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Kizhi Island The UNESCO-listed historic centre with its fascinating network of canals and eye-catching Baroque and Neoclassical architectural styles is certainly a must for everyone visiting the former capital of Russia. So are the city’s greatest museums – the fabulous Hermitage and the Russian Museum; or the bustling Nevsky Prospekt – St. Petersburg’s main avenue and its premier destination for shopping, dining and nightlife.

The city’s elaborately decorated churches, the world-famous Mariinsky Theatre, the Peter and Paul Fortress and the Vasilyevsky Island are well worth a visit as well.

The best time to visit St. Petersburg is during summer, when the city is experiencing its famous White Nights – a time of glorious midnight sun, beautiful traditions and numerous night-time festivals.

Kizhi Island

Not as famous as Moscow and St Petersburg, but an equally noteworthy Russian destination is the Kizhi Island in the heart of Lake Onega. Known especially for its fabulous open-air museum, this one-of-a-kind complex of great historical, cultural and natural interest hosts an amazing collection of wooden structures, some of them part of the UNESCO World Heritage list, others dating back as far as the 14th century.

The most famous attractions on this tiny island include the Church of the Resurrection of Lazarus (the oldest wooden church in Russia) and the Kizhi Pogost site with its impressive 22-dome Transfiguration Church. In addition to some of the country’s finest examples of wooden architecture, visitors will have the chance to explore a series of ancient rural settlements characteristic to the Karelia region and scattered among this beautiful, almost pristine nature paradise.

Vladivostok

Vladivostok

Coincidence or not, one of Russia’s most attractive cities is a picturesque port on the Pacific Ocean that’s closer to China, Japan and the Korean territory than it is to the national Lake Baikal in Siberia. So, a fabulous 4,000 miles from Moscow lies Vladivostok, a town that impresses with its scenic location, uninterrupted sea views and hilly streets that remind travelers of storied San Francisco.

Only 15 years ago, this easternmost point of the famous Trans-Siberian Highway was a closed city, but these days, Vladivostok is blossoming with modern architecture, lovely cuisine and endless entertaining opportunities.

During summer, the Sportivnaya Harbor is the liveliest place in town, greeting visitors with an amusement park and dozens of street vendors selling drinks, food and all kinds of colorful souvenirs. Other places of interest in Vladivostok include Ploschad Bortsov Revolutsy – the city’s main square, the state-of-the-art Russky Island Bridge that connects the city with the small island, the Arsenyev Regional History Museum and the Primorsky State Art Gallery.

Vladivostok’s cuisine is particularly magnificent, blending European and Asian culinary traditions into an utterly delicious menu based on seafood delicacies and oriental flavors.

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