Russia, the true Pearl of the East
Head to Russia this year on a unique city break that cannot be experienced anywhere else in Europe. With only a four hour flight from Heathrow, Moscow and St Petersburg can be perfectly combined for a long weekend or as part of a longer holiday to Russia.
The vibrant cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg offer unique getaways into a country that is almost unexplored by British tourists. Moscow boasts an endless list of places to visit including Red Square, the Kremlin and Gorky Park. Meanwhile St Petersburg, the old capital of Russia, has a rich past and so is great for history lovers. Both perfect for cultural and sightseeing holidays.
Moscow, the largest city in Europe provides a perfect destination to witness Europe’s mesmerising culture at its best. Brimming with museums, palaces, cathedrals and botanical parks, a city break to Moscow will provide you with plenty to see and do.
The most popular sight to see is the Great Kremlin Palace which dates back to 1156. This luxurious gold and aqua-green building was home to the Russian Tsars and is now Russia’s political power house.
Enjoy a guided walking tour of Red Square and see the spectacular St. Basil’s Cathedral as well as Lenin’s tomb.
Spring and summertime is the perfect time to explore Gorky Park which lies on the banks of the Moscow River and boasts numerous hip cafes, restaurants, an outdoor, summertime cinema, free Wi-Fi and hammocks.
Whilst here, take the opportunity to watch one of the many operas or ballets which take place at the Bolshoi theatre, home of the original Swan Lake and Nutcracker performances.
Moscow is an adventure waiting to happen!
Elegant St. Petersburg
This northern city is well known for its art, design and Rastrelli architecture, with opulent palaces, fortresses and galleries. However, a trip to this city is not just for culture buffs, as the shopping, restaurants and nightlife are exceptional too.
The romantic waterways in St. Petersburg and the numerous ornate bridges have earned it the nickname “Venice of the North” and a gondola ride is a must.
Walk down Nevsky Prospekt, the most famous street in Russia, and you won’t miss imposing Peter and Paul Fortress and St Isaac’s Cathedral. The history is visible around every corner in the city from the battleship Aurora, the oldest commissioned ship in the Russian Navy, to the numerous reminders of the 900-day Nazi siege of the city that left two million dead.
A trip to St. Petersburg isn’t complete without a visit to the State Hermitage, a museum of art and culture and one of the largest and oldest museums in the world. Here, you can find a vast collection of masterpieces from Leonardo da Vinci, Picasso and Rembrandt.
Top tips on travelling to Russia
When on a city trip in Russia, it is well worth hiring a guide. Not only are Moscow and St. Petersburg complicated to navigate around on your own, all the signs and wordings across the cities are written with the Cyrillic alphabet. If you are not familiar with the alphabet then you will not be able to read road signs, let alone menus. If hiring a guide doesn’t interest you, then definitely buying a phrase book is recommended.
Another important tip to remember is that you must apply for a tourist Visa before entering the country. Tourist visas can be valid for up to 30 days and can be issued for single or double entry. Visas cannot be obtained at the border so apply in advance to avoid embarrassment and rejection!
All in all, a holiday to Russia will leave you with a fantastic cultural experience. A chance to visit one of these Imperial cities is something that should not be missed and the vibrant cities of St. Petersburg and Moscow will truly enchant any visitors.
About the Author:
Flavio is a frequent traveller who has lived in many cities including London and Rio. He has previously worked as a freelance photographer and currently works as a marketing manager at one of European leading travel websites holidaycheck.com
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.