“In the months leading up to the trip, I’d been racked with worry about traveling alone, anti-American sentiment, safety on the trains, homophobia, potential visa trouble, you name it. But in all those weeks of travel, I’d encountered very little
– Lisa Dickey, Bears In the Streets: Three Journeys Across A Changing Russia
Why visit Russia
No, they don’t have bears prowling the streets of Moscow. No, you will not be arrested as soon as you cross the Russian border. Don’t be afraid to go to Russia. Many soccer fans were scared by the media and did not go to see their countries’ teams participating in the FIFA World Cup held in Russia in June 2018.
After spending a whole month in Moscow, we left two weeks before the games began. Later, we watched many interviews with fans from different countries who did go to Russia and were impressed by about everything there: safety, culture, architecture, the hospitality of Russian people, food.
Some of these fans complained that the media in their home countries was advising against coming to Russia. They felt sorry for the soccer fans who listened to this bad advice.
Moscow is a beautiful city which has many museums, concert halls, theatres. During warm months (late spring, summer, and early autumn) there are many outdoor events in the parks, on boulevards, and on the Red Square.
Some churches have free concerts as well. You can hear a capella group from Sweden, a barbershop-type group from St. Petersburg, a vocal ensemble of college students from Crimea or a folk choir from somewhere in Siberia. They all come to Moscow to participate in different musical festivals.
In late spring, many parks, boulevards, and squares display an explosion of colors. Red, white, yellow, pink tulips, and purple and white lilacs delight your eyes wherever you look. In the evenings, you can hear the nightingales singing in the trees. Take a boat tour on the Moscow River for the best sights of Kremlin and other historical monuments.
How about the Moscow metro? It is the most beautiful subway in the world. They have special tours that will take you to the most impressive metro stations.
I love visiting my family in Washington DC and I love all the DC sights, parks and museums. However, I could skip Washington Metro without any regret. It looks drab in comparison to very attractive Moscow metro stations.
Back to Russia. You should go to the former capital of Russia, St. Petersburg. Its’ newly renovated buildings will impress you by their classical style. Hermitage, Russian Museum, and St. Isaac’s Cathedral
You can take a river cruise from Moscow to St. Petersburg, stopping at the centuries-old towns along the way. Or, if you have just a few days, take a bullet train. Yes, they have bullet trains in Russia now, called Sapsan. Instead of spending a whole night in a sleeper car, you can reach St. Petersburg in four hours with time left for the sightseeing.
There are many other fascinating cities to visit in Russia, but for the first trip stick to these two incredible megapolises, and you will not regret it!
What to see in Russia (top trips & tours)
Moscow – the heart of Russian history and culture
St. Petersburg – ‘Venice of the North’
Sochi – subtropical resort town by the Black Sea
Veliky Novgorod – one of the most ancient cities of Russia
Golden Ring – a group of medieval towns and cities
Cruises to Russia and in Russia
Where to sleep in Russia
- HotelsCombined.com (Compare all the top travel sites in one simple search)
- Trivago.com (Find your ideal hotel and compare prices from different websites)
- Booking.com (Over 2,119,000 hotels online. Hostels. Apartments. Motels)
- Priceline.com (Find a lower price, you’ll get a refund 100% of the difference)
- Hotels.com (Book now, pay when you stay)
- Travelocity.com (The price match guarantee. Free changes & cancellations)
- Expedia.com (Sign up for member prices and you could save 10% or more)
- Agoda.com (Guaranteed lowest price on hotels, resorts,
hostels, homes & more)
- HostelWorld.com (Stay in a hostel and meet the real world, not the tourist brochure)
Book your flight to Russia
Best time to visit Russia
Russian winters are unpredictable. They can be very cold with lots of snow or mild, with hardly any snow and freezing rains. The best time to travel to Russia – May through September.
In Russia, women expect men to open a door, help with a heavy bag, or to let a woman enter the elevator first. In a restaurant, if a man invites a woman for lunch, he pays the bill in full. The suggestion to split the bill will insult his female companion. All this might seem like an old-fashion way to behave, but the feminism in Russia is not as strong and aggressive as it is in the United States.
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