Best Places in Russia for Large-Group Vacations

To get an unforgettable experience of traveling to Russia, it is best to come here with a large group

To get an unforgettable experience of traveling to Russia, it is best to come here with a large group. All family members, regardless of their age and interests, will love the beautiful cities of Moscow and Saint Petersburg, river cruises around picturesque places and other types of group recreation, which we will discuss in this review.

Start with the Capital

It is best for foreigners to start studying Moscow from its heart — Red Square. It is one of the most beautiful squares in the world, included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. There is the State Historical Museum, the Kremlin of Moscow, St. Basil's Cathedral, the Main Department Store in Moscow (GUM), Lenin's Mausoleum, Minin and Pozharsky Monument and other sights that can be visited either by the whole family or by interest.

You simply must walk along one of the oldest and most famous pedestrian streets of Moscow — Old Arbat Street. Here, street musicians and artists perform, and themed festivals, flash mobs and group tours are held. This street and its neighborhood host memorial apartments of writers and poets, the Vakhtangov Theater, and the Perfume Museum. Here, you can also take a photo in front of the wall of the iconic Russian rock singer Viktor Tsoi. The wall is covered with portraits of the deceased musician, lyrics of his songs and declarations of love. Also on Arbat you can buy Russian souvenirs, such as nesting dolls (matryoshkas), or have lunch at one of the many cafes or restaurants.

Another perfect large-group recreation option is Tsaritsyno museum-reserve, where you can spend an interesting day. The historical and architectural complex occupies 405 hectares — it is a huge territory featuring a park ensemble, ponds, a large dancing fountain, greenhouses, flower beds and other beauties. Here, you can take photos in period costumes, go for a boat or paddleboat ride, buy a variety of souvenirs, and book an audio-guide tour.

From Moscow it is easy to get to Saint Petersburg, which is called the cultural capital of Russia and the Northern Venice. The high-speed Sapsan train is the most convenient option — the journey will take just four hours.

You simply must walk along one of the oldest and most famous pedestrian streets of Moscow — Old Arbat Street. Here, street musicians and artists perform, and themed festivals, flash mobs and group tours are held

In the Cultural Capital

The landmark of Saint Petersburg is St. Isaac's Cathedral, one of the amazing cathedrals of the city. Porticoes of the cathedral rest on granite columns, which are taller than a six-story house. You simply need to go up the colonnade and admire the city at a height. Far in the west, you can see the expanse of the Neva Bay of the Baltic Sea, the spire of the Marine Station, the Byzantine dome of the Church of the Blessed Icon of Our Lady, the domes of the family chapel of the Nikolaevsky Palace. A panorama of dense urban development opens to the south-west. The southern side commands a good view of St. Isaac's Square with the monument to Nicholas I and the Mariinsky Palace, where the marriage registry office is located now.

From there you can stroll through the center of Saint Petersburg. The central Dvortsovaya Square and Nevsky Avenue with many cafes, restaurants, shops are just a short walk away.

The whole family will definitely like it in Peterhof — this grand palace and park ensemble is the former country residence of Peter the Great. There are more than 150 fountains and water cascades, statues, alleys and flower gardens. It is notable that you can get to Peterhof by both land and water. The route of the high-speed passenger hydrofoil craft runs along the central water area of the Neva. This is a great opportunity to enjoy a water-side view of the Hermitage, the Peter and Paul Fortress, the Spit of Vasilyevsky Island, Birzhevoy and Tuchkov bridges, as well as Kronstadt and Strelna in fine weather.

The River Cruises

A cruise along Russian rivers will touch any foreigner's feelings. For the convenience of travelers, modern cruise ships have comfortable rooms, bars and restaurants, video rooms, karaoke, swimming pools and other amenities. You can admire picturesque landscapes while slowly moving along the river. Tourists go to the cities through which the route passes, study the most interesting sights, and buy local products.

Cruise routes run along most of the navigable rivers: the Volga, the Ob, the Lena, the Kama, the Vyatka, the Oka, the Sura, the Yenisei, and others. You can travel along the Volga both as far north as Yaroslavl, the Solovetsky Islands, Valaam and Kizhi, and to the south — to Tatarstan and Astrakhan.

Beach Holidays

Seaside vacations are popular in Russia and one of the best resorts is the Black Sea coast of Krasnodar Territory. The mix of the subtropical and Mediterranean climates creates perfect conditions for a seaside recreation. Nice areas for a family vacation are in the Tuapse district, Anapa and Gelendzhik. Vacationers can stay at mini hotels, guesthouses or simply put up tents near the beach.

The pearl of Krasnodar Territory is the city of Sochi and its vicinity. This place impresses with unusual landscapes, and its sea coast along with mountain relief. In Sochi, you can ride in a hot air balloon, raft down a river, or win mountain tops. There are many hotels, restaurants, stores, and entertainment centers. Vicinity of Sochi — Adler, Dagomys and Lazarevsky, are also good for beach vacations.

Crimean resorts offer clean sea, wide sandy beaches and plentiful of entertainment options for adults and children. Families with children will find Yevpatoria, Lyubimovka, Zaozernoye and Peschanoye to be most comfortable. Yevpatoria resort is widely known and popular for children's health-improving recreation. There are lakes with salt healing water Kizil-Yar, Saki, Sivash and others.

In Sochi, you can ride in a hot air balloon, raft down a river, or win mountain tops. There are many hotels, restaurants, stores, and entertainment centers

On Skis

Fans of winter sports will enjoy Russian ski resorts. One of the most popular resorts is Rosa Khutor in Krasnodar Territory. This is a year-round world-class mountain resort. You can go snowboarding and downhill skiing in winter. There are a lot of ski trails, and everyone can choose one corresponding to their training level. In summer, vacationers can go cycling along the picturesque mountain slopes or take a walk. There is a bike rental, horseback riding, buggy tours, a rope park, yoga classes and other entertainments available for tourists.

No less famous is the Siberian ski resort Sheregesh, located in Kemerovo Region near Novokuznetsk. Tourists from all over the country and the world come here to ski. There are many routes of different difficulty levels in Sheregesh, and backcountry skiing is possible directly from the ski lift. The resort has a ski school, rental offices, and cafes. You can also find hotels to suit any taste and various comfort level. In 2013, Sheregesh resort entered the Guinness Book of Records.

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