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Russia by Rail - Escorted Holidays

The grand country of Russia showcases its turbulent history and lasting elegance in the beauty of its cities and the wide open spaces of its wilderness. From the iconic onion-domes of St Basils Cathedral in Moscow, to the opulence of the Winter Palace in St Petersburg, and the lasting signs of communism that pervade the country with epic statues such as 'the Motherland Calls', the largest statue in Europe, there is so much to see and experience in this lively and traditional country.

One of the most famous rail journeys in Russia, and a once-in-a-lifetime experience for rail enthusiasts the world over, is the iconic Trans-Siberian railway, which stretches from Moscow in the West to Vladivostok, close to the Chinese boarder. 

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  • DestinationRussia
  • Starts / EndsLondon Heathrow
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  • TransportFlight, Rail
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Touring Russia with Rail Discoveries


Russia is the largest country by square mile in the world, with boarders that stretch from Finland in Eastern Europe, to the edges of China, and nearly reaching the most western point of the Americas. Thanks to its enormous size, the country can vary dramatically in climate, from the almost subtropical climates of the area near the Black Sea, to the unforgiving cold of Siberia in the Northern most part of the country.

Russia is fairly sparsely populated, with most citizens of Russia living in the larger cities to the west of the country, most notably St Petersburg, Moscow, and Yekaterinburg. Russia is also known as the 'lungs of Europe', due to having the world's largest forest reserves, absorbing more CO2 than the Amazon Rainforest.





Russia has an extremely long and turbulent history. Russia was originally inhabited by Slavic tribes from Poland, the Roman Empire, and ancient Greece. The original Tsardom of Russia was created in the 16th century by Grand Duke Ivan IV, known today by the concerning name of Ivan the Terrible. Russia reached a sort of Golden Age under Peter the Great, who ruled from 1682 to 1725, and who ordered the beautiful metropolis of St Petersburg to be built from originally uninhabitable swampland.

In 1917, the Russian uprising ended the Tsardom, and ushered in the new Communist Regime. Vladimir Lenin, who led the October Revolution that led to the deaths of the ruling Romanov family, became the new leader of Russia, and began a regime that would last until 1991.


Russia is the land of great literacy, great composers, and great ballet. From the literary giants of Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Leo Tolstoy, to the delicately beautiful music of Pyotr Illyich Tchaikovsky and passionate Sergei Rachmaninoff, there is so much of the past of Russia to discover. Russia is also birthplace to the most famous ballet companies in the world, the Mariinsky Ballet and Opera, founded in the 18th century in St Petersburg and originally called the Imperial Russian Ballet, and the Bolshoi Ballet, which began in Moscow at the same time.

There are also many traditions in folk culture that come from the many ethnic groups that dot the country. The Cossacks, for example wear clothes called burkas and papahas, which are the fur hats that are so synonymous with the Cossack people.



Peterhof Palace


The food of Russia is based on fish, boultry, mushrooms, berries, honey, and crops. Black bread, a strong, dark, rye bread, is extremely popular in Russia, and can be eaten with many of the soups and stews. Another popular dish is Pirozhki, a dumpling that can be stuffed with either sweet or savoury fillings, making it the perfect dessert or main course.

Russia is also known worldwide for their alcohol, more specifically, vodka. This potato based alcohol was actually originally founded in Poland, but was bought to Russia by merchants, and called 'aqua vitae', or 'the water of life'.

Helpful Hints

The currency in Russia is roubles, and is shown like this- руб

Russians tend to dress conservatively, and it can get bitterly cold in the winter. In the evening, they dress up to go out for the night - if going to a nice restaurant or a cultural event (such as the ballet or a concert), dress clothes are the most appropriate.

Russians use the Cyrillic alphabet as a basis for their written language, so it can be very hard to read. A few Russian phrases that might be useful (written phonetically) are "Privet" (hello), "Menja zovut…" (my name is…) "Pozhaluysta" (please), "Spaseeba" (thank you) and, of course "za zdarovye" - Cheers! 

St Petersburg
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Helping you plan your holiday to Russia


Lynne Broadley
Helen Laverack
Luke Simpson
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