Russia Travel Guide
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Russia is a country extending over much of northern Eurasia. It is a presidential republic comprising 83 federal subjects. Russia shares land borders with the following countries: Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. At 17,075,400 square kilometres, Russia is the largest country in the world, covering more than an eighth of the Earth’s land area; with 142 million people, it is the ninth largest by population. It extends across the whole of northern Asia and 40% of Europe, spanning 11 time zones and incorporating a great range of environments and landforms. Russia has the world's greatest reserves of mineral and energy resources, and is considered an energy superpower. It has the world's largest forest reserves and its lakes contain approximately one-quarter of the world's unfrozen fresh water.
The nation's history began with that of the East Slavs, which emerged as a recognizable group in Europe between the 3rd and 8th centuries AD. Founded and ruled by a noble Viking warrior class and their descendants, the first East Slavic state, Kievan Rus', arose in the 9th century and adopted Christianity from the Byzantine Empire in 988, beginning the synthesis of Byzantine and Slavic cultures that defined Russian culture for the next millennium. Kievan Rus' ultimately disintegrated and the lands were divided into many small feudal states. The most powerful successor state to Kievan Rus' was Moscow, which served as the main force in the Russian reunification process and independence struggle against the Golden Horde. Moscow gradually reunified the surrounding Russian principalities and came to dominate the cultural and political legacy of Kievan Rus'. By the 18th century, the nation had greatly expanded through conquest, annexation and exploration to become the Russian Empire, which was the third largest empire in history, stretching from Poland eastward to the Pacific Ocean and Alaska.
Russia established worldwide power and influence from the times of the Russian Empire to being the largest and leading constituent of the Soviet Union, the world's first and largest constitutionally socialist state and a recognized superpower. The nation can boast a long tradition of excellence in every aspect of the arts and sciences. The Russian Federation was founded following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, but is recognized as the continuing legal personality of the Soviet Union. It has one of the world's fastest growing major economies and has the world's eighth largest GDP by nominal GDP or seventh largest by purchasing power parity with the fifth largest military budget. It is one of the five recognized nuclear weapons states and possesses the world's largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction. Russia is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, a member of the G8, APEC and the SCO, and is a leading member of the Commonwealth of Independent States.
St. Petersburg ( St. Petersburg Hotels & St. Petersburg Resort Reservation Service )
Also known as 'the city of Tsars', St. Petersburg is one of the greatest historical places of Russia. The vibrant nature seems to be in perfect harmony here combined together with unique heritage buildings and monuments scattered at different places of the city. In fact, the pulsating life of the city is the melting of the ethnic Russian and vibrant European culture. Some of the major tourist spots in St. Petersburg include, the historic Peter & Paul Fortress, Hermitage also known as the 'Winter Palace' is accredited as the largest museum of world and castle of former Russian tsars.
Moscow ( Moscow Hotels & Moscow Resort Reservation Service )
One of the popular places of visit in Russia is the capital city of Moscow. Also regarded as one of the most happening cities of the world, it has more to offer in terms of historical forts and great architectural edifices. The city is well connected and has round the clock regional and international transport services. If you're a shop alcoholic, then you have come to the right place for it offers you a wide range of elegant dress materials, extravagant accessories sold under various Russian designer labels. The varied shopping malls of the city also offer you a glimpse of multi cuisine from traditional Russian dishes to Caucasian and not to miss the authentic Mediterranean gastronomical delights with a bottle of Vodka. Being home to some of the best tourist places of Russia, the major attractions of Moscow include -- Red Square, St. Basil's Cathedral, The Cathedral of Christ the Savoir, Kuskovo Estate and Novodevichy Convent.
Novgorod ( Novgorod Hotels& Novgorod Resort Reservation Service )
One of the oldest cities of Russia, Novgorod is regarded as an ancient Slavic city and was believed to be explored in 859, as a trade hub between the then Baltics to Byzantium. After the foundation of the state of Kievan Rus, Novgorod was accorded prime importance. During the monarch regime various social development activities were carried out by Yaroslav the Wise whose contributions are widely still today. Also in the middle Ages, the place was a thriving center of art and paintings which have invariably found their expression in many of the ancient churches which truly epitomizes the rich aura of that era.
Golden Ring Cities
It refers to a string of cities located towards the northeast of Moscow formerly known as Zalesye. These towns have been often referred to as open air museums because they are home to unique monasteries, cathedrals, churches and domes of 12th and 18th centuries which make it one of the beautiful cities of the world.
Hotels and Resorts in Russia, Europe
Facts for the Traveler
Visas: All visitors require a visa.
Health risks: Diphtheria, Hepatitis, Rabies, Typhoid
Time: GMT/UTC +3 ((+4 Summer) Moscow and St Petersburg), GMT/UTC +2 (Kaliningrad region), GMT/UTC +4 (Samara and Izhevsk), GMT/UTC +5 (Orenburg, Perm, Ufa and Yekaterinburg), GMT/UTC +8 (Irkutsk), GMT/UTC +10 (Vladivostok), GMT/UTC +12 (Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky)
Dialling Code: 7
Electricity: 200V (some 127V still found) ,50Hz
Weights & measures: Metric
When to Go?
July and August are the warmest months and the main holiday season. They're also the dampest - it might rain one day in three. So if you want to avoid the crowds and the rain, try May-June or September-October. In early autumn the leaves are turning and you can pick mushrooms and berries. Although winter is bitter, theatres open, the vodka comes out, buildings are warm and the snow is beautiful. Spring is slushy, muddy and generally horrible.
Easter and Christmas are celebrated with midnight services, candlelight processions and flourishings of folk art. In April St Petersburg celebrates Music Spring, an international classical music festival, and the last 10 days of June feature the White Nights, a time for general merrymaking and staying up late. A film festival is held in Moscow in autumn in odd-numbered years. The Russian Winter Festival is celebrated in St Petersburg, Moscow and Novgorod from late December to early January, and includes folklore shows and vodka. The other main winter celebration is New Year, celebrated with presents, champagne and yet more vodka.