Must-see attractions in Russia

  • Former Uezdny Bank

    Lake Baikal

    Opposite the quaint little post office, the wooden-colonnaded former Uezdnogo Bank was once the grand home of Decembrist Mikhail Kyukhelbeker.

  • Filippovkaya Church

    Northern European Russia

    This 18th century church, located with the walls of the Solovetsky Transfiguration Monastery, also acted as a hospital in the tsarist period.

  • Tsentralny Gastronom

    Khabarovsk

    Style Moderne – the Russian take on art nouveau – defines this mint-green building dating from 1895; it's topped by a statue of Mercury.

  • Russian-German House

    Tomsk

    The spired, bright-turquoise Russian-German House (1904) is among several grand wooden mansions along ul Krasnoarmeyskaya.

  • Siniy Most

    St Petersburg

    The Blue Bridge is 97.3m wide making it the widest of the city's bridges. It's one of four bridges across the Moika that were colour-coded.

  • Far Eastern State Research Library

    Khabarovsk

    This attractive library, the largest in the Far East, dates from 1894 and is one of the most striking pieces of architecture in Khabarovsk.

  • Intercession Cathedral

    Western Siberia

    Less eye-catching from the outside than neighbouring St Sofia's Cathedral, but with splendid arched ceiling murals, is this 1746 church.

  • WWII Monument

    Western Siberia

    This unusual WWII monument features a Soviet woman piercing the heart of a winged reptilian creature. The embodiment of evil, we assume.

  • Regional Museum

    Kamchatka

    Yelizovo’s small Regional Museum has ethnographic exhibits, Russian weavings, local art and the requisite stuffed sables and marmots.

  • Vladimir Vysotsky Monument

    Kaliningrad

    The Soviet-era singing sensation is depicted here seated and holding his guitar. Find the monument near the entrance to Central Park.

  • War Victory Monument 1941-1945

    Northern European Russia

    Memorial consisting of an eternal flame flanked by grim-faced statues of servicemen, honouring the fallen of the Great Patriotic War.

  • Lovozero Cultural Centre

    Kola Peninsula

    In a building that resembles an oversized chumy (tepee-shaped tent), this Sami cultural centre hosts occasional exhibitions.

  • Transfiguration Cathedral

    Western Siberia

    Dating from 1792, this large and elegant cathedral sits below the fortress and is worth a peak for its impressive icons and frescos.

  • Small Synagogue

    St Petersburg

    Behind the Grand Choral Synagogue, this red-brick synagogue is generally open for guided tours only. Make inquiries via the website.

  • Japanese POW Memorial

    Russian Far East

    This small monument is dedicated to the memory of the Japanese prisoners of war who were forced to work building the BAM after WWII.

  • Velimir Khlebnikov Museum

    Astrakhan

    Come here for a small collection of portraits, drawings and personal objects from this futurist poet, who lived from 1885 to 1922.

  • Vodka History Museum

    Meshchansky & Basmanny

    A concept long overdue, the Vodka History Museum is just three rooms, with the all-important traktir (tavern) attached.

  • Lenin Statue

    Western European Russia

    This giant Lenin statue looms large over Tula's central square (pl Lenina) with its brutal architecture of the old Soviet city.

  • Statue of Peter the Great

    Northern European Russia

    Close to the hydrofoil terminal is a jaunty statue of Peter the Great pointing to the spot where Petrozavodsk would be founded.

  • Regional Museum

    Western European Russia

    Displays permanent exhibits on Peter the Great and the history of the region from before the Bronze Age up to the Soviet era.

  • University

    Mineral Water Spas

    Adjacent to the drinking gallery is the university, which has some expressive gargoyles and bas-reliefs on its upper facade.

  • Trinity Cathedral

    Astrakhan

    The smaller of two cathedrals within the kremlin compound. It was closed for long-term restoration at the time of research.

  • Artillery Yard

    Astrakhan

    The artillery yard and museum has an interesting collection of historic weapons and a mock izba (Russian cottage).

  • Mishennaya Hill

    Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky

    Looming over the downtown area is wooded Mt Mishennaya (382m), an easy ascent with excellent views of town and Avacha Bay.

  • Peter I Statue

    Northern European Russia

    This windswept take on Peter the Great and the unexotic River Terminal building both feature on Russia’s R500 banknotes.

  • Catholic Church

    Tomsk

    Up on Resurrection Hill, this pretty Catholic church dates to 1883. There are often a couple of nuns around the compound.

  • Peter & Paul Church

    Western European Russia

    With obvious Byzantine influences, this red-brick 12th-century chapel (1146) is the oldest in the city and a local icon.

  • Alabin Museum

    Volga Region

    Come here for exhibits on regional palaeontology and archaeology, including dinosaur fossils found in the Zhiguli Hills.

  • Panteleymonovsky Most

    St Petersburg

    At the confluence of the Moyka and the Fontanka, this beauty features lamp posts bedecked with the double-headed eagle.

  • WWII Memorial

    Khabarovsk

    This impressive brutalist memorial to the Soviet Army's losses during WWII stands on a hillside overlooking the river.

  • Pokrovsky Church

    Altai

    This bulbous-domed brick building is the most appealing of the city’s many churches and has a fine, gilded interior.

  • Metropolitan's House

    St Petersburg

    An 18th-century building that's the residence of the patriarch of St Petersburg. It's generally closed to the public.

  • Regional Museum

    Western European Russia

    Not essential viewing but hosts some good temporary exhibitions and has displays on regional history and archaeology.

  • Zelyony Most

    St Petersburg

    The Green Bridge over the Moyka River dates from the early 19th century and was the first cast-iron span in the city.

  • Svyato-Makarevsky Church

    Altai

    Completed in 2006, this attractive wooden church boasts a wonderfully photographic backdrop of rolling lush hills.

  • Red Gates

    Astrakhan

    Covers the history of Astrakhan as a southern outpost of the Russian Empire from the 16th to the 19th centuries.

  • Monument to Heroes of WWII

    Nizhny Novgorod

    On the river side of the kremlin is a large monument and eternal flame dedicated to the fallen soldiers of WWII.

  • Bronze Eagle

    Mineral Water Spas

    A network of paths in Park Tsvetnik leads to this much-photographed bronze eagle sculpture at the top of a hill.

  • Church of St Simeon

    Veliky Novgorod

    This tiny church in the former Zverin Monastery grounds has colourful frescoes that form a religious calendar.

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