Russia is the largest country in the world, Russia’s architecture ranges from quaint and cozy to towering and palatial, and it has a long, rich history that has been the inspiration of countless works of fiction, art, and poetry. Winston Churchill once described Russia as “a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma,” and that sentiment still holds true to visitors who have never experienced such a unique culture.
Russia has a population of over 142 million people, lies across 11 different time zones, and is 1.8 times as large as the USA. In fact, Russia is so large that it covers more than 11 percent of the Earth’s landmass, and 25 percent of the Earth’s fresh water. Given its size, Russia’s climate and culture can be completely different from one region to the next, and the lifestyle of those living in more rural areas is starkly different to that of city-dwellers. If travelling in less urban areas, one might visit the freezing Siberian tundra, the plains that span miles of western Russia, or the Ural Mountains; each of which comes with its own unique cultural and environmental characteristics.
With temperatures that can range from -40 °C in the winter to 35 °C in the summer, anyone hoping to visit Russia should make sure to read up on the region they plan to travel to. The north and Far East of Russia tend to be the coldest, while southern and central Russia tend towards warmer summers and less bitter winters.
Russian cities can also have a great deal of variation. From the baroque palaces of St. Petersburg, to the soviet monuments of Moscow, to the vibrant nightlife of Vladivostok, the cultural and architectural landscape changes from city to city. At the same time, there are countless rural areas that are equally worth a visit. Given the sheer size of the country, a prospective visitor will have to plan ahead and prioritize their travel plans accordingly.