The word vast doesn’t even begin to describe Russia. This is the planet’s biggest nation, a muscular powerhouse of a country that stretches all the way from Scandinavia to Asia’s eastern frontier. Our map of Russia below just covers the west.

Within Europe but still tantalisingly different from neighbouring cities, St Petersburg is a place of broad avenues and opulent palaces, and the ideal entry point for first-time visitors. In the current capital, Moscow, the super-rich and super-poor live side by side among designer boutiques, gold-topped church domes and flashy modern skyscrapers.

More than 8000 kilometres to the east, Soviet-era housing blocks give Vladivostok a harder edge, but theatre, ballet and vodka-soaked nights on the town help to ease the transition. Rather than flying between the two cities, you take the legendary Trans-Siberian Railway, which passes vivid blue lakes, endless forests, bleak Siberian cities, and the snowy peaks of the jagged Ural Mountains.

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Russia features

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Exploring St Petersburg: why Russia’s cultural heart will win you over

Exploring St Petersburg: why Russia’s cultural heart will win you over

St Petersburg is a sophisticated forward-looking city that feels and looks much more European than Moscow. Its pretty canals are lined with pastel-coloured buil…

15 Jun 2018 • Kiki Deere insert_drive_file Article
Rediscovering Moscow: why the time to go is now

Rediscovering Moscow: why the time to go is now

Bustling and energetic, Moscow is a vibrant 24-hour city with a captivating and chaotic spirit that blends Western and Eastern cultures. Grand palaces and prett…

14 Jun 2018 • Kiki Deere insert_drive_file Article
An expert's guide: the best places to stay in Moscow

An expert's guide: the best places to stay in Moscow

One of the world’s most dynamic metropolises, Moscow has an energy like no other city, a chaotic spirit rumbling just beneath its polished surface. And since …

11 Jun 2018 • Kiki Deere insert_drive_file Article
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