The core question is it safe to travel to Russia? The answer is absolutely YES! Russia is among the safest places to travel in the world. You can plan a visit to see mesmerizing locations and historic beauty. It’s best known for being the world’s largest country. A thing about Russia is that you can expect to meet people from different cultural backgrounds. The diversity and the element of the unexpected taste of food appeal to travellers. The landmass is so huge that it covers eight times zones. When you are in Russia, you can enjoy a range of climates. An interesting fact about Russia is where on one hand, you can visit Sochi – a place with subtropical heat, and on the other hand, there is Siberia – a place of cold. So, no matter what reasons you visit Russia; simply expect nothing less than true amazement.
Table of Content
Best 5 Places To Visit In Russia
Top 10 Traditional Foods To Try
Top 5 Things to avoid
Mother Russia has mountains, valleys, frozen land, warm sands and an amazing number of destinations. Each place truly inspires visitors and makes you stay longer. That said, there are some of the oldest cities here in Russia. There is Moscow and St. Petersburg’s which can bring a step close to majestic architecture, Natural Park, shopping centers and much more.
Top Five Places You Must Visit on Your Tour to Russia
- Kizhi Island: The first one first, perhaps not as famous as Moscow or St. Petersburg, but it is no less noteworthy. The destination is in the heart of Lake Onega – an interesting place in Russia that offers visitors to experience a fabulous open-air museum. It’s one of a kind complex with an amazing historical, cultural as well as natural interest. When you are here, expect to witness a collection of beautiful wooden structures, some of them dated back to the 14th century.
- St. Petersburg’s: You will find this place to be one of the most forward-looking cities. Overall the destination has a lot to offer to its visitors starting from 2000+ libraries, 200+ museums and 50+ theatres. Undoubtedly, the city is very well-established. Since you are here, don’t forget to visit art galleries, bohemian cafes etc. St. Petersburg is also one of the most fascinating historic cities. The best time to travel Russia is during the summers. St. Petersburg fact check – it’s the home of famous Vladimir Putin.
- Kazan: A cool thing about Russia is its biodiversity. It’s wonderful to visit here during these days, as the city recently got a complete makeover. Kazan has been a prime spot for various global events, for example, the World Fencing Championship, World Aquatic Championship and even the FIFA world cup. The place is filled with a multi-ethnic blend of people. While you are here, try from the range of bars, cafes, and restaurants. Also, visit the highly recommended Bauman Street.
- Moscow: Your travel to Russia stays incomplete without a visit to Moscow. The place offers a world’s largest community of billionaires, fabulous art and culture, etc. You’d know it’s Moscow because of its creative and intellectual energy that flows freely throughout the city. Some of the best places to explore here include the Kremlin, Red Square and shopping malls named as GUM.
Moscow history fact: Moscow metro station dates back to the early 1930s.
- The Russian Tundra: Checkout the unique biome. It only exists near the Arctic Circle. The temperature here goes below the subzero and therefore trees can’t grow here. There is only moss, shrubs and grass. Did you know? Tundra is also known as permafrost which means the ground which is permanently frozen. Although in some areas the ground does melt in summer creating beautiful and colorful icy water patches.
- Olkhon Island
Top 10 Traditional Food To Try
Russian offers its visitors some of the most distinctive and unique food items. The main feature of Russian cuisine is its abundance. The cooks use a variety of products for cooking tasty meals. The common dishes include pie, cake, rolls, etc. Also, you can find some amazing dumplings as well as noodles. Russian cuisine is rich in both vegetables and meat products. If you are willing then try each one of the recommended food items from the list below.
- Kvass: Looking for something to drink? Kvass is a fermented beverage. It’s refreshing and has a slight alcohol content. Although, in Russia, it’s not considered as an alcoholic beverage. Kvass is produced from black rye bread.
- Morozhenoe: We all love ice cream. When you are visiting Russian, try the famous Morozhenoe. It is readily available ice cream and you can find it in almost every restaurant. Morozhenoe comes with a variety of toppings like fruits, nuts, chocolate etc. An amazing fact about the Rusian population is that even their cats have jobs.
- Pashka: Ready to taste a festive dessert? Pashka might be only available around Easter. It is a sweetened cheesecake dessert that comes decorated with Christian symbols. It’s always part of the holiday feast.
- Shchi: A typical cabbage soup that is made from fresh cabbage. Sometimes even fermented cabbage can be used to make Shchi. Their recipe is designed to include various ingredients, for example, potatoes, carrots, onions, meat etc. While making the Shchi, you can replace cabbage with sauerkraut. A Shchi made from sauerkraut is known as sour Shchi.
- Borscht: It’s a beetroot soup. The origin of Borscht can be traced back to Ukraine. Yes! Beets might sound like a strange base for a soup, but undoubtedly it has plenty of benefits. It’s also one of the most famous dishes in Russian. To prepare borscht you can use meat, sauteed vegetables etc. Also, it can be served hot as well as cold. Don’t forget to top it with fresh sour cream before serving.
- Solyanka: If you like thick soup, chances are you will like Solyanka. One bowl of it and you won’t be asking for any meal afterwards. The soup is prepared with sausages, bacon as well as some vegetables like onion and potato. Some cooks also like to add chopped pickles and garnish it with a lemon click. You can also prepare Solyanka with fish and pickle.
- Ukha: Do you like seafood? Yes! Then this is the one for you. Ukha is a soup made from fish. To prepare Ukha you can use different kinds of fish, for example, northern pike and ruffe.
- Pirozhki: It’s a little baked and sometimes fried puff pastry. Pirozhki is also known by the name of piroshki or pyrizhky. It is prepared with potatoes, meat, cabbage and cheese. You can easily find it in various places all around Russia.
- Pelmeni: It is also considered as the national dish of Russia. Typically they are filled with minced meat and wrapped in thin, pasta-like dough; you can call them pastry dumplings. Pelmeni can be served alone or with a soup. Don’t forget to top it with butter and sour cream before serving.
- Blini: It is a wheat pancake which can be rolled with a variety of fillings, for example, jam, cheese, onions etc. Some chefs even use chocolate syrups. If none of the above dishes works for you, go with Blini. It is readily available at any restaurant and it is a 100% safe bet.
Top 5 Things To Avoid
- Alcohol: While in moderation, drinking alcohol is allowed in Russia. But that does not mean that you can drink on the streets. Drinking on the streets or in the park is now prohibited by the law. You might be asked to pay a fine if caught drinking in the public places.
- Outdrinking a Russian: As the heading suggests, if you are in a Russian party avoid trying to outdrink a local. As per the drinking tradition in Russia, you cannot eat in between 1st and 2nd glass of Vodka. The 3rd glass goes down just after the 2nd. Plus, there are penalty glasses as well. So, do not compete with Russians at drinking!
- Waving Money: A unique fact about Russia is that people here are very very savvy about their surroundings. To avoid trouble, if you’re taking out money to spend keep it discreet. Do not pull your wallet out too many times, and avoid keeping it in your back pocket. It doesn’t mean that Russia is not a safe place, but uses your common sense; there are all sorts of people on the streets.
- Indoors and Shoes: Most of Russian don’t believe in wearing shoes indoors. Similar to Asian countries, shoes in the living space is a BIG no-no. Moreover, it’s gross to walk around the house wearing shoes.
- Don’t Smile Too Much: You might have watched movies portraying Russian as gloomy or angry. Perhaps one of the explanations that fit this scenario is that because it is so cold here all the time. Russian’s are not always in a bad mood – they are selective smilers.
Note: You can exchange money in Moscow
Are you ready to make your tour to Russian most enjoyable trip ever possible? Use a pen and paper to note important tips. Next, apply them during your travel to find interesting places in Russia. Sure, travelling to a new place is not as easy as it sounds but the rewards can be huge. You can get a visa for famous places like Moscow, etc without much hassle. All it needs is proper planning and little courage to explore the untouched grounds. Enjoy special moments of your life while you are here. Stay mindful of your surroundings and don’t forget to collect souvenirs.