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St. Basil’s Cathedral – Moscow

What’s a trip to Russia without a visit to St. Basil’s Cathedral? The building is one of a kind, and for a morbid reason: it was commissioned by the first Tsar of Russia, Ivan Vasilyevich, who alledgedly blinded the unnamed architect after the cathedral was finished. And while it’s easy to appreciate the incredible colours of the domes, it wasn’t always this way. St Basil’s cathedral was white when it was first built with gold tips. It took more than 200 years for the façade and domes to be painted. [Photo: Getty]

Breathtaking architecture and a fascinating history: The best places to visit in Russia

Russia might not be high up on your list of holiday destinations – but it should be. The largest country in the world, it spans 11 time zones over a stretch of 6,000 miles. The vast expanse of land means it’s possible to go from gazing at world famous artefacts to trekking volcanos or being surrounded by history in only a matter of hours.

Because Russia has something for everyone. Whether you’re an art fanatic or a lover of the outdoors, it’s possible to busy yourself for days on end with entertainment.

Head to St Petersburg for incredible architecture and enough canals to make Venice envious. If you’re a fan of history, bustling streets and open squares, take a trip to the country’s capital, Moscow.

And, once you’re done with the two major cities, venture outside and experience a whole other side of Russia. Check out the depths of Siberia with its huge array of wild animals to the crystal clear lakes of Ruskeala, before taking a boat trip out in the world’s largest fresh-water lake to Shamanka Rock, Khuzkir.

Non-stop flights to Russia are around 3 hours 15 minutes to St Peterburg and 3 hours 45 minutes to Moscow. Booked in advance, they can be found from £80. 

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