Why travel to Russia: Reasons to go

The Russian Federation also known as Russia is the world's largest country and yet its not on too many peoples' itineraries. Alright, some people might not be interested at all, and some might experience problems getting a Russian visa, but those who do travel to Russia are considered intelligent, sophisticated and open-minded people. Rightfully so.

Moscow, Moskau, Moskva... Now then, this is a seriously big town. If Culture is your bag of hammers it will offer such sights as will satisfy intellectual cravings of the highest degree, if you are a red-light fiend its all yours: the nightclubs, the women, the scene...

St. Petersburg, St. Pete, Leningrad, Piter... Once Russia's capital, now Moscow's little brother with the pace of life seriously slowed down by the people's more laid back attitude and the lack of big players in the form of corporate industries, the town still has its moments. In comparison with Moscow it will offer a slicker, more streamlined version of cultural wealth and entertainment. The creation of Peter the Great who was determined to drag the country out of a medieval state, it has more imported architectural styles per square mile than any other place on the Earth, not to mention its celebrated Russian opera  and Russian ballet traditions brought in by generations of women-rulers in the 18th century.

Both Moscow and St. Petersburg still offer landmarks of war and piece: the Russian Revolution and Civil War, the Stalin years, the Second World War...

However these two cultural monsters do not possess some of the qualities many smaller places do. The Golden Ring, Zolotoe Koltso in Russian, the cultural belt of small medieval towns that includes Vladimir, Suzdal, Yaroslavl, Kostroma, Vologda and some even smaller towns and villages, offers stunning examples of traditional wooden architectural design all connected to the long standing traditions of the Orthodox Church and simple life of villains.

The development of industrial sites into settlements in the Urals, Siberian Plain and Far East has created a great number of modern towns such as Novosibirsk or Vladivostok each bearing signs of the local culture but influenced by the state and immediate neighbours such as China or Japan.

Many people travel to Russia to see it all from The Trans-Siberian Railway. Remember, there isn't a better opportunity to get to know real Russians than to spend several days and nights with them on a train. You will get to see what they eat and drink and how they entertain themselves. When choosing your route, bear in mind that you will need to budget for stops as the train is no hotel on wheels. Most of people choose to have a stop over in one of the places they want to see in close-up, such as Ekaterinburg or Lake Baikal.

Folks, there isn't a place in the world that has such diverse cultural and public relations as Russia does at the moment. To witness it properly means to visit this very last country of the planet that is not yet universalised. Visiting Russia is like slipping into a parallel dimension where the same rules do not apply. Travellers of the West, unite and use the opportunity while you can, for soon it will be too late! Big towns such as Moscow or St. Petersburg are already trying to get as westernised as they possibly can and this means that much of the good old soviet country is being wiped out or mutated into its most unrecognisable form. However even these towns present such bastardised version of the western society that it would make any intelligentsia's day just to compare the effects of Russian economic policy with that of Mr. Smith! For those seeking a more authentic experience the rest of the country is not yet as explored and true Russian rituals of everyday life are still exercised. But brothers and sisters, all of the above aside, many Russian towns are so painstakingly beautiful it would be shame not to see them, not to know the people, not to connect...