her husband, the poet Sergey Yesenjin, in a house of the millionaire and patron of the arts Uzhkov on Prechistenka Street. The area around Kuznetzki most and Petrovka Street is a center of social and cultural activities. There are many theaters and particularly good shopping opportunities. Another tourist attraction for those interested in history is the KGB Museum in the Lubyanka complex.

Excursions: Porcelain lovers should pay a visit to the State Museum of Ceramics (10 km from downtown Moscow). The main attractions of the Archangelskoye country palace (16 km from Moscow) are the French-style grounds, but the exhibition of European paintings and sculptures in the Palace Museum is also worth a visit. Located on two rivers, the small town of Sergeyev Posad (formerly Zagorsk) is the center of toy manufacture. In the Toy Museum you can trace the development of this trade back to the Bronze Age. The Trinity Cathedral is located inside the medieval Trinity Monastery of St. Sergius. Masterpieces of Russian religious art and handicrafts are exhibited in the museum. East of Moscow is Suzdal; the city is a veritable treasury of old Russian architecture. In Vladimir (about 32 km away) there are two cathedrals from the 12th century. The Golden Gate, triumphal gate of the former princely capital, is a monument to old Russian engineering.

Trinity Monastery of St. Sergius