15 of the most beautiful places to visit in Russia
Belonging to Europe & Asia, Russia is the largest country in the world. Of course, there’s no surprise that Russia is home to some most beautiful places. From Moscow and St. Petersburg to natural wonders like Lake Baikal, Russia has beautiful spots every traveller should experience once in their lifetime. Here are 15 of the most beautiful places to visit in Russia that you won’t want to miss!
Surrounded by mountains, the settlement of Dargavs is located in Dargavskaya Hollow at the flat centre of the area. Its mountainous range protects it from the wind and elements, giving a very specific micro-climate to the area. Back in the Bronze Age, it used to be inhabited by locals, but today most of the residents have moved out to a nearby city called Mozdok; coining the name City of the Dead.
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14. The Valley of Geysers
Looking to connect with nature during your trip to Russia? Why not visit the world’s second largest geyser field. The Valley of Geysers is located in the Kamchatka Peninsula on the east side of Russia. With over 40 steaming hot geysers in an 8KM square canyon, there is lots for you to see! Explore the boardwalks around the geyser fields or take a helicopter rides for a bird’s eye view. After you’re done, dip your toes into the hot springs themselves for the full experience.
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13. Kizhi Island
Located in the centre of Lake Onega, Kizhi Island is worth a trip! Visiting this quiet island is the perfect way to support smaller local communities in Russia. Built in early 1700s, Church of the Transfiguration and Intercession Church are two beautiful wooden structures that are backed by some picturesque views, which will give you all the feels.
12. Ussuri Bay
Known as Glass Bay, Ussuri Bay is a short drive from Vladivostok. Made of tons of discarded bottles and broken glass, this beautiful colour-spattered shoreline is quite a sight to see! After years of erosion, the tide’s ebb and flow have buffed the pollution out to leave smooth pebbles against black volcanic sand.
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12. Trans Siberian Railway
Spend your days travelling through Russia on a train. The Trans Siberian Railway is the perfect way to see some of the country’s most beautiful places all at once. Spanning over 9,289 KMs, the Trans Siberian Railway is the longest railroad in the world, and a great way to experience some amazing views. Since it’s not located in one specific spot, travelling by train allows you to experience the country while managing your environmental footprint through sustainable train travel.
10. Lake Teletskoye
Located in one of Russia’s largest national parks, Lake Teletskoye is a must-see! With shorelines and steep gorges, Lake Teletskoye is over 70KM long. This comes as no surprise as the Altai Republic area itself has over 7,000 lakes and snowy mountains. Spend your days exploring the surrounding areas such as the Golden Mountains of Altai and some glaciers.
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9. Ural Mountains
This mountain range runs from north to south in the middle of Russia. There tons of day trips and short hikes available, which are the perfect way for you to experience the spot. The easiest way for you to get to the area is through Yekaterinburg. With a strong cultural presence, Yekaterinburg was put on the map with the 2018 FIFA World Cup series and loads of fun to explore.
8. Olkhon Island
Located in Lake Baikal, Olkhon Island is the third-largest lake island in the world. With steep mountains, a small desert and endless shorelines, it’s easy to understand why Olkhon Island is worth a visit. You won’t want to miss sand dunes in Peschanaya Village and the cliffs along Olkhon Island because they are absolutely EVERYTHING.
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7. Nizhny Novgorod
This city sits at the intersection of Volga and Oka rivers. The beauty of Nizhny Novgorod sits with its 16th century Kremlin, which is surrounded by 13 towers. It’s also the perfect spot for any avid lover of Russian architecture and fine art. Spend your days exploring over 200 art museums and wandering the streets to find over 600 monuments and statues. It’s truly a taste of Russia.
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Home to the 2014 Winter Olympics, Sochi is a must for anyone looking for a getaway. Located along the Black Sea, Sochi is a great spot to visit during the winter or summer. With tons of tea plantations, waterfalls and the nearby Caucasus Mountains, you can truly spend some time exploring nature in Sochi.
5. Golden Ring
Nestled into the northeast countryside of Moscow is the Golden Ring. The region’s name came from it being a small ring of historical towns that once were important trade and business centres during medieval times. Today, these towns are known for some amazing traditional Russian food. There are also a ton of beautiful white domed churches and gingerbread-like cottages, making it one of the most beautiful places to visit in Russia.
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Back in the 19th century, Irkutsk was a booming trade centre. Today, it’s a popular place for travellers from around the world to visit. Explore the central market or visit the Sayan mountains. Lake Baikal is the perfect day trip away for those who want to experience the natural reserves.
3. Lake Baikal
This UNESCO world heritage site is quite a natural wonder! Lake Baikal is a massive freshwater lake located in the region of Siberia along the Mongolian border. There are tons of hiking paths and wildlife for you to enjoy. This spot really comes alive in the winter time. When the temperature drops, the lake freezes and turns into a massive ice rink. With ice skating, dog sledding, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and so much more, what’s not to love about Lake Baikal?
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2. Saint Petersburg
One of the largest cities in Russia is Saint Petersburg. Spend time and visit the Winter Palace, which is home to a popular tourist attraction, the Hermitage Museum. Then head over to Peterhof Palace for some amazing baroque architecture and style. Finally, end your evening by catching an amazing ballet or opera performances in the city.
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Most travellers will start their journey here! Moscow is the largest city and capital of Russia. And lucky for us, it’s home to some of the most beautiful places to visit in Russia. At the centre of the city, you’ll find the Kremlin, the Red Square and the famous St. Basil’s Cathedral. All picture-perfect must-see destinations for anyone visiting Russia.
So there you have it! There are tons of places to visit in Russia you should add to your list. Ready to book a trip? Check out Contiki’s trips to Russia.