I planned to visit Russia because I was intrigued by the country and could not wait any longer. There are numerous places to visit in Russia as it is culturally rich and a land of geographical diversities.
Before you plan your Russia trip and make a list of best places to visit in Russia, You must obtain a permit to enter the country.
Apply for a VISA before you visit Russia
It is not a hectic process but it may take around 20 days for your Visa to be approved. Do not postpone your visa application for the final days before your journey. So I made sure that I had applied for my visa in advance. I booked a hotel in Russia even before I applied for my Russian VISA and I asked them to send the application through courier as the original proof of hotel booking is a must for getting a VISA for Russia.
My visit to Russia was planned by my travel partner Enroute Trip. Their hotel booking and return flight was very convenient as well as cheaper compare to other Travel Agencies. My schedule for few days was adjusted in a much cheaper way which helped me save some money on my flight and hotel, which could be used for shopping in Russia now. It was my first visit to Russia, so I had researched for few days and took note of best places to visit in Russia during March as well as what to visit in Russia. Besides I also made a brief note about Moscow important places, best places to go in Moscow, Moscow interesting places as well as some fun places in Moscow, which gave me a huge list of places to visit on my trip to Russia.
What to pack while visiting Russia in March?
t must be understood that Russia is cold throughout the year with the extended winter season. Your luggage bag must contain winter boots; scarf’s, hats as well as gloves to help you tackle the Russian weather. Packing warm clothes is a must as it is cold, be it any month. I was clever enough to read some articles on places to visit in Russia with pictures which gave me a brief idea about the weather in Russia.
March weather is relatively less cold compared to extreme winter from December to February. When I reached there it was an early March and so the weather was around 28 degrees Fahrenheit or -2 degree Celsius. As the month passes I was told that the weather shall increase up to 41 degrees Fahrenheit or 5 degree Celsius. As I visited during March, I was greeted with the relatively cloudy weather with high chances of snow. The weather is said to be normal as the days go by.
In Picture: A road in Russia covered in snow, sent by my hotel staff when I asked him about the weather there.
I researched about Russia and Moscow to plan my travel.
When you are visiting a country for the first time, it will be very stupid of you to go unplanned and waste your time in Russia thinking about where to go and how to go. The local people speak Russian which makes it difficult to ask them for directions. So it is a healthy option to first read everything about the country its capital and how can you save time as well as money along the solo trip you are taking to Russia.
Moscow is the most populated and capital city of Russia. I had already researched on the places to see in Moscow Russia and made an updated list of best places to visit in Moscow and Moscow sightseeing places which have made Russia a cold and a unique destination common to travellers around the world. Russia being the largest country is very difficult to visit most of Russia in just a few days so it is advised to make a list of places to visit after reading reviews of people who have already visited Russia. Have the best of something rather than having just a little of everything.
Here I shall discuss in detail about my maiden trip to Russia, my experience and list of some historical landscapes and the beautiful places to see in Moscow Russia.
Flight booked and I’m all set for Russia
In Picture: At the Delhi airport with my ticket to Russia, the long-awaited trip. Taking the Russian airline, Aeroflot.
Reached Moscow, how do I reach my hotel?
In Picture: I finally arrived at Moscow airport, Russia and man its freezing here.
I had booked a flight with Russian airlines Aeroflot which took around 6 and half hours to reach the Moscow airport. The airport is around 39 kilometres North West of central Moscow. I booked a taxi to cover the 39 km distance to the Red Square in the heart of Moscow. I had decided to stay near Red square as it is very comfortable to travel around the nearby cities if you have a metro nearby. I saved a lot of trouble as well as money on travelling.
The taxi services are great and the best medium to reach from the airport to the central Moscow. It takes around 1 hour and 15 minutes to reach your hotel and I was treated with beautiful historical places which I saw from my window seat in the taxi. I could already smell Russia and I can’t tell you how excited I was to discover Russia.
Few of the attractions that I visited while in Russia and Moscow
Russia is gifted with a huge list of interesting places which are enlisted as World Heritage Sites and also stands tall as a historical landmark. While here, you cannot afford to miss beautiful architecture masterpieces done during the Russian Empire rule.
Russia is too big a country to be visited in just a few days holiday. I shall highlight the interesting part of my journey and give you a brief idea:
- Taking a ferry to St. Petersburg- The palace square.
In picture: Taking a ferry across the beautiful Baltic sea towards St. Petersburg.
Reaching St. Petersburg can be done on a ferry or a Cruise ship. As we were nearby, we took a 2-hour ferry trip to the Winter Palace but we saw cruise ships which come here from neighbouring countries and can stay in Russia for a short 72 hours only without a VISA. Some cruises over the Baltic sea are a party on Cruise which takes you on a 24-hour long drive. Maybe next time we can take a Luxury cruise which we heard is famous for its wild parties, dancefloors and every luxury that someone would want in life.
- Visiting St. Petersburg Palace- present-day State Hermitage museum or the Winter Palace.
In picture: Group photo after taking the tour inside St. Petersburg along with many Indian tourists that we met here.
In Picture: The famous palace Square in front of St. Petersburg.
The palace is one of the beautiful creations by the rulers of the Russian Empire. This palace has now been transformed into a Hermitage Museum. I found the interior and some aspects of the palace a clear reflection of the Russian empire.
In picture: The inside view of St. Petersburg which showcases art, legacy and architectural excellence of the Russian empire.
- Visiting Sochi park- the winter Olympic village of 2014
The Sochi village was built in 2014 to accommodate the winter Olympic games and 4 years after Olympics, the place lies hugely vacant and the facilities provided remains unused. It reminded me of our Indian sports scenario where there are sportspersons who are talented buy our country doesn’t provide quality facilities for them to practice and here I saw that it was just the opposite.
The main Attraction here was the Sochi Park. It is not as good as Disneyland but I gave me a good 3 hours of relaxation.
In Picture: The mascots of the 2014 winter Olympics. The hare, the polar bear and the leopard.
The entrance to the theme park costs me around 1000 INR. People can be seen relaxing with their families, playing with their dogs, some playing chess, some playing guitars and singing. It provides good vibes and serenity, something that is hard to find nowadays. I was informed that all the rides I see inside the park may not work so I did not expect much from this amusement park. I took a ride which provided me with a good view of the city.
- Isaac’s Cathedral- One of the largest cathedral and a historic landmark built between 1818 and 1858 by a French-born architect.
In Picture: Posing to the beautiful background of St. Isaac’s Cathedral. My last day in Russia.
I ended my short and sweet Russia trip by visiting the historic St. Isaac’s cathedral, which was the largest Cathedral in Russia for one hundred and eighty years until the rebuilt cathedral, Church of Christ the Saviour, Moscow took over the title of being the biggest.
The front of the cathedral has been decorated using sculptures and beautiful granite columns and on the inside, you would find finely detailed mosaic icons, columns made of malachite and some beautiful paintings.
End of my Russian journey
Russia surprised me with its beauty and the development and cleanliness its cities. There are so many historical places which are spread across Russia. Being the biggest country it shall definitely take you at least a month to finish conquering the whole of Russia. I bid farewell to Russia with a lot of unforgettable memories and a refreshed mind. Time for me to go back to the reality of life, I belong to. Hope you have something to take and learn from my experience of Russia that I have written about.