The political, scientific, historical, architectural and business center of Russia, Moscow displays the country's contrasts at their most extreme. The ancient and modern are juxtaposed side by side in this city of 10 million. Catch a metro from one of the ornate stations to see Red Square, the Kremlin, the nine domes of St. Basil's Cathedral, Lenin's Mausoleum, the KGB Museum and other symbols of Moscow's great and terrible past, then lighten up and shop Boulevard Ring or people watch in Pushkin Square.
The second largest city in Russia, St. Petersburg is the country’s cultural heart. View splendid architectural gems like the Winter Palace and the Kazan Cathedral, and give yourself plenty of time to browse the world-renowned art collection of the Hermitage. Sprawling across the Neva River delta, St. Petersburg offers enough art, nightlife, fine dining and cultural destinations for many repeat visits.
The biggest resort town on what's called the "Russian Riviera," Sochi host the 2014 Winter Olympics. Somewhat ironically, Sochi is really quite temperate for most of the year, with its Black Sea waters warm and swimmable well into October. The Arboretum and Riviera Park are among the city’s most popular destinations. Serving as a beautiful backdrop for Sochi are the Caucasus Mountains, home to the nearby snow skiing resort of Krasnaya Polyana.
Rostov on Don
Rostov on Don is the gateway to the Northern Caucasus region, the historical hotbed of Cossack culture and peasant uprisings. It is a pleasant city of green parks and monumental squares. Nowadays, it’s southern Russia’s largest and most cosmopolitan city. Flowing through the city is the Don River, a geographic and cultural landmark.
Anapa is a town in Krasnodar Krai, Russia, located on the northern coast of the Black Sea near the Sea of Azov. The town boasts a number of sanatoria and hotels. Anapa, like the other Black Sea coast resorts, has a superb sunny summer climate and beautiful, mostly sandy beaches.
On the banks of the Volga River, Kazan sits austerely, its cityscape a visual confection of architecture that somehow manages to be both playful and severe. No matter your spiritual inclination, you simply must visit the Temple of All Religions, a Technicolor cultural center.
Voronezh is a city and the administrative center of Voronezh Oblast, Russia, straddling the Voronezh River. Since 1868, there is a railway connection between Voronezh and Moscow. Rail services form a part of the South Eastern Railway of the Russian Railways. Destinations served direct from Voronezh include Moscow, Kiev, Kursk, Novorossiysk, Sochi, and Tambov. Today Voronezh is the economic, industrial, cultural, and scientific center of the Central Black Earth Region.
Bordered by the Kotorosl and Volga rivers, the historic city center of Yaroslavl is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The religious architecture is breathtaking and surreal, especially the emerald-domed Church of Elijah the Prophet and the gilded towers of the Assumption Cathedral. Numerous theaters, a philharmonic, a planetarium and a permanent circus round out the city’s art scene. Keep an eye on the time: Every hour on the hour, the proud namesake of the Monument to Bear statue gives a triumphant roar.