Winston Churchill said that Russia is "a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma” and we couldn’t agree more. The largest country in the world, Russia fascinates travellers as much as it baffles them. The history, diverse culture and traditions of the country are unlike any other in the world and exploring Russia is overwhelming, to say the least. You can lose yourself in sparkling cities, enthralling museums, old villages and majestic architecture or find yourself amidst surreal landscapes, mind-blowing adventure sports and contemporary art – all of which are best discovered by booking one of our Russia tour packages.
The largest country in the world can’t be experienced in one trip and we highly recommend devoting at least 15 to 20 days to this enigmatic country – something you must keep in mind when choosing from different Russia tour packages. Besides the captivating capital city of Moscow and the historical Saint Petersburg, Russia offers a variety of experiences in Siberia, Rostov-on-Don, Irkutsk, Caucasus and Veliky Novgorod.
All Russia tour packages include a trip to Moscow in their itineraries. The capital city of Russia, it is one of the most enthralling places in the world. The most convenient way to explore its many historical sites is by booking one of our Moscow travel packages. Moscow has a conflicted past but that hasn’t stopped the city from becoming a centre of creativity, art and intellectual voice. Home to art galleries that feature the works of world-renowned artists, the metropolis offers history lovers, photographers and art buffs an experience they will never forget. While you have a variety of Russia tour packages to choose from, ensure that your itinerary is well-drafted and includes at least a few days in this gorgeous city. Red Square, the Kremlin and St. Basil's Cathedral are some of the iconic structures that you shouldn’t miss when exploring Moscow. The Kremlin is home to archaic churches and buildings of importance that art lovers will enjoy admiring.
Art enthusiasts can also head to the world-famous Bolshoi Theater in the hope of catching a few performances and the magical Tretyakov Gallery to admire rare artwork. The latter has one of the best collections of Russian fine art and you should dedicate a couple of hours to this beauty. The Pushkin Fine Arts Museum is also a sought-after attraction as it’s among the world’s most beautiful and renowned museums. Gogol House, the Dostoevsky House Museum and the Tolstoy House Museum are a must-visit for museum lovers. Besides art and culture, Moscow is well known for its nightlife. While choosing one of our Russia tour packages, ensure that you include a night of bar-hopping in your itinerary.
Saint Petersburg is a city that is the face of Russia’s tourism industry. You can’t finalise Russia tour packages without ensuring that this beautiful city is on your itinerary. A melting pot of cultures, history and art, Saint Petersburg is a traveller’s dream. The city centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the city is home to more than 220 museums, 80 theatres and 2000 libraries. Charming cafes beckon you on every street and you can’t explore an area without admiring three to four art galleries. Whether you choose to explore the city on boat tours, watching opera shows or enjoying coffee-filled evenings, you won’t be disappointed.
The impressive network of canals and the neoclassical architecture come together to emanate a charming, effortless vibe that travellers instantly fall in love with. The fact that the city is home to many intellectuals and art enthusiasts adds to its distinctive character. You must include a trip to the Hermitage and Russian Museum to admire art you won’t find anywhere else. Nevsky Prospekt is where shopping enthusiasts and food lovers should head to since it’s home to numerous malls, restaurants and bars. Summer is the best time to book one of our Russia tour packages, for you will get a chance to experience the magical White Nights phenomenon. The near-24-hour sunlight ensures that the city never sleeps and the days and nights become one big celebration.
Siberia is another stunning region that travellers can’t resist when they are choosing one of our Russia tour packages. Home to the deepest lake in the world, Lake Baikal, Siberia is nothing less than an enigma for travellers. Planning a trip to Siberia is tricky since the place experiences extremely harsh winters. However, the temptation of surreal natural beauty is difficult to resist. The Altai Mountains and cities such as Ulan-Ude, Omsk, Tomsk and Novosibirsk feature in most itineraries and you should ensure they feature in yours when you are choosing one of our Russia tour packages. Novosibirsk is the capital of Siberia and is the cultural hub of this beautiful district while on the other hand, Tomsk is a delight for architecture lovers. But what seals the deal for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts are the variety of unique flora and fauna and a breathtaking landscape. The mountain ranges of Altai offer a refuge from the urban world and after spending only a few hours, we promise you wouldn’t want to head back. Ergaki National Park, the Lena River and the Ukok Plateau are a few other natural attractions that make Siberia surreal. If you are interested in hiking, rafting and camping, we recommend designing your itinerary accordingly when you choose one of our Russia tour packages.
Sochi, also called the Black Sea Pearl, has gradually gained prominence in most Russian itineraries so make sure you include the city when choosing one of our Russia tour packages. Sochi hosted the Winter Olympics in 2014 and the world event put this gorgeous city on the tourist map. If you are wondering why you should include Sochi in your list of places to visit in Russia, the answer lies in its breathtaking landscape. Offering something different to all kinds of travellers, Sochi surprises visitors with mesmerising nature reserves, pristine beaches and charming museums. The nightlife of the city is popular across the country and the locals know how to have a good time. Primarily a resort city, it’s ideal for mid-budget and luxurious travellers considering you book one of our Russia tour packages in advance. Don’t forget to check off items from your shopping list here because the city offers a variety of traditional handicrafts, teas and unique souvenirs.
Chances are that Russia will be on your bucket list if you enjoy history, natural beauty and adventure. However, planning a trip to Russia and choosing from a variety of Russia tour packages is an extensive process and most travellers give up before they complete their first phase of research. What helps is learning more about the country from fellow travellers who have experienced the magic of Russia. Here are a few snippets from travellers who have visited Russia and we hope this prompts you to book one of our Russia tour packages.
“During the ride we got down at several breathtaking stations (Komsomolskaya, Novoslobodskaya, Mayakovskaya, Kievskaya, Taganskaya, Park Kultury) of Moscow city. Each station is unique in its own way. The Komsomolskaya metro station represents the high point of the Soviet Government. It is adorned with eight mosaic panels designed in the style of ancient church architecture. Also, one should not forget to rub a dog’s nose for good luck at Ploschad Revolutsii station. Eventually after a splendid day, we walked back to our Hotel again walking past the Red Square & St.Basil's Cathedral.” – Animesh Sood
“The magnificent catholic architecture and the colorful artistic display of russian culture made me spell bound. Despite the bad weather, I walked around the city with the urge to explore more and more. Church of the savior on blood, Saint Isac's Cathedral, winter palace, Hermitage Museum and Kazan cathredral were eye pleasing.My favorite were were Saint Isac's Cathedral and Hermitage Museum.” – Soumyaranjan Pradhan
“My one month in Russia is unforgettable. It was an amazing experience as I became fully immersed in the Russian Culture during my stay at Saint Petersburg. It is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The city became home to me and the friends I made became family. “ – Ritabrata Ghosh
Images of snow-covered cities and coat-clad locals might dissuade you from travelling to Russia but you’ll be surprised to know that the country is not cold throughout the year. Russia enjoys warm summers and mild temperatures that are perfect for endless sightseeing trips. The most important factor that you need to account for before booking one of our Russia tour packages is the season in which you plan your trip.
June through August are the summer months in the country and most places enjoy abundant sunshine, including Siberia. August is typically the starting of a short autumn season and if you are on a budget trip, this might be the best time to book one of our Russia tour packages. For those who enjoy adventure and can brave the cold winds, winter is your season. The entire country is covered in snow between December and April and you can’t help but fall in love with this winter wonderland. If you are booking one of our Russia tour packages for winter, we recommend being well prepared with respect to clothing and footwear.
The best suggestion for couples planning a trip to the country is choosing one of our Russia tour packages. This allows for a customised itinerary that takes into account your interests and budget. Russia is home to some of the most romantic places in the world and is ideal for couples. Peterhof, Suzdal, Tavrichesky Orangery and Lake Seliger are a few places that must feature in your itinerary when you are choosing Russia honeymoon packages. Magical sunsets, charming towns and awe-inspiring views are some experiences that you can expect when choosing one of our Russia tour packages.
The country also features high on the list for family vacations. Russia’s historical past and majestic architecture set the tone for an informative, fun and memorable family vacation, especially if you are travelling with little ones. Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Volgograd and Gelendzhik are cities that should be on your itinerary when prepping for a family vacation to Russia. To ensure you have a hassle-free experience, we recommend booking one of our Russia tour packages.
The local cuisine in Russia is influenced by numerous factors including geography, culture and tradition. The Russians are proud of their food and you can relish traditional dishes in almost all restaurants. Food lovers can try different varieties of pies, rolls, puffs and dumplings that offer a mix of local ingredients and distinct preparation methods.
Bliny is the Russian version of a pancake which can be paired with salmon, jam or maple syrup. It’s a breakfast dish that is best enjoyed steaming hot. Pelmeni is another dish that you will find almost everywhere. Primarily pastry dumplings, pelmeni is prepared using pasta dough and is served in a broth or with sour cream. The stuffing is usually minced meat. Borscht, shashlik, sweet and sour cabbage, golubtsy, smetana and okroshka are a few other dishes that are offered in almost all restaurants. If you are wondering why Russians love their vodka, you’ll discover that the drink goes best with the texture and taste of the local cuisine.
Obtaining a Russian visa for Indians is not a complicated process if you adhere to the guidelines. In order to travel to Russia, you need an invitation letter by a Russian travel agency or hotel that is accredited by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. Once you receive this letter, you are eligible to apply for your visa. The letter should include your passport number, contact details of the Russian tour operators and details of your accommodation. The format of the invitation is available on the official website for obtaining a Russian visa.
To make the process easier, you can apply through official Russian visa centres or the Consular Division of the Embassy of the Russian Federation. Travellers need an original passport with a validity of at least six months from the intended date of departure from Russia, an online application form filled and signed and one colour photograph. If your tour is for more than 14 days, it’s mandatory to submit a day-to-day itinerary of your trip.
Written by Kirat Sodhi. She is a proud mom of three cats and lives for lemon tea, a good book and spontaneous travel plans.