As a holiday destination, Russia lulls you with its sombre reputation, but springs a surprise once you land. Its sprawling cities given nuance by a culture that was hidden behind a veil of secrecy for over a hundred years. More than once it has been likened to a riddle that defies conventions at every chance it gets. However, the reward of solving this riddle is a memorable holiday that will exceed your expectations and imagination.

A vast land like Russia is a medley of cultural differences that are bound firmly together by a fervent love for the Motherland. Russia is covered by an excellent system of roads, railways and airways. You can book trains and flight tickets online which makes travelling around the country very easy. While culture and traditions may vary from one region to the next, what remains constant is the rugged beauty of the land that is interspersed with a rich and interesting history.

In this land of contrasts the austerity of attempted communism is starkly contrasted by its historical opulence. The austere communist-era architecture easily competes with the lavish palaces of the Russian royalty for scale and grandeur, if not for splendour. This disparity presents a fascinating mix of ideologies that defines present-day Russia.

Let us dive deeper into the astounding enigma that is Russia and find out what makes it tick.

Russia Tourism: A Quick Overview
Continent Asia
Capital Moscow
Official Language Russian
Dial Code 07 - area code contact number
Population 14,67,93,744
Currency Russian Rouble
Time Zone GMT 2 + GMT 12
Area 1,70,98,246 aq. km.

Highlights of Russia

Russian tourism is an alluring combination of nature, history, culture, art and outdoor activities. Performance arts like opera and ballet form the core of a thriving social life, not only in the big cities, but also in smaller towns. Catch a mesmerising ballet performance at Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre and lose yourself in an evening of graceful lifts and intricate pirouettes

Take a canal cruise in Moscow and St. Petersburg, which will give you a different perspective on these cities. Russia’s palaces are a study in luxury. The Amber Room of Catherine Palace is richly decorated with panels are made of amber. The Wooden Palace of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich uses no fastening materials, nails or hooks in its construction. A tour of the Grand Kremlin Palace will leave you awe-struck with its rich panelling and stunning marble floors.

If you tire of palaces, museums and cultural pursuits, head out into the Russian outdoors. They promise you an adrenaline-fuelled adventure of a lifetime. From stunning treks to wildlife tracking and everything in between, that promise is fulfilled many times over.

Adventure Activities in Russia

What could be more extreme than cycling across the world’s deepest, largest and oldest lake? The glistening surface of the frozen Baikal Lake will set your pulse racing with excitement.

If trekking is more your style, the Altai Republic is one of the best places for an invigorating summer trek. Conveniently located on the Trans-Siberian route you can soak in the region around Mount Belukha with its majestic waterfalls and glaciers.

However, for the most unique adventure hop aboard one of the ice breakers that travel to the North Pole from Murmansk. You not only get a ringside view of the beautiful Northern Lights, but you can also take a hot-air balloon ride over the North Pole!

Track wild Siberian tigers north of Vladivostok on a tiger safari and you might chance upon the elusive Amur Leopard. Spend a few days with a nomadic Nenet family as they migrate to greener grazing grounds in Yamal Peninsula with their flocks of reindeer.

For the ultimate adventure, go heli-skiing in Kamchatka Peninsula located in the famous Ring of Fire. Helicopters will drop you on the slopes of the volcano for a thrilling ride on your way down. This one is not for the faint of hearts.

Shopping in Russia

A universally loved activity everywhere and Russia is no exception. It is a fascinating shopping destination that offers the most exclusive and expensive objects of desire alongside an eclectic selection of quintessentially Russian mementos. These include Russian shawls, porcelain figurines, Palekh miniatures, Faberge copies, Gzhel earthenware, Russian chocolates and the famous Matryoshka dolls.

Shops open as early as 8:00 am and remain open till 9:00 pm. But you will find exceptions with different timings. While malls and department stores offer a more consistent experience, you will unearth some amazing bargains at local flea markets, weekly bazars and craft fairs. Bargaining is expected, so the goods are priced accordingly.

GUM is an exclusive department store in Moscow where the city’s elite heads for shopping. Arbat Street is a treasure trove of souvenirs and sensibly priced shopping. The Aviapark Mall is Europe’s biggest mall and has everything from high-fashion brands to cinemas.

Cuisine Of Russia

Russian cuisine is primarily a blend of Caucasian and Central Asian culinary influences. Recently it has started incorporating international flavours and giving them a local twist to reinvent the traditional Russian cooking. All cities in Russia have a wide range of eating choices.

A ‘Restoran’ is a formal restaurant where you can enjoy multi-course, sit-down meals. ‘Kafes’ and ‘Kofeynya Cafes’ offer more affordable options amidst a relaxed ambience. For a quirky Soviet-era experience, ‘Stolovayas’ serve no-nonsense, self-served meals. Finally, soviet-built farmer markets called ‘Rynoks’ are becoming increasingly popular as food courts.

Do not miss these delicacies on your Russian holiday:

  • Borsch - beetroot soup that can be eaten hot or cold.
  • Ukha - a classic recipe with 4 types of fish served with herbs and vegetables.
  • Zharkoye - a steaming hot stew served in little jugs.
  • Shashlyk - the Russian version of kebabs.
  • Pelmeni - stuffed dumplings served in a stock soup or with sour cream, vinegar and butter.

Interesting Facts About Russia

  • Russia is the largest country in the world by area.
  • Around 60% of Russia is covered by forests.
  • Oymyakon, in the Yakutia region of Siberia is the coldest inhabited place on earth where the average temperature is -50°C and the lowest ever recorded is -77°C.
  • The Trans-Siberian Railroad is 9,289 km long and is the longest railway line in the world. It crosses 8 time zones and takes a week to complete its entire journey.
  • With an area of around 60 acres, the Kremlin is the world’s largest active medieval fortress.
  • Russia is home to 12 active volcanoes.
  • The USA is only 82 km away from Russia at their closest points in the Bering Sea.
  • The Baikal Lake holds about 20% of the world’s fresh water supply.
  • Sochi is the only place in Russia that experiences sub-tropical weather.
  • With its 11 time zones, Russia is permanently on daylight savings time.


Location Of Russia

Russia is a vast country that straddles two continents; Asia and Europe. Taking up most of Northern Asia and Eastern Europe, Russia covers more than one-eighth of the earth’s inhabited area. It spans a whopping 11 time zones. It is surrounded by Azerbaijan, Belarus, China, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Mongolia, North Korea, Norway, Poland and Ukraine on land. It also shares maritime borders with Japan and USA.

Best Time to Visit Russia

Russia has 4 clearly defined seasons. Summer (June-August) is the peak tourist season here and also the best time to visit, as all tourist attractions and activities are operational. But, if you want to enjoy Russia without the hordes of tourists, Spring (March-May) and Autumn (September-November) are the best seasons to visit. The harsh winter (December-February) is not the best time to visit Russia.

How to Reach Russia

From India, flying is the best option to reach Russia. Both the countries are well-connected with regular flights operating between the two. The other option is luxury cruises, which will take you to Russia in style, albeit at a much slower pace. You can even drive to Russia from India, but it is an impractical option that’s expensive and requires a lot of advance preparations.

Each season of Russia has its charm, and your best time to visit would be completely dependent on what kind of a holiday you’re looking for. Thomas Cook’s Russia holiday packages will introduce to the delights of Russia step by step. So, if you have decided your travel period, drop into your nearest Thomas Cook branch or book your holidays online.

Language Spoken


Currency used:

Russian ruble

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Best Russian Federation Tourism Guide

Russia has been shrouded in exotic mystery, and Russian Federation simply adds to that aura. I has much wonderts to allure tourists. Russian Federation Holidays will take you on an exotic Trip to Russian Federation that offers a wonderful mix of landscapes.

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Get off the track, on your Travel to this place, and visit the Prussian Kranz resort, Volga river village, the sole Buddhist enclave of Elista, and hot springs at Kamchatka’s Nalychevo Valley. Go on a Russian Federation Tour as part of Russian Federation Vacation Packages and regale in a vacation to cherish forever.

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