Top Five Attractions in RussiaPosted on Feb 10 in Russia, Slideby ShelynPrint
Few countries have such a hold on people’s imaginations as Russia. It’s vast scale and turbulent history conspire to intimidate as well as enchant. But there is no reason to be overly worried. With a bit of planning, and peace of mind in the form of some good travel insurance, there are few countries that can offer such a rewarding holiday. Here are a few of our favourite Russian attractions.
Red Square, Moscow
Walking into Moscow’s famous Red Square for first time is a breathtaking experience. It is not the scale of the place, nor is it even the stunning architecture, though the almost caricature onion domes of St Basil’s Cathedral and the imposing Kremlin are an arresting sight. It is something more abstract than that. It is the sense of history that cannot fail to envelop you. It is here that the embalmed body of Lenin, founder of the Soviet Union, is on display. It is here that the Soviet Union held a famous military parade in 1941 when Germans besieged the city. On that occasion, troops marched straight from Red Square to the front line. And it is here that the great victory parade took place in 1945. But Red Square’s history goes back much further than that — many centuries in fact — and it remains at the cultural and political heart of the city, and indeed the country, today.
Source: Wall Papers Buzz
Source: Trek Earth
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg
Founded by Catherine the Great in 1762, The State Hermitage is one of the oldest and largest museums you will find anywhere. Housed in six buildings, including the spectacular Winter Palace (former home of the Tsars and one of Russia’s great sights, even without the collections that it contains) the Hermitage is home to a remarkable a collection of art and historical treasures, from around Europe and beyond. With almost three million items in its charge, including the largest collection of paintings anywhere in the world, you could keep visiting the Hermitage for the rest of your life and you still wouldn’t see it all.
Source: YU Blog
Lake Baikal, Siberia
Located near the cities of Ulan Ude and Irkutsk in Southern Siberia is the world’s deepest lake. At more than 1.5km deep and 636km from north to south this enormous body of crystal clear water contains one fifth of the world’s supply of unfrozen fresh water. The water is still, despite increasing environmental concerns, pure enough to drink and so clear and deep that there have been reports of some people suffering vertigo while swimming.
Source: Tours Holic
The Trans-Siberian Railway
It may seem strange to choose a railway as a tourist attraction, but the Trans-Siberian Railway is so much more than merely a means of getting from A to B. Operating several routes between Moscow in the west and Vladivostok or Beijing in the East, The Trans-Siberian Railway is a wonderful way to get to know Russia and its people a little better. As journeys are measured in days rather than hours, people begin to make their berths or compartments into homes when they board the train. A sense of community quickly develops in each carriage and the barriers that so often exist between tourist and locals are quickly broken down. You will quickly settle into the relaxing pace of the journey and get a real sense of the scale of this vast country as landscapes and time zones gradually shift around you. Petty theft can be a problem though, so make sure you keep track of your belongings and invest in some cheap travel insurance before you set off.
Part sauna, part self-flagellation, the banya is a Russian tradition that is hard to explain. Rocks are heated to a searing temperature in a furnace before being doused with water scented with aromatics including pine oil, eucalyptus oil and even beer. As the ensuing steam envelops the body, people stand up take hold of a bundle of beech twigs and begin to beat themselves or (willing) others with them. It would false to suggest that this wasn’t a bit painful, but it is curiously and undeniably pleasurable and cleansing too! The banya is an intrinsic part of Russian culture, so why not give it a go?