1. Nizhny Novgorod
Nizhny Novgorod is one of Russia’s largest cities with a storied history. Between 1932 and 1990 it was called Gorky as it was the birthplace of famed writer Maxim Gorky.
It is in Nizhny (as the locals call it) where the Volga and Oka rivers merge, a picturesque site of natural beauty in the city centre.
Natural beauty meet a vibrant city that is calmer than Moscow but still rich in Russian history with plenty to do.
Sochi is a famous Black Sea resort city that among other things is President Vladimir Putin’s favourite place for vacations (working and otherwise). In 2014 it successfully hosted the Winter Olympics.
Few cities can say that an Olympic stadium can be seen from the beach, but in Sochi this is very much the case.
Yalta is one of the top spring and summer destinations for Russians and those beyond. With long beaches below overlooking clifftops and a vibrant promenade, Yalta is something of a Russian holiday classic.
Kazan is not often a big tourist destination, but it really ought to be. It’s central Kremlin is a World Heritage Site and is home to both mosques and churches, a perfect visual metaphor for the harmonious multi-religious nature of the Russian Federation.
This city is a must for any history buffs, particularly those interested in the battle which turned the tide of the Great Patriotic War (Second World War).
Known as Stalingrad for much of the Soviet period, the city is home to a modern city centre, but those wanting to see one of the world’s most important monuments to the world’s biggest war, will run to take a photo of the giant sculpture, The Motherland Calls