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Best Places to Visit in Russia outside Moscow and St. Petersburg

Best Places to Visit in Russia outside Moscow and St. Petersburg

Russia is a huge country which can offer tourists a really unique experience.  However, if you ask people what tourist destinations in Russia they know, the majority of them mention, perhaps, only Moscow and St. Petersburg. For those tourists who would like to discover Russia outside the two capital cities, we are going to tell about a few destinations that you most likely have never heard about.

Ruskeala, Karelia

Ruskeala, Karelia

Karelia is a republic situated in North-West Russia. It is well-known as one of the most beautiful places in the country. Here you can enjoy the wonderful nature with its lakes, waterfalls and giant cliffs with trees growing on them. The mountain park “Ruskeala” is one of the most beautiful places in the region. Marble used for constructing lots of buildings in St. Petersburg has been quarried here since the 18th century. Nowadays, it’s a tourist centre whose main attraction is a former marble quarry which is now a lake with crystal clear water. Tourists can rent a boat, go diving or enjoy the nature while riding a horse.

Ruskeala is a 20- minute ride from the city of Sortavala where most tourists usually stay. There are a few nice hotels at affordable prices in the city. You can get to Ruskeala by bus.

“Stolby” Nature Sanctuary

“Stolby” Nature Sanctuary

“Stolby” Nature Sanctuary is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Siberia. The main feature of the site is its rocky cliffs which are called stolby (the  Russian  for “pillar”)  because of their shape.  The smallest ones can be more that 50 metres high. The largest ones are up to 600 metres high. The place attracts climbers and hikers, as the sanctuary organizes tours to the Siberian taiga which has its own peculiar flora and fauna.

On the territory of the sanctuary surrounded by rocks and taiga forest there are cottages where tourists can stay and where all tours start.

Veliky Novgorod

Veliky Novgorod

Veliky Novgorod is sometimes called the “Homelanf of Russia”. For a long time the city was the capital of Novgorod Principality. Its union with Moscow in the 15th century was a crucial step towards creating a single Russian state. Veliky Novgorod is interesting first of all because of its architecture: you should see the Novgorod Kremlin founded in the 11 the century and Vitoslavlitsy.

Vitoslavlitsy is an open air museum where you can see the samples of Russian wooden architecture. The museum includes wooden buildings starting from the beginning  of the 16th century which were created without nails or any other metal.

Kazan

Kazan

Kazan is a city with a history spanning more than 1,000 years. The Russian Orthodox culture co-exists here with the Muslim culture, and churches are next to mosques.  One of Kazan’s main attractions is Söyembikä Tower. It has its name in honor of queen Söyembikä who reigned in Kazan when the city was conquered by Ivan the Terrible. As the legend has it, she jumped down from the tower after the Russian army had captured the city.

In 2014  TripAdvisor ranked Kazan the 8th place in the world and the 3rd place in Europe among the fast developing tourist destinations.

Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky

Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky

Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky is situated on the Kamchatka peninsula in the Far East of Russia. It is the most northern city (with the population of more than 100 thousand people) in the northern hemisphere.  Lately the city has developed ecological tourism. Tourist companies offer tours to volcanoes and hot springs, helicopter excursions to the Valley of Geysers and volcano Uzon. Horse riding and walking tours, rafting, hunting, and fishing are also very popular.

Fans of seafood will also like the city: red king crab and other seafood is highly appreciated.

 

We hope everyone can find a place which they especially like. However, they are not far all places in Russia that are worth visiting. We would also like to mention the deepest and cleanest lake in the world Baikal, the Golden Mountains in Altai, the cities of Vladivostok and Kaliningrad – none of these places will disappoint an experienced traveller!

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