The colourful domes of St Basil's Cathedral in Moscow, Russia
23 November, 20202 minute read

5 reasons why you should visit Russia once in your lifetime

Russia is the world’s largest country – and with it comes many facets that make up a diverse and culturally spellbinding destination. Head to Russia if you’re looking to see a magnificent collection of historic treasures. You can tread in the footsteps of literary giants and infamous rulers, as well as travel back in time to discover the country’s tsarist past and see what has made Russia the powerhouse it is to this day.

And we have several holidays to Russia from the UK – from exploring Moscow’s showstopping palaces and domes, sailing the Volga and discovering Russia’s epic countryside, and seeing St Petersburg’s opulent buildings, our Russia tours are accompanied by knowledgeable tour managers as well as local guides who will bring these not-to-be-missed attractions to life.

Opulent palaces and gardens

In order to discover the grandeur and opulence of Imperial Russia, a holiday to St Petersburg wouldn’t be complete without seeing some of Russia’s stunning palaces. The Winter Palace in St Petersburg is a must and probably the city’s most famous building. You’ll be astounded by the mint green and gold façade and impressive columns. The Winter Palace in its original form was built in 1708 – and over the centuries has been home to many of Russia’s greatest emperors. Not to missed, either, is the Peterhof Palace and Gardens. With over 175 fountains including the Great Cascade, the lavish surroundings are really something to savour. We also visit the palace of Pushkin, which was named after the famous Russian poet.

Meanwhile, in Moscow, it’s The Grand Kremlin Palace that will astound. The residence of President Putin, the Kremlin was built to emphasise the power of Russia and has five reception rooms alone named in orders of the Russian Empires. Marvel too at the onion-shaped domes of St Basil’s Cathedral in its vibrant and colourful Byzantine magnificence. We’ll stand on Sparrow Hill and look out across the city and its recognisable skyline. Make sure you have your camera to hand…

The Grand Cascade in Peterhof Palace, St Petersburg, visited on a Titan tour of Russia

Exquisite cultural treasures

From Fabergé eggs to priceless works of art, Russia is a treasure trove of artistic riches. On our Moscow holiday, you’ll find some of the best examples of Russian art that spans from 11th to the early 20th century in the Tretyakov Gallery. We’ll even see some of the lavishly decorated underground stations where marble and even semi-precious stones can be found. The Armoury at The Kremlin is one of the oldest museums in the city – and here you will be able to see jewels, precious clothes and carriages as well as the sleigh in which Empress Elizabeth rode from St Petersburg to Moscow for her coronation, pulled by 23 horses at a time.

It's in St Petersburg and the beautiful Hermitage Museum, though, that a vast collection of some of the world’s most famous artwork can be enjoyed. Spot masterpieces from Da Vinci, Rembrandt and Michelangelo to name but a few. And also experience the lavish surroundings of TheWinter Palace, where the Hermitage Museum resides.

The Gallery of Arts inside the Winter Palace, part of the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, Russia

Idyllic countryside

Away from Russia’s cities, vast geographical landscapes can be explored and with it, diverse cultural differences. Rural Russia is speckled with fairtytale houses, sweeping farmlands, stunning natural wonders and ancient villages. And to catch a glimpse of some of the land away from the metropolis our Russian escorted tours takes you cruising an array of rivers – including the Volga, vast lakes and broad canals that link Moscow and St Petersburg. From Yaroslavl known as the ‘Russian Florence’, you’ll marvel at the Church of Elijah the Prophet, an amazing structure filled with 17th-century frescoes to peaceful farming communities including Goritsy with its beautiful monastery and Kizhi Island, close to Lake Onega, where you can see two incredible 18th century wooden churches.

Panoramic view of the River Kosorosl, Yaroslavl Arrow and a monument to the 1000th anniversary of Yaroslavl. See it on a Titan tour of Russia

Traditional cuisine

There is so much more to Russian food than potatoes, bread and cabbage. And with all meals included in our holidays in Russia, you will get the chance to try some delicious and traditional dishes. Russia’s national dish is Pelmeni, a type of dumpling filled with minced meat and served with butter or sour cream or in a soup broth. Be warned, they are moreish. Other specialities to try include blinis – a type of pancake which you can eat with just about anything, cheese, caviar or even chocolate; beef stroganoff in a creamy sauce served with pasta or potatoes and Kvass – a fermented drink made of rye, bread and malt much like beer. Although the alcohol content is tiny, so even Russian children are allowed to drink this popular beverage. Although if you’d like to drink the harder stuff, then vodka is widely available!

Pelmeni - meat dumplings - with butter and greens, a Russian speciality

Local hospitality

There is a lot to be said about the warmth and friendliness of Russian hospitality. From chatting with your local guide who will bring each destination to life, to meeting some of the local people on the journey of our Russia tours, you will find open hearts and big smiles. Russians are open-minded people who love to chat. We hope those you will meet along the way will make your Russia holiday even more memorable.

Three women celebrate Shrovetide in Russia

If you’ve been inspired to find out more about our Russia tours, do get in touch with one of our expert travel advisors.

Image of blog author Ting Dalton

Ting has a serious case of wanderlust. Having travelled to over 40 countries, it’s her mission in life to make her way through her ever-growing list. Her two young sons have also caught the travel bug, and recent trips have seen them making snow angels in Iceland while watching the Northern Lights, as well as walking alongside elephants in South Africa.

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