Book Russia holidays and you’ll get to experience an incredibly varied and fascinating country full of stunning scenery, impressive architecture and rich cultural delights.
Explore spectacular Moscow, one of the world’s most famous capitals. Red Square lies at the city’s heart, with the Kremlin and St Basil’s Cathedral instantly recognisable as symbols of Russia’s proud heritage.
Stroll through Gorky Park, catch some ballet at the Bolshoi or savour the flavours of Moscow’s acclaimed restaurants.
Elsewhere, you can see unrivalled art in the galleries of St Petersburg – the city’s Hermitage Museum houses work by the likes of Rembrandt, Matisse and Raphael.
Other places of interest include the fashionable Black Sea resort of Sochi and Kazan, proud capital of Russia’s Tatarstan republic.
Plan your holiday to Russia with Etihad and experience the best of this fascinating destination.
From cultural trips and mountain trekking to food adventures and ski excursions, there are endless things to do on a holiday to Russia.
A visit to Russia’s dynamic capital creates memories that last a lifetime. Start your exploration of this fabulous city by heading to Red Square, home to landmark buildings such as St Basil’s Cathedral and the Kremlin.
A stay in Moscow isn’t complete without a trip to the stunning Bolshoi Theatre, famed for world-leading opera and ballet performances.
See superb paintings at the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, discover the wide open spaces of Gorky Park and look to the stars at the Moscow Planetarium.
St Petersburg is Russia’s second largest city and a place full of culture and history.
Art lovers should head straight for the Hermitage Museum, which is said to house the world’s largest collection of paintings. Sitting next to the Neva River, the museum complex includes the Winter Palace – the home of Russia’s emperors during the 18th and 19th centuries.
The city’s other attractions include St Isaac’s Cathedral and the towering Alexander Column that stands at the heart of Palace Square.
Moscow’s metro is more than just a handy way of getting around the city, it’s also a visitor attraction in its own right.
Many of the stations on the system – the busiest of its kind in Europe – are regarded as works of art, full of marble features and fresco design elements.
Probably the best known are Novoslobodskaya, with its stunning stained-glass panels, and Mayakovskaya, where you’ll find a dazzling array of ceiling mosaics. Ploshchad Revolyutsii, or Revolution Square, is also well worth a visit.
Head to Kazan on the banks of the Volga and explore the area’s eventful history and blend of cultures. Marvel at Kazan’s own Kremlin and, nearby, the blue-domed Kul Sharif Mosque. The vivid colours of this place of worship come alive as the sun sets.
Equally colourful is the Temple of All Religions, decorated with bright green minarets and orange-hued stonework. This magnificent building incorporates several types of religious architecture, including a church, a synagogue and a mosque.
Russians are crazy about sport and nowhere is this love affair more apparent than in Moscow. Football is king in the capital and a visit to a match involving leading clubs such as Spartak Moscow and Lokomotiv Moscow could be a great addition to your itinerary.
Sports fans making their way around Moscow might also like to take a tour of Luzhniki Stadium, which hosted the 1980 Summer Olympics and the 2018 World Cup Final.
Moscow offers plenty of accommodation that’s made for luxury Russia holidays.
One five-star option is the prestigious Hotel National, just a mile from Red Square and boasting amenities such as an indoor pool, fitness suite and two restaurants.
The Hotel Baltschug Kempinski Moscow, meanwhile, has air-conditioned rooms, a full-service spa and an acclaimed restaurant serving international cuisine.
Moscow’s central Tverskoy district is a great base for exploring top sights such as the Bolshoi Theatre and the famous GUM department store.
The four-star Moscow Marriott Tverskaya Hotel is one option here, with fitness facilities, on-site shops and a limo service. Another four-star hotel worth checking out is the Ampir Belorusskaya, a five-minute drive from the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts.
If you’re heading to Russia’s second city, then the four-star Courtyard by Marriott St Petersburg Vasilievsky might be the hotel for you. It’s just a five-minute drive from the Peter and Paul Fortress and has air-conditioned rooms with refrigerators and flat-screen TVs.
For five-star comfort on our Russia packages, take a look at the Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace.
The local currency in Russia is the rouble (RUB), with each one made up of 100 kopeks. ATMs are easily found in big cities, and credit cards are widely accepted.
Russia has a reliable and inexpensive long-distance rail network, with nine major stations in Moscow alone. The capital is also served by a handy metro system and taxis.
Russian is the official language here, with many people also speaking good English in the main tourist areas. The country has more than 100 minority languages.
Key dates in the Russian calendar include Defender of the Fatherland Day (23 February), Victory Day (9 May) and Russian Independence Day (12 June).
Russia’s cuisine will tempt your taste buds with flavour-packed dishes that draw on different styles of cooking from across Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
The colourful beetroot soup, borscht, is one of the country’s most famous (and most popular) dishes. Similar to Turkish shish kebabs, Shashlyk kebabs are lip-smacking skewers of grilled meat, often served as street food.
Blinis are another treat to look out for – these small pancakes can be accompanied by everything from caviar to jam. A delicious canape or dessert, they’re found on menus across the country.
Russia’s culture is varied and colourful, with a strong emphasis on art and music. A visit here is guaranteed to serve up a feast of visual delights, from the items on show in the museums of Moscow and St Petersburg to the much-admired performances at the Bolshoi Theatre.
Russian literature has also made a significant mark, with writers such as Dostoevsky (author of Crime and Punishment) and Tolstoy (War and Peace) read around the world.
In Russia’s small towns, folk music and dance are popular and play an important part in festivals and celebrations.
Russia’s past is long, varied and fascinating. The national story is generally acknowledged to have started with the founding of the Rus state by the Vikings in the ninth century.
Modern Russia began taking shape under Peter the Great in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, as he invaded nearby territories and expanded the country’s borders.
The Russian Revolution of 1917 saw the abolition of the monarchy and the setting up of the world’s first communist state.
The Soviet Union – which was governed from Russia and included countries such as Ukraine and Belarus – then came into being in 1922 and lasted until 1991.
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