Traveling to Russia is very much like traveling to another world, a world more connected to antiquity.
It’s no secret that Russia and the United States don’t exactly have the best relationship these days, but that shouldn’t keep the adventurous traveler from applying for a Russia visa and trekking over to the motherland.
Russia is a country steeped in history and culture. You don’t have to agree with their politics in order to appreciate Russia’s unique architecture, its’ fascinating people, and its’ beautiful landscapes. Here are just three must-see sights if you travel to Russia:
People who live in St. Petersburg tend to think of themselves more as Europeans than as Russians. The city is known for its culture. Here you can go to the Mariinsky Theater and take in a ballet, visit the renowned Kunstcamera Museum, and visit the monument to Peter the Great, which is surrounded by a fence filled with champagne bottles. The fence is regularly cleared, but newlyweds still visit this fence regularly and leave behind a champagne bottle from their wedding. Head to Palace Square at night to get a sense of why St. Petersburg is considered the Venice of the North.
Moscow offers a stark contrast to St. Petersburg. Here you’ll find large streets and massive Soviet buildings with opulent architecture. The Kremlin and Red Square are must see attractions. Red Square is the center of Moscow life and is the perfect jumping off point for any tourist hoping to get a better sense of how Russians live. In Moscow, you can also visit the Russian Historical Museum, the Mausoleum, and the beautiful St. Basil’s Cathedral.
The Trans-Siberian Railway
A complete journey on the Trans-Siberian Railway takes almost an entire week, so it may not be ideal for every traveler. But if you’re someone who loves trains and seeing as many sites as possible, a trip on this historic railroad will reward you with 80 cities as well as views of the Volga River, the Ural Mountains, and the woods of Siberia.
Wherever you choose to go in Russia, make sure that you stay safe. Laws in Russia tend to be harsher than US laws, and it’s important to remember that many Russians don’t have a very positive view of Americans. If asked, pretending to be Canadian is usually a safe bet. Travelers should also remember that Russia is not a welcoming place for the LGBT community.
That said, any traveler with an eye for adventure and a good head on their shoulders can have a safe and epic trip to the motherland. Be sure to obtain your Russia visas through Swift, and when you get back, please share your travel stories by commenting on this blog or any other of our travel spotlight entries.
Rob Lee is co-founder of Swift Passport and Visa Services. Originally from Michigan, Rob is an avid fisherman and SCUBA diver who enjoys adventure travel.