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An update from Evaneos

Best places to visit in Russia

Russia evokes so much mystery that the opinions and advice given to travellers by the Evaneos Travel community are even more relevant. Faced with the sheer size of the country, it's difficult to manage to decide a route for a few weeks. You'd need months to have a good look at all of the different federations, from Magadan Oblast to the Republic of Karelia. So to help you a little, here's a selection of places to visit.

Of course, the capital Moscow, the hub of all travel in the country, will attract your attention due to its famous basilicas and cathedrals, not forgetting the Red Square, the Kremlin and the subterranean life of metros and passages.

Before choosing the slow Trans-Siberian railway, the high speed train (the Sapsan) will take you from the capital to St Petersburg in less than 4 hours. From there, the big cultural classics in the Venice of the North are available for you to see. Amongst 70 museums, there is for example the Hermitage Museum and the Russian Museum. A long walk will take you along the banks of the Neva River, the Palace Square, the Summer Gardens and the Nevski Prospect.

If you're looking to be completely immersed in Russian culture, don't hesitate to go across to Yekaterinburg, the 4th biggest city in the country. Its location in the Urals makes the city the crossroads between Europe and Asia, especially when on board the Trans-Siberian railway.

To continue, the next step is to go up to Lake Baïkal which will attract you after having spent some days on Olkhon Island. The steppes, the amazing view over the lake from the peaks, the wild horses roaming free and the Buryat people will welcome you in a mythical atmosphere. To put the finishing touches to your trip and to increase your fascination of Russia, go along to the Barguzin Valley which is still not very popular with visitors but which contains many geological curiosities due to not being very populated.

That's it! Now the Russian virus has taken hold of you!

Emmanuel Maisonneuve
Olkhon Island has such a unique atmosphere that I can still feel it. It's main village, Khuzhir, is the centre of northern Shamanism, in the middle of the steppes, surrounded by horses and the Buryat people.
Krasnoyarsk is on the Trans-Siberian line, in southern Siberia, and is worth stopping in for several days. Its a rich, young town where life is good. Who still thinks that only bears live in Siberia?
Lake Baikal is the deepest and oldest lake on the planet. It contains 20% of the world's fresh water.
The Lena Reserve, or Baïkal-Léna, stretches across more than 6,000 km2 and is home to River Lena's source and the shores of Lake Baïkal.
Moscow (Russia)
Moscow
4.7/5
Visiting Moscow, the capital of the often controversial biggest country in the world, plunges you into a completely different atmosphere than you would have expected of Russia.
Russia's most European city.
Suzdal (Russia)
Suzdal
4.5/5
Suzdal really is the jewel of the Golden Ring.
The Golden Ring is a trip through old Russia.
If you want to immerse yourself in Russian culture then there's nothing better than spending a few days in Yekaterinburg, Russia's 4th largest city !
Khuzhir is the main village on Olkhon Island and everything is organised from there. The view of Shaman's Rock is spectacular whatever the season!
An historic city, Novgorod is perhaps the oldest Russian city and it was even the country's capital in the IX century.
Novosibirsk is the capital of Siberia and a good place to stop during your trip to Russia, especially if you are spending a lot of time on the Trans-Siberian.
Yet another of the Italian style palaces situated around St Petersburg.
A palace in the outskirts of St Petersburg. The cascades of fountains that flow into the Gulf of Finland are magnificent.
Pushkin (a.k.a. Tsarskoye Selo) is a suburban town south of Saint Petersburg where you will find the famous Catherine Palace and its even more famous Amber Room.
The Russian Buryat capital, Ulan-Ude is a town that is astonishing for its cultural and ethnic diversity: Russians, Buryats, Orthodox and Buddhists live side by side. 
Stretching along the river of the same name, the Barguzin Valley reminds you of Mongolia with its landscape of steppes and lakes.
Irkutsk (Russia)
Irkutsk
3.7/5
Not far from the Mongolian frontier, Irkutsk is the biggest town in eastern Siberia.
Listvyanka is a small fishing village on the shores of Lake Baikal, about an hour's drive from Irkutsk. If you don't have much time to spend on the Lake then this is the place to go.
Kostroma is a big town that forms part of the Golden Ring, at the confluence of the Volga and Kostroma rivers.
Ust-Barguzin is on a sort of tourist crossroads, between Lake Baikal and the Barguzin Valley.

Best time to visit Russia

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