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Russia

Happy Steps Travels

Moscow / Russia

Moscow is the capital of Russia. It is the biggest city in Europe and the most populous city in Russia. This iconic city is the power centre of Russia and a magnet in eastern Europe. Apart from its famous landmarks of Kremlin, St Basil's Cathedral, Red Square, Lenin's Mausoleum, Bolshoi Theater, etc,

Moscow has other attractions too. Moscow is one place that offers something for everyone. Tourists can spend a whole day looking at its selected Metro Stations. There are museums (Pushkin Museum, etc), Zoo and a fun Kremlin called Izmaylovo Kremlin in the district with the same name apart from other interesting places.

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Saint Petersburg / Russia

Saint Petersburg, or Peter for Russians is the most glamorous city to visit anywhere in the world. Saint Petersburg was built around 1703. The only criteria given to city architects by Peter the Great, Tsar of Russia was that what they build has to be the best city in the whole of Europe. The architects of Saint Petersburg lived up to this demand and this city, by and far, is the grandest city in Europe. If you have seen Saint Petersburg, you have seen what best Europe has to offer.
Wide roads, beautiful buildings, ornamental bridges on canals and rivers (tributaries of The Neva) and even grander landmarks make Petersburg the city that gives a grand feeling to the visitors. The State Hermitage Museum, an erstwhile palace complex of the Tsars is one of the biggest Museum in the world. A day is not enough to see it. The Saviour of the Spilled Blood Cathedral, The Saint Issacs Cathedral, Peter and Paul Fortress, Bronze Horseman (statue of Peter the Great on Horseback), Admiralty, Our lady of Kazan Cathedral and the Palace Square are some of the major landmarks worth visiting.
There are several bridges that connect the parts of the city that are across Neva River. Some of these bridges that are low are opened twice a night (during Summer only) and its an experience to watch. Peterhof, a Palace Garden complex is a short excursion near Petersburg.

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Kazan / Russia

Kazan is a beautiful and ancient city in the Tatarstan Republic of Russia. This is also the capital of this republic. This city is in existence for over 1000 years. It was won over by Ivan the Terrible, Tsar of Russia around 1700 and most of its original fort (Kremlin) was destroyed. It was later on reconstructed in the Russian Style.
Todays Kazan is a modern city with a good mix of ancient. It is also a major education centre in Russia. It has an International Airport. Kazan has its own charm. All the major attractions are at a walking distance from each other.
Major attractions are Kazan Kremlin with its church, mosque etc, Old Tatar settlement with old wooden houses and two old surviving mosques, Bauman Street (Vehicle free) where one can buy souvenirs and eat a variety of cuisine like Tatar, Russian, Georgian and Turkish food. There is a beautiful lake very close to these places. Since Kazan is on the banks of Volga River, a river cruise down the Volga river is a good option.
Temple of All Faiths, representing all faith present in Russia, situated little away from the city of Kazan is an interesting place to visit though it entails bus travel in a local (very comfortable) bus from the city centre.

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Golden Ring / Russia

Another interesting Area worth visit in Russia is Russia’s Golden Ring. This Golden Ring refers to a series of ancient cities in Central Russia which were prominent in Russian history. These cities are beauties by themselves and also give the visitors the experience of Russian hinterland, forests, culture and cuisine.
Another notable fact is, keeping Moscow as a start point, all these cities can be visited in a circular route. The distance of this trip from Moscow to Moscow is about 700 km. Another way of doing this is to undertake day trips to each of the Golden Ring city by train from Moscow. A day trip to all these cities is doable, saves the cost of accommodation and the train journey one way is not more than two hours or so.
The cities that form this golden ring are nine of them. They are Sergiev Posad, Rostov, Pereyaslavl Zalessky, Yaroslavl, Kostroma, Ivanovo, Plyos, Suzdal and Vladimir. Visitors generally visit five major cities which are Sergiev Posad, Rostov, Yaroslavl, Suzdal and Vladimir.
This whole trip is worth doing and it is another set of the trip that can be done with other areas of Russia or independently.

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