Russia travel: Things to do on your trip to Russia

things to do in Russia
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Russia, the largest country in the world, has a multitude of extraordinary places to discover. Its cities have impressive architecture, with cathedrals, museums and fortresses (known as Kremlins), as well as natural landscapes that will amaze anyone. Join us on this trip to discover all the things to do in Russia.

Cities to see in Russia

things to do in Russia
Qol Šärif Mosque in Kazan, Russia travel @Unsplash

Moscow, the captial of Russia

The heart of Russia, Moscow, is a gigantic city with a population of more than 12 million people. Despite the characteristic cold, this city has deep historical, cultural, architectural and gastronomic heritage for you to discover.

Moscow’s symbolic locations include the Red Square, Moscow’s best-known site. Several of the city’s landmarks such as Lenin’s Mausoleum, the National History Museum and the superb St. Basil’s Cathedral can be found here.

The beautiful St. Basil’s Cathedral, built in the 16th century and declared a World Heritage Site, is a unique piece that has survived the passage of time and different events that threatened its existence.

Other important landmarks in the city include the Kremlin (discussed in detail below), the Bolshoi Theatre and the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. The latter is the largest orthodox church in the world and a stunning monument that dazzles with its white stone and golden domes.

If you want to find out more, you can read our post on Things to do and see in Moscow.

Organise your travel itinerary with Passporter, completely free to use, easy and practical. Get inspired by the experiences of other travellers and choose the places that interest you most by adding them to your route map.

St Petersburg

things to do in Russia
Streets of St Petersburg @Pexels

The Winter Palace, the Mariinsky Theatre, St. Isaac’s Cathedral… St. Petersburg is one of the must-see destinations on your trip to Russia, combining memorable architecture and a wealth of culture that can be seen in its theatres and numerous museums.

If you want to feel like a tsar and immerse yourself in the culture, the symbolic Winter Palace is the place to do so. With a green façade and ostentatious rooms with refined finishes, you will feel like Russian royalty.

The Mariinsky Theatre is another obligatory stop in the city of St. Petersburg and in Russia in general, as it was the imperial theatre of the city and is where the most important operas and ballets of the time were premiered. If you want to enjoy a performance during your trip, you can do so. It is also the only way to get inside the theatre.

So that you don’t miss out on all the things you can see in the city, we have a post for you to discover all the things to do in St. Petersburg.


Dubbed by some as Russia’s third capital and one of the country’s most culturally rich cities, Kazan is a must-see city in Russia.

Between the Volga River and the Kazanka, it is a city of architectural contrasts. It is home to including World Heritage Sites such as the Qol Šärif Mosque, a beautiful mosque inside the city’s Kremlin.

Lose yourself in Bauman Street, one of the livliest streets in Kazan, where you can enjoy monuments such as St. Nicholas Cathedral, as well as the various museums and restaurants in this beautiful Russian city.

Another recommended stop in Kazan is the Temple of All Religions. After strolling along the many canals and enjoying the beaches in summer, you’ll probably want to stay longer. We talk about Kazan in more detail in our article on the city.


Lake Baikal in Irkutsk @Pexels

Situated in a strategic enclave between Europe, China and Mongolia, Irkutsk is one of the main cities of Siberia and one of the highlights of this vast area of Russia.

This city is sometimes called ”the Paris of Siberia”, due to the majesty of its streets full of neoclassical palaces, as well as its undeniably rich history. Strolling through the city centre is a real treat for architecture lovers.

Among the most remarkable places in the city, we can mention some of the different museums and Decembrist houses. The Decembrists were former aristocrats, artists and thinkers who transformed the city’s characteristic wooden houses into palaces and colourful houses.

If you want to witness the most striking Orthodox churches in Russia, don’t miss the Epiphany Cathedral or St. Saviour’s Church, both of which are must-sees in Irkutsk.


In addition to its fame as the last stop on the renowned Trans-Siberian Railway, Vladivostok is a port city at the gateway to Japan, Korea and China. It has impressive bridges and an iconic lighthouse.

The Russky Island Bridge is one of the most important bridges in the city, as well as the Zolotoi Bridge. Both give Vladivostok a modern and monumental appearance and connect different parts of the city separated by the bays.

Of course, we must mention the Egersheld Lighthouse, as this beautiful white brick and red-roofed lighthouse is on a small mound, the access road to which is often underwater. So take the opportunity to visit it if you are lucky enough to be able to get there.

Find out more about Valdivostok with Passorter


Located 900 kilometres from Moscow, Samara is one of the must-see cities in Russia if you are interested in learning more about the history of this country, while enjoying the monuments and natural landscapes that surround the city.

Stalin’s Bunker, dating back to 1942 and is 37 metres deep, was an escape route for Stalin. This bunker is connected to other important points in the city and today it is a large museum where you can see information about the Soviet Union and its wars.

If you are a fan of beer, we recommend a visit to the Zhiguli Brewery. You can also visit the Museum of Space History, as you will find a permanent collection with interesting pieces such as a copy of the ”Soyuz” rocket.

These and many other places of interest are discussed in our post about Samara.

Must-see places in Russia

Kamchatka, a natural paradise to visit in Russia

things to do in Kamchatka Russia
Roads in Kamchatka @Pexels

Kamchatka is one of those natural places you have to visit at least once in your life. This peninsula has maintained its status over the years, as tourists were not allowed to enter until the end of the last century.

Located in northwest Russia, Kamchatka lies on the Pacific Ring of Fire, one of the world’s most active seismic hotspots, which is made up of volcanoes, craters and geysers.

The Klyuchevskoye volcano is one of the tallest volcanoes on the planet at 4,800 metres, as well as one of the best known for its perfect cone and the landscapes that surround it. At its foot is a beautiful lake called Kronotskoye.

From Petropavlovsk (the capital of Kamchatka) you can set off for the region’s major attractions, such as the Valley of Geysers and the Kamchatka River.

Discover all of Kamchatka’s wonders here.

The Moscow Kremlin

A World Heritage Site, the Moscow Kremlin deserves a special mention on our list of things to see in Russia.

Located in Moscow’s Red Square and built in the 12th century, it became a symbol of the country’s political power with the fall of the Soviet Union.

Such fortresses are found in more cities across the country and make up their historic centre, but the capital’s Kremlin has a large number of monuments within its walls.

You will find several noteworthy cathedrals, such as the Cathedral of the Dormition, the Archangel Michael Cathedral and the Cathedral of the Annunciation.

You’ll also find the Grand Kremlin Palace, home to the presidential palace, which, unfortunately, is not open to visitors but does allow you to enjoy its façade from the outside.

If you want to discover all that awaits you inside, as well as recommendations for your visit, read our article on the Moscow Kremlin.

Things to do in Russia in 10 days

Russia is too vast a country to see in 10 days, but we’ve put together an itinerary for your first visit to this beautiful country.

One of the options is to visit the main cities of the country: Moscow and St. Petersburg. On this tour we suggest you spend your first four nights in Moscow, then take a train to St. Petersburg for the rest of your trip.

Of course the amount of days in each city will depend on your preferences, so we recommend reading the articles on these cities to discover all there is to see.

Another option if you have less time is to visit one of the two cities and their surroundings at your leisure.

In addition, there are other routes that are very worthwhile, such as the famous Trans-Siberian route. If you have those 10 days, you could start from Moscow to Vladivostok, a route that takes you through different cities in the country and allows you to discover it in a different way.

Tips for your trip to Russia

  • The Russian currency is the Russian rouble (1 rouble = €0.012).
  • Change you money in advance as currency exchanges at airports are more expensive.
  • Always carry some cash, not all shops accept credit cards.
  • To travel from Spain you need to apply for a visa.
  • To get a visa you need to take out travel insurance.
  • If you want to avoid the cold, but also large crowds of tourists, travel in May and September.
  • Take some warm clothes even in summer and an umbrella at all times of the year.
  • If you’re travelling in winter, don’t forget to pack warm clothes. Temperatures can easily reach -10°C and can go as low as -20°C.

How to organise what to see in Russia

Sign up or download the Passporter App and discover all its useful features.

  • Get inspiration from the experiences of other travellers.
  • Create your own itinerary and add the app’s suggestions to it.
  • Add the spots you are most interested in, as well as the restaurants and bars where you want to eat (you can use the points of interest listed in this post as a reference).
  • Organise your itinerary by days and according to their location (you can take inspiration from the routes presented in the post).
  • Check the travel budget that the app calculates for you based on your travel stops, restaurants, and leisure activities.
  • Make the necessary modifications and you are ready for your trip.
  • Finally, share your experience. Upload photos of every place you’ve visited to the app and recommend to other travellers all there is to see in Russia.

If you have any doubts about how to plan your itinerary, you can read our post: How to create your travel itinerary with Passporter.

Frequently asked question about Russia Travel

How much does a visa to Russia cost?

Ordinary visa: €60 issued in 10 days.
Express visa: €115, issued in 3 days.

Where do I apply for a visa to travel to Russia?

In Spain, the visa is processed at the Russian Visa Centre, at your embassy. It is recommended that you apply at least a month and a half in advance as the process takes a long time. The cost is 58€ and you will need to have an up-to-date passport.

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