Russia

Russia is the largest country in the world, covering more than one-eighth of the Earth’s inhabited land area, spanning Eastern Europe and northern Asia.

Russia shares land borders with Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Kaliningrad Oblast exclave on the Baltic coast, Belarus, and Ukraine to the west, Georgia and Azerbaijan to the southwest, and Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia, North Korea to the east and much of the south.

Russia’s territory stretches over continents of Europe and Asia and has therefore many different climate zones. From the subtropical Black sea coast to the Far Eastern regions including southern parts of Siberia, there is mostly continental climate, with hot summers enabling outdoor swimming in rivers, lakes and hiking, and cold winters with a lot of snow, a paradise for ski holidays.

The greatest amazing thing about Russia is, given its immense size, without a doubt the diversity of climate zones, and the weather extremes. In the summer months June to late August Siberia get sub-Saharan temperatures of 35 degrees Celsius or more, vegetation is lush and pleasant. You will definitely need lots of sunscreen. Another positive side of the continental climate in the summer is that the weather can stay hot for weeks on end, interrupted only by an occasional rain shower. Summer days in June/July in northern Russia are extremely long, with the sun going down at 11pm or in some regions not at all.

Winters, November to March, are cold almost everywhere, with lots of snow, except in the southern part of the country where little to no snow comes by every year. If you do not take appropriate precautions, you can very quickly get a frostbite. Depending on where you go, take a note of the weather and equip yourself with adequate clothing. The outside temperature in the European part of Russia rarely gets below – 15 Celsius, but can drop even lower at night.

  • Moscow  Russia’s gargantuan capital is one of the world’s greatest cities and has endless attractions to offer an adventurous visitor
  • Saint PetersburgRussia’s cultural and former political capital is home to the Hermitage, one of the world’s best museums, while the city centre is a living open air museum in its own right, making this city one of the world’s top travel destinations. It’s also the second largest city in the country.
  • Irkutsk  the world’s favourite Siberian city, located within an hour of Lake Baikal on the Trans-Siberian Railway
  • Kazan the capital of Tatar culture is an attractive city in the heart of the Volga Region with an impressive kremlin
  • Nizhny Novgorod often overlooked despite being one of the largest cities in Russia, Nizhny Novgorod is well worth a visit for its kremlin, Sakharov museum, and nearby Makaryev Monastery
  • Sochi Russia’s favorite Black Sea beach resort has been largely unknown to foreigners, but this has started to change in a major way after hosting the 2014 Winter Olympic Games.
  • Vladivostok often referred to (somewhat ironically) as “Russia’s San Francisco,” full of hilly streets and battleships, this is Russia’s principal Pacific city and the terminus of the Trans-Siberian Railway
  • Volgograd  formerly Stalingrad, the scene of perhaps the deciding battle of World War II, and now home to a massive war memorial
  • Yekaterinburg  the hub of the Urals region and one of Russia’s principal cultural poles is a good stop on the Trans-Siberian Railway and an arrival point for visitors to the Urals, the second Russian financial centre.
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