Why You Should Visit Russia In 2018
The much anticipated 2018 FIFA World Cup is being held in Russia and football fans from all over the world have travelled far and wide to witness sporting history being made. Although Russia doesn’t seem like the typical vacation spot, the country has a lot more to offer in terms of history and culture that dates back to the Cold War, and is home to some of the most stunning landmarks and architecture that cannot be seen anywhere else. If you willing to put aside your political reservations and be open to understanding its roots, Russia might just be an unexpected gem that stirs your heart and soul.
Hop on the Trans-Siberian Railway for an epic adventure as it takes you through spectacular terrains to discover the best of Russia. Connecting Moscow and Vladivostok, the Trans-Siberian Railway is the world’s longest railway line at 9,258km long and spans 8 time zones. Those who embark on this roaring escapade will spend a total of 7 days and 6 nights in a carriage without internet access while journeying past stretches of picturesque landscapes that are only accessible by train.
Udelnaya Flea Market
Ditch the cliché overpriced souvenir shops and head over to Udelnaya flea market instead for an array of antiques, authentic Soviet-era collectables and other fascinating items. Situated next to the metro station, the Udelnaya flea market is one of the largest flea markets in the world with hundreds of vendors arriving as early as 3 a.m. to compete for the best spot in the area. From foreigners hunting for ancient treasures to young hipsters in search of vintage apparel and locals purchasing their daily necessities, set aside a few hours to hunt down the best deals.
The instantly recognisable sight of colourful patterned onion-shaped domes is truly a hallmark of the Russian architecture. A trip to Russia will never be complete without a mandatory visit to the country’s most iconic site, the Red Square. Once an assembly point for military parades and executions, the Red Square today is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that separates GUM, the nation’s largest departmental store from the Kremlin territory, home to the tomb of Soviet Union leader, Vladimir Lenin. Visit the State Historical Museum, Saint Basil’s Cathedral, The Museum of the Patriotic War of 1812 and the Chambers of the Romanov Boyars to gain knowledge and insight into the country’s rich history.
Drawing from various influences from the Northern and Eastern parts of Europe, Central Asia, Siberia and East Asia, Russian cuisine is distinct and unique in taste and offers a wide plethora of bread, pancakes, pies, cereals, soups, beer and Vodka along with a palette of nourishing protein to counter the sub-zero degrees temperature during the winter season. From Borshch to Pelmeni, Russia has emerged as a culinary powerhouse with White Rabbit, ranking 23rd on the list of Top 50 restaurants in 2017. Located in a glass dome on the 16th floor of Smolenskiy Passage, White Rabbit is the first joint project by restaurateurs Boris Zarkov and chef Vladimir Mukhin and serves mouth-watering Russians delicacies that are infused with the latest cooking techniques. A visit worth making if you’re a diehard foodie.
Russian Winter Festival
Despite the frigid cold winters, Russians remain unfazed and celebrate it enthusiastically with a series of annual winter festivals. Running from mid-December to mid-January, the Russian Winter Festival, held in the nation’s capital, Moscow, is a major cultural event organised in efforts to celebrate the coming of Christmas, New Year and Svyatki. Activites range from ice skating on the Red Square to sledding, and prepare to be entertained by fur fashion shows and balalaika performances.