If you are planning a trip to Russia there are many famous places in Russia that you will want to consider adding to your itinerary.
Perhaps the most famous place in Russia is probably the Moscow Kremlin. The centre of Russian and Soviet government for hundreds of years, the Kremlin is located right in the centre of Moscow. Entry to the Kremlin is relatively cheap, and while there you can visit a number of churches and museums, including the Armory, with its magnificent jewelry collection, and see landmarks such as the Tsar Bell. Located right next to Kremlin is Red Square (Krasnaya Ploschad), home to Lenin’s tomb, St Basils Cathedral, and venue for all of the Soviet military parades you used to see on the news.
If you are basing your vacation in Moscow, you might also want to take a trip out to visit some of the historical cities that comprise the Russia Golden Ring. These cities include Suzdal, Yaroslavl, Pereslavl, Rostov, and Vladimir, amongst others, and are famous for their historical architecture, especially their kremlins, monasteries and churches.
The city of St Petersburg is another place that you will want to visit. St Petersburg is the 2nd largest city in Russia, with a population of 5 million people. Founded by (and named after) Peter the Great in 1703, it used to be the Russian capital city. During the Soviet era, it was renamed Leningrad, and is perhaps most famous for the WW2 siege. As well as traveling around marveling at the canals, islands and architecture, you will want to spend time visiting the St Petersburg Hermitage Museum.
One of the most famous natural landmarks in Russia is Lake Baikal, otherwise known as the Pearl of Siberia. Sited near the city of Irkutsk, Baikal is the world’s deepest freshwater lake – it’s depth is 1.6km (that’s over a mile deep) at its deepest point, and averages just under 750 meters deep. It’s well known for being a haven for wildlife, including fish such as Omul, and a type of freshwater seal (the Nerpa) that can only be found in Baikal. Popular tourist destinations near Lake Baikal include the village of Listvyanka on the South shore, the island of Olkhon (about half way up the lake) and the village of Arshan, a couple of hours drive inland.
The nearby city of Irkutsk (also known as the Paris of Siberia) also has plenty of potential for tourist trips – it is home to a number of historic churches (including Siberia’s only historical Gothic catholic church) as well as museums remembering the life of a number of Tsarist exiles (Decembrists such as Volkhonsy and Trubetskoy).
Chechnya, of course, is also a famous place in Russia, but not really recommended for vacationing, unless you are the adventurous type. However, if you want to visit the south of Russia, you may want to visit Sochi, a city which is being redeveloped for the 2014 Winter Olympics.
If you enjoyed this article, you might also be interested in reading our article exploring famous landmarks in Russia.