One of the most politically powerful and uncomprehendingly gargantuan countries on earth is Russia. Spanning a mind-bending land area of 6.5 million square miles – almost twice as large as the Sahara – Russia has a motley landscape. Read some travel articles about Russia to help you decide what you want to see and where to go to see it. The ‘oblast’ (zones) are divided into icy tundra, snow-capped mountain ranges, dense birch and fir forests, and legend-filled steppes. Frozen as it may often be portrayed, Russia has sun-dappled beaches too! After all, this enormous country has a coastline of 23,000 miles! Browse through Russia travel blogs to get an idea of where you can get the most satisfaction in one nifty itinerary.
Then there are quaint ‘dacha’ (cottages), magnificent palaces, coquettishly spired churches, and time-capsule villages made of wood. For the ultimate outdoor thrills, there are the vast expanse of Siberia, the pointy Urals, and the deepest of the deep Lake Baikal. You would need to find local outfitters to get you to and through these crowd-free regions; let recommendations from Russia travel blogs guide you. Culture vultures may want to stay close to Moscow, the capital, and St. Petersburg, once the residence of tsars. But if you want a good look of the entire Russia, a cockpit seat from a MiG-25 may just be all you need to view everything in one sitting.
Russia Travel Blog Tips and Hints:
- Visa: For travelers requiring visa, getting one needs a visa invitation, which in turn requires a letter of confirmation from government-approved travel agencies that you have made the necessary reservation and pre-payment. If you travel by train and pass through Belarus, you would need another visa to transit. If you are a student, you would need a separate exit visa.
- Time Zones: With its sheer size, Russia spans nine time zones. You need to keep this in mind when catching a flight (airports use local time) or boarding a train (except for Sakhalin railways, all timetables follow Russian Railways time). Keep updated from Russia travel blogs of train departures and frequency of flights.
- Transport: Russia is well-connected by road, rail and flights to major cities in Europe, the Middle East and capital cities of Central Asia. Road conditions, however, are poor and insufficiently marked, if at all, and getting around by rental car outside of major cities can be prohibitive. To get an idea whether traveling to a certain region by bus or car hire is feasible, read some Russia travel blogs before you finalize your plans. The best way to travel in-country, if you are not in a hurry, is by train; by plane if you are. If you can put up with a weeklong train journey, which will connect you all the way to Ulaanbaatar, Harbin and Beijing, then the Trans-Siberian road trip is unmatched.
- Safety: As long as you remain sober, you should be able to keep a vigilant eye against unsavory characters that haunt busy main streets. The Russians were once under a despotic police state, so locals may be hesitant to lend a hand to travelers caught in questionable situations. Certain parts of the country, particularly in the North Caucasus, are off-limits to tourists, and if they do insist, should go in knowing that they could be at high risk.