The opulence of the tsars, the starkness of the Soviets, the genius of Tolstoy, the onion-domed cathedrals of the Red Square, the sturdy taste of Stoli… whatever association one has with Russia, one thing is for sure: the world’s largest country is just as big as it is captivating. Of course, it has plenty of space to prove its worth. Spanning 11 time zones and two continents, Russia occupies more than one-eighth of the Earth’s inhabited landmass, lending ample room for a striking symphony of historic cities, idyllic countrysides, towering mountains, and artistic treasures.

For all its beauty, the number one reason why travelers come to Russia is for the history. There is something fascinating about the surreal, oftentimes ruthless, and unparalleled saga that has embodied Russia and its many past monikers through the eras. But those looking for an immersion into former Soviet Russia will find themselves sorely disappointed. Modern Russia has taken great strides to shed its Soviet past and reclaim its former cultural and capitalist vitality. Ancient palaces and cathedrals are still there in all their glory, but they are also finally seeing some much-needed restoration, while the colorful markets are once again the hubs of social activity and the arts are quickly regaining their creative foothold.

This is none so more apparent than in Russia’s two main cities, Moscow and St. Petersburg, which act as twin repositories for a host of national treasures, political clout, and contemporary change. Between Moscow’s astounding Kremlin and uncanny concentration of billionaires and St. Petersburg’s distinct European flavor, both capitals prove that in today’s Russia, anything is possible. And yet there is so much more to Russia than its two most popular metropolises. Outside of their pulsing, vodka-fueled liveliness is a contrasting countryside of calm, where humble farmers and bucolic gingerbread cottages might as well have manifested straight out of a Russian fairytale. Add to this the largest freshwater lake in the world (the Baikal), Europe’s tallest peak (Mount Elbrus), and the vast tundra of Siberia, and there is always a new horizon to conquer in Russia.

Luxury Russia travel with Ker & Downey allows you to follow in the footsteps of some of the world’s finest innovators, scientists, artists, writers, and craftsmen. Contact Ker & Downey today to start planning your next luxury Russia adventure.