What else to see in Russia
Russia offers a lot of diversity in terms of tourism. The most famous tourist destinations are still Saint Petersburg and Moscow, and the most popular route is Trans-Siberian Railway but beyond that there are multiple tourist attractions that are less known yet truly splendid.
Far East of Russia
One of the unique regions of Russia with authentic nature that offers a lot of tourist activities. It is located in more than 8 thousand kilometers and 7 hours away from Moscow. Many tourists visit this region as a part of Trans-Siberian Railtour but it is also possible to reach the Far East of Russia by plane, though the way will take you, depending on the destination point, approximately 8 hours with the direct flight. One the major attractions of the Far East of Russia is Primorsky region with its capital Vladivostok.
Vladivostok is the young dynamic port city where one can see the famous Russky Bridge, the second highest bridge in the world, and Golden Bridge, mentioned in the Guinness Book of World Records. Vladivostok is the city with the European culture that is also the closest to Asia-Pacific region and this combination attracts tourists. The city has many museums, architectural treasures, and cultural spots like the Primorsky stage of Mariinsky Theatre. Vladivostok is known as the surfing capital of Russia, and one can surf all year round, with arctic surf as a growing trend.
The second most popular tourist destination of the far East is Kamchatka which is the semi-island in the northern-east of Russia which is known for its unique virgin nature: mountains, volcanos, rivers and mountain lakes, hot springs and ice caps. Kamchatka is the first region of Russia by the square of conservation areas and the second by the square of national parks.
The capital of Kamchatka is Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, the city that lies on the 15 km of the ocean shore, with its famous Avacha Bay, the second largest one in the world that is able to host any ship. In Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky you can enjoy the richness and taste of the far-eastern cuisine based on the seafood. One of the absolute gastronomic highlights of Kamchatka is the so-called “Five-minute caviar” (“Pyatiminutka”) made of the caviar of the freshly-caught fish; beyond that there is a great variety of fish, crabs and seafood in the restaurants of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. Kamchatka also offers opportunities to ski and snowboard, heliski, surf, hike, have a dog-sleigh ride, fish, and many more activities.
Altai is the republic in the Eastern Siberian part of Russia. As the Far East, it is famous with its nature and the mystic spirit of shamanism. It is considered as the place of power. Altai mountains are called the Russian Switzerland, Russian Tibet or Russian New Zealand because of its beauty and richness. The capital of Altai region, Gorno-Altaysk, is the only city in this region, and it is almost the only essential point about it. To discover Altai, it is better to go directly to the nature. One of the most popular travelers’ activities are mountain hiking routes which will show you mountain landscapes, caves, waterfalls, rivers and unique flora and fauna. Many travel gems of Altai are connected to water, so it is recommended to visit this region in summer.
Among the places to visit is Chemal, the recreation center with lots of tourist camps, hiking, rafting on the river Katun, eco-tourism and various other activities. Close to Chemal you can find the island Patmos with the wooden church. The way to the island is along the hanging walking bridge that opens a fantastic view on the river Katun. The Chuysky road is one more attraction of Altai, the picturesque road that was used in the ancient times as a trade road between Russia and Mongolia. The lake Teletskoe is one the mostly visited tourist spot in Altai with various excursions available – walking, biking and hiking tours, water excursions, automobile and aerial tours. The lake Teletskoe is a genuine natural treasure with crystal-clear water and rocky shores. Altai has a lot more to offer so have a closer look at this picturesque region.
Tyva republic is an absolute highlight of South-Siberian part of Russia yet not universally recognized as a travel gem. It is a land of steppe and mountains with the very original culture of indigenous population. The climate here is influenced by the abundance of mountains which results in very cold winters and extremely hot summers. It is thus recommended to visit the region in early autumn or late spring.
Tyva is famous with its numerous shamanism and Buddhism spots, as well as authentic nature that has hardly been touched by men, since there are no huge manufacturing spots in this region. Kyzyl is the capital of Tyva and claims to be at the exact center of Asia having the monument with the same name. Kyzyl hosts a Chief Shaman Center where one might even have a chance to see the Chief Shaman and get his audience. At the center of Kyzyl you will find the famous Buddhist prayer wheel. Among the major tourist attractions in Tyva is Tere-Khol lake with the purest water and rare animals and plants, the Valley of the Tsars, the burial mounds that are around three thousand years old, and a lot more.
Caucasian part of Russia is yet another hidden touristic treasure of Russia that is a must if you want to see the real diversity of Russia. The mixture of flat landscapes and mountains, dry steppe and humid subtropics makes this region truly exceptional. The climate here is soft with 4-6 months of summer at the flat land, and 2-3 months of winter with rarely lower temperature than +10. North Caucasus is the southern part of Russia. The Greater Caucasus is a mountain range that is more than 1000 km in lengths. The absolute highlight of the North Caucasus is the mountain Elbrus, the highest mountain in Europe, covered with snow, then surrounded by the grassland meadows and pine-woods. It is a dream of every climber but even if you are not, it is worth seeing this mountain. In Amanauz riverbed, labelled as the “open air museum” you can trace each stage of geologic development of the planet. The riverbed hides beautiful waterfalls of 25 meters height, the deep canyon, the river that changes its bed, and the ice caps. Kazbek is another famous mountain that is a symbol of the North Caucasus. Also the region is rich with thermal water and pools.
Though the number of tourists visiting these unconventional tourist spots steadily grows, the tourism sector of the region still sometimes lacks infrastructure and the service might occasionally dissatisfy demanding tourists. However, the striking beauty of the nature here is something that can make you turn a blind eye to that.