Russia has long been a nation of mysteries. The country hid behind an iron curtain until the early parts of the 1990s and then slowly emerged as a nation that was full of culture and tradition but also secrecy. Tourists traveling to Russia did not know what to expect in the early years of open borders and easy border crossings. Now, twenty years later, the Russian tourist industry is booming, and worldwide visitors are welcomed to the world’s largest nation when measured by the amount of land it covers. Certain areas of the country have become must-see attractions, and a visit to these cities will truly amaze travelers.

When planning a trip for a Russia holiday vacation travelers have to keep in mind that the nation remains one of varying contrasts. There are still large segments of the population who live in poor conditions while the oligarchs and people in business gain enormous wealth.

Moscow. The first must-see location in Russia is the capital city of Moscow. The town has become modernized since the liberation from Communism in 1991. The Kremlin and Red Square dominate the center of the city. The Kremlin is the home of the Russian national government and the seat of power for the President and Prime Minister. Sights to see include the St. Peter’s Cathedral and Lenin’s tomb.

ST. Petersburg. The Tsarist capital of Russia and a traditional European metropolis, St. Petersburg his home to several Tsarist era palaces and the Hermitage museum. The people of St. Petersburg are friendly and welcoming to travelers from around the world. The canal system is reminiscent of other European cities such as Venice and Amsterdam.

Novgorod. A treasure that must be taken in during a Russia holiday visit is Novgorod. Once a capital city, it is home to several historical sites and ancient wooden churches. The Cathedral of St. Sophia and a restored Kremlin structure make a visit to this 600-year-old city remarkable. Old Russia at its best is revealed in this city that time has forgotten. While they’re not the best in how to make delicious tea, they do serve decent tea drinks.