Soviet style, oligarch excess, ballet, banya and vodka
European Russia stretches from the borders of Belarus and Ukraine to the Ural mountains, over 1000km east of Moscow; even without the rest of the vast Russian Federation, it constitutes by far the largest country in Europe. Formerly a powerful tsarist empire and a Communist superpower, Russia continues to be a source of fascination for travellers. While access is still made relatively difficult by lingering Soviet-style bureaucracy – visas are obligatory and accommodation usually has to be booked in advance – independent travel is increasing every year, and visitors are doubly rewarded by the cultural riches of the country and the warmth of the Russian people.
Planning your trip to Russia
Everything you need to plan where to go and what to do.
Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners
Everything you need to know before you set off.
The Rough Guide to Europe on a Budget
An in-depth, easy-to-use guide filled with expert advice.
The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.
19 places to get utterly lost
One of the great joys of travelling is stumbling across unexpected places, wandering without a single destination in mind and embracing the journey. These place…
Baikal: exploring Siberia's epic frozen lake
Anita Isalska explores the frozen surface of the epic Lake Baikal in Russia. During Siberian winters, the mercury drops as low as minus 35ºC (minus 31ºF)…
Travel news: Moscow to Beijing in just two days?
Follow us on a whistle-stop tour of the latest travel stories, including news of a super-fast train line between Moscow and Beijing, the suitcase that heats up …
After Russia, where next?
Check out Switzerland