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The second largest city in Russia, St. Petersburg is the country’s cultural... more
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St. Petersburg
The second largest city in Russia, St. Petersburg is the country’s cultural heart. View splendid architectural gems like the Winter Palace and the Kazan Cathedral, and give yourself plenty of time to browse the world-renowned art collection of the Hermitage. Sprawling across the Neva River delta, St. Petersburg offers enough art, nightlife, fine dining and cultural destinations for many repeat visits.
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The political, scientific, historical, architectural and business centre of... more
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Moscow
The political, scientific, historical, architectural and business centre of Russia, Moscow displays the country's contrasts at their most extreme. The ancient and modern exist side by side in this city of 10 million. Catch a metro from one of the ornate stations to see Red Square, the Kremlin, the nine domes of St Basil's Cathedral, Lenin's Mausoleum, the KGB Museum and other symbols of Moscow's great and terrible past, then lighten up and go shopping in Boulevard Ring, or people-watch in Pushkin Square.
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On the banks of the Volga River, Kazan sits austerely, its cityscape a visual... more
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Kazan
On the banks of the Volga River, Kazan sits austerely, its cityscape a visual confection of architecture that somehow manages to be both playful and severe. No matter your spiritual inclination, you simply must visit the Temple of All Religions, a Technicolor cultural center built by artist Ildar Khanov. Though still a work in progress, the "temple" is a feast for the eyes—and the spirit.
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A little extra chunk of Russia stuck between Lithuania and Poland on the Baltic... more
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Kaliningrad
A little extra chunk of Russia stuck between Lithuania and Poland on the Baltic Sea, Kaliningrad was known as Königsberg from its founding by the Teutonic Knights in the 13th century until after World War II. It was renamed, repopulated with Russians and became part of the Soviet Union. Today, as it has been for centuries, it’s known for amber products, with most of the world’s harvestable amber still lying off its coast. The 14th century Königsberg Cathedral is a main city attraction.
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Yekaterinburg is the thinking tourist's city, jam-packed with libraries,... more
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Yekaterinburg
Yekaterinburg is the thinking tourist's city, jam-packed with libraries, theaters and museums, plus seemingly out of place monuments that pay homage to entities like Michael Jackson and a keyboard. The beautiful Yekaterinburg Circus building is an intricate lace dome that arches over seating for 2600 spectators.
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Bordered by the Kotorosl and Volga rivers, the historic city center of Yaroslavl... more
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Yaroslavl
Bordered by the Kotorosl and Volga rivers, the historic city center of Yaroslavl is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The religious architecture is breathtaking and surreal, especially the emerald-domed Church of Elijah the Prophet and the gilded towers of the Assumption Cathedral. Numerous theaters, a philharmonic, a planetarium and a permanent circus round out the city’s art scene. Keep an eye on the time: Every hour on the hour, the proud namesake of the Monument to Bear statue gives a triumphant roar.
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A stop on the famous Trans-Siberian Railway, Novosibirsk is perched on the banks... more
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Novosibirsk
A stop on the famous Trans-Siberian Railway, Novosibirsk is perched on the banks of the Ob River, which features fountains that seem to float on its surface. You can learn about the city’s founding at the West Siberian Railway History Museum. Novosibirsk is renowned for its thriving arts scene, and the State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre is fondly known as the “Siberian Coliseum.” The Novosibirsk Zoo is beloved for its collection of animals and its preservation work with endangered species.
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Founded in the mid-17th century as a winter quarters for traders and tax... more
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Irkutsk
Founded in the mid-17th century as a winter quarters for traders and tax collectors, Irkutsk came to prominence in the 1800s. Participants in the Decembrist revolt against Tsar Nicholas I were exiled to Siberia in droves, turning Irkutsk into their cultural center. Today, it’s one of Siberia’s biggest and most important cities, with over half a million people, many universities, many historic churches and museums, and beautiful Lake Baikal, just about an hour away by train.
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Krasnodar is home to one of the only surviving hyperboloid towers designed by... more
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Krasnodar
Krasnodar is home to one of the only surviving hyperboloid towers designed by Vladimir Shukhov, who was one of Russia’s most important structural engineers. The steel lattice structure is a cool contrast to the surrounding old world cathedrals and colorful arboretums. Krasnodar has several museums, concert halls and theaters, plus the largest splash fountain in Europe.
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Historic Suzdal is one of Russia’s oldest settlements, dating back to early the... more
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Suzdal
Historic Suzdal is one of Russia’s oldest settlements, dating back to early the 11th century. It’s a serene and charming place, offering a latticework of unpaved paths that wind by churches with candy-colored domes, rustic wooden structures and cinematic meadows. Sip some local medovukha honey cider for a true taste of the region.
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