St Petersburg - The cultural capitalThe most popular place - the Hermitage with its baroque and rococo styles, and Voltaire’s library which was bought out by the educated Catherine, the Kunstcamera museum is a must for visitors to St Petersburg.
Palace Square is at its best at night, whereas the interiors of Saint Isaac’s and Kazan Cathedrals look better in daylight when rays of light play on the mosaics and paintings. However, the best mosaic collection is in the Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood.
For a true feeling of the city, make sure you go and see a ballet in Mariinsky Theatre, watch the bridges raise, take a stroll along Nevsky Prospect, and don’t forget to go into backstreets, as in Venice. There is a reason why the city is called the “Venice of the North”.
Moscow – magnificence and poverty the Russian wayIn contrast to St Petersburg, Moscow is a city of wide avenues and massive Soviet buildings – from the Lenin Russian State Library which has 275 km of shelves, to Stalin skyscrapers representing Stalin’s Empire style.
All tourists, however, go to see the Kremlin and Red Square first. Having originally been a market and an execution yard (the place of bread and circuses), Red Square is now the first port of call for foreign and local tourists alike. Even today, it is the centre of Moscow life, allowing you to plunge into the history of the city quickly and easily.
Sochi – from all-Union health resort to the Olympic capitalBesides the Olympic complex, you can enjoy the remains of what several generations of ordinary Soviet workers have enjoyed for many years.
These are sanatoria, wellness activities, walks along the waterfront, swimming in the sea, an arboretum, fresh mountain air and tropical flowers!
Yekaterinburg – traditional churches and Soviet avant-gardeThe city combines two delights in one – ideal for those who want to see traditional Orthodox churches whilst exploring the architectural style of the builders of the “new world” who tried to destroy these very churches.
Yekaterinburg also has the biggest collection of monuments of Soviet constructivism, standing side by side with traditional museums (the Museums of Local Lore and Art History).
Kazan – the oldest capital cityKazan is officially called “the third capital of Russia”.
In 2005, the city turned 1000 years old. Despite its impressive age, the oldest Annunciation Cathedral, Kazan Kremlin, and the core of the old city, the Old Tatar Settlement and iconic buildings of the century-before-last, are still preserved in the center of the city.
Architecture lovers can also see how Christianity and Islam coexist in Kazan.
|4Top 5 cities in Russia|