The Russian Federation, more commonly known simply as Russian, is the largest country in the world. It stretches halfway around the world and spans the Asian and European continents. The two sides of Russia are divided by the Ural Mountain Range. Majority of the locals living in Russia can be found in the towns and cities situated on the European side of Russia. On the eastern part of the Ural Mountain Range is Siberia which is less populated primarily due to the harsh climate in this region.
Because of its location and its land area, it is not surprising that the country of Russia is home to a diverse landscape. Russia is a country that is comprised of frozen tundra and vast taiga forests to grassy steppes and cold deserts. Much of the eastern region of Russia is lined with mountains. The Volga River, known as the longest river in Europe, cuts through the entire country and empties out into the Caspian Sea.
While the climate in Russia is relatively cold throughout the year, the country also experiences warm summer months and short spring seasons, particularly in the European side of the country. During the winter season, the northern Siberia region has temperatures that can drop to a freezing -68 degrees Celsius.
If you are planning to visit the country of Russia for the first time, the best place to start is in the capital city of Moscow. Moscow is home to approximately 9 million people and is the best place to capture a glimpse of the rich history of the country. It is here in Moscow were most of the top tourist attractions are located. One of the top tourist attractions in the city is the headquarters of the Kremlin. The headquarters had once been a palace fortress that belonged to the mighty tsars of Russia. Right next to the Kremlin Headquarters is the infamous Red Square, which played a major role in Russian history.
From Moscow, head out to the beautiful city of St. Petersburg. The city is the best place to take in the rich cultural heritage of the country. Travellers visiting the city of St. Petersburg find themselves marvelling at the majestic fortresses that are scattered around the city. These include the Peter-Paul Cathedral as well as the Summer and Winter Palaces. One of the top tourist destinations in this city is the Hermitage Museum. Founded by Catherine the Great in 1764, the museum is a treasure trove of some of the finest pieces of artworks made by the likes of Leonardo da Vinci, Pablo Picasso and Van Dyke.
While you are in St. Petersburg, make sure that you take time to watch a ballet performance. The city is home to the famous Russian Ballet companies such as Bolshoi Ballet and Kirov Ballet. Introduced to the country back in the 18th century from Paris, Russians embraced this graceful dance and over time developed its own unique identity.
Finally, travel back in time as you visit the beautiful town of Velikiy Novgorod. Situated along the banks of the River Volkhov, this ancient town was built thousands of years ago, and continues to be lovingly preserved.