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Russia Travel Guides

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By some measure the largest country in the world, Russia holds a wealth of sightseeing opportunities across all 9 of its time zones, incorporating the largest forestland and freshwater supply in the world. It's little wonder that Russians refer to their country as the Motherland - it is, undeniably, one bountiful place. Seeing Russia in all her glory would be a mighty, and time-consuming, feat.

Most visitors will stop first at the popular cities of the north-west, Moscow and St Petersburg - notable for the roles they played in the Napoleonic Wars and World War II. Moscow was the site of the bloodiest battle Napoleon described as ever having seen while St Petersburg was witness to both the Russian Revolution of the 1700s and the Russian Civil War of the 1900s. Thus both cities boast an abundance of ornate war memorials, museums and sites dedicated to their cataclysmic history.

In St Petersburg, the State Hermitage Museum captures ancient to modern Russian history in the six buildings which make up the Winter Palace - the former residence of the tsars. The Moscow Kremlin is a citadel complex, the most popular of the Kremlin buildings; alongside it is Red Square, Moscow's broad and bustling city square adorned by the famous Basil Cathedral. The Bolshoi Ballet Theatre, in neighbouring Theatre Square, is one of the most ornate theatres in the world and is home to the world's oldest and most successful ballet company. Russian architecture is an attraction unto itself and the cathedrals of Moscow in particular, prove a popular marvel for tourists the world over.

There is, however, more to see in the west by way of both history and natural splendour. Russia is jokingly referred to as the 'lungs of Europe' due to the expansive forestland, which absorbs 15% of the world's carbon dioxide. As you progress east, the forest becomes more dense and overwhelming.

The best way to take in the Russian countryside is by train, as the trans-Siberian Railway winds south-east from Moscow on the same route that once transported prisoners of Stalin's Purges to Gulag labour camps. Travel down to Lake Baikal, the deepest and largest lake (by volume) in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where there are several beautiful resorts along the lakeside.


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