What's it like to Travel to Russia


If you're a fan of Instagram, just like me, then everytime you go somewhere, you'd be thinking of at least these two things: when and where to shoot. If you're into culture and history, then you'd search for interesting stories in different places you'd go. No matter what type of person you are, I've got good news for you - Russia's for everyone!

To be honest we had no idea we were going until it was 2 months before departure. Why? Because for Indonesians, Russia isn't a popular destination for all sorts of reasons - it's far, expensive, and troublesome (hardly anyone there speak English). However, as hard as it may seem going there, I have to say that it's definitely worth the experience. I am absolutely in love with Russia and I came home wishing that I had allocated more of my time exploring those history-filled museums and churches.

Today I'm going to be sharing What's it like to travel in Russia. Let's Go!

Red Square, Moscow

Red Square, Moscow

Russia is Extremely Big

With 17 million square kilometers, Russia is the biggest country by land size. Russia owns about 1/8th of the world's land, which makes it indisputable that it is indeed very large. Yes, so large that it has 11 timezones. My tour guide cracked a joke and said that if you want to celebrate new year's eve 11 times in a year, you could do that in Russia!

A country this big would need a huge transport system to help it's people to travel around. Russia's transport system includes metro, bus, tram, trolleybus, and private fixed-route taxi. As some of you may have heard, Russia's famous for it's Sapsan train. It is a high speed electric express train that travels from Moscow - Saint Petersburg at a maximum speed of 250km/hour. We were glad enough to try the Sapsan train on our day 4 of the trip.

The Sapsan Train

The Sapsan Train

Russia is Filled with History

From Red Square to Saint Isaac's Cathedral to Church of the Savior on Blood and many more places, I believe Russia is home for historians! Russia's Christian Orthodox makes up some 42.5% of the total population, which explains why there are some of the most gorgeous churches in the world you can ever wish to find. Here are some of the pictures that I can share with you:

Saint Basil Cathedral

Saint Basil Cathedral

Here's me taking a selfie at one of the churches in Suzdal, Russia

Here's me taking a selfie at one of the churches in Suzdal, Russia

As some of you may have noticed, some of these churches look kind of similar to mosques, right? This is because Orthodox churches may have been influenced by the eastern roman empire, that's why they prefer domes as roofs rather than ordinary flat ceilings! Another point I would like to add is that these dome-shaped ceilings are actually painted on the inside. More brownie points for photographers!

Church Ceiling at Saint Isaac Cathedral

Church Ceiling at Saint Isaac Cathedral

The Red Square

Have you seen the photo of the Church of Saint Basil at the top? It is located at the Red Square in Moscow.

But what exactly is The Red Square and why is it so crowded?

The Red Square is a city square in Moscow that has the Kremlin, Saint Basil with Lenin Mausoleum in front, State Historical Museum and GUM store. Although you may see that every corner of this place is covered with red buildings, the name Red Square came to be because its original name: Krasnyi, which meant beautiful in Old Russian, changed its definition to red some centuries later.

On Day-2 of our trip, we visited the Red Square during daytime. It was beautiful indeed, but we later found out that it is even more beautiful when we go to The Red Square at night.

Red Square at Night

Red Square at Night

GUM Store at Night

GUM Store at Night

Oh and those of you who like to go to High-End Shopping Malls, The GUM Store is definitely a place you should visit!

Spending a few days here? Know few words in Russia!

The Russians use the Cyrillic alphabet, which consists of 33 letters. Some letters may look similar with the Latin alphabet but they are actually quite different! One of the few examples I can give is the 'нос', which English speakers think they are pronounced 'Hoc' but it is actually pronounced 'nos'.

Here are the list of a few Russian words I've learned during this trip:
1. Preevyet: Hi
2. Spaseeba: Thankyou
3. Paka: Bye-Bye
4. Tualet: Toilet
5. Chay: Tea

Make Sure to Bring Back some hand-crafted Souvenirs!

It is obvious enough that you should consider buying some souvenirs when going to a country as unique as Russia.

Russia is famous for it's hand-crafted Souvenirs called the Matryoshka. The Matryoshka is a set of wooden dolls of decreasing size placed one inside another. It's name literally "little matron", and is a diminutive form of Russian female first name "Matryona" or "Matryosha". Talking about the price of Matryoshka, it depends on how many stacks they have inside of them, where you buy it and how it is designed, but a 10-stacked Matryoshka should cost around $40. Here is what I found on the Arbat Street and Izmailova Market in Moscow:

Medium Sized Matryoshka

Medium Sized Matryoshka

Big Sized Matryoshka

Big Sized Matryoshka

That's all the Tip I can give for Now!

I hope you guys find this tip useful and are inspired to Travel to unique countries like Russia!

Would you consider putting Russia in your bucketlist? :)

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Written by Joshua Kevin Alviano
Hi, you can call me Josh! I'm here to share my travel stories and tips as I go explore the world. The world is HUGE peeps, and why is it huge you ask? It’s for us to explore!

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