15 Best Cities to Visit in Russia

Martina Rosado
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Map of cities in Russia

Moscow – 2,5 mil. Population

St. Petersburg – 5,2 mil. Population

Moscow

You’ll have the most time for sightseeing and entertainment when visiting Moscow.

Moscow has a huge selection of museums, theaters, and beautiful parks. The Paveletskiy Park and Sakharov Center are just 2 of the many cultural attractions available to you here.

If you are looking for a more secluded and quiet destination, you can try the forest of Sokol Cemetery or the Bolshoi Park within Moscow’s Ogaryov Park.

Moscow can visit museums or just walk around in the streets of the city which give you a sense of Russian identity.

St. Petersburg

This city will be on the bucket list of almost everyone set to visit Russia. St. Petersburg is a unique place that has as much charm as it does grit. This was the former Russian capital which boasts 14 major museums and 60+ different exhibitions.

For visitors wanting to learn more about Russia’s revolutionary past, but in a nice relaxing setting, the museum of the Revolution is recommended. The Pushkin Museum is popular for collectors to find amazing new pieces of art and antiques.

The Hermitage Museum and The State Museum of Eastern Cultures are among the largest and most renowned.

Novosibirsk

Known as the Siberian Chicago for its factories and assembly lines, Novosibirsk also offers plenty to do for sensory immersion. We started our Novosibirsk experience with a traditional ankle-grabbing Russian bear pit experience, which was like a train ride, but for bears. As the bear lumbered around the room, a Russian worker clamped onto its rear legs, pulling the bear forward and backward to entertain the crowd. He was certainly accomplished at his job, as the pit contained 3 bears. We freaked out, but everyone else felt comfortable ignoring us as soon as we were removed from the room.

Outside, we saw a metal sculpture that took our breath away. From a parking lot, a curved walkway extended from the surface to the mouth of a giant geometric specimen that looked to have been created from photographs of dioramas at the local science museum. This sent us on a search to find out more about exactly what the purpose of that sculpture was. We later discovered from the guidebooks and research papers that the designers of this work, architects from Switzerland, had spent 10 years trying to convince the Russian government and city planners to let them build the incredible sculpture. It was worth the effort, as it is one of the most amazing sights in the city.

Ufa

Ufa is the capital of Bashkortostan. It is situated on the banks of the Ufa River in central European Russia. Ufa covers an area of 207 square kilometers, and its population as of 2010 was 544,546. It is the 5th most populous city in Russia. Ufa is an important industrial, educational, scientific, cultural, and transportation center.

Ufa is oil-industrial city and an important Russian oil-transportation center. It contains complex LUKOIL, Bashneft and Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works, Ufa tractor plant, as well as Kama Sovetskoye Shosse, about 17 kilometers of highways, and an array of other industries producing textiles, metals, chemicals, power engineering equipment and other specialized hardware.

Ufa is an educational and scientific center. In 2010 the city had 70 state educational institutions of higher education, colleges, musical schools and art schools.

Ufa has a number of state research institutes, including the Scientific Research Center named after Academician V.G. Ginzburg, in the center of which there are five research laboratories, and a number of research-and-production association, including an analysis institute, an assay-and-measurement institute, a division of biotechnical research, and a branch of an Academy of Sciences' center for research in the chemical and petrochemical industries-.

Smolensk

This conservative town has a lot of parks and gardens, but because of the turbulent history of the region, it is not known to have very many beautiful constructions as such. A place of interest here is the Smolensk Cathedral (Church of the Tithes), a square city landmark with three parts. What remains intact from the era of Imperial Russia is the church’s bell tower that includes a clock, and the pews that are uniquely arranged and brightly painted.

There is just no way a town of this size just doesn’t have a city history museum, and Smolensk does. It’s in the center of the town and is filled with many religious artifacts, portraits, paintings, and sculptures.

The Golden Gate (also known as the Smolensk Gate) is another main attraction in the city. It is one of the oldest city entrances, and a testament to the town’s history. It is surrounded by Kremlin walls and is connected to a city park. The legend is that it was used by Russian soldiers to break the siege of Moscow and the city. Other activities in Smolensk include cycling in the city center, exploring the old Jewish Quarter nearby, and ice skating on ice rinks during winter.

Kaliningrad

Kaliningrad is Russia’s westernmost city, Russia’s second biggest seaport, and also the country’s main military base separating it from Poland and the Baltic Sea. Russia’s most western city, Kaliningrad is also the northernmost part of Russia; so in addition, this area is the home to Russia’s famous Kaliningrad Oblast, which is the southern half of Leningrad Oblast, another Russian territory which is north of Kaliningrad. Kaliningrad Oblast is also home to the entire Kaliningrad region, a region that is located within the eastern part of the European Union and as such, Kaliningrad Oblast is also part of the European Union.

But what is perhaps not so well known about Kaliningrad is that, Kaliningrad is also an excellent place to visit for foreigners who want to see Russia and Europe and all in the same place. In some ways, Kaliningrad is like a bridge between Russia and Western Europe and that makes it very interesting.

Krasnodar

One of these days you’ll meet a girl that’s from Krasnodar- the city that stretches across the Black sea coast. You and your family will immediately agree to build a vacation home there, and she will say “I need to see more of your fascinating city.”

It’s a good feeling, and you don’t even have to lift a finger to get it.

Krasnodar is a very popular vacation destination but not many people are aware of the city’s beauty. It has one of the the most beautiful Black-sea coastline and the city center is incredibly rich in history and culture.

The city is beautiful in every season and has plenty of amazing features to discover. If you are a traveler who loves nature, there is a beautiful nature preserve in the city, too.

Night Tourism

Every year, a big festival takes place in August, and the city becomes a center of a variety of museums, entertainment, and competitions. The most famous and overcrowded of these are the Black sea music festival, Zvukovaya Pesnya (The Music Festival), and the international jazz festival, Assotsiatsiya Jazz. Entries to these events are usually sold by the city’s administration.

Veliky Novgorod

This is the city that inspired the story of the Snow Maiden, who is the basis for the story of The Snow Queen. Veliky Novgorod is a beautiful city sprawled across a peninsula.

Named after Novgorod in the early 1900s, it is the epicenter of Russian spirituality because of its immense spiritual importance for Christianity. God’s first miracle in Russia took place here and the city is also the location of the famous Saint Sophia Cathedral, considered one of the most sacred sites in Russia and Eastern Europe.

This city provides a great pace of life with many of the people having a love for nature. In the summertime, there are frequent shops and fairs devoted to reuniting the peasants with their land and property.

Volgograd

Volgograd, (Russian: Волгоград), also known as Stalingrad, is a huge city in the south of the country, with over 1,000,000 residents. The city of Stalingrad is now held in high respect and holds a special place in the hearts of many Russians. This city is located in the west part of Russia and sits on the banks of the river Volga. It is predominantly a big industrial city but does have a lively leisure area. There are some great sights to make the time spent in Volga great also.

Volgograd is the oldest city in the region and home to the very first Russian battles. The city was first mentioned around 907AD and was called The White City. It was also a major trading city for the first three centuries, as it sat conveniently between the lands of present day Turkey, Iran and India. All this meant that it was a huge draw for traders at the time, and it was bustling. The city was a key part of the Great Game. Around this time it changed hands through conquest and control many times.

Sochi

This year’s Olympics will be held in Sochi on February 7 to 23, following the huge success of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada. The opening ceremony will be spectacular with its themes of peace and harmony, a message which can be easily observed in the rest of the city.

This summer, the city is heating up with an array of public events and festivals, including the famous “Summergames” where a range of local and international entertainment takes place in and around a recreation of the Black Sea.

The official Olympic town in Sochi, on the other hand, is an ideal place for finding hotels and hostels, with a range of 5 star hotels and wide variety of all inclusive options suited to all budgets.

Restaurants

The food scene in Sochi is impressive, reflecting the city’s own blend of European and Asian fare.

Bars

17 new bars are in the pipeline. Some are going to be themed, including some of the hottest clubbing venues in Europe.

Most of the Bar and Club spectrum is based around the 5 most exciting areas of the city, such as kalushi.

Summer

In the summer, there is an Olympic Village open to the public, as well as a number of other sports facilities.

Nizhny Novgorod

Nizhny Novgorod is a now-known city and an important historical and cultural center in Russia. In fact, it is often referred to as the “Second Moscow”, as it was once the capital of the Russia’s largest state in Middle Ages.

In the 20th century, it was also the capital of Russia’s most powerful state, the USSR. In fact, it was known as Stalin’s very first city.

Today, Nizhny Novgorod is the fifth largest city in Russia and also one of the most important cultural centers in the country.

Like the original Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod is situated on a high plain. Consequently, despite it not being a particularly big city, it has a rich historical and cultural heritage and a beautiful urban landscape.

The city is divided into two parts by the historical and important Volga River. The eastern part of the city is known as Gorky, after the famous writer Maxim Gorky, while the western part is known as Nizhnyaya, after its original name, Nizhniy.

Irkutsk

(in the center of the country)

It is estimated that 166 males are born for every 100 females here. This is the best city to meet ladies…the odds are favorable and they are much more approachable than Moscow. Of course, Irkutsk is not the best city for dating, as Russian women do not understand the art of romantic love or give a damn about other people’s personal affairs. But if you want to meet some of the most beautiful, mysterious women in the world, this is the best place to do it.

Locals suggest that getting a hotel room in Irkutsk from our agency is the best way to have a great time with women. If you want, you can check out this site to book a room in Irkutsk: Irkutsk Hotel.

Vladivostok

Vladivostok is a great place to enjoy Russian culture and learn about Christianity. The city is Russia’s main Pacific port and is home to the “Venice of the East.”

The city’s warm, clear water is so inviting that you might want to convert to becoming a vegetarian. Vladivostok also serves as the base for some of Russia’s most famous natural wonders, including the Golden Horn Archipelago National Park.

If you want to see some stunning marine life and gaze upon an atoll of volcanoes, this is the place to do it.

Yekaterinburg

Kazan

named after «Czar» (Tsar) Ivan «the Terrible», which was Kazan's original name. House of Kazan is the largest in Russia and we knows as one of the most beautiful and best preserved in the world. It's considered to be one of the finest examples of European Islamic culture in Russia. It was originally built between 1560 and 1594 by the powerful Tatar Yurii (Ivan) of Kazan on the orders of the Crimean Khanate's supreme «khan», Grand…Duke Feran Giray.

There are few other buildings of particular interest in Kazan, such as a palace of the dukes of Kazan built by two sons of Yurii, and the Rus…Ivan khanate's political prison (which is said to be as cruel as that of Ivan «the Terrible») as well as an old Tatar cemetery.

A classic Russian comedy film«Dnevnoe utro» (Fuller Day) by Sergey “Ivanov…Butyrin (1989) was filmed in the Grand…Duke's palace. There is also a Kazan Kremlin Market, where the traders sold dairy products, vegetables and fruits.

St Petersburg

St Petersburg is the third most populated city in Russia after Moscow and Moscow and before Ekaterinburg. The city is a popular tourist destination.

St Petersburg is situated on the Neva River looking out over the Gulf of Finland. It is a major sea port and the historical and cultural capital of Russia.

Saint Petersburg which is where the city came from,, started life as an isolated fort by the name of Kronshtadt.

It began life as a trading port for security against the Swedes who were competing for control of the Baltic in the Northern Wars.

The Swedes attempted to attack the city by means of a flotilla of galleys, but these ships were successfully repelled by the guns of the surrounding forts.

In 1712 Peter I of Russia (Peter the Great) started construction on the city who previously camped on the site.

He did so to please his fiancée, Catherine I of Russia.

However in 1703, Peter I discovered that Catherine and her entourage were conspiring against him, and he had them detained.

This was also the year he had started to build the city of Saint Petersburg.

In 1703, Catherine I of Russia was forced to sign a document renouncing her rights to the Swedish throne.

She also married Peter in 1712, and he proclaimed the city the capital of the newly named Russian empire.

Moscow