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Welcome to Russia

Information & Facts

Attraction Overview

Russia is a land of startling contrasts, with a great diversity of landscape ranging from frozen tundra to sun drenched beaches. There are densely forested areas of fir and silver birch, sky reaching mountains and endless miles of steppe grasslands. Although in a geographical sense it is mostly located in the Asian continent, Russia is distinctly European in culture, with time lost fortresses and beautiful old churches bearing the characteristic onion shaped dome, quaint villages where life continues as it has for generations and modern cities where all possible amenities are at your disposal and metropolitan life is as vibrant as anywhere on the globe. If culture and history are what you are looking for, then you might consider staying west of the Urals. Russia has several of the world’s greatest museums. For the widest imaginable of wide open spaces you should turn to Siberia and the eastern lands. Throughout the country there are dozens of national parks that are open to the public. If it’s just relaxation you seek, then there are seaside and ski resorts aplenty to enjoy, as well as health spas and hot springs such as those to be found in the Nalychevo Valley of Kamchatka. 
One overwhelming fact about Russia is that it’s huge. Even after losing 14 countries following the dissolution of the Soviet union in 1991, Russia is still the world’s largest country by landmass, occupying more than one eighth of the world‘s inhabitable land area. So it’s best as a tourist to regard it as a number of countries in one, and not try to tackle it all in one go. It’s a country to which you’ll want to return again and again when you choose a holiday in Russia from JiveHippo.travel. Due to the vast distances involved, the best way to get around is by train. There is an extensive rail network that links most urban areas and the service is efficient and punctual, and the staff courteous and helpful, in keeping with the country’s tradition of hospitality.
 
Visitors to Russia are often surprised by the number of churches there are. Their fine architecture is a source of national pride. Perhaps the finest are to be found in St. Petersburg and Moscow, but also worth visiting are St. Sophia’s Cathedral in Novgorod, the Old Cathedral of Konigsberg in Kaliningrad and the Kul-Sharif Mosque, the largest in Europe, in Kazan.
Museums are another aspect of Russia’s proud cultural heritage. Saint Petersburg’s Hermitage Museum, founded by Catherine the Great, boasts a breathtaking collection of over three million examples of art and artefacts from around the globe. Mostly housed in the Winter Palace home of past emperors, it is one of the world’s oldest museums. Moscow’s Tretyakov Gallery and Pushkin Museum of Western Art house the finest collections of Russian art. Military history enthusiasts will find much to enjoy as the world’s finest military museums are to be found in this country that takes great pride in its martial past. Especially recommended is the Central Armed Forces Museum and Kremlin Armoury. Literature lovers will finds themselves likewise well catered for, with museums located in the former homes of creative greats such as Chekhov, Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy. 
Russia’s natural wonders are deeply impressive, from the glorious Lake Baikal in Siberia to Kamchatka, with its geysers, acidic lakes and volcanic activity. In the Northern Caucasus can be found the tallest mountains in Europe, along with a number of notable ski resorts such as Sochi, where the 2014 Winter Olympics were held, and which consequently boasts world class facilities.
A ride on the legendary Trans-Siberian Railway is a great way to see this massive country. The trip from Moscow to Nakhodka takes around eight days and once experienced is never forgotten. Alternatively, another way to get a great perspective on Russia is via river travel. The longest river in Europe can be found in Russia, the 3, 700 km long Volga, and a cruise along its waters is a trip back into the region’s history. 
Russia has a long and proud musical tradition and is well known for producing great composers. There are superb orchestras in all the big cities and a visit to a theatre for an evening of classical music is essential. Additionally, Russian classical ballet is known throughout the world and attending a performance is a magical experience.
Naturally, no trip to Russia would be complete without sampling the local food and drink. Vodka and caviar are, of course, an essential part of the experience, but you should also sample blini (buckwheat pancakes), borsch (beetroot and garlic soup), pelmeni (meat filled dumplings) and medovukha (an ancient drink based on fermented honey. 
Visitors to Russia are often surprised by the number of churches there are. Their fine architecture is a source of national pride. Perhaps the finest are to be found in St. Petersburg and Moscow, but also worth visiting are St. Sophia’s Cathedral in Novgorod, the Old Cathedral of Konigsberg in Kaliningrad and the Kul-Sharif Mosque, the largest in Europe, in Kazan.
Museums are another aspect of Russia’s proud cultural heritage. Saint Petersburg’s Hermitage Museum, founded by Catherine the Great, boasts a breathtaking collection of over three million examples of art and artefacts from around the globe. Mostly housed in the Winter Palace home of past emperors, it is one of the world’s oldest museums. Moscow’s Tretyakov Gallery and Pushkin Museum of Western Art house the finest collections of Russian art. Military history enthusiasts will find much to enjoy as the world’s finest military museums are to be found in this country that takes great pride in its martial past. Especially recommended is the Central Armed Forces Museum and Kremlin Armoury. Literature lovers will finds themselves likewise well catered for, with museums located in the former homes of creative greats such as Chekhov, Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy. 
Russia’s natural wonders are deeply impressive, from the glorious Lake Baikal in Siberia to Kamchatka, with its geysers, acidic lakes and volcanic activity. In the Northern Caucasus can be found the tallest mountains in Europe, along with a number of notable ski resorts such as Sochi, where the 2014 Winter Olympics were held, and which consequently boasts world class facilities.
A ride on the legendary Trans-Siberian Railway is a great way to see this massive country. The trip from Moscow to Nakhodka takes around eight days and once experienced is never forgotten. Alternatively, another way to get a great perspective on Russia is via river travel. The longest river in Europe can be found in Russia, the 3, 700 km long Volga, and a cruise along its waters is a trip back into the region’s history. 
Russia has a long and proud musical tradition and is well known for producing great composers. There are superb orchestras in all the big cities and a visit to a theatre for an evening of classical music is essential. Additionally, Russian classical ballet is known throughout the world and attending a performance is a magical experience.
Naturally, no trip to Russia would be complete without sampling the local food and drink. Vodka and caviar are, of course, an essential part of the experience, but you should also sample blini (buckwheat pancakes), borsch (beetroot and garlic soup), pelmeni (meat filled dumplings) and medovukha (an ancient drink based on fermented honey. 

Climate

Being such a vast landmass, the prevalent climate in Russia is the humid continental, but there is quite a contrast from the subarctic north to the subtropical resorts of the Black Sea coast. 

Getting Around

The public transport in Russian cities is very good. Their public transport systems consist of, buses, trolleybuses, and trams. In the bigger cities you will also be able to catch the train.

The public transport in Russia is cheap and easy to use.

Buses, trolleybuses and trams are frequent in the city centres but are less frequent as you move to the outskirts. 

Order your taxis over the phone, they are safer and more reliable. Hailing down a taxi in the street doesn´t really work, but is still possible.

Health

If you are travelling to Russia with any prescription drugs, then you must take that prescription with you and must be in your name, also translated into Russian.

If for any reason you have to undergo any medical treatment in Russia, then you will have to have comprehensive travel insurance.

Language

The country has around 160 ethnic groups speaking some 100 languages. Russian, as the official state language, is dominant, but you might also hear Tatar and Ukrainian being spoken.

Money

The Rouble is the currency of Russia, and is subdivided into kopecks. Banknotes range from 5 to 5, 000 Roubles, and coins from 1 to 50 kopecks and 1 to 10 Roubles.

Safety

Most visits to Russia are trouble free, as anywhere in the world, petty crime does happen in the cities.

There have been many reports of muggings, pick pocketing and theft from cars. Always safeguard your belongings and keep your valuables in the safe of your hotel room.

While on the streets of Russia, be wary of the woman and children that bed.

If you are of Asian or Afro-Caribbean decent, you may be open to attracting unwanted attention.

Time

Depending on what part of Russia you are travelling to, depends on what time zone that you can be in.

Moscow is under Moscow Standard Time Zone (UTC+03:00)

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