No doubt, Moscow and St Petersburg are the two must-visit cities when it comes to Russia. However, the country has so much more to offer and here are our 5 most favourite cities to see in addition to the magestic two capitals!
1. Veliky Novgorod
Velikiy Novgorod (not to be confused with Nizhny Novgorod) is a city located between Moscow and St Petersburg and therefore can be a great discovery for those travelling between the two capitals of Russia.
Velikiy Novgorod will be a pleasant surprise for history lovers as for many years it has been an important commercial centre with strong connections with German and Scandinavian cities as well as the Black Sea districts and even with Muslim centers. More than that, there is evidence that the Vikings reached this city as well.
Explore the beautiful Novgorod Kremlin (the oldest in Russia), take a swim in the Volkhov River, embark on a boat tour or just amble around this beautiful ancient city.
Tver is another perfect stop between Moscow and St Petersburg. At some point Tver was one of the most important Russian centres and a big competitor to Moscow. The times of its prosperity have long gone and it is a small provincial town now, however, it still remained its charm and is a perfect place to see the traditional lifestyle as opposed to busy Moscow ans St Petersburg.
The best thing to get to know the city is to take a boat tour on the Volga river – one of the main, largest rivers of the country. You will pass the beautiful Imperial Travel Palace built during Catherine the Great’s rule, traditional monasteries and churches, the broad embankments of the river and a massive train wagon factory. Another sight to see is the mighty Staryy Most – the signature landmark of the city.
3. Rostov on Don
Rostov-on-Don is located in the south of Russia. It is southern Russia’s largest and most multicultural city due to its history: formed of two neighbouring towns, one of which was ethnically non-Russian. It is known for being the gateway to the Caucasus region and is celebrated in Mikhail Sholokhov’s novels. It also came to attention as a FIFA host city in 2018 and received a lot of investment to welcome football fans.
Stroll through the beautiful green parks such as the city park and October Revolution Park, explore the Rostov-on-Don embankment, stretching over nearly two kilometres along the Beregovaya Street, enjoy the magnificent views of Volga and visit the Rostov State Opera and Ballet. It is a perfect place for a relaxed traditional Russian holiday.
Located on the Black Sea, Sochi is a wonderful new resort where you can bathe in the sea in summer and ski down the snowy hills in winter. This unique combination of activities available in the city makes it popular among both local and international visitors. More than that, here you can visit the beautiful Sochi Arboretum with its unque collection of flora and fauna boasting 76 species of pine, 80 species of oak, and 24 species of palm. Love hights? Do not miss the 679 feet high Sochi Sky Bridge part of an entire Skypark)!
Last but not least – Kaliningrad. Sandwiched between Lithuania and Poland, the city is the birthplace of the philosopher Immanuel Kant, home to the beautiful Amber museum, where you can buy inexpensive amber jewelry and view the most spectacular pieces of amber discovered in the Baltic and a scenic Fishing Village with old German-style architecture and delicious sea food.
The exciting news is that starting from July,1 the city may have a special simplified visa regime! This means that visa may be obtained electronically if the entry and exit are made through the Kaliningrad Region. We are looking forward to the updates!