Pack your bags and head to Russia for what promises to be an adventure. From the historical sites of Catherine Palace, Russian Museum and Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood, you will be delighted with everything Russia has to offer. You won’t want to leave this magnificent country of history, culture and leisure.
While you are in this country rich in art, why not take a traditional folk dance class and experience life real Russian style. If you’re hungry, try a slice of Tula gingerbread or some Chak-chak. If you’re thirsty from all the sightseeing, crack open a bottle of Vodka, enjoy the sweet taste of Mors or Ryazhenka – which is actually a baked milk drink.
Try something a little different. Take a tour of the wine regions in Russia and pick a few of your favourite bottles.
Whatever you do in Russia, make sure you learn some local lingo to get by while you’re touring the sights and shopping for friends and family back home. Head to Russia, it’s a country that simply has to be discovered.
Things to do in Russia
- Bolshoi Theatre: The theatre dates back to 1776 when Catherine II granted Prince Pyotr Urusov use of the theatre for ten years. The Bolshoi Theatre was used for entertainment which included masquerades and balls. The theatre underwent reconstruction between 2005 and 2011. Today is classified as one of the most technically equipped theatres across the globe. Spoil yourself and go and see an opera or ballet performance at this magnificent theatre. Take a backstage tour with a knowledgeable guide. Even get a peek of the royal stalls. Seeing the elegance and history within this building is a must. You will want to return to the Bolshoi Theatre more than once in your lifetime. Not to mention the performances are world class!
- Catherine Palace: You will be captivated by this palace for sure. Over 100 kilograms of gold were used for the palace’s exterior. The Catherine Palace is one of the most popular attractions in St Petersburg. It’s recommended that you get a tour guide as you make your way through the palace. The guide will inform you about the history of the palace and its rooms. Not to be missed is the Amber Room, where the walls are covered with amber. Even the mirrors are lined with Amber. You will not see anything like it. Everything about the Catherine Palace speaks opulence! The gardens outside the palace are also great for photographs and to take in the views of this breathtaking palace.
- Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood: The Church of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is known as the Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood or Church on the Blood because this is where Alexander II was fatally wounded in March 1881. There is also an impressive shrine inside the church erected where Alexander II was wounded. The church’s beautiful mosaic which show Biblical scenes were created by well-known Russian artists. Paintings inside the church also reflect Christianity. This Baroque-style church is awe-inspiring from every angle, inside and outside. You simply have to visit this major attraction.
- Moscow Kremlin: The Kremlin is a complex in the heart of Russia. It is also the official residence of the Russian president and is filled with palaces and churches. Be sure to check out The Armory, which is a museum today. Visitors will see an array of collections, from Faberge eggs, gold and silver relics and church utensils. There are also guided tours available of the Kremlin. The Cathedral of Assumption is also great to visit. Here you can marvel at the gold-domes of the church where Russian Emperors were once crowned. Rumour has it that in 1941 Stalin had a service performed at the Cathedral to save Russia from the Nazis. A visit to the Diamond Fund is sure to intrigue those who enjoy looking at a country’s state jewels.
- Red Square: This is a popular tourist attraction and is filled with Russian history. The square is just about picture-perfect everywhere you look. Visitors will also find Lenin’s Mausoleum and St Basil’s Cathedral here. The cathedral with its array of colours and unique Russian architecture is what makes it an iconic feature of Russia. Over the years the Red Square has played host to festivals and in the days of old, even executions took place in the square.
- Peter and Paul Fortress: This is where St Petersburg originates from. In 1703 Peter the Great reclaimed the land and built a fortress to protect the city from the Swedish army, but the Russians defeated the Swedish before the fortress was completed. Instead the fortress was used as a prison. During the summer it’s great to check out the changing of the guard at the fortress. Put the Peter and Paul Cathedral on your trip planner as this is a superb attraction of the fortress. The cathedral is also the burial place of the imperial family. The fortress forms part of the State Museum of the History of St Petersburg. The museum houses about 1,5 million items.
- The Motherland Calls sculpture: Located in Volgograd, the statue commemorates the Battle of Stalingrad. The Motherland as it is also called, is 85 meters tall. Leading up to the statue are 200 steps, which symbolise the 200-day battle. Don’t miss this while you are in Volgograd.
- Russian Museum: Home to many art treasures and a place of research, the Russia Museum has about 400,000 exhibits. It’s recommended you spend at least three to four hours at the museum. Everything from paintings, modern art and sculptures are yours to explore as you make your way through this icon museum.
- Gorky Park: Located along the banks of the Moscow River, Gorky Park is a culture and leisure park where you can enjoy cycling, extreme sports, and roller-blading and beach volleyball. There is also plenty of places to satisfy your taste buds as well as open-air bars to quench your thirst. In winter the park transforms into an ice-skating rink.