Reasons to Visit
The colourful dome topped cathedrals of Orthodox Russia are stunning and present a stark contrast to the Soviet era monoliths that are so often a part of Russian cities.
Some of the world’s greatest writers, composers and choreographers and cultural institutes are Russian; from Dostoevsky and Tchaikovsky to the Bolshoi theatre and Kirov ballet.
Russia is the birthplace of ballet and a visit to either Moscow's Bolshoi or St Petersburg's Mariinsky Theatre is a must. Even for those who aren't well versed in either art form, you should take in a performance simply for the wonderful music, beautiful theatres and sumptuous costumes on show.
St Petersburg is on the world’s most romantic and beautiful cities, home to stunning architecture, a cultural arts scene and world class restaurants and hotels. A true winter wonderland.
The domination of the USSR is inescapable, as is the legacy of Lenin and Stalin. Russia has shaped and changed 20th Century history and will continue to do so for years to come.
The Trans-Siberian railway is one of life’s great journeys, travelling hundreds of kilometres across Russia’s vast expanses, across European Russia, the Ural Mountains and into Siberia.
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China, Russia & Central Asia
This is a rough guide to when to travel to this region. Choose a month of travel to see typical temperature and rainfall around the country. The ticks indicate our recommended months to travel.
Summer, with its long, light evenings and balmy temperatures offers the classic time to visit these northerly climes, and for those wishing to visit Mongolia on the Trans-Siberian railway this is the ideal, though most popular, option.
The brief but glorious months of spring and autumn offer an excellent opportunity to experience European Russia in uncrowded peace, while many consider St Petersburg at its best in its glittering winter dress of snow.
Despite plummeting temperatures, travel in winter does remain a possibility if one is properly prepared - even the Trans-Siberian railway continues to chug across the icebound steppe.
The Trans-Siberian Railway, linking Moscow to Beijing, is not only one of the classic train journeys, it is also the longest continuous rail line on earth.
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Further reading:Tours in RussiaHighlightsItinerary IdeasPlaces to GoThings to DoAccommodationAbout RussiaCountry Guides
Other countries in North Asia & Russia:ChinaJapanKyrgyzstanMongoliaTaiwanTibetUkraineUzbekistan
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