ASIA

Discover the Hidden Quirks of Russia

Russia

About

Russia is located in both Europe and Asia, and is the largest country in the world! Filled with rich heritage, architecture and countless museums, it is clear that there is so much to see and do in Russia. Who wouldn’t want to visit the birthplace of vodka and iconic Russian Dolls?

Moscow, the capital, is situated on the European side of Russia and is home to the world-famous Red Square. This attraction is a must-see while in Moscow because of the beautiful, picturesque buildings and fascinating history behind them. For lovers of nature, why not take a stroll down Gorky Park, which is located in the heart of Moscow. This park is the perfect place to relax and observe the world around you while chewing on some Blini- a Russian pancake. Or for those who just want to take it easy while also exploring the city, why not take a cruise through the Moscow River. The cruises drive right into the city and give a fantastic view of what Moscow has to offer.

St. Petersburg, the second-largest city in Russia, is known for its beautiful palaces, churches, museums and cathedrals. One of the city’s most famous palaces is the Winter Palace which stands right beside the Neva River. In the Palace, you will find the Hermitage Museum, which holds paintings from the famous Rembrandt, Van Gogh, and Da Vinci. Or, for a full view of the city from above, trek up the 262 steps of St. Isaacs Cathedral. The top of the Cathedral, which is over 40 metres high, allows a panoramic view of St. Petersburg to really take in the beauty of the city.

However, Moscow and St. Petersburg aren’t the only cities you should explore on your visit to Russia. Visit Sochi if you enjoy the natural scenery. Sochi is the perfect place to hike up various mountains and explore underground caves in the summer, and ski in some of the best resorts in Russia in the winter months. Or, if you want to get your boogie on then Kazan is a fantastic place to visit. Kazan boasts an excellent nightlife and atmosphere and has many bars and restaurants to eat at while enjoying the city.

Things to Know Before You Go

  • The official language is Russian. However, English is widely spoken.
  • The official currency used is the Russian Ruble (₽).
  • Major airports include Sheremetyevo International Airport (SVO), Moscow Domodedovo airport (DME), and Pulkovo Airport- St. Petersburg (LED).
  • In St. Petersburg, be sure to use the metro system. With cheap fares and trains arriving every few minutes, there’s no doubt as to why this should be your preferred mode of transport.
  • If you are staying on Vasilyevsky Island, St. Petersburg, be sure to remember that the bridges over the Neva river rise each night to let ships pass. So, keep an eye on the schedule, so you’re not left stranded!
  • The drinking age is 18 years old.
  • Although tap water is okay in small amounts, purchasing bottled water for consumption instead is recommended to avoid an upset stomach.
  • Russia drives on the right side of the road.
  • In Moscow, summer months average at daily highs of 24.3°C/76°F and lows of 14.4°C/57.9°F. In winter months there are average daily highs of -4°C/25°F and lows of -9.1°C/15.6°F.
  • In St. Petersburg, summer months average at daily highs of 23°C/73°F and lows of 15°C/59°F. In winter months there are average daily highs of -8°C/18°F and lows of -3°C/27°F.
  • Most stores stay open 24/7 such as Starbucks, grocery stores and pharmacies!
  • Power plugs are of type C, and F. Voltage is 220 V and frequency is 50 Hz.

The Quirky and Unusual

Lake Baikal

The world’s deepest and largest lake, Lake Baikal, is located in Siberia, Irkutsk, south-central Russia. Measuring 395 miles wide and more than 5,000 feet deep, this lake is a sight to behold for all nature lovers!

This World Heritage Site is not only the deepest and largest freshwater lake on Earth but also the world’s oldest one. Dating back to at least 25 million years ago, Lake Baikal is said to hold a volume of water equivalent to all five of North American Great Lakes.

Home to the lake are thousands of Baikal seals, locally known as the nerpa. These seals are a rare sight to see as Lake Baikal is the only place in the world where you can find one. They are the smallest seals on the planet, around 4 feet long and 150 pounds in weight. Be sure to keep an eye out for these little friends as you explore the lake.

Address:Lake Baikal, Olkhonsky District, Russia

Coordinates: 53.5658, 108.2095

Wanderful Ideas

Welcome! I'm Grace, a travel enthusiast who loves everything about visiting new destinations & finding unusual things to do.

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E-mail: grace@wanderfulideas.com

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