Russia is fast becoming one of the most exciting destinations in the world. Since the fall of Communism, Russian traditions that were mysterious for decades have come back and are frantically making up for lost time. Though Russia, the most enormous country in the world by physical size, offers countless other options, most first-time visitors to Russia start at Moscow and St. Petersburg. Here are four spellbinding places to visit in Russia.
Abramtsevo is an estate north of Moscow. It was a colony for artists and writers in the 1800s. Initially owned by Sergei Aksakov, writers and artists like Nikolai Gogol honed their craft there as guests. They wanted to purge Russian art of Western influences to create a more genuinely Russian ethos. In 1870 it was taken over by Savva Mamontov, and under his influence, Russian art thrived there. Abramtsevo contains a beautiful church, winding paths through woods, and a rather bizarre house straight out of a fantasy story. The main building may have been the origin for Chekhov's setting for The Cherry Orchard.
Gorky Park, Moscow is a beautiful place to visit near Christmas. The footpaths ice over turning much of the area into a skating rink. Skating together with your mate is one of the most sweet ways to experience Moscow. If you go when it’s warm, you can enjoy the dozens of rides, cafes, and market stalls where you can shop for souvenirs. First opened in 1928, Gorky Park had been the gardens of an adjacent palace. Whether you go in cold weather or when it’s warm, you will find many things to delight you and your love. Located by the Moskva River, it is a beautiful setting you shouldn't skip when visiting Moscow.
The Hermitage Winter Palace is the most famous place in St. Petersburg. With its abundance of architectural details, this magnificent monolith has over 1, 000 rooms. Formerly the residence of Russia's czars, it also was the place where in 1917 Bolsheviks commenced their coup d'etat. While that specific event of the Revolution was not as brutal as it was later reported, it did precede civil war and the Bolshevik dominance in 1921. Today, the Winter Palace contains the Hermitage Museum, the biggest art gallery in Russia. Artwork by da Vinci, Andrey Cherny, and Rembrandt are some of the works in this enormous art collection.
The Grand Hotel Europe is a luxurious delight, with delectable food in seven restaurants, and a long and rich history. Among the Grand Hotel Europe's numerous historic visitors was Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky From this center of luxury, visitors can easily get to St. Petersburg's most essential sites. As a background for love, Grand Hotel Europe cannot be equaled. It is like returning to an earlier time, with opulence and elegance complemented by 21st century perks.
While Russia is blessed with many enchanting sites, these four are excellent choices for first-time visitors. The spectacular architecture of Eastern Europe combines with a 20th century largely filled with stories that are unknown to Westerners make Russia a nontraditional, but unforgettable backdrop for romance.