World Journeys Countries

The largest country in the world, Russia constitutes one-seventh of the world’s landmass and spans eight time zones. This expansive area allows it to neighbor more countries than anywhere else on earth, as well as touch twenty-two bodies of water and hold twelve seas within its borders. Its vast and complicated array of landscapes has created a diverse blend of forty national parks alongside its forty UNESCO Biosphere Reserves. Here you can find the oldest mountains in the world, the Urals, and the deepest lake in the world, Lake Baikal. Travel from the tundra to the steppes, the desert to the glaciers, the valleys to the volcanoes without ever needing a new visa.

Moscow
Russia’s iconic city is famous for its incredible architecture including Red Square, the Kremlin and St Basil’s Cathedral. A favourite for many travellers is to explore the stunning underground metro system with the intricate artwork of each individual station.

St Petersburg
A city of charm and romance with beautiful river embankments, parks and bridges.  It is worth spending at least 3 nights in St Petersburg with numerous museums, palaces, churches and cathedrals to explore.

Vladimir 
Founded in 990 and one of Russia’s oldest communities and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Home to stunning architecture including one of the most important and beautiful Russian cathedrals, where many of the Russian Tsars were crowned.

Trans-Siberian Railway
One of the world’s greatest rail journeys runs like a steel ribbon connecting east and west between Moscow and Vladivostok, making it the longest single-service railway in the world.

Pskov
Home to ancient churches and a 13th century Medieval Fortress protecting the Trinity Cathedral it is also one of Russia’s old cities. Pilgrims from across the country also visit the oldest functioning Russian Monastery.

The most popular time to visit Russia is from May to October, from Spring to Autumn – as the rest of the year can see very cold temperatures! Some do choose to visit in Winter to appreciate the stunning snow-laden scenery and festive nationwide New Year celebrations.

I’ve always loved travelling by train and Russia seemed the ideal place to do it, a lot!  So huge you can barely fit it on one map, you can take in Russia’s major highlights and a whole lot of scenery en route.  St Petersburg to me was such a fascinating and elegant city, its colourful spires and picturesque waterways so beautiful.  Not usually one for museums, I dived into the Hermitage Museum with an open mind and stumbled out hours later wishing I had at least two more days to explore it!  History galore, and all on such a grand scale.  Next up was Moscow.  It was late autumn and actually quite freezing.  Unable to read the store signs, I watched as people streamed in through a particular doorway and followed them in, through heavy velvet drapes and double doors designed to keep the cold out. Finding an amazing bakery with all kinds of delicious fresh bread, this became my new means of discovering local life!

My train journey through to Irkutsk in Siberia was through vast areas of snow-covered forest, stopping at stations along the way to buy home-baked goodies from locals on the platforms along the way.  Life onboard was fascinating – trying out my non-existent Russian on other passengers (playing cards is thankfully fairly universal!), making tea with boiling water from the train’s huge samovar, and catching glimpses of daily life.  Big fur hats were dime-a-dozen, as were huge fur coats and I even caught sight of a horse-drawn sled.

Nearby to Irkutsk is the village of Listvyanka on the shores of Lake Baikal – the world’s deepest lake, and completely frozen over at the time.  I stayed with a local family, enjoying their home sauna and taking walks on the lake (I felt quite safe considering cars were driving across it!).  One sunny day, at minus 20 degrees Celsius, my guide took me to a local church service, which turned out to be one of the absolute highlights of my Russian experience.  Walking through thigh-high snow, we arrived at a tiny wooden church, so beautiful in its simplicity.  There were no pews, the local forestry workers coming down from the mountain to stand in prayer.  A heavenly choir hidden off to the side somewhere sang simple melodies. The atmosphere was so moving, it was quite a moment!  Looking back, I realise I need to return to Russia some day to explore some more of this fascinating, immense country full of tradition, turbulent history and modern-day intrigue.  One day….

Caroline Clegg, Marketing Manager

Currency Russian ruble

Language Russian is the only official language, however there are 35 languages that are considered official in individual regions of Russia, and over 100 minority languages are spoken in the country today.

Weather In Saint Petersburg and Moscow, temperatures range from a daily mean of around -6°C in January to 18°C in July. Winters are cold and snowy everywhere in Russia, however some choose to visit at this time to witness magical snow-laden scenes and festive celebrations. Late Spring to early Autumn is the high season for tourism, as temperatures are much more mild and comfortable.

Social customs and quirks During the Soviet era, most traditions from Russia’s imperial past were disapproved of and life was regulated heavily by the state. From the 1980s, Russian reforms eased these restrictions and previously popular festivals, traditions and religious practice began to reappear. Being superstitious is the norm in Russia and many quirks in Russian culture stem from these superstitions.

Festivals and events Folk holidays have gained popularity in recent times and tend to involve street carnivals and traditional Russian dress. Maslyanitsa originated in Pagan times and marks the end of winter, Easter brings baked goods and painted hard-boiled eggs, the Troitsa (Pentecost) sees homes adorned with fresh green branches, and at the end of summer there are three folk holidays that celebrate various harvests. Official holidays include the Russian Orthodox Christmas (January 7), Victory Day in WWII (May 9), Independence Day (June 12), Constitution Day (December 12), and Women’s Day (March 8).

Health* There are currently no health requirements entering Russia unless coming directly from a Yellow Fever infected area.

Notes *Please be aware that Health information is subject to change at any time and you should always double check these requirements at the time of booking and before travel.

9 results found

Sort by

High Arctic Odyssey: Remote Russian Archipelagos

European Arctic, Finland, Russia, Scandinavia 22 Days / 21 Nights 28 July 2021
With Quark Expeditions

If weather and ice conditions allow, you will explore Severnaya Zemlya, the last major territorial discovery on the planet. The Arctic has...

Republics of the Silk Road

Russia, The Silk Road, Turkmenistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan 17 Days / 16 Nights 29 March 2022
A Luxury Rail Journey

Departing from Moscow, experience a luxurious and fascinating rail journey aboard the luxurious Golden Eagle private train through the 'Five Stans', the Southern Republics...

Cultural and Medieval Russia

Russia 10 Days / 9 Nights

Combine the treasures of Moscow and the glory of St Petersburg with one of Russia's oldest cites, Pskov. First mentioned in the Laurentian Chronicle...

Explore Moscow & St. Petersburg

Russia 8 Days / 7 Nights

Taste the mystery, beauty, and intrigue of Russia, the land that lay hidden behind the Iron Curtain for decades. This tour explores the grandeur...

Fairytale Winter in St. Petersburg

Russia 7 Days / 6 Nights

During the winter, St Petersburg comes alive with activity - the parks turn into a snowy wonderland while the locals are out in force,

Quest for the Northern Lights

Norway, Russia 12 Days / 11 Nights
A luxury train journey

Highlights Include: • Tour of Moscow, including St Basil's Cathedral • Vladimir, a UNESCO World Heritage Site • Crossing the Arctic Circle • The greatest light show...

The Trans-Siberian Express

Mongolia, Russia, The Silk Road 15 Days / 14 Nights
A luxury train journey

Select departures from either Moscow or Vladivostok - plus the option of shorter durations between Moscow and Ulaan Baatar.

Highlights Include: • City tour of Vladivostok •

North Pole

European Arctic, Finland, Russia 14 Days / 13 Nights
with Quark Expeditions

Take in even more spectacular sights from a thrilling helicopter tour over the icy Arctic Ocean. Then, swinging by Franz Josef Land on the...

Volga Dream

Volga Dream

Price from$4,167 SELECT

Russia 7 Days / 6 Nights
A Russian River Cruise

Discover the wonders of the Russian countryside aboard the elegant MS Volga Dream as you cruise along the serene Volga River. Explore Russia's rich...