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Top 7: Russian landscapes

Russia is often seen either through its political and military sides, symbolised by Moscow and the Kremlin, or through its cultural and historic sides, symbolised by St Petersburg. But Russia is way more than that. Limit your understanding of Russia to its western part and to the ethnic Russians, and you would miss what Russia really is? From Moscow to Vladivostok, from Sochi to Murmansk and from Irkutsk to Vorkuta, Russia is socially, economically, “biodiversifically“ diversified. As a result it has absolutely stunning landscapes to discover by train, walk or horse. And trust me I’m kind of an expert since I lived in many countries (sorry but not sorry).

 

  • The Baikal

Starting with a classic. The Baikal is just stunning. In winter as in summer the Baikal is one of the most (if not the most) beautiful landscape of Russia. The Baikal is the largest freshwater lake in the world and the deepest, but more importantly it’s the meeting point of religions and societies. Indeed the Baikal hosts one of the most sacred buddhist site, but also ancient shamanists sites. Between Western Russia, Central Asia and Mongolia, the Baikal is a the crossroads of cultures that increase even more its majesty!

Dreamstime © - Baïkal - Cap Khoboï (4)

 

  • The Kola Peninsula

The Kola Peninsula is a bit less fancy and far lesser known. But this peninsula catches one of the most Russian atmosphere and landscape. Basically the Kola Peninsula is a piece of land located at the extreme north of Russia in the polar circle. Strategic region with both military basis and oil, this region close to Murmansk remains the realm of winter and so offers beautiful landscapes.

Dreamstime © - Péninsule de Kola - Pêche (9)

 

  • The Altai mountains

One of the most beautiful landscapes of Russia can be found in the Altai region. These mountains are a real natural and preserved gem in the heart of the Russian territory. Forests, rivers, lakes, wildlife, flowers offer you stunning landscapes that definitely worth the hike. Yes…of course the Altai is quite difficult to explore, so better jump on the train and then your shoes! BUT the Altai is famous for its honey, another reasons to go and “hike” (if you know what I mean).

Tsar Voyages © - Altai - Paysage (9)

 

  • Yakutia

The largest sub-territory of the Russian Federation is located on the East side of the country and most of it is inhabited. So again lot of hikes, sorry. But this territory knows among the most extreme climate in the northern hemisphere. This created magical landscapes with a specific biodiversity!

Dreamstime © - Yakoutie - Rivière Indigirka (2)

 

  • Karelia

The Karelia region is located not far from the Kola Peninsula, in the extreme north of Russia’s western part. But this region goes above the States borders and encompass the territories of Russia, Finland and Sweden. The Russian part of Karelia is famous for the Kiji islands on which have been erected among the highest wooden churches in the world. And if you’re lucky enough you’ll even be able to see belugas!

Dreamstime © - Ile de Kiji - Eglise de la Transfiguration

 

  • Kamchatka

By far one of my favorite landscape of Russia. Why? First because it’s dangerous and inaccessible (yes, I’m kind of an adventurous guy). Second, because it concentrates all the Russian territory diversities and raw potential. The Kamchatka is a huge peninsula in the Far East where the continent meets the ocean. You can reach it only by snowmobiles or helicopters but then you discover awesome landscapes shaped by extreme climates and volcanos (about 200!).

Dreamstime © - Kamchatka - Volcan de Moutnovsky (6)

 

  • The Caucasus

Last but definitely not least, the Caucasus is highly different from above. Of course it’s in the south so there is sun and wine. Which change everything. But above all, the Caucasus is very specific because at the crossroads of cultures, a sweet mix of Russian, Central Asian and Middle Eastern influences. So are the landscapes, mainly composed of mountains (who would have guessed?) but also stunning views on the Caspian and Black Sea!

Dreamstime © Piatigorsk (17)

 

Want to book a guided-tour? Check out Tsar Visit!

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Traveling in Russia

Peterhof Palace

The “Russian Versailles” and the symbol of Russia’s elevation to a position of power within Europe, the Peterhof Palace is, without a doubt, one of the most sumptuous palaces within Russia (and I’m a high standards person).

Dreamstime © - Saint-Pétersbourg - Peterhof - Jardins et fontaines (9)

The very first aim of Peterhof was to spread Russian art and culture throughout Europe and of course to symbolise Russia’s accession to the rank of a great European maritime power. That’s why the Palace is dedicated to the god Neptune and the fountains are some of the greatest curiosities. As a result, Peter the Great ordered a stunning European-style palace on the shores of the Finland Gulf. Peterhof is therefore highly influenced by Versailles but developed a peculiar architecture to please the Tsar and its court.

Dreamstime © - Saint-Pétersbourg - Peterhof - Jardins et fontaines (3)

Peterhof’s interior ornaments are amazing, but the most impressive thing, the real treasure of this imperial summer residence, are the gardens. They aren’t something in addition, but are a real part of the palace and thought as it. The Upper and Lower gardens, the fountains, the labyrinth, the pavilions, the canal, all of these are creating a marvelous park that increase even the beauty of the palace.

Dreamstime © - Saint-Pétersbourg - Peterhof - Jardins et fontaines (5)

In the summer, you can travel to the palace by hydrofoil, and let yourself be sprayed by the fountains, some having been designed for this very purpose. For its interiors and its sumptuous gardens, the Peterhof Palace is an essential visit for any stay in St. Petersburg!

Dreamstime © - Saint-Pétersbourg - Peterhof - Jardins et fontaines (8)

 

Want to book a guided-tour? Check out Tsar Visit!

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Top 7: Russian palaces

Russia is known for many things, and one of them being its glorious and shiny imperial past. Who wouldn’t be astonished by the luxurious golden palaces, the huge parks and masterpieces exhibited in these imperial residences? But more (because I know why you’re reading this top), who wouldn’t dream of being the Anastasia of the 21st century? (I personally didn’t lose hopes). I already wrote about all the imperialist things we can do in Russia and especially in St Petersburg (here). But I know that most of you would rather focus on the palaces and enter the intimacy of the Russian Tsars (cheeky). So here it is! A top to know which, when and at which price you can visit imperial palaces!

 

  • Peterhof Palace (St Petersburg)

Peterhof Palace is probably the most famous palace in St Petersburg after the Ermitage. And to be honest everyone knows why. The Russian Versailles was the summer residence of Peter the Great. But above all, it has been built as a symbol of the Russian imperial power and as a way for Russia to appear as a European Great Power. That’s why the palace is absolutely stunning on the inside and even more on the outside! A definite must-do!

Dreamstime © - Saint-Pétersbourg - Peterhof - Jardins et fontaines (6)

When?

(ticket office)

Monday: Closed

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Sunday: 10.30-17.45

Saturday: 16.15-19.45

 

How much?

Full price (Grand Palace): 1000 RUB (16 USD)

Full price (Lower Garden): 900 RUB (15 USD)

Children (under 16yo): Free

 

Looking for a guided tour? Check it here!

 

  • Pavlovsk Palace (St Petersburg)

As I already explained, Paul Ist isn’t the best nor the most appreciated Russian Tsar. Nevertheless he had a beautiful palace. And especially and huge and awesome park to explore. An estate to discover and admire on the inside as on the outside (in summer of course).

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When?

(ticket office)

Everyday: 10.00-17.00

 

How much?

Full price: 700 RUB (11 USD)

Children (from 7yo to 18yo) & Student: 200 (3 USD)

 

Looking for a guided tour? Check it here!

 

 

  • Yusupov Palace (St Petersburg)

When we think palaces and Russian Empire, we often only think about the Romanov. Which to our defence is normal due to the kind of Russian autocratic, hyper-personalised, tradition. But still the Russian Empire has been also dominated by powerful, rich and influential families such as the Yusupov. Enter their main residence on the Moika and discover about them (yesterday and today)…and discover where Rasputin has been killed!

Dreamstime © - Saint-Pétersbourg - 2e Palais Youssoupov

When?

(ticket office)

Everyday: 11.00-17.00

 

How much?

Full price: 700 RUB (11 USD)

 

Looking for a guided tour? Check it here!

 

 

  • Tsarskoye Selo (St Petersburg)

Tsarskoye Selo is the imperial village. Why? Because it hosts two amazing palaces, the Catherine palace and the Alexander palace. If the second is under reconstruction and so close to public access for some years (you know what I mean), the first one is one of the most beautiful palace of St Petersburg. Probably because it hosts the Amber Room (well a copy since the real has been stolen, but still)!

Dreamstime © - Saint-Pétersbourg - Tsarskoe Selo - Ensemble

When?

(ticket office)

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday: 12.00-19.45

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday: 12.00-18.45

 

How much?

Full price: 1000 RUB (16 USD)

Students: 350 RUB (6 USD)

Children (under 16yo): Free

 

Looking for a guided tour? Check it here!

 

 

  • Kuskovo Palace (Moscow)

Another powerful family were the Sheremetev. Their country estate in Moscow, Kuskovo, is one of the last remaining imperial palace around the Russian Capital. The palace and the estate are beautiful and you definitely should visit it!

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When?

(ticket office)

Everyday: 10.00-19.30

 

How much?

Full price: 200 RUB (3 USD)

Student: 50 RUB (0,8 USD)

 

 

  • Tsaritsyno Palace (Moscow)

Tsaritsyno is another palace close to Moscow. To be honest it’s more famous for its park, but the palace worth the visit because of its architectural style and its history!

Dreamstime © - Moscou - Tsaritsyno (3)

When?

(ticket office)

Monday: Closed

Weekdays: 11.00-17.30

Saturday: 11.00-19.30

Sunday: 11.00-18.30

 

How much?

Full price: 350 RUB (6 USD)

 

 

  • Alexey Mikhailovich Romanov Palace (Moscow)

Last but not least this wooden-palace is impressive. Far from the huge, goldish and European-style palaces of the Imperial Russia and St Petersburg, the Alexey Mikhailovich Romanov Palace is a true representative of the Russian style. More it explains and shows the beginning of the Romanov accession to power.

Dreamstime © - Kolomenskoe - Palais du tsar Alexis Mikhaïlovitch (4)

When?

(ticket office)

Monday: Closed

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday: 10.00-17.30

 

How much?

Full price: 350 RUB (6 USD)

Children (under 18yo) & Student: Free

 

Want to book a guided-tour? Check out Tsar Visit!

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Travelers Advices

Taking the subway?

Some days ago I told about how the Moscow subway is beautiful (want a guided tour? Click here!) and how wonderful it is to have free internet access. But now I realise that I didn’t explain you how to actually take the subway! So here it is… and enjoy the ride (from 5.30 am to 1.30 am)!

Dreamstime © - Moscou - Métro - Komsomolskaya (3)

On the contrary to many countries, taking the subway in Moscow and St Petersburg is a very convenient and comfortable way to travel across the city. Indeed the cities are so big that taking the subway is often a necessity. However, as for everything in Russia, distances between two stations can be huge… so stay awake and keep in mind that walking 15 minutes to get to the nearest station is absolutely normal in the city center.

Dreamstime © - Moscou - Métro (4)

First you need to know where you are, where is the nearest station and where you go. To that end, you really (but like really really) download the official apps. Up to you to choose between Yandex Metro and Yandex transport (my favorite) but download one of them! Thanks to them you’ll always find your way and avoid unnecessary detours.

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Then you need to enter the metro (and pay of course). Since Russia is hosting major international events, some employees of the subway speak a bit of english. So two options for you to buy tickets: the gentle and funny woman at her desk, or the machine (they “speak” perfect english). Being a bit afraid of people (and even more of Russian grannies) and never sure of my perfect Russian (real reason is, I hate people), I always go to the machine. But up to you!

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At this point you have three options:

  • Single ticket (Единый): it costs 55 RUB (0.9 USD) and it is available for only one entry. Once you entered, you can stay the time you want and go where ever you want.

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  • Two-rides ticket (Единый): it works the same as the first one except that you can enter the subway twice. It costs 110 RUB (1.8 USD).

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  • Troika card (Тройка): the troika card is a transportation card on which you can put how much money as you want. It’s the most convenient way to use public transports (it works for both the subway and buses!) if you use them more than occasionally. There is no date of availability and you only have to pop it up when you don’t have anymore money. Moreover by using the Troika you save money as using public transports only costs 36 RUB (0.6 USD)!

Side note: the troika card costs 50 RUB (0.8 USD), and can only be bought at a counter (sorry)

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So now that you’re in the subway, you must act as Russians. Please do. For you and also for me (yes I hate people that misbehave in the subway). So here are some basic rules:

  1. Walk fast, please. And if you want to admire the ornaments, stop on a side.
  2. In escalators, stay on the right. Or go on the left only if you’re not stopping.
  3. Let your seat to elders, children, bearing women, or (if you’re man) to women
  4. Stay close to the door only if you go out at the next stop.
  5. The station before your stop, go closer to the exit door.

Thank you. And it will prevent you from any Russian grannies assault (beware, they’re quite intolerant and violent).

Dreamstime © - Moscou - Métro (3)

To finish this very long post, I would advise you to always check your directions and especially when you want to go out of the subway. Choose the wrong exit and you’ll find yourself about 1km away from where you wanted to be! To help you, many indications have recently been translated in english… or at least in the Latin alphabet. In addition, the voice in the wagon indicating stops and directions are different according to where you go! If you go towards the center you’ll hear a male voice, on the contrary if you leave the center, it will be a female voice.

After reading this it can seems scary but trust me it isn’t. Russian transports and especially subways are very comfortable, clean, safe, fast and you almost never wait! So let’s go!

 

Want to book a guided-tour? Check out Tsar Visit!

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Did you know?

Looking for free internet?

Did you know? In Moscow, St Petersburg and other cities across Russia, there is free wifi in the subway!

Dreamstime © - Moscou - Métro - Komsomolskaya (3)

It’s not a secret that Moscow and St Petersburg subways are stunning. They really are amazing, clean and travelling through the different stations is like visiting a museum. These subways are so beautiful and peculiar that we even organise guided tours of them

Dreamstime © - Moscou - Métro (3)

But when you’re living in Moscow or St Petersburg you (unfortunately) get use to it and forget to appreciate the work of art that are these underground palaces. When you’re living there, you appreciate another characteristic (in addition to the extreme cleanliness)… the free wifi! It can sounds like I’m an internet addict, a geek or a true representative of my not-understood and under-considered generations. But trust me, when being in the metro for 45 becomes something absolutely normal and a short time, having access to internet isn’t something small.

Dreamstime © - Moscou - Métro (4)
In facts, in the last years Moscow and St Petersburg set free internet in their subway (and public transports). You only need a Russian number and hop! Here it is! You watch an ad each time you enter the subway and you have full free access to internet! Magic and life-saving!

Dreamstime © - Moscou - Métro - Kievskaya

 

Want to book a guided-tour? Check out Tsar Visit!

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Cultural Fact

Victory Day in Russia (9th of May)

In Russia, the end of World War II and the defeat of nazism isn’t celebrated on the 8th of May but on the 9th of May. Indeed, when the armistice was signed between the Allied and the Nazi leadership, it was already May 9th in Russia. Nowadays, the 9th of May is one of the most important day in Russia and in the lives of many Russians (if not the most important). Indeed, if in Western Europe the end of World War II is celebrated through official ceremonials and bank holiday, in Russia it became a real commitment for the people to celebrate the USSR victory over nazism and the sacrifice of millions of Soviets.

Dreamstime (c) - 9 Mai à Moscou (1)

The Victory Day became an official celebration and non-working day in 1965. Since then military parades have been held almost every five or 10 years to celebrate the different anniversary of the nazi defeat. Progressively the victory of the Great Patriotic War has been erected a founding myth for the USSR…and more recently to the Russian international power and strength. The military parade on the Red Square became an annual unmissable event in 2008. It aims, as almost every military parade across the world, at spreading patriotism among the population and showing to the world the military strength of the country.

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But what makes the Victory Day celebrations in Russia so special is what follows. Indeed, many countries can brag and show their newest military toys in city centers. But what is really unique and impressive in Russia is the Immortal’s Regiment. After the military parade, thousands of Russian march on Moscow’s biggest boulevard towards the Red Square, handling picture of their fallen relatives. Even more than 70 years later, and because the Soviet Union lost about 27 billions people during World War II, Russians continue to mourn their death and remember their sacrifice. The atmosphere there is unique: a mix of sadness, happiness, mourning, gratefulness and joy!

Dreamstime (c) - 9 Mai à Moscou (6)

 

Want to book a guided-tour? Check out Tsar Visit!

 

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Top 10: Soviet Russia

If you’re not like me, and if you fancy bad things, you would probably fancy the Soviet Union. Indeed many people currently visit Russia due to its Soviet past. And to be honest they are still plenty of Soviet legacies in Russia…and especially in Moscow. That’s why, and because I am a super nice person (I know you think I’m lying) deeply interested in history, I made a top for you (silly people) that want to dive into the Soviet times. In case you’re a good person and like the Imperial Russia (high five and welcome to my club!) you can visit this amazing top

 

 

  • Stars’ city (Moscow)

Located 40 km away from Moscow, Star City is a training complex for Soviet (and now Russian) cosmonauts that will bring you back to Gagarine’s era. Each building hides a specific type of training: centrifuge, hydrolaboratory… It is kind of a highly secured and out of the track activity (that’s why everything is on request), but the visit worths it. Especially because you can meet cosmonautes, eat cosmonautic meal. Really nice!

 

When?

On request

 

How much?

On request

 

Ask us if you’re interested, we for sure can do something for you!

dreamstime_xxl_8435182.jpg

 

 

  • Lenin mausoleum (Moscow)

One of of the famous sight of Moscow. And of course one of the key (the “keyest”?) actor of the October Revolution and Soviet Union creation. Lenin corpse has been preserved and is exposed on the Red Square since 1930! (yummy and fresh!). You won’t be able to admire him for hours since it’s difficult to stop once in the mausoleum but at least you’ll be able to see this controversial man from the Soviet times.

 

When?

Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday: 10.00-13.00

 

How much?

Free

Dreamstime © - Moscou - Mausolée de Lénine (5).jpg

 

 

  • The Bunker 42 of Taganka (Moscow)

The Soviet times aren’t only the October Revolution but also (and above all?) the Cold War. A war during which nuclear attack was an everyday threat. To feel a bit more secure (and let’s face it, to be able to reply in case of attack), the Soviet military and political had a highly secret and secured bunker under the heart of Moscow. Now that the Cold War is over (please let’s not start a debate on this), you can visit this legacy from the Soviet Union.  

 

When?

Everyday: 10.00-20.00

 

How much?

Full price: 2200 RUB (35 USD)

Student: 1300 RUB (21 USD)

Dreamstime © Moscou - Bunker Taganka (3)

 

 

Yes the Kremlin isn’t a Soviet building and has a long history. But the Kremlin remains a symbol of the Soviet Union and its leadership. Moreover, the Kremlin has been transformed by the Soviet leadership. From its surroundings to the red stars on the top of each towers, the Soviet past of the Kremlin can’t be dismissed!

 

When?

(ticket office)

Everyday: 9.30-16.30

Thursday: Closed

 

How much?

Full price: 1,800 RUB (29 USD)

Children (under 16yo): Free

 

Looking for a guided tour? Check it here!

Dreamstime © - Moscou - Place rouge - Tour du Sauveur (2)

 

 

To me if St Petersburg is an European and Imperial city, Moscow is definitely a Soviet city built under the Soviet Union. Indeed all buildings in the center as in the neighbouring cities are impregnated by communism and Soviet architecture. Take a guided tour in Moscow city center’s and embrace this Soviet legacy!

Looking for a guided tour? Check it here!

Dreamstime © - Moscou - Vue aérienne (13)

 

 

  • Mosfilm studios (Moscow)

Hollywood is too mainstream for you? Want to discover what a real film industry is? Visit the Soviet studios Mosfilm! Mosfilm studios are a symbol and key element of the Soviet culture. Main TV and movie studio were directed during the Soviet Union, contributing to the emergence of a Soviet culture. Nowadays not a single Russian don’t know movie produced by Mosfilm. Take a tour there and find out more about these movies!

Ask us if you’re interested, we for sure can do something for you!

Tsar Voyages © - Moscou - Mosfilm

 

 

  • Varenishnaya number 1 (Moscow)

You would think that the Soviet cuisine and the Russian ones are the same. Wrong! Well of course traditional dishes remain quite the same, but the current Russian cuisine is deeply influenced cuisines for other parts of the world. That’s why if you want to feel the Soviet Union you should go to Varenishnaya number 1. The restaurant recreated a Soviet atmosphere and serves traditional, easy going dishes as served during the Soviet Union. A bit touristic but still nice.

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  • The Road of Life (St Petersburg)

One of the major event during World War II for Russians is the blockade of Leningrad. Millions of people starved to death and it has been of the most terrible battle of the War. However, if Leningrad stood up it’s not only because of the incredible resistance from the inhabitants. But also because of the bravour of some men who crossed the iced-Ladoga lake to bring some help to the city. Nowadays you can follow their path by visiting the interactive museum and drive along the road that is, since then, called the Road of Life.

 

When?

(ticket office)

Monday, Tuesday: Closed

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday: 11.00-17.00

 

How much?

Full price: 900 RUB (14 USD)

Children (under 18yo) & Student: 500 RUB (8 USD)

La Route de la Vie @ Saint-Pétersbourg - Musée La Route de la Vie (2).jpg

 

 

  • The Gulag Museum (Moscow)

The Soviet Union, especially in the West, is also known for its darkest sides and its gulags. Gulags became famous after the publication in English in 1974 of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s book “The Gulag Archipelago”. Nowadays a good way to know more about it is to visit the Gulag Museum in Moscow!

 

When?

(ticket office)

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday: 11.00-18.00

Thursday: 12.-21.00

 

How much?

Full price: 300 RUB (5 USD)

Children (under 18yo) & Student: 150 RUB (2.5 USD)

Musée du Goulag @ Musée - Musée du Goulag (2)

 

 

  • The Aurora cruiser (St Petersburg)

St-Petersburg doesn’t really fancy its Soviet past. Nevertheless, it hosts a crucial element that led to the October Revolution. Indeed, if the Aurora cruiser mainly served during the Russian Empire and especially during the war with Japan, it became a symbol of Soviet Russia because it gave the signal for the Winter Palace assault on October 24th 1917. Later it became famous through many Soviet films glorifying this (to my upper opinion) terrible night.

 

When?

(ticket office)

Monday, Friday: Closed

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday: 11.00-18.00

 

How much?

Full price: 600 RUB (10 USD)

Student: 400 RUB (7 USD)

Dreamstime © - Saint-Pétersbourg - Croisieur Aurore (3).jpg

 

Want to book a guided-tour? Check out Tsar Visit!

 

 

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Top 5: Amazing Russian Instagram accounts

Russia is a wide and amazing country full of diversified and outstanding landscapes. However traveling through the whole Federation can be costly and kind of time consuming. For the greatest pleasure of all, Russian photographers are travelling and posting on Instagram marvelous pics. Adding tips, recommendations, they make us travel with them and give us ideas for our next vacations. That’s why I made a short list of my favourites (of course Tsar Visit’s Instagram account is the best, but it wouldn’t be fair to add it here).

 

  • Elena Krizhevskaya

Based in Moscow and taking pics of the Russian Capital, Elena Krizhevskaya is an amazing photographer! Even if I live in Moscow, I always enjoy her posts outstanding pics. I don’t know about you, but it’s my daily shot of muscovite beauty. On the plus side, Elena always gives informations on the places she photographed. You definitely need to follow her!

Her Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/elenakrizhevskaya/?hl=en

Her website: https://moscow-photos.ru/

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  • Alex Mazurov

Alex Mazurov travels Russia and bring with him stunning pics of Russian landscapes and wildlife. Light colors with a recurring dark blue, these pics are my favourites. Alex’s Instagram account is another insight on Russia and its amazing landscapes. Alex Mazurov shows the beauty of Russia, of a natural and preserved Russia. His pics makes you travel instantly!

His Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alex.mazurov/?hl=en

His website: http://www.russianexplorers.ru/

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  • Andrey Belavin

Another Moscow-based photographer. But Andrey Belavin’s Instagram account mixes perfectly the beauty of the Russian capital city with natural landscapes. Andrey gives to its followers a great view on what is the current Russia. From cities to remote natural areas, from mountains to seasides, Andrey Belavin pictures Russia in all its diversity and wonderfulness!

His Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ted.ns/?hl=en

His website: https://www.filterhero.ru/tedns

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  • Piter Life Style

If Piter Life Style reached about 532k followers on Instagram, it’s definitely thanks to its stunning pics. Focused on the Venise of the North, Piter Life Style gives us informations, tips and advices on the most beautiful corners of St Petersburg. This account is amazing! However don’t look at it too much if you’re not living in St Petersburg…or you would travel there almost every week!

Its Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/piter.life.style/?hl=en

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  • Russian Explorers

Russian Explorers is a team of amazing, smart and skilled photographers (and among them Alex Mazurov). All of them with a peculiar style or focus, they make us travel through Russia thanks to wonderful shots. Follow this account and embrace what can be considered as one of the most beautiful Instagram account on Russia!

Their Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/russianexplorers/?hl=en

Their website: http://www.russianexplorers.ru/

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Want to book a guided-tour? Check out Tsar Visit!

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Top 10: Russian Museums

Russian cities, and especially Moscow and St-Petersburg, are full of museums. Some are big, some are small. Some are old, some are new. Some are interesting and some a bit less. How to choose when you’re in a hurry? Feeling a bit lost? Need some tips and advices? Call now and get a… jk, just follow this amazing top and book a guided tour with Tsar Visit!

 

What?

The Largest museum of the world in a building classified by Unesco. A museum that will bring you back under the imperial Russia and amaze you by the splendors of the masterpieces it exhibits.

 

Why?

Well… Shall I really need to explain? The Hermitage is in itself a definition of beauty, magnificence and beauty. A definite must-do for everyone traveling or living in Russia. It doesn’t need any other words.

 

When?

(ticket office)

Monday: Closed

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday: 10.30-17.00

Wednesday & Friday: 10.30-20.00

 

How much?

Full price: 700 RUB (11 USD)

Children (under 18yo) & Student: Free

 

Looking for a guided tour? Check it here!

Dreamstime © - Saint-Pétersbourg - Ermitage (9)

 

 

What?

One of the most important and famous museum of Russia. A gallery that exhibits Russian and European masterpieces from the previous centuries. The Tretyakov Gallery is especially famous for its rich and stunning collection of icons from the 11th century.

 

Why?

Thanks to the Tretyakov Gallery, you will dive in the Russian past and culture. Through its masterpieces you will travel in time and see the artistic, social and political evolutions known by the Russian population. A very must-do is its unique and marvelous collection of icons.

 

When?

(ticket office)

Monday: Closed

Tuesday, Wednesday, Sunday: 10.00-17.00

Thursday, Friday, Saturday: 10.00-21.00

 

How much?

Full price: 500 RUB  (8 USD)

Children (under 18yo) & Student (if Russian): Free

 

Looking for a guided tour? Check it here!

Dreamstime © - Moscou - Galerie Tretiakov (2)

 

 

What?

Heart of Moscow, Russian and of the Russian Federation Presidential administration, the Kremlin is a historic and powerful fortress. But it also hosts the Armoury Chamber and cathedrals that trace the evolutions of Russia since the 11th century.  

 

Why?

Because the Kremlin. Is there anything else to say?

 

When?

(ticket office)

Everyday: 9.30-16.30

Thursday: Closed

 

How much?

Full price: 1,800 RUB (29 USD)

Children (under 16yo): Free

 

Looking for a guided tour? Check it here!

Dreamstime © - Moscou - Vue aérienne (12)-ciel bleu

 

 

  • The State Russian Museum (St Petersburg)

What?

As its name let it guess, the State Russian Museum is an important museum exclusively dedicated to Russian art and artists. It offers to the public more than 38,000 works of art and 6,000 icons celebrated from the 10th century to today.

 

Why?

By visiting the State Russian Museum, you will dive in history and discover the evolutions of Russian art of the past 11th centuries. On the plus side, the museum is hosted by the stunning residence of the Grand Duke Michael.

 

When?

(ticket office)

Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday: 10.00-17.30

Tuesday: Closed

Thursday: 13.00-21.00

 

How much?

Full price: 600 RUB  (10 USD)

Student: 300 RUB (5 USD)

Children: Free

Dreamstime © - Saint-Pétersbourg - Musée Russe (2)

 

 

What?

The Pushkin Museum is one of the most famous museum in Russia. It is a museum rich in Russian, European, and ancient paintings and objets d’art from both antique and contemporary collections. Moreover it also hosts the marvelous impressionist gallery.

 

Why?

To my very personal (and valuable) opinion, the Pushkin Museum worth a tour for its stunning impressionist gallery and its temporary exhibitions. If the main building is of low interest, the temporary exhibition are always of a very good quality, and the impressionist gallery is absolutely stunning.

 

When?

(ticket office)

Monday: Closed

Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday: 11.00-19.00

Thursday, Friday: 11.00-20.00

 

How much?

Full price: 750 RUB  (12 USD)

Children (under 16yo): Free

Student: 400 RUB (6 USD)

 

Looking for a guided tour? Check it here!

Dreamstime © - Moscou - Musée des Beaux-Arts Pouchkine.jpg

 

 

  • Erarta (St Petersburg)

What?

The Erarta museum is to my opinion one of (if not the) best museum of contemporary arts in Russia. It opened in 2010 but already exhibits more than 2300 objects d’art with the aim of promoting contemporary Russian art.   

 

Why?

The museum displays artists according to their talent and not their popularity, and put the spotlight on the visitor, which make a visit to the Erarta Museum indispensable for every art lover. If not, at least you will be able to show off in front of your friends!

 

When?

(ticket office)

Everyday: 10.00-22.00

Tuesday: closed

 

How much?

Full price: 500 RUB  (8 USD)

Children (under 2yo): Free

Musée Erarta © Saint-Pétersbourg - Musée art contemporain Erarta (7)

 

 

  • Garage (Moscow)

What?

A museum of modern and contemporary art located in the heart of the splendorous and famous Gorky Park. The Garage is a well-known place for modern art in Moscow and often has interesting temporary exhibitions.

 

Why?

For its location and always interesting exhibitions.

 

When?

(ticket office)

Everyday: 11.00-21.30

 

How much?

Full price: 500 RUB (8 USD)

Student: 250 RUB  (4 USD)

Children (11-17yo): 150 RUB (2 USD)

Children (under 10): Free

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  • The Fabergé Museum (St Petersburg)

What?

The Fabergé Museum is a small and very new museum (but already among the most visited) in the heart of St Petersburg. It offers to the public the main pieces of the famous jeweller Fabergé. Among these collections the most precious is the the Easter eggs collections. Absolutely stunning.  

 

Why?

One of my favorite museum in Russia. Not the biggest, not the most famous but a small museum exhibiting precious artefacts from the late Russian Empire. A true testimony of the Russian craft and the Romanov intimacy.

 

When?

(ticket office)

Everyday: 8.30-21.15

 

How much?

Full price: 450 RUB  (7 USD)

Dreamstime @ Saint-Pétersbourg - Musée Fabergé (2)

 

 

  • The Bunker 42 of Taganka (Moscow)

What?

The most secured and secret bunker of Moscow. Aiming at protecting the Soviet political and military leadership in case of nuclear attack, this bunker is a labyrinth where were working about 2,000 people during the Cold War. It is now a museum offering different thematic tours.  

 

Why?

Visit it and you’ll for sure dive in the tensest times of the Cold War!

 

When?

Everyday: 10.00-20.00

 

How much?

Full price: 2200 RUB (35 USD)

Student: 1300 RUB (21 USD)

Dreamstime © Moscou - Bunker Taganka (3)

 

 

  • The Museum of Cosmonautics (Moscow)

What?

A must-see for those who want to know everything about space adventure, The Museum of Cosmonautics traces the history of astronautics from the 1920’s to the present day. Located at the entrance of the VDNKh Exhibition Park, it is impressive for its architecture and especially for the diversity and richness of its collections.

 

Why?

You will not only understand the reasons of the Soviet domination of space, but you will also discover the role and current involvement of the Russian Federation in space.

 

When?

(ticket office)

Monday: Closed

Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday: 10.00-18.30

Thursday: 10.00-20.30

 

How much?

Full price: 250 RUB (4 USD)

Children (under 7yo): Free

Dreamstime © Moscou - Musée des Cosmonautes (8)

 

 

Want to book a guided-tour? Check out Tsar Visit!

Categories
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Top 8: Artists’ houses

Many Russian artists, from writers to dancers, are world-famous. Who never heard of Tolstoy, Dostoievsky, Pushkin? These artists inspired the world and continue nowadays to have a significant impact on our culture. But all of them have also been crucial witnesses of their centuries and of Russia. As most of them were famous while still living, their houses have been preserved by the Russian and later Soviet State. That’s why visiting artists’ houses and apartments in Moscow and St-Petersburg isn’t only about walking where they walked, but is above all diving in specific atmospheres from the past.  

 

  • Tolstoy House-Museum (Moscow)

My favorite is definitely Tolstoy’s house in the city center of Moscow. Not only because Tolstoy is my favorite Russian author, and that I’m dying for his Anna Karenine, but because his house is amazing. Tolstoy’s house is a wooden one that have been protected by the State right after Tolstoy’s death. As a result the house hasn’t been damaged. Enter it, and you instantly dive into the life of the Russian intelligentsia from the late Russian Empire. Amazing and definitely a must do!

Maison-Musée Tolstoï @ Moscou - Maison-Musée Tolstoï (6)

 

  • Dostoievsky House-Museum (St Petersburg)

Other super famous Russian author, Dostoievsky’s apartment in St Petersburg has also been quite well preserved. However, contrary to Tolstoy’s house, Dostoievsky’s apartment became a museum only 1971 due to the Soviet leadership’s unstable view attitude towards the author. Nevertheless the apartment kept the peculiar atmosphere of its time and above all of the vibrant soul that lived in its walls.  

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  • Pushkin House-Museum (St Petersburg)

Probably the most loved and cherished author in Russia, Pushkin died in St Petersburg after a famous (and still painful for most Russians) duel. The apartment in which he lived his last years and died became a memorial treasured by all. As a result the atmosphere remains penetrating. Visiting it also means learning a lot on Pushkin’s life and work so go for it!

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  • Gogol House-Museum (Moscow)

This house being Gogol’s last residence, has been recognised as it only in 2005. Nevertheless the building, both on the outside and inside, is stunning and worth the visit. Enter it and you will travel back in time to discover the living standards of the Muscovite upper classes before the Soviet Union…you may also find some decoration tips for your own house? (I hope not, but who knows?)

Tsar Voyages © - Moscou - Maison-musée Gogol

 

  • Bulgakov House-Museum (Moscow)

If Bulgakov is not the most loved author in Russia, he is not far from it. More, his book The Master and Margarita, is by far the most appreciated and famous book in Russia. That is why Bulgakov’s apartment in Moscow city center is always crowded. This very tiny apartment recall the life of the author but before all smartly mix Bulgakov and Margarita’s lives. Indeed the apartment described in the book is basically Bulgakov’s one. So if you really want to appreciate the tour, read The Master and Margarita before!

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  • Gorky House-Museum (Moscow)

Nowadays, Gorky is a name associated to Moscow’s favored park. But before being a park, Gorky was a Soviet writer. After the revolution, the Soviet leadership seized Ryabushinsky house built in the early 20th century by Fyodor Shekhtel, and Gorky lived in it. To be honest the most important thing about this house isn’t the fact that Gorky lived in it (sorry not sorry). The house worth the visit because it is a mesmerizing and absolutely unusual house, a true eccentric symbol of the Modern Style. Words are not enough to describe it and all the beautifully strange things in it, so just go and open your eyes…but be ready!

Internet Escalier1

 

  • Galina Ulanova House-Museum (Moscow)

The Soviet time also knew some prominent and world famous artists and it would be foolish to think the opposite. One of them is Galina Ulanova. A world famous ballet dancer considered by many as the greatest ballerina of the previous century. Born in St Petersburg, and despite being dancing around the world, she mainly lived in Moscow where her apartment has been preserved since her death in 1998. Tiny apartment of a women with skills, ambition and temper, it definitely needs to be visited. You will be transported to the Soviet times and into Galina’s intimacy.

Tips: some secret letters are displayed on Galina’s desk. You should ready them…

Musée-appartement Oulanova @ Moscou - Musée-appartement Oulanova (4)

 

  • Nabokov House-Museum (St Petersburg)

This house saw the birth of the world-famous writer Nabokov in 1899. Nabokov’s family flew from Russia in 1917. As a result of the Bolshevik seizing of power, Nabokov aristocratic roots, and of course because the writer wasn’t famous at that time, the family house of St Petersburg has not been protected by the Soviet Union. It became a museum in 1998 with very few objects and furnitures. But by the years, Nabokov house-museum became more than a significant museum dedicated to the Russian-American writer. Nowadays it has great collection of books and artefacts, and worth a visit!

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Want to book a guided-tour? Check out Tsar Visit!