#70 best destination in the world

 

Church of the Savior on Blood

Auferstehungskirche_(Sankt_Petersburg)

  • Built on the site where Emperor Alexander II was fatally wounded by political nihilists in 1881
  • Built from 1883-1907

 

State Hermitage Museum and Winter Palace

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  • #15 of the top 25 museums in the world
  • Museum of art and culture, with 3 million items
  • Contains the largest collection of paintings in the world
  • Founded in 1764

 

Saint Petersburg

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  • Was the capital of Imperial Russia from 1713-1918
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

 

Kremlin and Red Square

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  • Fortress inside a city
  • Includes 5 palaces, 4 cathedrals, and the Kremlin Wall with Kremlin towers
  • Was used from 1922-1991 by highest members (presidents, premiers, ministers, etc.)
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

 

Kazan Kremlin

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  • Historic citadel built under Ivan the Terrible on the ruins of the former castle of Kazan khans
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

 

Curonian Spit

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  • Thin, long, curved sand-dune spit
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

 

Novodevichy Convent

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  • Cloister of Moscow
  • Virtually intact since the 17th century
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

 

Saint Basil’s Cathedral

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  • Church that is now a museum
  • Built from 1555-1561 under Ivan the Terrible
  • Commemorates the capture of Kazan and Astrakhan
  • Was the city’s tallest building until 1600

 

Peterhof Grand Palace

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  • 1720s palaces and gardens sometimes referred to as the “Russian Versailles”
  • Built under Peter the Great
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

 

Moscow Metro

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  • Rapid transit system opened in 1935
  • First underground railway system in the Soviet Union
  • Park Pobedy station is one of the world’s deepest metro sections

 

Dolmens of the North Caucasus

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  • Concentrations of megaliths, dolmens, and stone labyrinths of spiritual significance dating between the end of the 4th millennium and the beginning of the 2nd millennium B.C. have been found throughout the Caucasus Mountains
  • While generally unknown in the rest of Europe, these structures are equal to the great megaliths of Europe and Asia in terms of age and quality of architecture, but are still of an unknown origin
  • Approximately 3,000 of these megalithic monuments are known in the Western Caucasus, but more are constantly being found, while some are being destroyed
  • Today, many are in great disrepair and will be completely lost if they are not protected from vandals and general neglect
  • The dolmens could have been vaults of metal objects or jewelry that were pillaged by the invading Scythians around the first millennium BC

 

Kamchatka Ice Cave

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  • Tunnel was formed by a hot water spring flowing beneath the glacial ice fields on the flanks of the nearby Mutnovsky volcano
  • Because glaciers on Kamchatka volcanoes have been melting in recent years, the roof of this cave is now so thin that sunlight penetrates through it, eerily illuminating the icy structures within
  • The Kamchatka Peninsula, in the far east of Russia, is a region of exceptional natural beauty with its large symmetrical volcanoes, lakes, wild rivers and coastline
  • The peninsula has only been recently explored due to it remaining off-limits to foreigners until the 1990s
  • The modest human exploitation has kept the peninsula and its flora in largely pristine condition

 

Dargavs

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  • Necropolis outside the village of Dargavs, called “City of the dead”
  • Comprises 99 different tombs and crypts
  • Some sources say the oldest of the crypts dates back to the 12th century, though others say the oldest crypt dates back to the 14th century and some say it dates to the 16th century
  • At the back of the complex there is a tower, though the top of it is destroyed
  • It takes one hour from Vladikavkaz on narrow roads and many hills to get there

 

Bunker 42

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  • Tunnel system beneath the streets of Moscow, leading to a secret cold war fortress once code named Bunker 42
  • Built after the first series of nuclear tests by the Soviet Union, these tests revealed that the optimum depth for the bunker must be no higher than 165 feet beneath ground in order to survive nuclear fallout
  • The task for the builders was to construct a gigantic structure beneath the city streets without damaging Moscow’s existing infrastructure of streets and communication pathways
  • Otherwise this would alert the public and innumerable unknown spies to the existence of the bunker
  • It allowed quick access to the bunker for
    Stalin
  • Completed in 1956
  • Today, it’s a historical monument that is a museum of what life was like on the Soviet side of the Iron Curtain during the Cold War era, bringing visitors below ground to a time when the world lived on the constant brink of nuclear annihilation

 

Izmaylovo Kremlin

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  • Unique center of culture and entertainment
  • Built in a architecture style of Old Muscovite Russia which consists of colorful ornament and wooden architecture
  • It is an imitation of Moscow based on sketches from the 14th-17th centuries
  • It is supposed to depict many elements of Old Russian architecture as it looked like in pre-Petrine times, inspired by drawings of Russian fairy tales
  • There is a reconstruction of a wooden Russian church that used to dot the Russian countryside before the Russian Revolution

 

Lenin’s Mausoleum

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  • Currently serves as the resting place of Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin
  • His preserved body has been on public display there since shortly after his death in 1924, with rare exceptions in wartime
  • The structure incorporates some elements from ancient mausoleums, such as the Step Pyramid, the Tomb of Cyrus the Great and Temple of the Inscriptions

 

Psychedelic Salt Mines

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  • Found 650 feet below the Russian city of Yekaterinburg
  • The colorful swirls are caused by layers of the mineral carnallite, which can be yellow and white or even red and blue
  • Dating back millions of years to when a salty sea dried up, it has left behind the mineral deposits
  • The labyrinth passageways stretch for miles, and are now mostly abandoned and only accessible with a government permit
  • Without a flashlight, the tunnels are pitch black, and the air is filled with tiny particles of salt, giving your throat a sense of being parched

 

Red Square

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  • Square meant to serve as Moscow’s main marketplace
  • Also the site of various public ceremonies and proclamations, and occasionally a coronation for Russia’s Tsars would take place
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

 


 

Costs

all flights $1,954

food $26/day x 20 days = $525

hotel $22/day x 19 days = $418

tickets (all attractions) $61

TOTAL for whole itinerary $2,958