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Northern European Russia

Russia's far north, with its stunning and often harsh natural beauty, is a place of startling extremes, best typified by the perpetual darkness of polar night and the midnight sun of polar day.

The inspiration for the epic poetry of the Kalevala, this vast region contains some of Russia's most celebrated sights, including the iconic wooden architecture of Kizhi Island, the remote Solovetsky Islands whose monastery once housed a notorious Gulag camp, and the frigid shores of the Barents Sea. This is also one of the best places to witness the northern lights as well as to explore Soviet-era ruins.

Travelling in Northern European Russia takes a lot of patience at times, and the weather can be unpredictable, with blistering sunshine turning quickly into icy rainstorms. But the reward for perseverance is an insight into one of Russia's most mesmerising regions.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Northern European Russia.