Rambunctious Russia!

Planning a short trip to Russia and don’t want to take up the hassle of narrowing down your destinations? Look no further! Russia is special for so many reasons, and if you think it’s all about vodka… you might want to think again!

When visiting Russia, Moscow seems to be the most obvious destination to be included. However, sightseeing in Moscow can take a lot of time; there’s so much to see and do. You should start your city tour at ‘Kilometre Zero’ and then go to the Red Square, where St. Basil’s Cathedral and the State Historical Museum are located on either side and then go to Lenin’s burial site towards the Kremlin.

You can take a nice long walk along the river and around the Kremlin walls on your way to the entrance of the Kremlin which not only has the official Presidential residence and office but also has palaces and cathedrals. Next, head on to the cathedral square, dotted with four fantastic cathedrals around it. Even if you aren’t an art enthusiast, the art in these cathedrals will blow your mind. Inside the Kremlin, you can see The Emperor Cannon, which is the largest and oldest cannon in the world.

The next day, you can visit the All Russia Exhibition Centre, a beautiful cultural centre. The diversity of artists performing on these streets will overwhelm you. You can see artisans right from street dancers to musicians, magicians to artists, and even bikers! The atmosphere is so full of enthusiasm and energy, much like a carnival. In the middle of all these lie pavilions constructed for each of the states of the erstwhile Soviet Union, and right in the centre you can find the beautiful “Friendship of Nations” Fountain. Moscow is scattered with monuments and statues of historical personalities like Lenin, Stalin and Peter the Great.

Next stop, St. Petersburg or St. Pete as the locals call it. Also often referred to as the ‘Venice of the North’, St. Petersburg is one of the most beautiful cities one could visit! Full of history, like the rest of the country, and even today, the city retains a huge part of its old architecture. As you walk around the city, you come across a lot of museums, parks, cathedrals and palaces. If you’re taking a shortstop in the city, you can walk around the city and enjoy the weather and the sights.

The Monument to Nicholas I at St. Isaac’s Square has a story about it that the posterior of the statue faces the palace of Nicholas’s daughter, and it is said that the unpleasant sight from her window caused her such discomfort that she eventually left the palace!

When visiting Russia, you must experience baking pancakes, a garland made of food that you bite into, a Russian Opera, Russian dance and, of course, a shot of Russian vodka - the real deal! If you’re a football fan, you’ll love watching a football match at the Luzhniki Stadium!

The country is very rich in history, and each sight in Russia has an interesting story behind it. It’s one of those countries that you should read about before visiting to enjoy. It is one country that should be on your bucket list if you’re a fan of travel and especially of history. With beauty all around you, be it the palaces, the cathedrals, the building, monuments and the women, Russia is definitely a must-visit!

However, the language in Russia can be a little bit of a problem! So, the only cautionary word before you travel would be to either pick up some basic Russian before you go, or visit with someone fluent in English as well as Russian, or find English speaking locals! Go forth and enjoy Putin’s country!         – Devanshi