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Russian Culture To Do in Moscow To Do in Saint-Petersburg Top Travelers Advices Traveling in Russia

3 reasons why to do dog-trekking in Russia (in Moscow and in Saint-Petersburg)

What is dog-trekking?

Dog-trekking in Moscow
Dog-trekking in Moscow

 

Dog-trekking becomes more popular every year amongst nature and animal lovers especially, who want to combine their passions for fresh air, natural landscapes and interaction with animals together. So, basically dog-trekking is an activity when a dog is strapped to one’s back with a rope and together with a dog you go for a walk in the nature – to the forest or alongside the river bank. The dogs are taking people for a walk actually as they are the ones guiding trough the nature. Hereunder you may find 3 good reasons why to do dog-trekking in Russia this summer or every other summer possible:

Trekking in the Nature in Moscow
Trekking in the Nature in Moscow

 

  • To enjoy natural landscapes

For more than anything else, dog-trekking is famous for the opportunity it gives to enjoy the nature. Dog-trekking is usually done in the most beautiful and picturesque places of an area. In Moscow, for instance, where we do our Tsar Visit dog-trekking + kayaking tour, people walk alongside the Moscow River and they can see the unique rope bridge and enjoy cool summer winds from the river. Also, people go through the forest with different fresh water streams and flower fields.

Dog-trekking in Saint-Petersburg
Dog-trekking in Saint-Petersburg

 

  • To meet husky dogs of 4 northern breeds

Dog-trekking is an activity that is focused on dogs – main protagonists. In Russia the dogs’ breed is naturally husky – Siberian huskies, Alaskan huskies, Laikas and Malamuts. These dogs have an absolute love for humans and they are happy to play and hug with you. Tsar Visit dog-trekking tour usually begins with meeting all the dogs and playing with them. After this unforgettable moment with all the huskies, you will be able to choose one dog with who you would like to go trekking in the forest!

 

Kayaking on Moscow River after dog-trekking
Kayaking on Moscow River after dog-trekking

 

  • To do sports while trekking with husky dogs

What you should know about dog-trekking is that it is more than just a walk – it is a sports activity. Although it requires no special preparation and no special abilities, you still have to be prepared for doing sports. 5-km route that we propose on Tsar Visit in Moscow and in St. Petersburg contains various parts that require some speed and balance. Moreover, huskies are a strong and extremely active breed, so you must be very focused during the trip. Also, in Moscow you may add kayaking to your tour and your route will be 6-km of dog-trekking and 6-km back on kayaks with professional instructors. In Saint Petersburg after the dog-trekking tour you will be able to do some rowboat riding on a wonderful lake!

Rowboat riding on the lake in St. Petersburg
Rowboat riding on the lake in St. Petersburg

 

To sum up, dog-trekking is a very new, but already extremely popular activity in Russia. Both in Moscow and in St. Petersburg it is famous for being a great opportunity to spend time on fresh air observing beautiful natural landscapes, reuniting with animals, studying about husky breed and doing sports at the same time!

Dog-Trekking in Russia
Dog-Trekking in Russia

 

We definitely recommend you to go for it and if you do, you will cherish those memories forever!

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Russian Culture To Do in Moscow To Do in Saint-Petersburg Traveling in Russia

SIBERIAN HUSKIES: dogs or wolves?

The belief that Siberian Huskies are a breed of wolves is widely spread. But is this theory a myth that has passed down through the centuries or is it a reality?

Where are Siberian Huskies coming from ?

To find the origins of Siberian Huskies, we have to travel back in time in a legendary Russian region: Siberia.

We found the track of the first huskies thanks to the Chukchi, inhabitants of the extreme Russian East, who used huskies for many purposes:

  • To haul the heavy sleds of the inhabitants: strapped together, huskies are physically strong and able to carry heavy loads such as blocks of ice or people on sleds
  • Alert the inhabitants: in case of danger or intrusion in the village, the huskies had a role of warning the population
  • Look after children: as they are a loving animal, huskies had to watch over children while they were playing and sleep with them to warm them up during cold winters 

For the Chukchi people, the true origin of huskies is related to an ancestral legend. Siberian Huskies would be the result of the union between a wolf and the moon. To them, it explains the close appearance between huskies and wolves and their tail with a moon crescent shape.

A Siberian shaman performing – Russia

Siberian huskies became famous thanks to the mythical All Alaska Sweepstake, a sledding competition that was taking place from 1908 to 1917. In 1910, a Siberian Husky crew reached the third place for the first time, competing with crews traditionally composed of Alaskan Malamute only. After that, sled leaders begun to compose their sleds only with Siberian huskies… and their efficiency didn’t have to be proven anymore as they were always winning the competition.

What makes Siberian huskies unique ?

The appearance of Siberian Huskies may be often misleading. Indeed, many breeds look similar and we can confuse them with Alaskan Huskies. The Siberian Husky is also considered as a “dog-wolf” as he shares many features with his cousin, but it is easy to recognise a true Siberian Husky thanks to some details. 

Firstly, the Siberian Husky has a large fur, which can go from black to white or brown. As the dog sheds his fur twice a year, it is possible to follow him thanks to his lost hair!

Secondly, Siberian huskies are recognisable thanks to some distinctive features:

  • Eyes: they are almond shaped, they can be blue, brown or both colors !
  • Body: the body is slim, well proportioned and has a sporty look
  • Face: He has a round face that gets sharpened to the level of the nose.
Russia - Huskies
Siberian Huskies – Russia

Where to meet Siberian Huskies in Russia ?

Nowadays, it’s very easy to meet Siberian Huskies! We mostly find them in specialized farms (kennels) where they are correctly fed and trained. In these farms, they receive all the care they need, and many visitors are coming to meet them. Such farms are located all around Russia, near main cities, like Moscow or St. Petersburg.

This dog needs to move and to live in large spaces in which he can let off steam. He is not a dog that tolerates confinement and requires at least two hours of activity per day! Sporty by nature, he likes to hike in summer in the wild plains, mountains or forest. 

Because of this, dog-trekking is gaining popularity in Russia. The concept: a dog is strapped to you through a special belt, and you go hiking together. The dog is the guide and leads the way! This is a fantastic experience for dog and nature lovers. If you spend summer in Russia and want to try it, do not hesitate to check our dog-trekking tours in Moscow or St. Petersburg.

Russia - Huskies
Dog-trekking with Siberian Huskies in summer – Russia

Siberian Huskies are mostly famous for surviving to very diverse temperatures. With their thick fur, they are used to run in the snow by very low temperatures (sometimes below – 40° C!), and feel better in winter than during hot summers. Their fur protects them from the cold, which is needed for dog-sledding runs. Although they are very resistant to the snow, mushers are more and more equipping them with booties to protect their paws. In Russia, you may find a lot of farms to practice dogsledding, a must-do when traveling in Russia in winter! You can check our dog-sledding tours in Moscow or St. Petersburg here.

Russia - Huskies
Dog-sledding with Siberian Huskies

So, are Siberian huskies closer to the dog or the wolf ?

Siberian Huskies are definitely not wolves! They are a unique dog breed which shares a true love for human. They have a huge loyalty towards their master. They are very sensitive and perceive their owner feelings. They are very attached to their team and their strength make them the perfect fellow traveller.

If you want to meet Siberian Huskies while traveling in Russia : do not hesitate to contact us!

 

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Travelers Advices

Where to stay in St Petersburg?

For once I will start an article with a confession. Well, no need to be that excited. I’m not living in St Petersburg and I’ve only been there 3 times (still better than nothing right?). That’s why this article will be shorter than the one on Moscow, and more tourists oriented  than for expats. But I am still writing it so it will be as good as usual. Thing is with St Petersburg, the city is smaller than Moscow, less expensive and absolutely stunning. That is why you can afford living in the very center, where the city is truly active, or in very trendy quarters.

 

Nevsky

Where?

Nevsky is the heart of Petersburg. It’s a big boulevard with lot of shops, restaurants, cafés and historic sites. Nevsky links all the major sites and places of St Petersburg’s city center. You can not do more central.


Why?

Of course for its location. But also because Nevsky combines all the main sites of St Petersburg. This quarter is perfect for both tourists that can find a reasonable and comfortable accomodation in the very heart of the city, and locals that will have all activities, shops, restaurants and cafés in less than 15min walking.


What to do?

St Petersburg main sites such as the Ermitage, Christ the Savior on the Spilled Blood, St Isaac, Our Lady of Kazan cathedral, the Russian Museum…

Dreamstime © - Saint-Pétersbourg- Cafe Singer

Want to book a tour? Check this out!

 

New Holland

Where?

The New Holland quarter is located in the city center, on the West of Nevsky and St Isaac cathedral.

 

Why?

The New Holland quarter is one of my favorite. It previously was a prison and so not such a good quarter to live in. But the prison closed and the quarter renovated. As a result, it became a trendy quarter with many small restaurants and shops!


What to do?

Visit and eat at the Bottle (Botilka) that is the former prison, transformed in a very nice place with cafés en shops.

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Want to book a tour? Check this out!

 

Vasilievsky Island

Where?

The Vasilievsky Island is on the opposite side of the Neva, right in front of the Admiralty.

Why?

The Vasilievsky Island is a newly renovated quarter not far from Petersburg very heart. As a result it’s a very convenient, comfortable and trendy part of the city. Great to stay there if you plan on discovering the city, but also the current life of Russians living in Petersburg!


What to do?

Despite the proximity of the main touristic sites, you can should visit the spit of the island and the Menshikov Palace.

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Want to book a tour? Check this out!

 

Summer Garden Quarter

Where?

The Summer Garden is located on the east of St Petersburg very heart, on the banks of the Neva.

 

Why?

Although the beauty of the garden itself, this quarter of St Petersburg hosts many historic famous and unknown sites and palaces. Plus, the quarter is also a very trendy one with backstreets hiding delicious restaurants and cafés but also nice shops for hipsters (but like the good ones).


What to do?

In this quarter I highly recommend the famous Summer Garden and Russian Museum of course. But if you want to discover something different, unusual, you must visit the St Ann’s church, a church/theater that burnt some years ago…

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Where to stay in Moscow?

We always emphasise it (but you can’t understand how important it is until you feel it), Russia is big…and so is Moscow! Distances are huge and doing things can quickly became very time consuming. Plus, some parts of Moscow don’t really worth the visit. I mean it’s nice to see and discover what is the traditional Soviet architecture. But… well… no. So while staying in Moscow either for a long or short time, you must choose the neighborhood that will best suits your needs and expectations. So here are some tips and infos.  

 

Lubyanka

Where?

The Lubyanka quarter is located at the north east of the Red Square. Very convenient, it’s about 15min by foot from the Kremlin and can be considered as in Moscow’s very heart!


Why?
First for its location obviously. It’s really close to the Red Square and so to the most symbolic sights of Moscow. But by not being on the Red Square you’ll avoid the crowd and the noise of Moscow’s biggest boulevard. As a result it’s very convenient for both tourists and expats.


What to do?

Lubyanka is mainly known for being the FSB (the Russian secret services) quarter. Indeed Lubyanka is famous for hosting during the USSR the KGB headquarters and so for being the heart of the Soviet repression. In addition Lubyanka is also known as being a “french quarter” and some visits are organised to better know this part of Moscow!

Dreamstime © - Moscou - Place Loubianka - ciel bleu

Want to book a tour? Check this out!

 

 

Chistye Prudy

Where?
Chistye Prudy is located right after Lubyanka on the north east of the Red Square. It makes the border between Moscow’s city center and the rest of the city. In fact Chistye Prudy’s heart is made of the garden circle that constituted the limit of Moscow some centuries ago.

 

Why?
Chistye Prudy is my favorite part of Moscow. First because it’s beautiful since it hosts gardens and ponds.This quarter is very clean and has been renovated some years ago. But also what makes Chistye Prudy my favorite quarter of Moscow is that it’s a more comfy part of the city. With many cafés, restaurants, super nice bars, it’s a quarter to relax and enjoy Moscow, and to remember that there is something for every taste here.

 
What to do?

Chistye Prudy doesn’t host a famous sight or museum. But you have plenty of things to do! Basically this quarter is the perfect one to relax, escape a bit the city and enjoy going in good cafés, restaurants and bars.

Dreamstime @ Moscou - Tchistye Prudi

 

Want to book a tour? Check this out!

 

 

The Old Arbat

Where?

The Old Arbat is a famous quarter located on the east of the Red Square inside the garden ring.


Why?
This quarter of Moscow is one of the most beautiful. It’s mainly composed of a pedestrian street where stand beautiful colourful houses and artists’ shops. It’s another facette of Moscow’s city center that worth the visit due to its artistic and historic heritage.


What to do?

In the Old Arbat the best to do is just to enjoy a walk through it. The best of this quarter is its atmosphere characterised by its artistic and historic heritages. But to that and to really appreciate it, you must book a guided-tour!

Dreamstime © - Moscou - Vieil Arbat.jpg

 

Want to book a tour? Check this out!

 

 

Patriarshye Prudy

Where?
Located on the north east of the Red Square, Patriarshye Prudy is also constituted of the garden ring. This quarter is calm even though being really close to the Tverskaya.


Why?
First for its relaxing atmosphere. But also and above all because it’s Bulgakov’s quarter and so the very origin of “The Master and Margarita”. So if you’ve read the book, you definitely must go have a walk there!


What to do?

As for Chistye Prudy, Patriarshye Prudy is a very good place to chill and relax in gardens. It hosts the very famous Bulgakov’s house-museum that really worth a visit. You’ll also be able to find other great-quality museums. 

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Want to book a tour? Check this out!

 

 

Novokuznetskaya

Where?
Located 10min walk south of the Red Square, Novokuznetskaya is on the other side of the Moskova but remains in the very heart of Moscow.


Why?
Novokuznetskaya is a very nice and pretty quarter of Moscow with a peculiar atmosphere. Made of cafés, restaurants and a stunning church. On the plus side, Novokuznetskaya is close to the Red Square and is the quarter of the Tretyakov Gallery.


What to do?

Despite having a walk in the quarter, the thing you must do in Novokuznetskaya is the Tretyakov Gallery. It’s one of the most famous museum in Russia as it hosts the biggest collection of Russian art in the country.

Dreamstime © - Moscou - Galerie Tretiakov (9).jpg

 

Want to book a tour? Check this out!

 

 

Timiriazevskaya

Where?
In the north of Moscow, outside of Moscow city center and after the second ring, is the quarter of Timirazevskaya. Unknown from most of Muscovites and tourists, this quarter is located close to the famous VDNKh park.


Why?
This quarter is a nice one to live in since it’s residential but modern and calm. To be honest it doesn’t really worth the visit if you’re a tourist, but expats can be interested to live there. The main interest remains the proximity of VDNKh park.


What to do?

There is no much things to do in Timiriaevskaya expect going and visit the amazing VDNKh park and the Cosmonautics museum. VDNKh is a big park that hosted international exhibitions under the USSR. The buildings are surprising and the Cosmonautics museum is both impressive and interesting!

Dreamstime © Moscou - Musée des Cosmonautes (8)

 

Want to book a tour? Check this out!

 

 

Sokolniki

Where?
The Sokolniki quarter is located between Moscow city center and VDNKh. So not too far from the main touristic and interesting places, but away from the noise and the crowd.


Why?

Sokolniki is a nice quarter with a good location that allows you to escape the difficulties of leaving in Moscow city center, and allows you to breath in its big park (like Hyde Park * 4), without going to the other side of the country.


What to do?

The main (well only) thing to do in the Sokolniki quarter is to enjoy nature (the real and wild one). If it’s dedicated to children and so hosts many activities for them, the park offers many things to do. You can walk in the forest, swim, run, skate, horse-ride… Very nice and convenient to chill out during weekends.

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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 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 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: Natural Capitals

Moscow and St-Petersburg are big cities with cars and peoples everywhere. Noises, grey buildings, pollution, crowds are all usual aspects of living in a city. Moreover, being an inhabitant or a tourist, you spend your days walking (if not running) in city centers, public transports and famous sights. So why not taking a deep and relaxing breath in one of Moscow and St Petersburg’s amazing parks? Indeed these two cities hosts absolutely stunning parks and gardens that you must have a walk in!   

  • Gorky Park (Moscow)

My favorite so far…and all year around! In winter (i.e almost all the time) Gorky park, covered of snow (and ice), is magical. For the time of a walk you’re escaping Moscow city center and enjoy a timeless moment in a snowy and welcoming forest. But above all, in winter Gorky park allows you to walk along the iced Moskva river, which is absolutely priceless (and freezing). Hopefully there is also lots of caffé and restaurants! When summer finally comes out of the corner, Gorky park becomes more crowded than the Red Square but the friendly atmosphere (and the sun!) worths the walk…or ride one of the available bikes! And when fall arrives, Gorky park wears is absolutely stunning orange and yellow outfits which makes you understand why Russians call autumn the “golden season”.

Dreamstime © - Moscou - Parc Gorki

  • VDNKh Park (Moscow)

As Gorki park, the VDNKh Park has the greatness of being interesting all year around. Which to be honest is not a small thing when you try to go outside during a fierce winter. The VDNKh park was a an exhibition center to show the efficiency of the Soviet economy. That’s why today VDNKh is more of a recreational complex attracting thousands of people each year. It’s one of Moscow’s most famous and popular park mainly due to its skating-rink in winter, the largest of Russia, and its pavillons, celebrating the USSR glories.

Dreamstime © - Moscou - VDNKh

  • Teply Stan Park (Moscow)

Huge landscape reserve located south of Moscow, the Teply Stan Park is a famous and very popular park in Moscow. Preserved as a mixed Russian forest, it offers to its visitors some very needed fresh air. It also takes you to typical Russian woods, and allows you to, for a day, feel somewhere else…which is a relief when you’ve been staying in Moscow for a while. But more, in the Teply Stan Park you can walk alongside it’s tiny river, rest near its pound, discover the paleontological institute or even, in summer, go sailing! And who doesn’t like to pretend to be a pirate?

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  • Sokolniki Park (Moscow)

Sokolniki park is one of the oldest park in Moscow and one of the largest in Europe (of course). Sokolniki park is considered as one of the oldest park in Moscow because before being a public one, it was a hunting ground for Princes and Tsars. A bit later it became a traditional meeting point for gatherings and festive events. The park benefited from public founding which gave Sokolniki a new youth. Currently the park is divided in 9 sectors, each hosting pavillons and a specific biodiversity. Plus, if you’re kind of a bird-fanatic (aka amateur ornithologists) Sokolniki park also has an ornitary with exotic birds to admire!

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  • Neskuchny Garden (Moscow)

Another “one of the +superlative” park in Moscow (ie one of the oldest). Neskuchny Garden is located closer to the city center than the previous ones. In line with the famous Gorky park, the Neskuchny Garden is beautiful (especially in autumn). You should go there. It’s great. And beautiful.  

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  • Botanical Garden (St-Petersburg)

Being the oldest botanical garden of Russia (seriously, again?), the Botanical Garden of St-Petersburg is now quite significant and hosts numerous plants. It first has been used as the Tsar Apothecary’s Garden, but later transformed in a center for horticultural research. As a result you can explore charming indoor and outdoor gardens and learn more about various plants and biodiversities.

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  • Yusupov Garden (St-Petersburg)

St Petersburg is a lot about canals, tiny streets and palaces. But as a result there isn’t much of green spaces to chill, play or picnic on. That’s why the Yusupov Garden is very popular and important. Located in St-Petersburg city center, the Yusupov garden was a significant part of the Yusupov Palace and so remains today a piece of history. This gem really worth the visit and you definitely have to take time to picnic in this imperial garden!

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  • Summer Garden (St-Petersburg)

St-Petersburg’s summer garden comes straight from the Imperial Russian standards of the 18th century. Similar to French gardens of that time, the Summer Garden has been built on geometrical principles. It also hosts many marble statues representing antic subjects, fountains and rare plants. The summer garden is a real breath of fresh air in the city!

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  • Pavlovsk Palace’s park (St-Petersburg)

The Pavlovsk Palace’s park is a famous park close to the city. I already wrote a lot about it but this park worth the visit (even more than the Palace itself?). Stroll along the tree-lined avenues of this English park, and enjoy the various pavilions dotting it, and be transported to the Imperial Russia!

Tips: take a good camera and you’ll manage to shoot stunning pics of the park and the palace

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  • Tavrichesky park (St-Petersburg)

As the Pavlovsk Palace’s park, the Tavrichesky park is an English-style park…but in the city center! Built by Catherine the Great around the Tavrichesky manor, it includes pavillons, greenhouses (to take care of rare and uncommon plants) and ponds. It’s a famous park for those who (unlike me) spend their weekends playing chess or doing sport!

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