Russia Key Facts
17, 098, 242 km²
143, 900, 000
For Russia travel insurance, select Europe Region
International Calling Codes
41% Russian Orthodox
4.1% Unaffiliated Christian
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In Russia they drive on the right side of the road
When is the best time to visit?
The best time to visit greatly depends on what you want to see. Winter months (November until February) are very cold, but the snow makes for fantastic landscapes. March until October is the time of summer, and many travellers choose these months to visit Russia. Be aware that the main holiday season in Europe is in July and August, so this time is best avoided.
Airports (2,714 domestic, 29 international), highways, trains, buses, ports and harbours.
World Heritage Sites
- Architectural Ensemble of the Trinity Sergius Lavra in Sergiev Posad, a beautiful example of an Orthodox monastery with military features typical of the 15th to 18th century.
- Bolgar Historical and Archaeological Complex, the remains of an early settlement established by the Volga-Bolgars civilization.
- Church of the Ascension, Kolomenskoye, built in 1532 to celebrate the birth of Tsar Ivan 'the Terrible'.
- Citadel, Ancient City and Fortress Buildings of Derbent, which were part of the northern lines of the Sasanian Persian Empire.
- Cultural and Historic Ensemble of the Solovetsky Islands, which are 6 islands that have been continuously inhabited since the 5th century BC.
- Curonian Spit which has been inhabited since prehistoric times and shows the battle of ongoing reforestation.
- Ensemble of the Ferapontov Monastery, a monastic complex dating back to the 15th that contains wall paintings by the famous Russian artist Dionisy.
- Ensemble of the Novodevichy Convent, a wonderful example of Russian monastic architecture dating back to the 16th century.
- Historic and Architectural Complex of the Kazan Kremlin, which is the only surviving Tatar fortress in Russia and am important place of pilgrimage.
- Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments, a city rich in architectural and historical significance that dates back to the 18th century.
- Historic Monuments of Novgorod and Surroundings, which acted as Russia's first capital in the 9th century.
- Historical Centre of the City of Yaroslavl, famous for its numerous 17th century churches and a great example of the urban planning reforms of Empress Catherine the Great.
- Kizhi Pogost, which consists of two 18th century wooden churches and a clock tower.
- Kremlin and Red Square, Moscow, which is probably Russia's most famous symbol and linked to important historical and political events since the 13th century.
- Stuve Geodetic Arx, which are the remaining points from a survey carried out between 1816 and 1855.
- White Monuments of Vladimir and Suzdal, which are important artistic centers in central Russia.
- Central Sikhote-Alin, home to one of the richest and most unusual temperate forests on the planet.
- Golden Mountains of Altai, an important habitat for endangered animals and home to all vegetation zones in central Siberia from steppe to alpine vegetation.
- Lake Baikal, the oldest and deepest lake in the world.
- Lens Pillars Nature Park, the site of spectacular rock pillars as well as numerous Cambrian fossils.
- Natural System of Wrangel Island Reserve, a self-contained island ecosystem that has the highest level of biodiversity in the high Arctic.
- Putorana Plateau, a complete set of subarctic and arctic ecosystems in an isolated mountain range.
- Uvs Nuur Basin, which is made up of twelve protected areas that are home eat many endangered species such as snow leopard and mountain sheep.
- Virgin Komi Forests, is one of the most extensive areas of virgin boreal forest in Europe.
- Volcanoes of Kamchatka, which is the most outstanding volcanic region in the world.
- Western Caucasus, one of the last untouched mountain areas remaining in Europe.
Average Annual Temperature
Average Annual Rainfall
Russia as a whole has a humid continental climate with hot summer and cold winters. Spring and Autumn are mainly transitional times between the extreme temperatures.
- January 1 - New Year's Day
- January 2-9 - New Year Holiday Week
- February 23 - Defender of the Fatherland
- March 8 - International Women's Day
- May 1 - Spring and Labor Day
- May 4 - Public Holiday
- May 9 - Victory Day
- June 12 - Russia Day
- November 4 - Unity Day
Why Visit Russia?
Russia offers a huge diversity of destinations and travelling options. From visiting beautiful cities with rich historical and cultural heritage, to exploring the North Pole, seeing the world's largest lake, Russia has a staggering amount of things to see.
Things To Do In Russia
- See the Red Square, go inside the Kremlin.
- Enjoy some Vodka, visit the Hermitage Museum Complex in St Petersburg.
- See the Northern Lights near the North Pole.
- Row around the world's oldest and deepest lake.
- Have some caviar, do an iconic train journey such as the Trans-Siberian-Railway.
Travel Tips For Russia
- Trains offer a fantastic way of travelling around Russia and there are several different pricing options available.
- The Trans Siberian Railways is absolutely iconic and worth the one week journey.
Russian cuisine consists of the many different traditions of the people's contained in this vast country. Traditionally based on the local peasant food, where staples are fish, poultry, rye, wheat.
Russia Travel Safety and Warnings
Crime in major Russian cities is similar to that of any European cities, and with a few precautions travellers have little to worry about. The biggest problems will usually involve street children, so be careful if you see a group of them. It is also currently not advisable to travel to the North Caucasus or the Crimea. Make sure you have travel insurance for Russia before leaving on your trip.
While watching the Winter Olympics in 2014, travellers worldwide perked up and realized that there is a lot more to Russia than caviar, snow and vodka. Russia covers an enormous area and within its borders you find an amazing diversity of landscapes, terrains, and cultures.
From partying with the rich and famous in Moscow to walking around an Arctic island hoping to see a Polar bear, from touring the amazing churches to enjoying caviar and vodka, Russia is a truly spectacular destination for visitors. Get some warm clothes ready, ensure you have appropriate travel insurance for Russia, and visit one of the most stunning and diverse destinations in the world.
Moscow is the nation’s capital and absolute must see city for any visitors to Russia. This nearly 900 year old city is, like many European capitals, built around a center square with the rest of the city radiating outwards. The center square in Moscow is the world Red Square, consisting of:
a)Saint Basil's Cathedral,
c) State History Museums.
Close by is the Kremlin, which was first built in the 12th century and there are a couple of beautiful churches you can visit here. While in Moscow, make sure to visit the underground railway system as well. It’s one of Russia’s most extravagant architectural projects and features reflective marble walls, high ceilings, chandeliers, friezes and marble and bronze statues.
The other main city to visit in Russia is St Petersburg, and you will immediately notice how different St Petersburg is from Moscow when you get there. The site of a 900-day siege during World War II, St Petersburg is a stunning city and probably the only city to truly deserve the title 'Venice of the North’.
The Hermitage Museum complex alone is worth the trip to Russia! The Hermitage boasts a collection of over 3,000,000 pieces that come from all over the globe - here you will find masterpieces from Rembrandt, Leonardo, Rubens, and Michelangelo among many other artworks from famous artists. The best ways to explore St Petersburg is by taking a canal boat or walking tour.
But Russia is not all about its cities; there are some truly spectacular landscapes to see. Although hard to get to, Kamchatka is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and simply known as the 'Valley of Geysers' which is nothing short of breathtaking. There is also the stunning lake of Baikal, which is the oldest and deepest lake in the world and offer some beautiful sceneries as well as nature hikes. Before going exploring though, make sure you have appropriate Russia travel insurance.
The rugged and freezing north of Russia offers access to the North Pole, as well as being the birthplace of the Gulag. Famous for how desolate this area is, it is now a major destination for wildlife tourism, with access to many unique habitats around the Arctic Circle. Another draw card of this area is the possibility to see the glorious spectacle of the Northern Lights.
While travelling around Russia is amazing, the size makes good planning very important. There are several iconic railway trips that are a great way to see large areas of the country, the most famous is probably the Trans-Siberian-Railway which goes from Moscow to Vladivostok, and the iconic Golden Circle Route, which consists of cities of religious importance around Moscow.
Russian Orthodox churches are absolutely spectacular from a design and architecture perspective, making this a very interesting trip.
For more information on Russia, visit the Russia Tourism Website.