A world’s biggest country impresses with its natural and cultural beauty.
Russia extends at about 17 million square kilometers in eastern Europe and northern Asia and occupies 11.5 percent of the earth’s surface, which makes it the largest country in the world. It borders with Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia, North Korea and Japan. It has a sea border with the United States, while Kaliningrad area under the Russian government borders with Lithuania and Poland.
Western or European part of the territory, which occupies about 3.5 million square kilometers, is divided from eastern Asian part (Siberia) with Ural Mountains. The European part of Russia is mostly flat, with fertile plains. In the north-south the coniferous forest and transitional forest-steppe zone stretches, near the Caspian Sea semi-desert is present while in the far south the terrain rises dramatically. On the border with Georgia and Azerbaijan the Caucasus Mountains extend, with the highest point of Russia – Elbrus – which rises to 5633 meters.
The country has around 142 million residents, who are mainly settled in the European part of the country and around the major cities and urbanized centers. Capital – Moscow – is located on the homonymous river in the central federal district of European Russia, and has about 11 million inhabitants, which makes it the most populous city of the Old Continent. It is an important political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, educational and transportation center of Russia and the world.
Russian cuisine is based on meat, fish, game, vegetables, mushrooms, fruits and various berries. In the country they like to eat soup dishes especially borscht, and Sci – cabbage soup. The old bakery tradition stabilized the consumption of rye bread, but only recently they began to knead loaves from wheat. People like to eat beef and pork, and some old Russian recipes have special dishes made with wild birds – like swans, cranes, and black grouses. The Russians, however, are best known for its caviar, and vodka – which is served before, during and after every meal.
5 memorable tourist attractions in Russia:
Explore the magical Moscow and its cultural and historical sights. Make sure you visit the Moscow Kremlin, and monastery under the protection of UNESCO, as well as the picturesque church of Basil the Blessed on Red Square. Walk along one of the hundreds of parks and gardens, visit the Museum of Fine Arts and the Bolshoi Theatre. Explore the exciting night life around Tverskaya street!
In the biggest country in the world with the most populous European city you should definitely visit the deepest and oldest freshwater lake. Lake Baikal is situated in the Asian part of the country, in Irkutskoj and Bujratskoj area, and because of its rich flora and fauna its environment is called Russian Galapagos. Use trans-Siberian railway – the longest in the world to come to the lake!
Volcanoes and geysers
Fans of natural wonders visit the Kamchatka Peninsula, which stretches over 1250 km between the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Okhotsk. On its territory there are numerous volcanoes and volcanic phenomena. Klyuchevskaya Sopka rises to 4750 m, and is considered the highest volcano of the northern hemisphere, and there is also one of the most beautiful volcanoes in the world – Kronotski. The peninsula is known for its amazing geysers valley.
Do you know what a wooden church built without a single nail looks like? Find out on the island of Kizhi, which is located on Lake Onega in the northwest of the European part of the country. This is a kind of open-air museum that brings together eighty historic wooden buildings, which are placed on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.
Visit one of the world’s oldest museums – the Hermitage of Catherine the Great in St. Petersburg – the westernmost Russian city, which lies on the river Neva near the Baltic Sea. Here you can see more than three million artifacts in the permanent collection, masterpieces of the Renaissance from the beginning of 20th century, as well as the famous collection of antique, Indian, Islamic and other arts.
Official language: Russian
Religion: Christianity (75 percent of the population), Islam (15 percent)
Currency: Russian ruble (RUR)
Visa: required – it can be obtained in the Russian embassy in Zagreb (Bosanska 44, Tel. 385 1 37 55 038, 37 55 039,) or in Pula (Kandler 46, Tel. +385 52 215 758). You can enter the country without a visa but with representing a letter of invitation from a business partner, person, or travel agency vouchers, invitation letters must be original, on a special form and authenticated in the local police department, the headquarters of legal persons (in the case of a business visit), or the residence of the caller (in the case of an invitation letter sent to an individual)
How to travel: by plane – Russia’s main airport is Sheremetyevo International Airport near the capital.
Disease and prevention: special vaccination to enter the country is not required.
When to travel: Spring-summer
Accommodation: Hotel Lotte and Swissotel Krasnye Holmy in the capital are an excellent choice.
Restaurants: Shinok and restaurant Cafe Pushkin in the capital are a good choice.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs suggests caution when traveling in this country because of occasional terrorist attacks in the capital, but also because of the permanent act of Islamic terrorists in Chechnya, Ingushetia, Dagestan, as well as in eastern and southern areas of Stavropoljskog region.
Take care of your property and documents around the tourist centers.