Russia is the world's largest country and a very exciting one at that. In this overwhelming country, you will find fascinating history, magnificent monuments, imperial grandeur, and well-preserved Stalinist architecture. You can also take a trip to the countryside, where you will experience an entirely different world. Book your trip to Russia with KILROY!
Russia's geographical size is so large that it covers 12 time zones. There is a huge contrast between east and west, which is very apparents when comparing the two cities of St Petersburg and Vladivostok, for example. Russia's cities are great for a short holiday, but there will simply never be sufficient time to discover this vast country in full.
In Russia, you can see it all. The big cities of Moscow and Saint Petersburg offer a more polished side of Russia compared to the smaller towns in the countryside. We believe that Russia's most interesting feature is its 160 different ethnic groups. Although about 99% of the people living in Russia can communicate in Russian, the minorities speak about 100 different other languages. Travel by bus to the Ural Mountains to discover these isolated small towns and unique cultures. We can guarantee that you'll be off the beaten track. In Russia's eastern parts, you will discover that the culture is similar to the cultures of Mongolia or China.
The Russian capital is also the largest European city. Explore historic sights, luxury shopping and chaotic traffic. Moscow is also home to the iconic St. Basil's Cathedral and the Kremlin. For a different vibe, why not go for a weekend break in St Petersburg? It is said to be Russia's most western city. It is also said to be the most beautiful when it comes to imperial architecture. In the far east you find Vladivostok. The biggest Russian port at the Pacific Ocean is actually closer to San Francisco than to Moscow! From here, you can easily continue your journey to China or Japan.
Sochi is Russia's number one beach resort, but curiously it was also home to the 2014 Winter Olympics. Take a day on the beach or enjoy the architectural masterpieces. Sochi also offers interesting parks with subtropical vegetation and beautiful monuments. Europe's northernmost tea plantation is also located here.
Travel on the Trans-Siberian Railway from Europe to the Far East and back again - and do it by train! One of the world's most famous rail routes is a slow but memorable way to travel. If you aren't interested in Vladivostok, you can take the Trans Mongolian route and travel through Mongolia on your way to Beijing.
Generally, the best way to get around in Russia is by train. The railroads are reliable and the trains usually run on schedule. There are different kinds of tickets available, so make sure to check that you get the right price.
Of course, you can also travel more quickly within Russia by airplane. Not all domestic airline operators are reliable, though, so the schedules cannot always be trusted. Since domestic routes are rarely available online, booking tickets can also be difficult.
There are also a lot of buses running across Russia in every direction imaginable. The roads in the countryside can be especially poor, so do not expect a comfortable journey! Also, when traveling to small towns, the transit times between buses can be several days. Driving your own (or rented) car in Russia is quite risky. Other than coming across some poor road quality outside of the cities, you are also likely to confront some corrupt police officials. In order to extract bribes, they usually claim that you are drunk or that you have been driving too fast.
KILROY recommends travelling to Russia during late spring or early autumn. This way, you will avoid the worst crowds. You should note that northern Russia is extremely cold during the winter. Early spring (February-April) and late autumn (October-November) is usually rainy and grey.
To really get off the beaten track, try an adventure tour across the vast open countryside or board the Trans-Siberian railway that will take you through many small towns where you will meet and be guided by local people. This is way better than just drinking Vodka all the way to Vladivostok!
There is much more to Russian cuisine than just vodka and caviar! Be sure to sample the wonderful pelmeni and different kinds of pasty. In most Russian cities, you can even buy these in the streets! It is also important that you get your visa well beforehand. Please note that if you are travelling with a single-entry visa and plan to visit neighboring countries, you will not be able to re-enter Russia.
Check up on travel warnings, especially if you are heading for the southernmost parts of Russia by the Black and Caspian Seas. The political situation in the area is not very stable and terrorist attacks do occur.
Russians generally do not speak English. If you are planning a trip to the countryside or to cities other than St Petersburg and Moscow, your journey will be a lot easier if you know some basic Russian.
Did you know that KILROY can also help organise your study tour to Russia? Read on to learn more about how we can plan your study trip with the right academic content and interesting study visits in the city of your choice.
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