Best attractions in Russia: Top 35

The sights of Russia attract tens of millions of tourists to the country, which became the successor of the Soviet Union, the most powerful and huge power of the XX century. Visitors come here in an effort to visit as many beautiful places as possible. Of course, one trip to see all of them is not enough. That is why guides in Moscow primarily advise visitors to look at architectural structures, monuments, museum complexes, famous for its history. What to see in Russia, if there are so many places to see? We have included the most important ones in our list - fifteen in total.

What to see in Russia first

Where do you start in one of the largest countries in the world? Do you need guides in Russia? What places are considered the most popular among tourists? To these and many other questions our review, which describes in detail the best Russian sights with actual photos, will help you find the answer.

1. Red Square (Moscow)

The main square of Moscow and Russia

Red Square is the calling card of Moscow. Without this landmark of Russia it is impossible to imagine the power itself. So why did the main square of the white stone square get such a name? The fact that “red” is a word denoting not only color, but also beauty, even schoolchildren know. However, up to the XV century the space near the Kremlin walls, burnt to the ground, was far from being attractive. The square was soon built up, setting up trading rows, whose number gradually increased. Later, the country’s most famous shopping center, GUM, appeared there. Its size doesn’t surprise anyone, but its architecture is truly unique. Of course, the symbol of Red Square is the Kremlin with the Spasskaya Tower - the main clock in Russia. If you stand facing the Kremlin wall, where major politicians and prominent personalities of the country are buried, on the left you will see the most beautiful temple in the country - St. Basil’s Cathedral. Many guides begin their excursions with a visit to this structure, which admires its strangeness and elegance. Nearby is a monument to Minin and Pozharsky, erected in honor of the victory over the Poles in 1612. The Frontal Place, also a few steps from the monument, recalls the times when the square was also a place of execution of criminals.

2. Peterhof (Petrodvortsovy district, St. Petersburg)

Fountain and water cascades of Peterhof

St. Petersburg was built in the early 18th century by the will of the Russian tsar Peter the Great. For two hundred years St. Petersburg was the capital of Russia. Near the city, on the southern shore of the Gulf of Finland, Peter I built Peterhof - a residence for summer suburban recreation with many palaces and a beautiful park. Peterhof is one of the most beautiful sights of Russia. Here, on a small square concentrated a huge number of historical buildings and works of art. Today, visitors of the city on the Neva River can reach Peterhof by water. Special ships leave there from the Admiralty embankment every half hour, so that after 30-35 minutes tourists have reached the place, famous for its beautiful fountains and monuments of famous historical figures. Having been here, many foreign tourists returning home, when asked what to see in Russia special, often answer: “Peterhof!” The beauty of the local parks, gardens, gilded and marble sculptures and fountains is comparable to the grandeur of Versailles, and even surpasses it in many ways.

3.Lake Baikal (Irkutsk region, Irkutsk)

The deepest and cleanest lake on the planet

The greatest lake on Earth, Russia’s sanctuary is sometimes called a “laboratory of diversity” and the world’s largest storehouse of purest fresh water. It is home to nearly 3,000 plant species, and more than 80 percent of them are found nowhere else. The only mammal living in the ancient lake is the Baikal seal. A few years ago, Baikal was officially recognized as the “wonder of Russia. This is the deepest, most transparent and incredibly clear lake on Earth. Despite its age, it’s not getting old. On the contrary, its shores are constantly expanding, and geophysicists suggest that Baikal is part of an incipient ocean. The lake, surrounded by majestic mountain ranges, holds 20% of its surface fresh water. Glaciers, even in the unbearable heat adorning the mountain peaks, feed more than two hundred rivers flowing into the body of water, but only the Angara flows out of it. Scientists who study Baikal long ago came to the conclusion that over time the number of secrets kept by its waters is not decreasing, but, on the contrary, growing. One can talk about Baikal and its beauty for hours. But nothing can compare with the majesty and magical charm of this Russian landmark! A trip to the water wonder of the planet will convince you of it!

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4. Valley of geysers (Kamchatka)

The Valley of Geysers in the Kronotsky Reserve

Travelers asking seasoned tourists what to visit in Russia that will be remembered for its magical natural beauty get the answer: “The Valley of Geysers located in Kamchatka”! This place is considered one of the most beautiful in the world. This volcanic canyon, which reaches two kilometers in width and extends for four kilometers, resembles a fantastic “city” of hundreds of geysers and hot springs. There used to be a lake here hundreds of years ago, but due to the continuous processes taking place in the volcano, it almost completely disappeared, and instead it was replaced by fountains of boiling water. The Valley of Geysers was discovered just before the war in 1941. Here, near the River Geyser, the fountain of geyser the Giant spurts. Tourists who have come to visit these sights of Russia, can observe its work by climbing to a special viewing platform on the right bank of the river. During a minute Giant throws up 30 tons of hot water, and the water column reaches the height of a nine-story tower! Such a grandiose, truly fantastic spectacle is accompanied by a powerful roar. To the west of the Giant lies Pearl Geyser, hidden at the bottom of the well and covered with geyserite, a bit like natural pearls.

5. Hermitage (St. Petersburg)

The Hermitage Building

The Winter Palace in St. Petersburg is a real treasure of the country and the northern capital. Its construction began under Peter the Great. This historic monument, looking into the waters of the Neva River like a mirror, has been Russia’s most majestic and famous museum, the Hermitage, since the 1920s. Its unique collection owes its birth to Empress Catherine the Great herself. Catherine II placed her first paintings in the North Pavilion in 1764. A chance collection of paintings acquired by Catherine consisted of works by Jordaens, Hals and Rembrandt. From this purchase began Catherine’s collecting of paintings, which almost developed into a collecting mania. The rooms and galleries of the Small Hermitage were literally filled with works of art in geometric progression. Soon there was simply no room left for paintings. Then built a great Hermitage. Soon the Empress bought the library of Denis Diderot, and Diderot himself, as a sign of gratitude, helped the Empress to buy paintings by the most famous masters of the brush. Today the museum holds thousands of works by Poussin, Van Dyck, Rubens, Titian, Raphael and other geniuses who lived in Europe in different centuries. More than five million tourists visit the museum every year.

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See the beautiful places of Russia in this great video!

6. Mamaev Kurgan (Volgograd)

The sculptures "Standing to the death" and "Motherland" on the Mamayev Kurgan

The Mamayev Kurgan, a hill that rises near the Volga River, has long been a memorial place associated, unfortunately, with the tragic events of the Patriotic War of 1941-1945. This monument to the heroes of the Battle of Stalingrad was opened in Volgograd in 1967. The remains of soldiers - defenders of Stalingrad are buried on the hill. There is also set a statue of Motherland 86 meters high. It can be seen from a few kilometers to every traveler arriving in Volgograd. The sword in the hand of the statue weighing 14 tons reaches a height of 33 meters. The weight of the entire sculpture is close to 1,500 tons. It is said that a large SUV can fit in the palm of the statue! Often guests of the city going to this Russian landmark lay flowers at the foot of the Mamaev Kurgan and the Eternal Flame, honoring the memory of the victims of fascism. Visitors to the city pondering what to see in Russia and in Volgograd itself should definitely admire the majestic changing of the guard ceremony that takes place on the Mamaev Kurgan every hour, beginning at 9 a.m. and ending at 7 p.m. In addition, travelers who have booked a tour here will see the weapons of World War II - multi-ton tanks and cannons.

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7. Kazan Kremlin (Kazan)

A view from the Ferris wheel of the Kazan Kremlin ensemble on the left bank of the Kazanka River Fendes

The Kazan Kremlin is the main decoration of the capital of Tatarstan. Its Spasskaya Tower, built in 1562, is the most recognizable building of the ancient architectural structure. Its main “mark” is the clock, and it has its own history. The first clocks of the Kazan Kremlin were not quite an ordinary mechanism for telling the time. Their dial was constantly rotating, and the hand did not move! Modern clock, by means of which the whole Tatarstan checks the time nowadays, was installed only in 1963. On the territory of the Kremlin in Kazan exhibitions, concerts and other entertainment events are constantly held. There are also cozy cafes with national Tatar cuisine. The most recognizable building in the Kremlin is the “falling” Soyumbike Tower. Tourists looking for something to see in Russia and Kazan that has something to do with the ancient history of the country will definitely pay attention to the Mausoleum of the Khans of Kazan. From the observation deck of the Kremlin there is a stunning majestic view of the modern part of the city: the Registry Office, new houses, the Arena, the Palace of Farmers and the embankment. Tourists who want to be photographed in armor and shoot archery can do it on the territory of the Kazan Kremlin. The main decoration of the historical site is the elegant white and blue Kul Sharif Mosque, which seats more than 2,000 people.

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8. State Tretyakov Gallery (Moscow)

Monument to Tretyakov P.M. in front of the Tretyakov Gallery

The Moscow State Tretyakov Gallery, founded in 1856, is a historical treasure of Russia. The exposition of the gallery is located in several buildings. Every year more than 1,500,000 people come here to see the treasures of Russian art. Currently Tretyakov Gallery collection covers a large historical period from the Old Russian paintings of XI century to the paintings of the contemporaries. Every day the gallery is visited by students, the elderly, Muscovites and tourists, who come to admire the sights of Russia. Here they admire the most famous works of art created by Ivanov, Shishkin, Vasnetsov, Surikov and other famous Russian artists. These paintings are the universally accepted standard of Russian art. Everyone will find Mikhail Vrubel’s room here without a mistake. Its subdued lighting and dark walls create an atmosphere that tunes in a different perception of art. All the works of this genius and somewhat strange painter reek of mystery and fairy tale.

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9. Krasnaya Polyana (Sochi)

Sunny day in Krasnaya Polyana

Krasnaya Polyana is a ski resort near Sochi (Adler). There are pistes for extreme skiers, professionals, fans of downhill skiing and for beginners. Vacationers who want to take pictures of the nearby sights of Russia and Sochi can go up by cable car and take some rare pictures. Of course, most tourists to Krasnaya Polyana come exactly in the winter, but in summer, even those who have decided to go here with the kids, be sure to find decent entertainment. The same cableway, which works all year round, will please both adults and their curious kids who have already had enough of beach rest and frequent swimming in the sea. Taking a ticket for the elevator, you can climb to the highest point, located in the mountains, and relax in the bar “Vysota”, taking mulled wine for yourself and natural juice for your child. There is also a mountain Olympic village, built for the Olympics 2014. You can stay at a hotel in any price category. In summer at the resort is a must to swim and sunbathe at the local beach, admiring the stunning views around the mountain.

10. Bolshoi Theatre (Moscow)

The famous Bolshoi Opera and Ballet Theatre

The building of the Bolshoi Theater is easily recognized by both avid theatergoers and people quite far from everything related to art. It seems that the four horses adorning the grandiose architectural structure are about to soar upwards. It is believed that the history of this temple of Melpomene began in 1776, when Prince Urusov received permission from Empress Catherine II to open a public theater in Moscow. But the building Urusov had built had burned down before opening, and he decided to sell the enterprise to Michael Maddox, an Englishman, a mathematician from Oxford, who had been invited to Russia to teach the sciences to the cesarevitch Paul Romanov. And on December 30, 1780, the theater was inaugurated. It had a hall for 1000 seats, a spacious stage, and a large orchestra pit. The first prima ballerina of the Bolshoi was the Frenchwoman Felicata Gullen-Sor. In 1918 Lenin demanded that the Bolshoi Theater be demolished immediately. He argued that opera was a bourgeois art, costly and unprofitable. Surprisingly, it was Stalin who changed Lenin’s mind. In 1940, the Soviet government held a competition to give the theater a “Soviet workers’ style.” In 2011, however, the Bolshoi was restored, giving it its original historical appearance and improving the acoustics.

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Russian sights: what else to visit in Russia

Many people think that excursions in Russia are boring and monotonous, but this is not so at all, at least if you take the organization of the trip seriously. Analyze our list of attractions and identify those that are interesting to you and your companions (family, friends, etc.) to avoid unnecessary fuss, as well as money and time costs.

11. Solovetsky Archipelago (Arkhangelsk)

Spaso-Preobrazhensky Solovetsky Monastery

Often foreign travelers interested in what to visit in Russia decide to go to the Solovetsky Archipelago, located in the White Sea and consisting of 6 large and small islands. Here is the famous medieval monastery of Solovki. When visiting the islands, you can get acquainted with the legendary monastery and fortress, learn the history of the infamous Stalinist Gulag camp. You will be shown numerous hermitages in different parts of the island, the monastery dry dock, stone labyrinths of prehistoric times. Solovetsky Island has no rivers, but there are hundreds of lakes. By taking a boat, you can sail it along the island’s intricate system of canals connecting its largest lakes. The archipelago is home to white whales (beluga whales). The walls and 8 six-meter high towers of the Solovetsky fortress were built from giant wild boulders. Domestic structures, churches and cathedrals are inside, under the protection of the fortress. Sekirnaya Mountain, a recognizable place on the Solovki, is located in the northwest of the archipelago. On top of this high hill in the 19th century the monks built the Church of the Ascension, which also served as a lighthouse. During the Gulag era, one of the most brutal penal cells was located there. A cross was later erected in memory of the people executed there.

12. Cable-stayed bridges in Vladivostok

The Cable-Type "Golden Bridge" in Vladivostok

The cable-stayed bridges in Vladivostok impress everyone who comes to see the sights of Russia with their grandeur. Built for almost six years, this modern grandiose structure has become the city’s modern symbol and its pride. Until recently, even locals could only visit Russky Island by special permission because of the military facilities on the island. Today, however, cable-stayed bridges, often referred to simply as the “Russian Bridge,” have connected the continent and the island. Opened in July 2012, the 1,885-meter-long bridge is suspended on heavy-duty cables. It cost more than a billion dollars to build. Dmitry Medvedev called the unique construction a “business card” of the city of Vladivostok and the entire Far East. Originally built for the guests of the APEC Summit, this ultra-modern bridge has become the most popular tourist attraction in Vladivostok. This great construction has already made it into the Guinness Book of World Records.

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13. Architectural ensemble Kizhi (Petrozavodsk)

Kizhi is a monument of wooden architecture

Every traveler thinking about what to visit in Russia and in Karelia chooses a trip to Kizhi. Getting from Petrozavodsk to Kizhi architectural ensemble takes an hour and a half by boat. Now here is a museum of wooden architecture. But it might not have been there, if in the XV century there had not been the Spaso-Kizhi pogost. At that time pogost was not a cemetery, but a unit of territorial division. At that time Kizhi was home to 130 villages. First were built a winter and summer churches, which were later burned in a fire. The architectural ensemble, familiar to many today, was built only in the XVIII century. The construction began with a nine-domed Church of the Intercession. Its unique iconostasis has been preserved to this day. The most famous landmark of Russia in Kizhi is the Church of the Transfiguration. Its 22 domes are depicted on numerous Russian souvenirs, dishes, towels. It is said that no nails were used in its construction, but this is not true. In total the architectural ensemble consists of two churches and a large bell tower with 33 domes, symbolizing the number of years lived by the Savior.

14. The Novgorod Kremlin (Veliky Novgorod)

Towers of the Novgorod Kremlin

Novgorod is the oldest city of Russia, an ancient craft and trade center, a link connecting Russia with Europe. Even today the city invites visitors to see its amazing sights. Among them is the Novgorod Kremlin or, as it was originally called, “Detinets”. This stone construction on the bank of the Volkhov River was built in the XI century by Prince Yaroslavl. For the first time it was mentioned in annals of 1044. But those original constructions have not been preserved. Later the Kremlin was rebuilt and expanded several times. Today the length of its walls approaches to one and a half kilometers. Nowadays there are 9 towers in the Kremlin. The highest one is Kokuy. Behind the fortress walls there are various architectural monuments. Such sights as St. Sophia Cathedral, near which all the citizens used to gather at Veche, Faceted Chamber and St. Sophia Belfry, which attract today curious tourists and people interested in the history of Russian architecture and state in general. The territory of the Novgorod Kremlin is a favorite vacation spot for Novgorodians and guests of the ancient city. Everything is adapted here for recreation: cafes, playgrounds for children, carved benches. Inside the Kremlin there are regularly arranged thematic expositions devoted to different events of Russian history. From the observation deck you can make a panoramic picture of the city.

15. Kungur Cave (Kungur, Perm region)

The Ice Kingdom of Kungur Cave

Avid travelers looking for the most unusual and even mystical things to see in Russia should definitely go down to the Kungur Cave. She and beautiful, and great, and truly magical. The first tourists, including tsars, came down here in the XIX century. Today, this place is the most famous Ural miracle. Every year, up to 100,000 people visit it. In just a few hours, moving through the cave manholes, tourists see both winter, and autumn, and spring. But the summer in the cave never happens. The temperature does not rise above +5⁰ + 8⁰ C, so even the Ural people who have decided at their leisure to admire the stalactites, stalagmites and underground lakes, often shiver with cold, forgetting to wear a warm jacket and cap before going down. The most beautiful, mesmerizing with its snow-white sheen hall of the cave is the Diamond Grotto, so named because of its years of icing. Even if the temperature outside is +30⁰ C, snow flowers bloom on the walls of the grotto. Groups of tourists are not allowed to stay here more than five minutes. Caretakers of the cave preserve its microclimate and protect it from the melting ice. The length of all the passages of the cave reaches six kilometers along with half a hundred loopholes and grottos, each of which has its own name and an amazing story. Many of the rooms are illuminated by multicolored lights and look unreal, fantastic chambers.

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16. St. Basil’s Cathedral (Moscow)

The Cathedral of St. Basil or the Cathedral of the Intercession of the Blessed Virgin on Red Square

The most recognizable landmark of Moscow, in addition to the well-known Kremlin, should be assigned the status of St. Basil’s Cathedral - even at a fleeting glance its colorful domes evoke associations with the Russian capital. The origins of the cathedral date back to the 16th century, when by order of Czar Ivan the Terrible a religious building was built on the place of the old temple of the Life-Giving Trinity. The cathedral was based on the idea of Heavenly Jerusalem - a tent-like bell tower with eight heads around it, reminiscent of the eight-pointed star, similar to the Bethlehem one. And if the facade of the cathedral impresses with splendor and abundance of color, the interior of the inner hall surprises with simplicity of decoration. Here, in the semi-darkness, there is a completely different spirit - the spirit of commemoration and meek prayer. While the first floor is occupied by the main church hall, the second tier is an ensemble of 9 churches united by galleries.

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17. Museum-reserve “Tsarskoe Selo” (Pushkin, St. Petersburg)

Ekaterininsky Park with the Palace of Golden Autumn in the Tsarskoe Selo Museum-Reserve in St. Petersburg

The great treasure of the city of Pushkin is the museum-reserve “Tsarskoe Selo” with its Catherine Palace, which is a fine example of Russian architecture. The whole complex is a major monument of landscape architecture of the 18th-20th centuries, which was badly damaged by the events of the Great Patriotic War, but was later fully restored. The museum complex consists of gardens, parks, small thematic museums and the central object - the Catherine Palace, a magnificent baroque building in beautiful azure and white colors with an abundance of elements of gilding. The splendor of the palace’s interior is especially noticeable in the Throne Room, which sparkles with gilded decorations and impresses with its artistically painted ceilings. The richness and cozy color of the Amber Room, the combination of snow-white walls and gold of the Parade Enfilade, and the grandeur and vastness of the Hermitage Pavilion impress.

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18. Golden Ring of Russia (cities of North-Eastern Russia)

A picturesque panoramic view of Suzdal - part of the Golden Ring of Russia
The Wooden Church of the Savior at the Kostroma Museum of Wooden Architecture of the Golden Ring of Russia

The famous tourist route, which turned 50 years old in 2017, has already become a classic of tourism in Russia. It leads through the oldest Russian cities, where each historical place, each museum and each cathedral keeps its centuries-old history. All moments of Old Russian architecture formation are revealed during the travel through eight Old Russian towns, located on the map in such a way, that if to connect them by one line, the closed ring looks like - hence the name of the route. Majestic white-stone churches of 12-13 centuries, medieval tent constructions, creations of famous architectural schools, interesting exhibits of ancient museums where woodcarving, works of talented jewelers and lacemakers, enamel painting, lacquer miniatures and much, much more are represented in the rich tour “Golden Ring of Russia”.

Official site: http://www.goldenringunion

19. Nizhny Novgorod Kremlin (Nizhny Novgorod)

Chkalovskaya Stairs and St. George Tower of the Nizhny Novgorod Kremlin in Nizhny Novgorod

At the confluence of the great Russian rivers, the Volga and Oka, rises majestically a brick fortress, a fortification of the 16th century. The origins of Nizhny Novgorod Kremlin date back to the 13th century, when a Russian prince founded a city here and surrounded it with fortifications. And only 3 centuries later an important fortification of red brick and white limestone was built. The total length of the Kremlin walls is about 2 km, these walls have 13 combat towers, and the role of main gate is performed by Dmitrievskaya tower, which has become one of the symbols of Nizhny Novgorod. The second important tower is in the south-eastern tip - it is the St. George’s Tower, next to which there is the Minin and Pozharsky Square with a monument to Chkalov, as well as an observation deck, from which the huge 560-step Chkalov Stairs lead down.

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20. Church of the Intercession on the Nerl

Belestone Church of the Intercession on the Nerl on the territory of Bogolyubovo Meadow

Another one of the monuments of the Old Russia architecture is situated in the Russian outback, 1.5 kilometers from Bogolubovo. On a clear day, against the blue sky, the temple of the Intercession on the Nerl is particularly beautiful - one is impressed by the meek beauty of its facade, and the combination of the piercing blue of the domes with its snow-white walls. The church, which has become one of the symbols of Russia, was built in the 12th century in just one summer, near the residence of Prince Andrei Bogolyubsky. It was consecrated in memory of the events that took place in Constantinople in the 10th century during the siege of the city by the Saracens. There is a popular belief, that the inhabitants of the city gathered in the churches in those difficult times and prayed for the salvation of the city, and Sainted St. Andrew noticed that among the crowd of the praying, bending the knees, the Theotokos herself also offered up her entreaties, after which she came to the throne, took off her veil, stretched it out over all the people, and granted them salvation.

21. Cruiser Aurora (St. Petersburg)

Cruiser Aurora is a legendary warship moored near the waterfront in St. Petersburg

When mentioning the sights of St. Petersburg, it is impossible not to mention one of the most symbolic monuments of the northern capital - the cruiser Aurora. The armored cruiser, created to strengthen the navy in a geopolitical rivalry with England, was named after the ancient Roman goddess of the morning sunrise. It was built at the very end of the 19th century and experienced a number of significant events of the 20th century: it participated in the battles of Japan and the First World War, was involved in the storming of the Winter Palace and in the defense of Kronstadt. The ship was regularly bombarded by the enemy’s artillery, but nevertheless it survived to this day. Today aboard the cruiser there is a museum dedicated to the participation of the ship in significant historical events, as well as a ship’s temple, restored in the post-Soviet period.

Official website: http://www.navalmuseum

22. Manpupunor (Komi Republic)

Manpupunyor or the Weathered Pillars on the territory of the Pechoro-Ilychsky Reserve in the Komi Republic

Amazing natural formations in the form of weathered pillars can be seen in the Troitsko-Pechorsky District of Komi. The unusual name of these creations - Manpupunyor - means “Small Mountain of Idols” in translation from Mansi language. Once upon a time, millions of years ago, the Ural Mountains rose on this place, but over time, wind and water destroyed the rock. In some places, the rocks were so strong that erosion could not cope with them - so a plateau with bizarre rocky columns, which are also called remnants, was formed. There are seven such monuments on the plateau, they rise in the middle of the plain, are 30 to 42 meters high and have an unusual shape, at different angles reminding one of a giant figure or a horse’s head - in short, there is room for the imagination to run wild.

23. Volcanoes of Kamchatka

The area of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky on the background of Koryak volcano at dawn

If the sights of central Russia are concentrated in the cities around the capital, and it doesn’t take long to see them, you’ll have to get to the opposite end of the continent to visit others. So, to explore the beautiful nature of the Kamchatka Peninsula is worth a separate trip - so rich is this land. It abounds with waterfalls, hot springs, beaches and bays, and, of course, the true symbol of Kamchatka - its numerous volcanoes. Few places on the Earth it is possible to meet such quantity of volcanoes on so small area, and together with them unique landscapes, therefore the excursions to Kamchatka are first of all rafting on the mountain rivers, climbing on the sleeping volcanoes, driving from snowy slopes, medical bathing in thermal sources, acquaintance with ancient culture of northern indigenous people and much, much another.

24. Lena Pillars (Yakutia)

Lena Pillars on the bank of the Lena River in Yakutia

In the Republic of Yakutia, on the banks of the major Siberian river Lena, there is an amazing rocky ridge of about 80 kilometers long. The rocks, in some places reaching up to 200 meters in height, were formed from ancient limestone, and their formation began about 500 million years ago. These formations have a bizarre striped “coloring” and an unusual elongated shape, and today a national park is created on their territory. Since ancient times this place was considered sacred - only shamans and elders were allowed to visit the rocks to talk to the spirits. Scientifically speaking the pillars are an example of ancient formations of sedimentary rocks: once there was the sea in their place, and bone remains of sea inhabitants served as material for formation of future rocks. Over time, the sea dried up, and weathering processes led to the formation of unusual natural creations.

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25. Kul Sharif Mosque (Kazan)

View from the Manezh building to the Qul Sharif Mosque in the Kazan Kremlin

The main mosque of Tatarstan and the symbol of all Tatar people is Kul Sharif Mosque in Kazan - a place of Muslim services, weddings, photo sessions for tourists, and just a corner of authentic beauty and peace. It is worth noting that the modern building is not a historical construction, it was erected quite recently on the site of the original Kul Sharif Mosque. The original building was destroyed in the 16th century by the Russian Tsar Terrible’s troops, and only in 1996-2005, the works on the active reconstruction of the mosque started here, and the opening was timed to coincide with the millennium of the Tatar capital. The modern building was built of white marble and has eight high towers - minarets. Inside it is possible to visit the prayer halls and the museum of Islam, and there are even special balconies for foreign visitors, where they can watch the service.

26. Swallow’s Nest (Crimea)

The Swallow's Nest Castle on a rock above Yalta Bay on the southern coast of Crimea
Amazing aerial view of the South Coast of Crimea with a castle over an abyss on a sunny day

Any sightseeing quiz about Crimea does not pass without mentioning the most famous monument of the peninsula - a magnificent castle, that literally hangs on the edge of a cliff over the sea. Of course, it is the well-known “Swallow’s Nest” - the smallest castle in the world that is located at the tip of the southern cape Ai-Todor, 40 meters above the sea level. The castle was built in 1912 by order of German baron, who wished to see a castle in this beautiful place that would remind him of architectural masterpieces of his distant homeland. During the Soviet era in the area of the castle was filmed not one film, from the 70s until 2011 in his walls worked restaurant, and today you can visit the museum, examine the interior and the exterior of the building, admire the view from the cliff.

Official website: https://замок-ласточкино

27. Sayano-Shushenskaya hydroelectric power station (Yenisei river)

Sayano-Shushenskaya HPP named after P. S. Neporozhny on the Yenisei River

In addition to the classic attractions, there are other interesting places in Russia in their own way, clearly demonstrating the enormity of human labor and the genius of engineering thought. These include the Sayano-Shushenskaya hydroelectric dam, an impressive hydraulic structure in terms of its scale and complexity. It ranks first among similar structures in Russia and seventh in the world in terms of power output. The dam is 245 meters high and blocks the waters of one of the largest rivers in the country - the Yenisei. Not only the size of the hydropower plant impresses - perhaps the most striking sight is the incredible power of the spillway, because for one second only through special compartments can be discharged more than 13 thousand cubic meters of water.

Official site: http://www.sshges.

28. Shikhany in Bashkiria (Bashkirian Pre-Urals)

Shikhan Tratau is an isolated upland (solitary mountain) in Bashkir Urals

Few people know that in Bashkiria you can find ancient coral reefs, which millions of years ago lay at the bottom of the Ural Sea. Shikhany - mountains, which have become witnesses of natural processes occurring in those immemorial times. These unique geological formations were actually huge coral reefs, which became homes for many terrestrial plants and animals after the ancient sea dried up. Nowadays, Shikhany are of certain use for industry - a number of building materials are produced from multi-ton limestone deposits. Therefore, at present, of the four Shikhans, in fact, only three remain: Yuraktau, Kushtau and Toratau. The fourth Shikhan Shakhtau, alas, is almost all recycled by a Bashkir industrial enterprise.

29. Elbrus (Caucasus)

Elbrus is the highest peak of Russia in the North Caucasus

Russia’s highest peak is 5,642 meters, and it belongs to the system of the Caucasus Mountains. This is Mount Elbrus at the junction of the two republics - Karachay-Cherkessia and Kabardino-Balkaria. The characteristic two-headed shape of Mount Elbrus has made it a uniquely recognizable symbol of the North Caucasus. Today it fascinates and attracts the attention of climbers, striving to conquer the highest peaks, and travelers, who come to the foot to feel all the grandeur and power of the stone giant. An interesting fact is that the two peaks are of volcanic origin - they were formed on a volcanic base and are essentially two independent volcanoes. According to existing data, the last eruption here occurred about 2 thousand years ago. The western peak is the highest, while the eastern one is 21 meters lower. The saddle, which is about 300 meters lower than the mountain peaks, separates the two peaks.

30. “Plesetsk” spaceport

The launch pad of the Soyuz rocket at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome

When studying the sights of the world, it is worth paying attention to some objects of global importance in Russia - such is the cosmodrome Plesetsk, which played an important role in the development of cosmonautics. For example, until 2018, it ranked first in the world in terms of the number of space launches and launched vehicles. The cosmodrome is located in the Plesetsk district of the Arkhangelsk region and occupies a huge area - more than 1,700 square kilometers. It is not allowed to visit it by oneself, and excursions to the territory of the cosmodrome are made through checkpoints, where strict control is carried out, due to the secrecy of the objects there. On the territory you can visit the Historical and Memorial Museum, which is especially interesting for its realistic dioramas, demonstrating a rocket launch.

31. Trans-Siberian railroad

VL 85-022 with a container train on the Utulik-Slyudyanka span on the shore of Lake Baikal Sorovas

The Great Siberian Way, today called the Trans-Siberian Railway, surpasses all railway lines in the world in its scale. The length of the railway is almost 10 thousand kilometers, it passes through 21 subjects of the Russian Federation, and its main task is to connect the European region of the country, its main (Moscow) and the northern capital (St. Petersburg) with the most important Far Eastern and East Siberian cities of Russia. Construction of great Transsib started in 1891, after emperor’s decree about laying “Great Siberian way”, and lasted almost a quarter of century. The starting point was a place near Vladivostok - Kuperovskaya Pad, where Cesarevich Nicholas, the future Tsar Nicholas II, personally took the first wheelbarrow of land for the future roadway.

32. The Golden Mountains of Altai (Siberia)

Landscape of the state biosphere natural reserve Golden Mountains of Altai

While the most popular historical sites are concentrated in the European part of Russia, its Asian part is a land of magnificent, pristine nature, wild expanses with a contrasting climate and sometimes very diverse nature. For example, Central Asia and Siberia are separated by a picturesque natural complex - the Golden Mountains of Altai, recognized as a world heritage site. The Altai Mountains are a real treasure trove of natural treasures: the Altai Biosphere Reserve, the Katun Nature Reserve, the Belukha Nature Park and the Ukok Rest Area are located on an area of 1.64 million hectares. Few places in the world can boast such contrasting landscapes - all natural zones of Central Asia have converged here: steppes, deserts, forest-steppes, mountain taiga, mixed forests, alpine and subalpine meadows. The pearl of Altai is the deep-water Lake Teletskoye, called the younger brother of Baikal.

33. Khan Palace (Bakhchisaray)

The Khan Palace and Minaret of the Great Khan Mosque in Bakhchisaray Jean & Nathalie
The interior of the buffet room of the harem building in Bakhchisaray Jean & Nathalie

Mentioning the sights of the Crimean peninsula, it is impossible not to mention a magnificent monument of Crimean-Tatar architecture - the Khan Palace in Bakhchisaray. In ancient sources, the palace is mentioned as the Khan’s residence, and its construction had been finished by 1551. The main task of the masters, who worked on the palace’s construction, was to embody the Muslim notion of the terrestrial paradise in the building, and the palace’s work resulted in the creation not just of a palace, but of a miniature town, which became the center of the cultural, spiritual and political life of the Crimean Tatar state. In the 20th century, a national museum was opened in the palace, and since 1979 the palace as a result of the labor-intensive restoration has acquired the role of a monument of Crimean architecture. Even today the palace territory is rich in greenery, fountains, all buildings have an authentic facade with typical ornate paintings.

Official website:

34. St. Nicholas’ Naval Cathedral (Kronstadt)

View from Anchor Square to the Naval Cathedral of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker in Kronstadt Florstein

At the very beginning of the 20th century by order of Tsar Nicholas II in the city-fortress of Kronstadt was built the largest maritime cathedral in the times of the Russian Empire - St. Nicholas Cathedral. Today, this beautiful Neobyzantine monumental building is the main naval temple of the Russian Federation and serves as a branch of the Central Naval Museum. Inside the temple has a rich decoration with a lot of painted ornaments, an abundance of gilding, where much attention is given to maritime theme, because the cathedral was originally conceived as a monument to the dead sailors. In the hall of the temple one can see black marble plaques, and in the altar - white ones: the black ones list the names of naval officers who died in battle, and the white ones - the names of priests who died at sea. In the garden of the cathedral there is an old garden, in which 32 oaks were planted by the Russian tsar and his entourage.

Official website: http://kronshtadtsobor.

35. Narzan Gallery (Kislovodsk)

Fountain "Frogs" in front of the Narzanaya Gallery in Kislovodsk Dymmoq
Inner Hall of the Narzan Gallery AlixSaz
Interior of the Narzan Gallery in Kislovodsk Laura bera

If we mention the natural attractions of Russia, the presentation will not do without such riches, which are not just pleasing to the eye, but also have a beneficial effect on human health. A very successful synthesis of useful natural gifts and skilful architectural skill is the Narzanaya Gallery, located in the heart of Kislovodsk. Here in the early 18 century there was opened a spring, fairly quickly discovered the healing properties of its waters, and a century later was equipped with a well. During these years, and spread the treatment of the waters of the narzan. In 1858 by order of Prince Vorontsov a beautiful Gothic building made of yellow stone and intended for recreation of vacationers who used the life-giving water, was built on the site of the spring. The luxurious and spacious gallery has preserved its original appearance to this day, having undergone only minor changes in the interiors.