The Top Reasons to Visit Russia

A lot of people say “I would love to visit Russia one day,” but they say it in a way that implies that they never will. If you want to visit Russia, all it takes is a little inspiration to get the planning process started. Here are some great reasons to book a trip this year.

  • 01 of 09

    The Religious History

    Garden view of Kazan Cathedral
    Aleks_Avakimov / Pixabay

    The Russian Orthodox Church held an incredible amount of power and prestige during the tsarist era, and the incredible cathedrals in many Russian cities are a must-see for anyone interested in religious history. From the haunting Kazan Cathedral in St. Petersburg to the grandiose St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow to the multitude of churches in the UNESCO Heritage city of Suzdal, there is no shortage of breathtaking religious sites in Russia.

  • 02 of 09

    The Literary History

    Summer at Yasnaya Polyana / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

    Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Pushkin, Chekhov, Nabokov, Bulgakov, Gogol—all of these great authors and more lived and worked in Russia. Visit their homes, their favorite places and the sites of famous scenes from their work to gain a new depth of understanding and perspective about Russian literature.

  • 03 of 09

    The Art History

    Interior hall and sculptures at the St. Petersburg Hermitage Museum
    Izzet Keribar / Getty Images

    The art collection in the St. Petersburg Hermitage Museum is enough to occupy you for days and that’s only one small part of all the art that you can see in Russia. Nearly every city houses at least one art museum with some amazing works.

  • 04 of 09

    The Tsarist and Communist History

    Lenin’s tomb in Red Square
    Jorge Láscar / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

    See how the Tsars lived at Catherine the Great’s palace at Peterhof and the Summer Palace. Then, visit Lenin’s tomb, take a look at the old KGB headquarters and take in the Soviet-era architecture that you will find in many smaller Russian cities especially.

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  • 05 of 09

    The food (and drinks!)

    Traditional Borscht
    MelindaSiklosi / Getty Images

    You must try traditional Russian food at least once in your life; it’s quite a unique tasting experience. Of course, if you like vodka, Russia is the place to go, but Russian beer may perhaps pleasantly surprise you as well.

  • 06 of 09

    The Methods of Transportation

    The elaborate Komsomolskaya Metro Station
    Lingxiao Xie / Getty Images

    You must see the unparalleled grandeur of the Moscow Metro, and, on the other hand, experience the character-building adventure that is traveling by train in Russia.

  • 07 of 09

    The Nature

    Lake Baikal
    Yuri Samoilov / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

    Russia is, needless to say, a gigantic country, and the upside of that is that there is a huge amount of untouched nature waiting to be discovered by travelers. You can find some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world throughout Russia—for example in the UNESCO-protected Caucasus Mountains and Lake Baikal in Siberia. You just have to be willing to take on a bit of an adventure!

  • 08 of 09

    The Entertainment

    Ballet performance at Moscow's Bolshoi Theater
    Sasha Mordovets / Getty Images

    Russia will provide entertainment for almost any taste. See the world-famous Russian ballet dancers, visit the majestic theaters for a play, or listen to some classical music written by Russian composers and performed by amazing Russian musicians. Russia also has arguably the world’s most exciting nightlife, with world-famous nightclubs, and, conversely, cheap, or free live music available in many bars and clubs on almost any weekend night.

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  • 09 of 09

    The Russian Winter

    The Northern Lights in Russia
    Anton Petrus / Getty Images

    Don’t be afraid of the Russian winters! Yes, it gets cold, but pack some warm winter clothes and brave the snow because it will be worth it. You will see a world that looks straight out of a fairytale, you will experience one of the most crucial elements of Russian history, and if you’re far enough North, you might even catch a glimpse of the Northern lights!