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Top 5: View Points on Moscow

To be honest with you, Moscow isn’t one of these cities that you absolutely need to see from the top. Russians have quite a big territory and because of that buildings aren’t really high. That’s why Russian cities are often better looking from the ground. However, from the centuries-old cathedrals of the Kremlin to the brand new towers of Moscow City and Stalin’s Seven Sisters, Moscow can offer quite stunning views. But to enjoy Moscow from above you must know the good places…and that’s why I’m here!

 

  • Rusky bar  

More than diving into contemporary Russia by exploring Moscow City, you have to jump to the top of the highest restaurant of Europe. Set of restaurants and bars with a terrasse in summer and the highest skating rink of Europe in winter, the 354 will offer you an unusual and magnificent view over Moscow. While eating and drinking (my two favorite activities) you’ll be able to admire the Russian capital, its treasures and differences, from above. For sure a stunning view is awaiting you… if there aren’t any clouds.

ruski

 

  • On the roof of Dietski Mir

Far less high and hype, but located in the very city center, Dietski Mir offers a great view on Moscow. Its location makes it interesting as you can see Moscow’s symbolic buildings as if they were really close. However to reach the top you’ll have to go through the worst. Indeed Dietski Mir is a mall dedicated to children. In other words you’ll see and hear children everywhere. EVERYWHERE. And then you’ll have to reach the food court, composed almost exclusively of fast foods. But if you made it, you’ll be able to get fresh air and a beautiful view on the Russian capital.

Dreamstime © - Moscou - Vue aérienne (13)

 

  • On the platform near the Academy of Sciences

Do you know the Academy of Sciences? It’s this big white building made of two towers and topped by what looks like an orange in-construction extension! Well nobody knows it but you can go on the platform in front of the building to enjoy an amazing and unusual view on Moscow. Unusual because you’re the only one (well and me and the billions of people that read me everyday) to know that the public can access it. Amazing because you can embrace the whole city, its diversity and all its most famous buildings. Be sure to be pretty and you’ll have a super popular Instagram shot!

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  • Sparrow Hill

The Sparrow Hill is most probably the highest point of the very flat Moscow. That’s why if you want to enjoy a natural view above Moscow you can only go there. To me the view isn’t the most beautiful as everything seems a bit far and “clouds” are often fogging the view. Plus there are always many people. But it remains interesting to go there as you’re really close to the Lomonossov University which is one of Stalin’s Seven Sister!
Dreamstime © - Moscou - Université Lomonossov (6).jpg

 

  • Take an excursion on the roofs

One of the best and most beautiful way to enjoy a view on Moscow is to go on roofs. Most of them are closed but you can find some that are accessible. Once you’ve jumped on it, you’re always in front of a magnificent spectacle. I strongly advise you to go for the sunset. And the best is that you can choose the part of Moscow you want to discover more. Stunning and peaceful!

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

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Top 6: Where to go out in Moscow

Moscow is a big capital with a dynamic nightlife. Pubs, bars, clubs, rooftops… Moscow offers a wide range of activities and places to go out for all different types of night owls. From crowded places to lesser known hidden gems, you can find in Moscow what suits you best! Even for those like me that like to go out in fancy places but hate people (big up bros!). But Moscow is also very big and has its secrets. In fact most of the good places to go are hidden. So if you want to discover Moscow’s real nightlife and amazing bars, follow me!

 

  • Mendeleev

Want to go out in a fancy place? Go to Mendeleev! A very nice and luxurious bar located in the stoned arched cellar of a tiny noodles restaurant in the heart of Moscow. Don’t be tricked, the restaurant is only a facade and hides a place where wearing Louboutin or being a foreigner won’t guarantee you to access. Once inside, you’ll enjoy exquisite cocktails while listening to live jazz music.

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Credits: Mendeleev Cocktail Bar

Side note: as an in person, you must go through the kitchens and access to the VIP room where a waiter will be at your service and where you’ll probably meet famous Muscovites.

Address: Petrovka 20/1, 107031 Moscow (go through the scary noodle restaurant)

 

  • Untitled Bar

The Untitled Bar isn’t hidden but very unknown. The bar is very small and its menu has nothing special. I mean cocktails are (very) good but remain classic. So why adding the Untitled Bar in this amazing top for in people? What makes the Untitled Bar so special and so good are its events. Indeed, if the bar organises casual events in the day as vintage markets, in the night it organises wayyyyyy too good parties all night long. My favorite are the disco nights!

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Credits: Untitled Bar 

Address: Petrovka Ulitsa, 15 стр.1, Moskva, 125009

 

  • Gypsy

This one is a classic. It’s one of the most famous club in Moscow. But you have to go there at least once. I usually don’t like clubs, they’re crowded, very warm and tiny. But the Gypsy is different…and I love it! The Gypsy is very big, has fountains and palms inside. The music is most often composed of remix of famous Russian and Western songs… which means that you can sing and enjoy it. On the plus side, you have huge windows. So in summer you can dance while admiring the sun rise above Moscow!

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Side note: if you want to go in, you better not speak Russian, they love foreigners

Address: Bolotnaya Naberezhnaya 3/2

 

  • Schrodinger Cat Bar

This one is hidden. But like really hidden. I mean even when you know where it is, you often can’t find the door since it’s a part of the wall that opens when pushing the hidden button (yes it happened to me and no I wasn’t even drunk). The Schrodinger Cat Bar is a very nice and good bar where every cocktail is served in a unusual glass. Music is always good since a Dj is mixing and people there are super nice. On the plus side, you never exactly know what’s in your cocktail before ordering it since cocktails names are chemical elements and only the alcohol is written on the menu. Great experience guaranteed!

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Credits: The Moscow Times

Address: 32 Ulitsa Bolshaya Dmitrovka

 

  • Sosna i lipa

In the back of a courtyard, in a big building, you have three different bars managed by the same very good people. The first bar is very modern, all is in concrete, a DJ is mixing more electronic music and at the bar you can find delicious strong fruits alcohols. This one is really fancy and without any surprise it’s my favorite of the three! The second one is more a restaurant that serves mexican food (delicious). The third one is a beer bar with another DJ. In this one you have wooden tables, comfy sofas and many kind of very good beers. I personally love this place since it suits all tastes…so no need to argue with your buddies on where to go!

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Credits: Calvert Journal

Address: Ulitsa Pokrovka, 17

 

  • Mitzva Bar

The Mitzva Bar is a fancy place to have tasty and unusual cocktails. With many and exclusive combinations, the Mitza Bar won’t disappoint you. You have comfy sofas to sit in and drink your almost tailored cocktail. In addition, the ornaments of the bar are… nice! It basically takes elements from every major conspiracy theories. The result is a funny and beautiful bar!

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Credits: Mitzva Bar

Address:  Ulitsa Pyatnitskaya, 3/4 с.1

 

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

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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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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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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!

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  • 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

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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!

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  • 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)

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  • 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!

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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!

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  • 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!

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Top 8: What to do in Moscow in May

May is a wonderful month in Russia. Mainly because the Sun is finally out. So when you live in Moscow, May is always like entering Heaven after a long period in Hell (super cold Hell). You finally leave cold, snow, ice, and slippery roads to welcome sun, heat, colors, flowers, ice-cream and music. In May Moscow is back to life as Muscovites spend all their time outside after being kept inside for 8 months. But as a result the city knows a huge amount of new things to do, try and experience. A bit lost? Follow us!

 

 

Velobike are coming back on April 25th! I know it’s not exactly May but this is a great news and May will be the perfect occasion to celebrate it. Moscow offers the opportunity to rent bikes for short or longer period of time for really cheap and just let it back in any of the 400 stations. As in the last years, the first 30 minutes are free of charge. So on May sunny days you must rent one and explore Moscow center and parks.

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  • City celebrations: 1st and 9th of May

In addition to the sun and heat (well for Moscow’s standards of course), there are two main reasons to gather all in the city center in May: the 1st and 9th of May celebrations! The 1st of May is Labor day. As a result all Muscovites are enjoying their holiday exploring the city and its colorful parks, eating cheap but exquisite ice-creams. Trust them, they know what’s good, and you should do the same!

But the most impressive celebration is by far the 9th of May. And not only because you can see the Russian Army favourite toys on the Red Square. To me the most impressive thing is what follows the military parade and aviation show. What catch me out of breath each year is the gathering of thousands of Russians in the city center, walking on the Tverskaya to the Kremlin with portraits of their fallen parents and flags. Along with music, old films, food and drinks, it creates a unique atmosphere!

Tips: to avoid the crowd, check for the rehearsals!

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More than a classic Middle Age festival for rednecks or fanatics, the St George Knights Tournaments is a very high quality world-known show and exhibition that worth the visit. Held in the stunning and Unesco registered park of Kolomenskoye the St George Knights Tournament attracts each year thousands of visitors and professional knights from all over the world. During 3 days, knights will compete in different categories, traditional dances and balls will be organised and visitors will be able to eat and drink special dishes and drinks coming straight from the Ritsari period. Careful though, workshops are organised for children and you do not want to be stabbed in your sleep…nor beaten by them the next time you plays “swords”.

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Speaking of parks, Gorky is a famous one that we speak a lot about (and it’s one you should definitely explore by velobike). But on the 19th and 20th of May, Gorky will host the Polytech festival. A great opportunity to discover and learn more on the last technological improvements. Though as an educational festival of science, the Polytech festival is made for the pleasure of all. A great way to spend a sunny afternoon and raise smart kiddos…or just appear as even more intelligent at your next family dinner.

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This one may be for without-child-adults or for I-have-a-super-mother-that-babysit-my-monsters-adults. On May 26th at 6pm, the famous Fantomas rooftop is reopening! Located in the very heart of Moscow, this rooftop bar and club is a must-do for party animals. With the finest program, great cocktails and a stunning view on Moscow, the Fantomas is definitely on our list of what to do in May… so lets meet their on the 26!

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With the Sun and heat (Moscow standards), walking accross the Russian Capital in May is more than a pleasure. That’s why Tsar Visit organises walking tours of Moscow everyday! You’ll discover some famous parts of Moscow as the Arbat district and the stunning Christ the Savior cathedral. So take comfy shoes, sunglasses and prepare your camera!

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Tsar Visit organises a tour of the Bolshoy backstages. Why in May? Because the season is about to end and it would be a shame to miss this opportunity! The symbol of Moscow and Russian art, and a theatre renowned around the world, the Bolshoy Theatre is a fascinating part of Moscow life. Explore behind the scenes of the sumptuous theatre that has presenting the greatest ballets, operas, and concerts since 1776. You’ll discover the historic stage and maybe be able to watch the rehearsals!

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May is the perfect occasion to do a guided tour of the marvelous Kolomenskoye Estate! The ancient domain of the Moscow princes, and then the Czars of Russia from the 14th century, Kolomenskoye Park is a greenspace where the Museum and the Church of the Ascension, the first church made of stones in an octagonal shape in Russia and classified as UNESCO World Heritage Site, are nested. This is a relaxing and instructive excursion in the heart of Russian nature.

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

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Top 10: Imperial Russia

One of the most vivid symbol of Russia in everyone’s mind is its imperial past. Ivan the Terrible, Peter the Great, Catherine II, Nicholas II, Anastasia Romanov are the names that everyone knows either from their sweet taste for history or for movies. Russia has a glorious past that continues to attract billions of tourists every year. But if most of the czarist legacies are located in St Petersburg, it would be a mistake to bypass some crucial places! So wear your most beautiful costume and dive with us into history!

 

Imperial summer residences are numerous in St Petersburg’s neighbouring but not all are equally beautiful. Thankfully, Tsar Visit is organising a very special tour to help you discover the Czars’ most outstanding palaces. You will begin your day at the Pavlovsk Palace. A palace with a facade in shades of yellow with white columns (fancy). You will then go to the town of Pushkin, formerly called Tsarskoye Selo, to continue your journey into Imperial Russia by visiting the sumptuous Catherine Palace (super fancy). But don’t forget that these palaces would be nothing without their gardens (well, except for Catherine Palace, which has the Amber Room…) you must take time to explore them!

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Obviously, the most important and biggest palaces of all is the Hermitage. As the official residence of the Czar, the Hermitage was the very heart of the Russian Empire. Its seizing in 1917 became a symbol of the revolutions and the end of the Imperial Russia. Moreover, the Hermitage became through the centuries the biggest museum on Earth! You would be a fool not to visit it while in St Petersburg…

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  • Peterhof Palace (St Petersburg)

Peter the Great’s summer residence is beautifully amazing. Its sumptuous and rich interiors are only competing with its gardens. Peterhof is for sure the most beautiful Imperial palace in Russia. Indeed it copied Louis XIV’s palace of Versailles. However you must visit Peterhof in summer. Why? First because you can access it by the canal, and this will show to the people what kind of person your are. Second because the fountains are working. Don’t misunderstand me on this. Peterhof goldish fountains themselves are worth the visit as they have been erected as part of the garden…and to please the Czar’s taste for water games. Cheeky!

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  • Tsarskoye Selo (St Petersburg)

Tsarskoye Selo is a small village in St Petersburg’s neighbouring. But Tsarskoye Selo hosts two magnificent palaces, two Imperial summer residences which are definitely worth the visiting. Go to Tsarskoye Selo, and visit both the Alexander Palace (currently under restoration) and the Catherine Palace. But don’t do it in a hurry, you don’t want to miss the opportunity of exploring their english-styled parks!

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  • Yusupov Palace (St Petersburg)

But Imperial Russia and the Czarist regime weren’t all about the Romanov. The Yusupovs constituted at the end of the Russian Empire, the second most powerful (after the Romanov of course) and the richest family in Russia. Those understood everything: money, power, charity but staying next to, not in, the spotlight. As a result they possessed several palaces in the very center of St Petersburg. The most beautiful of them is the Yusupov Palace on the Moyka. A must do! (at least because Rasputin died in these walls).

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  • House of the boyars Romanov (Moscow)

One would think that Czars, Romanov, Imperial Russia are words that can’t go with St Petersburg. This is obviously a mistake! If you’re really into the Russian Empire, you must visit were it all started: the House of the boyars Romanov. Located in Moscow’s very heart (and currently under restoration), this treasure from the past is the house (calling it a palace would be a bit much) of the Romanov right before the Russian Empire and Peter the Great. And in addition to the emotion given by the Romanov souvenir, you’ll dive into the Russian Middle-Age!

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  • Alexander Nevsky Lavra (St Petersburg)

I already wrote a lot about the Alexander Nevsky Lavra, how its peculiar atmosphere and stunning architecture made a great impression on me. I also explained why this Lavra is one of the most important religious sight in St Petersburg. But the Alexander Nevsky Lavra is also deeply linked to the Russian Empire and the Czars. Why? Well check its name! Indeed the Monastery was built in 1710 to welcome the relics of Saint Alexander Nevsky but precisely where Alexander Nevsky defeated the Swedes in 1210. The Lavra is interlinked to the Russian Empire and marks Peter the Great’s intention to establish the new Northern Capital in Holy Russia.

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  • The Fabergé Museum (St Petersburg)

We spoke a lot about palaces but one dimension of the Imperial Russia is definitely its peculiar culture, arts and crafts. The Czars contributed to the development and rise of Russian craftmasters in the Empire and in Europe. One of the best and most famous, is Fabergé. His eggs, and all his artefacts, are among the most beautiful and meaningful jewels made under the Russian Empire. More than artefacts, they are pieces of art and one of the last legacies of the Romanov today. It’s a definitely a must-see! (these eggs drive me crazy).

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  • Peter and Paul fortress (St Petersburg)

As a fan of the Romanov and while exploring St Petersburg, you have to go visit the Peter and Paul fortress. Despite the fact that it’s one of the most interesting and visited site of St Petersburg, the Peter and Paul fortress is before all (at least for us, who know the perfection of the Romanov) the place where are lying almost all members of the Imperial family. A great place to remember the Imperial Russia… and think about the tragic destiny of Nicholas II and his family.

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  • Alexey Mikhailovich Romanov palace (Moscow)

Before being St Petersburg, the Russian capital was Moscow, even under the Romanov. That’s why you should visit Alexey Mikhailovich Romanov palace. A place that marks the Romanov transition from being boyards (nobles) to being Russian emperors. This majestic wooden palace highlights the rise of the Romanov but also is a testimony of the Russian noble life between the Middle Age and the Empire in the heart of Kolomenskoye estate!

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