Russia

Country Facts

A visit to Russia today is an encounter with an undiscovered land. With the dissolution of the Soviet Union visitors have a fresh opportunity to explore a vast array of exciting and ancient cultures, from the glittering imperial Russia of St. Petersburg to the timeless village life of Siberia and Irkutsk.

Russia today is a nation of enormous diversity and tremendous vitality. The cultural traditions of a century ago have re-awakened with a newfound strength - ancient cathedrals are being rebuilt and restored, colorful markets hum with activity and literature and the arts are quickly regaining the creative renown they enjoyed decades ago. A new Russia is now in full bloom.

  • Capital:Moscow
  • Official Languages: Russian
  • Government: Federal Semi Presidential Democratic Republic
  • Currency: Rouble
  • Time Zone: Different time zone, from +2 to +12 GMT Like most states in Europe, Summer (Daylight-Saving) Time is observed in Russia, where the time is shifted forward by 1 hour; so +3 to +13 GMT.
  • Telephone Calling Code: 007

When To Go

Best time to visit: Most of the country has a continental climate, with long, cold winters and brief summers. The most populous areas of the country in European Russia, in the south of West Siberia and in the south of the Russian Far East, (including the cities of Moscow and Saint Petersburg), experience a humid continental climate. Annual precipitation decreases from about 25–30 inches in the European region to less than 2 inches a year in parts of Central Asia.

What To Do

Many specialties actually originate from different republics of the former Soviet Union.

What to eat and drink
  • Zakuski: Starters with a wide selection of dishes such as salads, often with sour cream or mayonnaise; meats and fish, such as smoked salmon and caviar; and pickled vegetables
  • Traditional soups:
  • Borshch: Beetroot soup
  • Shchi: Cabbage soup
  • Solyanka: A thick, spicy and sour soup with meat fish or mushrooms. Also contains pickled cucumber
  • Ukha: A clear soup made of fish, root vegetables and herbs
  • Okroshka: A cold soup with vegetable, fish or meat, with kvass (a fermented beverage made from black or regular rye bread) or sour milk
  • Main courses:
  • Pelmeni: A dish usually made with minced meat filling, wrapped in thin dough
  • Kotlety: Meatballs made of pork, beef or chicken
  • Shashlyk: A form of Shish kebab
  • Pirozhki: Small stuffed buns with different fillings
  • Blini: Thin pancakes made with yeasted batter topped with butter, sour cream, fruit preserves or cavia
  • Medovukha: A sweet, low alcohol drink, made with fermented-honey with the addition of various spices
  • Vodka either grain or potato based
Shopping

Matryoshka Dolls in all sorts of combinations, Palekh (wooden boxes with painted scenes inside), Babushka Scarves, amber and other precious stone jewellery, paintings, fur hats.

Packages

Escorted Tours

The best and easiest way to see the highlights is on an escorted tour, where all your travel, accommodation and sightseeing arrangements are well taken care of. A knowledgeable local guide brings history and culture to life as you travel in the comfort of your deluxe coach.

A world leader in budget travel, Cosmos combines the benefit of escorted travel with a great price. Ideal for practical, value-minded travelers. Vacations include comfortable hotels, breakfast and some meals, sightseeing with local guides and the services of an expert Tour Director.

Unmatched selection, more included features, quality first class hotels, and vast experience make Globus the obvious choice for travelers who want more. The world leader in quality escorted travel, Globus delivers memorable vacation experiences with knowledgeable Tour Directors and local guides.

Attractions

Travel Tips

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