Unique Places To Visit In Russia: Best Stops On Trans Siberian Railway

places to visit in russia

I want to introduce you to some of the most beautiful and fun places to visit in Russia, based on my three week trip across the country this past summer.

You see, when I told my friends and family I would be spending almost an entire MONTH in Russia, taking a train across the entire country, everyone was in shock.

WHY? They asked. RUSSIA? REALLY?!
 
It seems my friends and family knew NOTHING about Russia, and so I set off on my one-month Trans-Siberian journey to hopefully show them a new side of Russia. 
 
I wanted to show off the stunning architecture, the historic cities, the food,  the gorgeous landscapes, the dreamy lakes and mountains and of course some of the friendly Russian people I met along the way. 

VIDEO: 8 Top Places To Visit in Russia

Map of Russia (and top cities)

8 Best Places To Visit in Russia

1. Kazan

I’m starting off with Kazan, because it turned out to be the most surprising destination of my trip and the city I loved the most. I knew absolutely nothing about this extremely fun and vibrant city before arriving, and when it was time to leave I honestly didn’t want to board that train.
 
Kazan is the capital of Tatarstan and is renowned for its vibrant mix of Oriental and Russian cultures.
 
From the spectacular Kul Sharif mosque to the Kazan Kremlin, the pretty boardwalk down by the river, and the quirky temple of different religions to the endless restaurants, bars, and speakeasies – there’s no shortage of fun things to do in this beautiful city.
 
Kazan was one of my first stops on my Trans Siberian trip, and it’s the first place where my followers were speechless when they got a glimpse of all my photos from this wonderful destination.
 
kazan: top Russian city
 
beautiful cities in russia
 

2. Yekaterinburg

Ahh Yekaterinburg! I don’t think anyone should travel to Russia without stopping off in this beautiful and very historic Russian city. Yekaterinburg is home to some iconic buildings – including the famous Church on Blood p built on the site where the last Emperor of Russia and his family were assassinated. 
There’s also a strong music culture in the city, with lots of live bands and street performers and even a statue dedicated to The Beatles.
Just 20 minutes outside the city you can visit the Asia Europe border, an invisible line that divides Russia – a super fun place to visit if you have time.
Other must-visits in Yekaterinburg include Sevastyanov House – the most beautiful house in the city – and the Boris Yeltsin Centre – a brilliant museum showcasing the political history of Russia and the life of the country’s first president.
Europe Asia border russia
 

3. Moscow

Number 3 on my list of must-visit places in Russia is Moscow. Because who in their right mind would travel to Russia and NOT visit the country’s most important, and arguably the most beautiful city. If you’ve watched my other YouTube videos, you’ll already know how much I loved Moscow.
 
While the Red Square and St Peters Basilica were just as beautiful as I imagined, it was how modern the city that really surprised me. Moscow is an incredibly clean city too, fun to walk around and full of amazing shops, museums, theaters, a vast range of multi-cultural restaurants and bars and of course the most beautiful metro in the world.
 
A metro so beautiful, in fact, that they actually run metro tours that bring you to different stations so you can stand around in awe at the decor, the detail, the artwork, the architecture, and the history. There’s just no place in the world like Moscow! 
most beautiful place to visit in russia

4. Krasnoyarsk

I have mixed feelings about the industrial city of Krasnoyarsk but have decided to include it in this list for 2 reasons:

1. We had so much fun there and it was one of the places we thought we might hate.

2: Guidebooks and travel sites seems to tell everyone doing the Trans Siberian to SKIP Krasnoyarsk, saying there’s nothing to see or do there and I want to show people there are IN FACT THINGS TO SEE HERE.

To be honest we didn’t see much of the city but when we did walk around in search of nice restaurants and bars, we met some of the nicest locals we met on our entire trip. We also went hiking in Stolby National Park which was incredible – it was so nice to spend a day off the train, hiking and exploring in nature.

We also discovered a mini theme park just outside of Krasnoyarsk which was one of the funniest experience of our trip – flying down the side of a mountain on a biplane and a mountain coaster – laughing and screaming the whole way. 

5. Lake Baikal

Most people doing the Trans Siberian across Russia seem to have one goal: travel as fast as they can from Moscow to Irkutsk then make their way to Lake Baikal. While I don’t agree with people who skip so many beautiful destinations along the way, I understand why so many people make a beeline to Lake Baikal.

Said it be the deepest lakes in the world and also one of the largest, it’s by far one of the most iconic destinations in Russia and known all over the world. Travelling here by mini bus, then taking a ferry over to the remote Olkhon Island was an experience I’ll never forget and travel in this part of Siberia is true eye-opening.

The lake is stunning at all times of day and we couldn’t believe how beautiful the beaches and coastline on this remote Siberian island were.

lake bail russia

Olkhon island- places to visit in russia

6. Perm

The city of Perm is another destination I wasn’t entirely sure if I should add to this list, but it is actually a fun place to visit and a great stop on any trans-siberian journey especially good for art lovers.

There are actually some really fun speakeasy bars here to explore, a beautiful boardwalk down by the river and some incredible old building to photograph including the old railway station, the Orthodox Cathedral, and the museum of modern Art.

While I didn’t have time to go, there’s also an infamous Gulag labour camp called Perm-36 just outside the city which I’m sure would be a fascinating visit.

7. Vladivostok

Vladivostok is one of the coolest and most unusual travel destinations in Russia, if not the world. This insanely modern city perched on the furthermost reaches of Siberia actually feels lies a modern European city – and yet it’s nearest neighbours are in fact North Korea and China!

Sadly I didn’t have any time to explore as scheduling meant I had to take a ferry to South Korea the same day my train arrived but from what I saw this is one cool city and well worth a visit.

8. St Petersburg

I know everyone watching this would think I am MAD if I make a video about out beautiful places to visit in Russia and don’t include St Petersburg – so here it is at the end of my list. The reality is a didn’t have time to visit this gem of a city, but many friends and followers have assured me it’s one of if not THE most beautiful city in Russia and one of the most beautiful in the world. So I’ve decided I’ll have to travel back to Russia in 2020 to visit!

I hope you enjoyed this short and sweet guide to beautiful places to visit I Russia. Be sure to give it a thumbs up and leave a comment if you liked ti and check out my channel for more Russia travel videos.

  • Reply
    Away With Maja
    November 20, 2019 at 12:55 pm

    I loved following along on your Trans-Siberian trip this summer and watching all your videos!! It’s been the top of my bucket list for so long, I’m really hoping to go in the next few years. Fantastic post and definitely try visit St. Petersburg someday, it’s just stunning! :)

Leave a Reply