Top 10 Russian Tourist Attractions

Red Square, Russia

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Russia is one of the most popular destinations globally, attracting millions of visitors every year who hope to understand the mysterious Russian soul. And most of them leave with a burning desire to come back because even one short trip is enough for the biggest country in the world to win your heart.

Unfortunately, it's not possible to see everything there is to see in Russia, but we put together some Russian sights you might want to consider as a starting point of your lifelong Russia discovery.

The Red Square & the St Basil's Cathedral

Of course, there was no competition for the first place on the list of the top sights in Russia. Located in the heart of Moscow, the world-famous Red Square and the picturesque St. Basil's Cathedral stopped being the symbols of just the capital city a long time ago, now they are the symbols of the whole country.

Despite being one of the most visited tourist attractions in the world, the square still remains a veil of mystery covering it. Even the origins of its name are not known for certain, although it's believed that it was called "Red" not because of the color of the Kremlin walls but because centuries ago the word "Red" in Russian also meant beautiful.

Things to See in the Red Square:

  • St. Basil's Cathedral
  • The Kremlin
  • Mausoleum of Lenin
  • Notable Kremlin Towers
  • GUM Shopping Center
  • State Historical Museum
  • Kazan Cathedral

The Russian Louvre & Versailles

The most famous rival of the French art museum, the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg is a place everyone should visit during their Russia trip at least once. You can spend a whole day admiring the masterpieces housed in the museum, and you won't be able to see even 10% of Hermitage's treasures! The museum complex is set in a former palace of the Russian tsars and includes 5 buildings, 350 exhibition rooms, and if you walk through all of them, you will cover the distance of 20 km (12 mi)!

There is one more place in Saint Petersburg that has a strong connection to France, the scenic Peterhof Palace. It was built due to Peter the Great's visit to Europe in 1717 and his admiration of the Versailles. When he came home, he commissioned to expand and modernize the territory of already existing Peterhof Palace, which resulted in the beautiful gardens with spectacular fountains which Peterhof is most known for today.

Fun Facts About the Hermitage:

  • It has 1,057 rooms with 3,150,428 items
  • To see all exhibits would take 15 years
  • About 50 cats are employed in the museum. Their role is to protect items from rats and mice.

Solovetsky Islands

If you can't choose whether it's Russa's history, nature, or maybe spiritual heritage attracts you the most, there is no better place to start your Russia sightseeing than the Solovetsky Islands.


Solovki allows you to kill not even two, but three birds with one stone. The Orthodox Solovetsky Monastery is the main city's attraction and once the most powerful religious center in the country.

During the 20th century, the Solovetsky Islands played an important part in Russia's political life and were one of the most brutal labor camps in the world's history. The archipelago itself is one of the Russian national treasures, boasting some unique flora and fauna, as well as gorgeous views over the White Sea.

The Intercession Convent

Welcome to one of the most remarkable places in Russia's Golden Ring, Intercession Convent located in the beautiful city of Suzdal.


It boasts not just the impressive exteriors, but also the rich and fascinating history. The monastery was founded in the 14th century and over the years it became a place of exile for noble Russian women. At the time, divorce was not an option, so when Russian royalty started to find their wives objectionable due to infertility, treachery, or just because they didn't fancy them anymore, powerful husbands sent their wives to the Intercession Convent. At different points in history, the monastery was home to Ivan the Terrible's mother and several wives, the first wife of Peter the Great, and countless other women whose husbands left their mark in Russia's history.

The Intercession Convent
was founded in the 14th century and over the years it became a place of exile for noble Russian women.

The Ivolginsky Datsan

The heart of Russian Buddhism, the picturesque Buddhist Temple is located in the beautiful beautiful Russian region of Buryatia. Bright and colorful, you won't have a choice but to fall in love with it at first sight. You don't need to know the history of the place to understand the significance of the temple, you just feel it right from the start. If you are lucky, you may be allowed to have a closer look at Ivolginsky Datsan's life and witness some traditional daily rituals, organized to honor guardians of the teaching.

And don't forget to visit the beautiful city of Ulan-Ude, the capital of the Republic of Buryatia, on your way back. For a very long time, the city was close to visitors, allowing the city to develop without strong external influence and making it one of the most fascinating Russian cities.

Lake Baikal

A natural world wonder as considered by some, Lake Baikal is the deepest and oldest lake in the world with fresh water that attracts thousands of travelers annually to come and see its beauty. The Pearl of Siberia, as it is referred to, is suitable for both winter and summer travel due to the lake freezing up in the winter and allowing for dog-sledding, ice-fishing and ice skating to take place.


Alternatively, a summer trip to Baikal will bring you to a place of tranquility where birds are happily chirping their songs as you continue your Siberia exploration around the lake. During summer visitors are welcome to swim in the clear waters of Baikal, which is best enjoyed along the northern shore of Olkhon Island because of warmer and more shallow waters. Enjoy the breathtaking view of the surrounding flora as you sunbathe on the shore of Baikal by adding it to your travel itinerary!


For all the art connoisseurs, this entry on the list may be familiar. The Peterhof Palace is a museum complex that is built in a smaller part of Saint Petersburg, Petergof.


Built in 18th century The Peterhof Palace can be referred to a series of palaces and gardens and was thought to have been built as a direct response by Peter the Great to the Palace of Versailles by Louis XIV. Today, this UNESCO heritage site boasts the interior of the Palaces and showcases three and a half thousand exhibits such as world famous paintings, unique royal furniture, and personal belongings of Russian rulers.

Kizhi Island

An outstanding place to learn about the deeply rooted historic truths about Russia and its close relationship with the religion of Christianity is The pogost of Kizhi.


The Kizhi Island is located in Lake Onega and became famous for being home to the Museum Site of History and Architecture, which is an open air museum that was opened in 1960 after restoring wooden barns, windmills, houses and several churches that were built on the land, as well as the Preobrazhenskaya Church on Kizhi. One of the ways of accessing the island is by catching a ferry from Petrozavodsk, the capital city of the Karelia Region of Northern Russia, however during certain seasons you can reach Kizhi via a cruise ship for utmost your comfort.

The Golden Ring

If you are looking to get the most out of your journey to Russia in one trip or you want to learn in depth about the founding of Rus’, going on a tour around the Golden Ring will be an unforgettable memory full of discoveries, beautiful scenery and mouthwatering cuisine.


Although the list of cities and sights falling under The Golden Ring differs based on people’s experiences, the common route that trains run around the ring starts in Moscow and runs through Sergiyev Posad, Pereslavl, Rostov, Yaroslavl, Rostroma, Ivanovo, Suzdal and Vladimir.

Bolshoi Theatre

Visiting the Bolshoi Theatre even if you dont take interest in ballet is a must when spending time around Moscow. The Bolshoi Ballet and Bolshoi Opera that are held at the Theatre are among the most expert and most known ballet and opera companies in the world.


The company employes over 200 dancers which are enrolled into The Bolshoi Ballet Academy where world leading coaches are preparing for their big annual show. The Bolshoi Theatre’s construction was complete in 1825, in a neoclassical style, by such famous architects as Joseph Bové, Andrei Mikhailov, and Alberto Cavos to fit 2’153 spectators. Today The Bolshoi Theatre has its doors open to any intrigued guest who wishes to indulge in the world of ballet and opera.

As we've mentioned before, this list is far from being complete. But even it can already show how complex and multifaced Russia is. It doesn't matter where you decide to start your adventure, you can be sure that you will end up in love with the beautiful country and make some incredible memories.