Russia, the eastern neighbor, is a large country with enough interesting destinations for Finns as well. According to countryaah, Russia, the world’s largest country, is a versatile travel destination right next to Finns. Short for RUS by abbreviationfinder, Russia offers the splendor of tsarist times, echoes of the Soviet past and great cultural experiences, not forgetting delicious food. Handsome mosques are part of Russia.
Direct flights to Russia
Finland has excellent flight connections to Russia, as Finnair flies directly from Helsinki-Vantaa to St. Petersburg, Moscow, Yekaterinburg, Kazan and Samara. Aeroflot operates from Helsinki to Moscow.
Direct flights from Helsinki to St. Petersburg take just over an hour and cost just under 200 euros. Flights from Helsinki to Moscow take about an hour and a half and also cost just under 200 euros.
Domestic flights in Russia are operated by Aeroflot and Rossiya Airlines. Moscow in particular has a lot of interchanges all over the country, and flying is the only way to reach the most distant destinations without having to travel for days.
By train near and far
From Finland, you can easily travel directly by train to St. Petersburg, Vyborg and Moscow. The high-speed Allegro train runs to St. Petersburg four times a day, and the journey takes about three and a half hours in its direction. The night train Tolstoy runs to Moscow via St. Petersburg.
In Russia, all major cities can be reached by train, and the train is the main means of transport for ordinary people between cities.
In Finland, VR and travel agencies specializing in travel to Russia distribute train tickets for train connections within Russia. Due to the huge distances, Russian long-distance trains are invariably sleeping cars. There are three classes of travel.
By bus to the neighboring country
Traveling by bus from Finland to Russia takes considerably more time than traveling by train or flight. Travel time from Helsinki to St. Petersburg is about eight hours, and buses run daily.
Travel agencies sell a lot of tours, where you travel between different destinations on the tour operator’s own bus. These trips are good options for those who want to see more of Russia effortlessly.
In internal traffic, the train is a more effortless option than the bus, and buses are not recommended for self-employed travelers.
By ship visa-free to St. Petersburg
Today, you can travel to Russia without a visa by ship. On a visa-free boat trip, you can stay in the country for a maximum of 72 hours. St. Peter Line offers cruise packages from Helsinki. We leave in the evening and arrive in the morning.
With your own car to Russia
You can also go to Russia with your own car, but it is worth noting that driving has its own risks due to the different traffic culture and the poor condition of the road. Foreign cars can also be sensitive to police attention.
In principle, a car can roast through Russia all the way to Vladivostok, but especially in the emptiness of Siberia, engine breakdown or fuel problems can be fatal. The fuel available in Russia does not always meet Finnish standards, and it can make driving significantly more difficult.
Your own car is best suited for nearby tourism: in Vyborg or elsewhere in Russian Karelia.
Hotels and homestays
In Russia, the hotel offer is not yet as developed as in Western countries, but accommodation opportunities have increased in recent years.
Large cities, especially St. Petersburg and Moscow, offer accommodation of all levels from luxury hotels to youth hostels. However, there is a shortage of quality mid-range accommodation and, unfortunately, the value for money of accommodation is often poor.
Elsewhere in Russia, hotels are often a legacy of the Soviet Union, although new accommodation establishments have been established. Accommodation cannot be expected to exceed the basic level. Hotel rooms are often old but in good condition.
Those with Russian language skills can easily arrange home accommodation in Russia. For example, train stations always have people on duty who want to rent a room from their home to a traveler. Home accommodation can be a good, affordable and comfortable alternative to hotel offerings. You can search for home accommodation on the Internet, for example, through the Russian Host Families Association .
The large land can accommodate a wide variety of natural sites.
St. Petersburg of the Tsars
Peter the Great founded St. Petersburg in 1703 as Russia’s new capital and the country’s showcase to the west. St. Petersburg, which is also called the Venice of the North, is full of world-famous attractions.
In St. Petersburg, the Hermitage Art Museum is especially worth a visit, where you will find an extensive art collection initiated by Empress Catherine the Great.
St. Petersburg’s spectacular historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the center’s attractions are plentiful for several visits. The city’s numerous top restaurants offer delicious Russian cuisine. The attraction of St. Petersburg is enhanced by the numerous Palaces around the city, which are good day-trip destinations.
Moscow, the largest city in Europe
Moscow is an insanely lively city that is both the largest and most expensive city in Europe. In Moscow, the status of the capital is visible and felt everywhere. The city has several top attractions to offer from the old Red Square and the Kremlin to the huge Victory Park, whose proportions are simply astounding.
Shopping in Moscow is excellent, but be prepared to spend money. There is also a lot of cultural offer in Moscow and especially great ballet performances are worth seeing.
The mystical Kazan of Tatarstan
Kazan is a rising tourist destination in Russia. Deep inland, the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan exudes the mystique of antiquity and modern wealth with new buildings. The most famous attraction is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Kazan Kremlin.
Kazan is also known for its successful hockey team AK K from Kazan Kazan, where several Finns play.
Between Europe and Asia: Yekaterinburg
Yekaterinburg is located on the border of Europe and Asia. Known as Sverdlovsk during the Soviet era, the city is a vibrant city of millions, offering a wide variety of attractions and a vibrant nightlife.
Yekaterinburg is especially known for the death of Tsar Nicholas II. Today, the scene is the Yekaterinburg Blood Church.
Outside the city you can visit the wooden monastery area where the bodies of the tsarist family were found. You can also visit the geographical border between Europe and Asia. You can cross the border on foot and get an official certificate of performance.
Kaliningrad on the Baltic Sea
Until 1946, Kaliningrad was known by its German name Köningsberg. The city is located on the Russian Baltic Sea strip between Poland and Lithuania. Kaliningrad is especially known for its history, and tourism in the rapidly developing city is on the rise.
THE BEST OF RUSSIA
The Russian capital Moscow is the largest and most expensive city in all of Europe.
Ten interesting cities when St. Petersburg and Moscow are seen
- Nizhny Novgorod
Russia’s most interesting UNESCO sites
- The Moscow Kremlin and the Red Square – perhaps the most famous symbol of Russia
- Petersburg’s historic center
- Kazan Kremlin – the old administrative and fortification center
- The historic center of Novgorod – the first capital of Russia
- Lake Baikal – the deepest lake in the world in Siberia