As one of countries starting with R, Russia or officially the Russian Federation is the largest country in the world and spreads over the continents of Europe and Asia. Politically, the country is located in Europe because the vast majority of the population and major cities are located in this part. Geographically, most of Russia is in Asia. The administrative division of the country today is divided into oblasts, autonomous republics, krais, autonomous districts and federal cities.
Not much is known about the earliest inhabitation of Russia. What is known is that the northwestern part and the western part of Russia were inhabited by Slavic and Finnish tribes. The southern part was inhabited by Scythians and Huns. Later trading posts were established so that trade could be conducted with the Greeks, Romans and Byzantines. In the early Middle Ages, it was the Swedes who descended the rivers and built several trading posts. These Vikings came to call themselves Varjacht and took over power. Kiev became the capital.
After this period, Russia fragmented and it would take until the Tsars came in before the country would become reasonably united again. Ivan the Great was the first to call himself “Tsar of all Russia”. At the beginning of the seventeenth century, the Romanovs came to power and until the beginning of the twentieth century, they no longer had power out of their hands. Some great names from this period are Peter the Great and Catherine the Great. Both tried to westernize Russia.
At the end of the eighteenth century and the beginning of the nineteenth century, the Russian Empire was considerably expanded by several wars. Finland and parts of Siberia were added to Russia, among others. In the century that followed, the Tsars succeeded each other, each with their own wars and problems. With Tsar Nicholas II, the Tsars in Russia came to an end in 1917. But not before he signed the Russian mobilization in 1914 and killed more than three million Russians. The February Revolution will eventually lead to the death of the Tsar. This was followed by the October Revolution, both of which are part of the Russian Revolution that eventually led to the Soviet Union with Vladimir Lenin in power. After Lenin’s death, power was taken over by Joseph Stalin. He ruled over Russia until 1953 with all the consequences that entailed. It would take until the 1980s for Russia to re-approach the West. The Soviet Union has again fallen apart and consists of many fragmented countries again. Today, Russia is in many cases an ally of the West and is today an important gas supplier. Today, this gas is the country’s main source of income.
Russia is not really a popular holiday destination. The cities of Moscow and Saint Petersburg see quite a lot of tourists on an annual basis, but then it stops. This is not entirely justified because this beautiful country has a lot to offer.
The cities of Moscow and Saint Petersburg are the most popular destinations within Russia. In addition, places like Yekaterinburg, Krasnodar, Samara, Sochi, Kazan and Rostov-na-Donu are quite popular destinations within Russia. But as already mentioned, most tourists come to Russia to see Moscow or St. Peterbnurg with their own eyes. The main sights in Moscow are Red Square, Manege Square, Ostankino Tower (the highest tower in Europe), the Kremlin, Lenin’s Mausoleum and Saint Basil’s Cathedral.
The most famous sights in Saint Petersburg are the Palace Square, the Hermitage Museum, the Peterhof Peter and Paul Fortress and the Catherine Palace. Of course, Russia has much more to offer than just these two cities. Think, for example, of the beautiful Lake Baikal, the Yugyd National Park, and of course the vast Siberia.
If you want to encounter many of the highlights during a tour through Russia, you can follow the so-called “Golden Ring of Russia”. This tourist route starts and ends in Moscow. During this multi-day tour, the length and different cities and places that are visited differ greatly per provider, you will visit places such as Aleksandrov, Ivanovo, Kostroma, Murom, Palech, Plyos, Rostov, Tutaev and Vladimir. Another fun way to discover much of this vast country is with the Trans Siberian Express. This train ride starts in Moscow and takes you on a seven-day journey through Russia to finally arrive in the port city of Vladivostok.
Russia has about twenty-five inscriptions on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It’s an even mix between cultural and natural entries. The first registration took place only in 1990. This involved the historic center of Saint Petersburg and the various monuments that go with it. Next are the wooden church buildings on the island of Kizhi. The most beautiful are on the heritage list under the name Kizji Pogost. The Kremlin in Moscow was also added in this year. Later on, among others, the architectural ensemble of the Triniti Sergius Lavra in Sergiev Posad, the white monuments of Vladimir and Suzdal, the Kazan Kremlin and the Novodevichy Monastery.
Some of the natural inscriptions are the Virgin Komi Forests, Lake Baikal, the volcanoes of Kamchatka, the Western Caucasus, the Uvs Nuur Basin, and the Putorana Mountains. Some of the entries must be shared by Russia with one of the neighboring countries. Struve’s Geodesic Arc even crosses ten countries
In Russia, partly due to the vastness of the country, a great diversity of climate types occur. In no other country in the world are there such great climate differences as in Russia. Most of Russia has a cold or moderate continental climate. In Siberia, the cool or cold continental climate occurs. The winters in this region are very dry. In the southwestern part of Russia, there are several land climates and steppe climates. The extreme northeastern part of Russia has a high mountain climate. The northernmost part has a tundra climate that changes into the ice climate.
The winter months are very cold in most of Russia. In many places, the mercury does not rise above freezing for several months. Average temperatures are about minus six during the day and minus 12 at night. In extreme cases, the mercury here can drop to minus forty. However, this can differ per part of Russia. In general, it can be said that the northern parts of Russia are colder than the southern parts.
The summer months are warm and pleasant throughout Russia, the mercury rises above ten degrees Celsius in the summer months. In the more southern, eastern or western parts of Russia, the average daytime temperature will even exceed twenty degrees Celsius during this period.
Russia is the largest country in the world with a total area of more than seventeen million square kilometers. Russia has land borders with the countries of Azerbaijan, Belarus, China, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Mongolia, North Korea, Norway, Poland, Ukraine. Poland and Lithuania do not border Russia itself but the Kaliningrad exclave. Together with China, Russia has the most neighboring countries.
The highest mountain in Russia is Mount Elbrus. This 5,642 meter high mountain is located in the Greater Caucasus near the border with Georgia. Almost all major mountains in Russia are located in the Greater Caucasus. In total, six mountains can be found here above five thousand meters. Other mountain ranges in Russia are the Ural Mountains, the Altai Mountains, the Eastern Sayan, the Central Mountains, the Stanovoy Plateau and at least twenty other ranges with peaks above fifteen hundred meters.
In total, there are forty national parks and more than a hundred nature reserves in Russia.
The main rivers in the European part of Russia are the Volga, the Don, the Kama and the Dnieper. The main rivers in the Asian part are the Ob, the Irtysh, the Yenisei, the Lena and the Amur. In Russia you can also find the oldest lake in the world, Lake Baikal. This lake was formed here about twenty-five million years ago and is still one of the ten largest lakes in the world. Other major lakes in Russia include Lake Laddoga, the Caspian Sea, and the Aral Sea. In addition to the Kaliningrad exclave, the islands and the archipelagos of Nova Zemlya, Franco-Joseph Islands, Northland, New Siberian Islands, Vrangel, Commander Islands, Kuril and Sakhalin belong to Russia.
The largest, most important and well-known cities in Russia are the capital Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Samara, Omsk, Kazan, Chelyabinsk, Rostov-on-Don, Ufa and Volgograd. All these cities have more than one million inhabitants.
All travel to certain areas in Russia is discouraged. This is mainly due to the terrorist threat that exists in some parts of Russia. In addition, there is serious crime and there are a number of unsafe areas. Serious crime in Russia is generally aimed at the local population and not at tourists. Still, in major cities such as Moscow and St. Petersburg, you have to be wary of pickpockets and pickpockets.
Travel to North Ossetia and Karachayevo-Cherkessia is discouraged in its entirety because of an increased terrorist threat. Travel to Dagestan, Chechnya, Ingushetia, Kabardino-Balkaria, the southern and eastern border area of Stavropolski Krai with Abkhazia are also discouraged. Traveling to and through Abkhazia will lead to your Russian visa being seen as expired and will be seen by Georgia as an illegal travel through their country.
For a trip to and through Russia you must be in possession of a passport that is valid for at least another six months on the date of your return and that has at least two blank pages. In addition, you must be in possession of a visa. You can apply for this visa at the consulate of the Russian Federation in The Hague. For this you must be in possession of a “tourist visa support letter”, the voucher of the trip, a recent passport photo and a copy of your health insurance policy stating that it is valid in Russia. A Russian visa is valid for a maximum of thirty days. Children under the age of twelve must also have their own passport and visa.
|Phone (country code)||7|
|Language(s) (official)||Russian, Tartar, East Slavic and many other official languages|
|Language(s) (colloquial)||Russian and over thirty other languages|
|Time zone(s)||UTC+3 to UTC+12 excluding UTC+5|
|Time difference summer||In Russia it is 2 to 11 hours later than in the Netherlands|
|Time difference winter||In Russia it is 2 to 11 hours later than in the Netherlands|
|Daylight Saving Time Control||yes, but this runs differently than in the Netherlands, so the time difference is sometimes greater or smaller.|