There’s no denying it, the biggest country in the world has much to offer travelers. Russia alone is home to a total of 28 UNESCO World Heritage Sites! Luckily, most of them are located in the western part of Russia (the most visited one by foreign travelers) and may be perfect additions to any Russia itinerary. Let’s take a closer look at some of them.
Moscow's UNESCO Treasures
The first unmissable destination in the capital city is its beating heart - Moscow Kremlin & Red Square. This iconic square with the colorful-domed St. Basil's Cathedral and the red-wall and towers of the Kremlin are one of the oldest parts of Moscow, noted by UNESCO. The Square dates back to the late 1200s and has numerous historical attractions such as the Lobnoye Mesto and the Mint building.
Another point to add-on to your Moscow itinerary is Kolomenskoye. This Russia UNESCO Heritage ensemble is a former royal estate which is located near the Moscow city center. It is a striking example of authentic Russian architecture, especially the Church of Ascension, built in the 1530s.
Last but not least, when in Moscow, save some time for exploring the historical cloister - Novodevichy Convent. Translated as New Maiden, this 16th-17th-century complex is among the most spiritual and gorgeous places in the city. Note, though, that if you'd like to go there any time soon, it is currently under restoration.
Saint Petersburg City-Center
Did you know that the historic part of Russia’s northern capital is actually entirely noted by UNESCO? It’s true! In terms of art and style, St. Petersburg is considered to be one of the most wholesome city “compositions” in the world as most of it was built at practically the same time by the world’s most talented specialists.
Numerous architectural complexes, squares, canals, bridges, parks, and gardens will surely surprise you with their beauty. The must-see buildings include the famous home of the Hermitage Museum, the Winter Palace located on Palace Square.
Moreover, several splendid Tsarist residences outside St. Petersburg made the Russia UNESCO list as well. These are, of course, the Peterhof Palace and Parks complex as well as Catherine's Palace in Pushkin, formerly called Tsarskoye Selo, among others.
Golden Ring Gems
Those interested in history should definitely save a couple of days for exploring the “Golden Ring” circuit. As such, the town of Suzdal has well-preserved buildings and is one of the oldest Russian towns. The Suzdal Kremlin as well as numerous churches dating back to the 13th century.
The nearby Vladimir was founded more than 1 thousand years old and was once the capital city of ancient Rus. Its 12th-century certainly cathedrals deserve your time.
Another place on the Golden Ring map is Sergiev Posad, famous for its Trinity Sergius Lavra, made up of several medieval structures. The so-called “Russian Vatican” is a spiritual place located in the surroundings of the gorgeous Russian countryside.
Lastly, the historic center of Yaroslavl also boasts Russia UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The town stands on the shores of the Volga and has many untouched authentic buildings.
Kazan Region's Wonders
The third capital of Russia is not like any other Russian town. The multiethnic city has for centuries been known for its religious tolerance, a great example of which is the Kazan Kremlin. On the territory of this Russia UNESCO sight stand side by side the Kul Sharif Mosque and the Annunciation Cathedral, both of which are important city landmarks.
The highlights don't stop at that as you can also spend a day visiting Bolgar which is not very far from Kazan. This attraction of Tatarstan holds the remnants of the historic settlement of Volga Bulgaria and now offers a complex with museums and ancient structures.
Finally, the spiritual mecca, Sviyazhsk, makes for a great day trip from Kazan. Standing on a separate island, the monastery and Assumption Cathedral were both built around the 1550s on the order of Ivan the Terrible who seized Kazan.
Kizhi Pogost & Karelia
For a touch of something truly Russian and unique, plan a visit to the marvelous part of Russia - Kizhi Island.
The destination is well worth a visit as here you can see the only one of its kind in the world wooden Transfiguration Church with a total of 22 adorned domes and built without any nails. Moreover, the open-air complex itself brings together examples of authentic wooden architecture and displays what a traditional village looks like.
Apart from that, you can also spend time in the nearby Ruskeala Mountain Park and admire the UNESCO-listed gorgeous Karelia nature. The territory of the region borders Finland and is noted for its wonderful lakes, marble canyon, and mountainous park.
Without a doubt, the deepest freshwater lake on our planet, the Baikal, is a must-see natural UNESCO wonder.
Situated not far from Irkutsk, Lake Baikal is protected by the government and is an often visited place by globetrotters.
Other natural beauties on the UNESCO Russia map include the Kamchatka volcanoes, located in Russia's Far East. This less-discover region has remarkable wild nature and is especially popular among hikers and mountain-climbing enthusiasts.
What is more, the Curonian Spit, set in the Baltics Region, is something out of the ordinary too. You can visit this drifting sandy dune when visiting the city of Kaliningrad.
With the plethora of places to discover and the rich list of Russia UNESCO sites, a journey to this country is surely worth it! Ready to start planning your trip? Don’t hesitate to contact our experienced travel experts and plan your worry-free Russia vacation to remember.