Russia Travel options are almost as diverse as the nation itself. Many foreigners believe that the only tourist destinations lie within Moscow and St. Petersburg. Russian tourism however is starting to evolve and outgrow this stigma. No matter what kind of interests you have, Russia has something for everyone.
Reproduced with permission from Lonely Planet Publications © 2005
Russia Travel - Facts and Resources
Official Name: Russian Federation
Area: Russia is the largest country in the world with an area of 17,075,200 km² (6,592,772 miles²). Russia is approximately 1.7 times the size of the 2nd largest county (Canada), 1.8 times the size of the US and 69.7 times the size of the UK.
A simplified summary of Russian topography can be broken down into 3 distinct regions.
- Broad plains with low hills to the west of the Ural Mountains (European Russia)
- Vast coniferous forests and tundra to the east of the Ural Mountains (Siberia and the Russian Far East)
- Uplands and mountains along the southern border regions (Caucasus Mountains)
About 10% of Russian land area is swampland and about 45% is covered by forest.
Russian Geography Facts:
- Elbrus (located in Russia's Caucasus Mountains) is Europe's highest mountain (5643 meters or 18,513 feet).
- Lake Baikal (located in Siberia) is the world's deepest lake at roughly 1.6km or 1 mile deep. Its estimated to hold 20% of the Earth's fresh water.
- Volga River (flowing 3688km or 2290 miles into the Caspian Sea) is Europe's longest river.
Russia Time Zones:
Russia covers 9 time zones. Moscow Time is GMT +3 hours.
To simplify Russia travel, rail and air schedules throughout Russia use Moscow Time. Clocks in railroad stations and airports are set to Moscow Time even where it differs from local time by as much as nine hours.
For more information on Russia time zone, follow the link.
Much of Russia is covered by snow six months of year. The average annual temperature of European Russia is 0°C (32°F) with high temperatures exceeding 30°C (86°F) in the summer and temperatures dipping below -30°C (-22°F) in the winter.
143,420,309 (July 2005 est.)
Population growth rate: -0.67% (2005 est.)
Life Expectancy at birth: (2005 est.)
1. Female: 74.04 years
2. Male: 60.55 years
3. Total Population: 67.1 years
Sex ratio in Russia: 0.86 male(s)/female (2005 est.)
Russia Ethnic Groups:
Russian 79.8%, Tatar 3.8%, Ukrainian 2%, Bashkir 1.2%, Chuvash 1.1%, other or unspecified 12.1% (2002 census)
Russian Orthodox (75%), Muslim (19%), other (6%)
Government type: Federation
Russian National Anthem (follow this link to learn the words)
Russian Public Holidays:
Dec 31 until Jan8 - New Year & Orthodox Christmas
Feb 23 - Defenders of the Motherland Day (Men's Day)
Mar 8 - International Women's Day
May 1 - Labour Holiday
May 9 - Victory Day (over Nazi Germany in WWII)
June 12 - Day of Russia
Nov 4 - Day of National Unity
Dialing Code: 7
Electricity: 220V, 50Hz, European socket (2-pins)
Further Information for Russia Travel:
- Health and Safety: precautions when traveling to Russia
- CIA-World Factbook: current Russian information & statistics
- Wikipedia: Detailed information about the Russian Federation
- Library of Congress Country Study: Complete journal of essays ranging from Russian History and Politics to the Russian Economy and Judicial System