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Russia is great and immense, and its unique culture, exquisite architecture, rich history, beautiful nature leave indelible impressions for a lifetime. It is not surprising that it is in Russia, among more than a thousand different cities, that one can meet those whose beauty is simply breathtaking. Of course, it is not easy to single out the most beautiful cities in Russia, because each settlement is beautiful in its own way, valued for its history, culture, sights, monuments and architecture. But still, out of 1100 Russian cities, we tried to single out the top twenty based on the number of picturesque places, sights and historical monuments.
1. St. Petersburg
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View of St. Isaac's Cathedral from the embankment of the Moika River in St. Petersburg
Panorama of the Strelka of Vasilevsky Island in St. Petersburg
A real Russian handsome city on the Neva heads the top of the most beautiful cities in Russia. Among the iconic sights known to almost everyone, there are drawbridges and a unique natural phenomenon – white nights. But besides this, numerous garden and park complexes, ancient cathedrals, countless museums of antiquity, including the well-known Hermitage and the Russian Museum, whose priceless collections are unparalleled, amaze with their beauty.
The Moscow Kremlin and St. Basil's Cathedral on Red Square in Moscow
Aerial panoramic view of Moscow City skyscrapers in Moscow
The capital of the country is one of the oldest Russian cities, which burned down almost to the ground countless times, was plundered, but rose from the ashes just as many times, was reborn and became even more beautiful. The first thing to do when visiting Moscow is to walk along the ancient and symbolic street of the city – Arbat, feel the contrast of the narrow streets of the old center against the background of the luxurious avenues of Moscow City, visit the oldest building of the capital – the Kremlin, numerous museums and exhibition halls that store an invaluable heritage old days.
A colorful three-meter flower peacock or Zhar- bird near the walls of the Kazan Kremlin at sunset
The territory of the Kazan Kremlin – the main attraction of the capital of Tatarstan
Kazan is a city with a rich cultural heritage, which is officially the political and administrative center of Tatarstan. Several religions met here, giving the city a unique and inimitable historical flavor. The main beauty and charm of this city lies in the stunning mosques adjacent to Christian churches and symbolizing the interweaving of Russian and Tatar cultures. Other symbolic monuments include the “falling” tower of Syuyubmike, the Kazan Zoo, the National Museum and the Opera and Ballet Theatre.
4. Nizhny Novgorod
One of the 13 towers of the Nizhny Novgorod Kremlin in Nizhny Novgorod
The beginning of the Nizhne-Volzhskaya embankment – a view of the Nativity Church in Nizhny Novgorod
The original ancient city, located in the heart of the Volga region, has preserved the memory of key events in Russian history. Life here flows slowly, and there are places for walking and contemplating amazing views: one of these places is the Fedorovsky embankment, another example is the viewing platforms of the Chkalovsky stairs. The unforgettable historical flavor will allow you to get acquainted with the museum collections, architecture lovers can admire the main architectural masterpiece of the city – the Nizhny Novgorod Kremlin, and believers will remember the city for its inexpressibly beautiful temples.
City pond from Yekaterinburg City in Yekaterinburg
Temple-Monument on the Blood in the name of All Saints, who shone in the Russian land in Yekaterinburg
The real treasure of the Urals is Yekaterinburg, which ranks fourth in terms of tourist attractiveness. About 6 hundred architectural monuments are concentrated here, many of which did not affect even the most complex historical events.
Numerous pre-revolutionary monuments coexist with ancient churches, estates, gardens and palaces. Among the top places to visit are the Tsarsky Bridge, Big Zlatoust, Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and the Zheleznov Manor.
A huge Cathedral on Kant Island in the middle of the Pregolya River in the center of Kaliningrad
Beautiful view of the city center of Kaliningrad and the Pregolya River
The city, originally built by the Germans for themselves, is famous for its unique beauty. It has a unique Gothic architecture, which is not typical of Russian cities: squares, parks, museums – everything here is imbued with the spirit of Gothic. Since this city was European until 1945, much has been preserved here from the pre-war period – Catholic cathedrals, Art Nouveau buildings, fortifications and much more. Among the iconic places that create the image of Kaliningrad are the Palmburg Bridge, the King's Gate and the Königsberg Cathedral.
Golden Gate in Vladimir
General view of the Assumption Cathedral with the bell tower in Vladimir ru:Participant:Glavkom NN
Choosing which is the most beautiful city in Russia, you should pay attention to the city of ancient architecture. Vladimir is one of the most visited cities of the Golden Ring, which is why there are so many unique architectural monuments – temples, cathedrals and monasteries, as well as museums that keep the rich history of the city. Old parks, gardens and squares complement the look of the city and are a favorite place for walking. Visiting memorable places should start with the most significant – such as St. Demetrius Cathedral, Trinity Church, Historical Museum, Planetarium or Vladimir Central.
Arkhangelsk microdistrict along the Northern Dvina embankment Forum Arctica
One of the oldest cities in the Russian north is comfortably located at the mouth of the Dvina, so Arkhangelsk is considered a city of maritime glory and is famous for its beautiful embankment. There is the Northern Maritime Museum, founded by the sailors themselves and telling about famous sailors. Before the founding of St. Petersburg, it was through this city that the most important trade routes passed, the main point of trade was Gostiny Dvor, from which only part of the wall has survived today. Guests are attracted by the coziness of narrow old streets, ancient wooden buildings and the local Arbat.
Historical building Marine station with boats and yachts on the moorings in Sochi
Bird's eye view of the Sochi cityscape and the Black Sea coast
The unique color, stunning nature, pleasant climate make Sochi a special attraction in terms of tourism. The pearl of the Black Sea coast is immersed in greenery and beckons with the sound of the surf, cozy beaches, restaurants and countless entertainment. In addition to a relaxing holiday on the beaches of Sochi, there is something to visit to comprehend the true spirit of this city – for example, the Oceanarium, the Arboretum, the Museum of Ethnography, the entertainment complex Riviera, Eagle Rocks and Yew-Boxwood Grove.
10. Rostov-na -Don
Stele “To the Liberators of Rostov” on Theater Square in Rostov-on-Don
The large southern port of Russia is distinguished by a mixture of cultures of different nations. Where, if not in the southern capital of Russia, you can comprehend the characteristic flavor of the Russian south? For 2.5 centuries of its existence, the city managed to acquire rare monuments from different times. It has a beautiful city embankment, fragrant with flowers and vegetation, its various museums tell the history of railway technology and astronautics, there is a drawbridge, Friendship Park with the famous fountain “Twins”, and many cathedrals.
Bridge across the Yenisei River in Krasnoyarsk
Sculpture “Tsar-fish” from the work of V.P. Astafieva on the observation deck in Krasnoyarsk Kastey
The cold Siberian handsome man is spread on the banks of the Yenisei, and its sights demonstrate the invincible power that moved forward the discoveries of the explorers of the harsh Siberian lands. Today the city is famous for its nature reserves, which demonstrate the special charm and mystery of the cold northern nature. Forged iron monuments – “Tsar-fish”, “White Horse” give severity to the urban appearance. The cozy wooden estate of Surikov demonstrates the life and work of the famous artist, and numerous museums tell about various milestones in the cultural life of the city.
Monument “Motherland is calling!” from the side of the square “Fighting to the Death” on Mamaev Kurgan
The most beautiful cities in Russia are famous not only for their external beauty, but also for their heroism. The hero-city of Volgograd, founded in the 16th century, is known for numerous victories during the battles of the Great Patriotic War. Throughout its history, it was repeatedly destroyed and plundered, but again revived and overgrown with fortress walls. In honor of military merits in the center of the memorial complex “Mamaev Kurgan” a monument “Motherland” was erected. The Alley of Heroes, the Gerhardt Mill and other glorious monuments also tell about the difficult times in the history of the city.
The building of the Lermontov Gallery in the center of the ancient park Tsvetnik in Pyatigorsk
The famous city of Stavropol began to flourish as a resort area from the moment dozens of healing thermal springs were discovered here in the middle of the 19th century. This region is loved by guests for its sunny weather, picturesque natural landscapes and provincial city views. Among its magnificent natural places are the underground karst lake Proval, Mount Mashuk, Lermontov's cave-grotto. In general, the city has a number of monuments that tell about the life of the famous poet in Pyatigorsk – for example, the sculpture of Lermontov, the place of his duel, the museum-reserve and the Lermontov Gallery.
Resurrection bridge and sights of the Patriarch's Square in Yoshkar-Ola
The Tsarevokokshay Kremlin, restored on the site of a medieval prison in Yoshkar-Ola
The city acquired a beautiful appearance not so long ago – most of its attractions were either rebuilt from scratch or restored since the 2000s. Therefore, modern, bright Yoshkar-Ola looks like a picture from an advertising booklet of some travel agency. Here you can find a lot of fresh buildings, more characteristic of the appearance of Northern Europe than Russia. For example, Obolensky-Nogotkov Square with its buildings in the Venetian style, Bruges embankment with Belgian facades of houses, or Chavaina Boulevard with its illuminated waterfalls and flowering alleys.
The Iversky convent is located on the slope of the steep Volga bank in Samara
Beautiful architecture of historical buildings in Samara
One of the million-plus cities in Russia is known for its oil refining industry, mechanical engineering and food industry. Samara stretches along the banks of the Volga, and it is here that the longest embankment in Russia is located – its length is about 5 kilometers. The architecture of the city is characterized by a mixture of styles – from classics to socialist constructivism and modernity. Among the favorite places for tourist walks are the Iversky Monastery, the Samarskaya Luka National Park, the Zhiguli Brewery, the Space Museum.
Monument to the founders of Irkutsk and Yakov Pokhabov against the backdrop of the Epiphany Cathedral in Irkutsk
Entrance to the Orthodox Church of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God in the city of Irkutsk
The city on the banks of the Angara, located in the vicinity of the grandiose Lake Baikal, began its history 3.5 centuries ago as a tiny prison. Since then, the collection of sights of the northern city has been replenished with the most amazing monuments of antiquity. Today, Irkutsk is famous for its ancient wooden structures, such as the Sukachev Estate Museum, the Taltsy ethnographic museum with unusual wooden buildings, or the carved house-estate of the Shastin merchants. Unusual thematic museums and theaters, churches and cathedrals of indescribable beauty – this is what creates the appearance of Irkutsk.
The famous park on Strelka at the confluence of the Kotorosl River with the Volga in Yaroslavl
Monastery pond and stone buildings of the Tolga monastery in Yaroslavl
One of the oldest cities in the country is one of the points on the Golden Ring route and one of the most popular centers of cultural recreation in Russia. A trip to Yaroslavl will be remembered for its architectural monuments of antiquity – such as the Demidov Pillar, Semyonovsky Bridge, the monument to Yaroslav the Wise and dozens of temples and cathedrals. Nature lovers will undoubtedly appreciate the opportunities for outdoor walks, because the city has a lot of parks and squares. The park on the Damansky Peninsula is especially popular – a recreational green area for recreation.
Spaso-Ascension Cathedral bright blue in Ulyanovsk Tara-Amingu
The rating of the most beautiful cities in Russia continues with Ulyanovsk, which arose in the 17th century on the banks of the Volga as a border fortification. Since then, the city has been actively developing as the cultural center of the country, but it gained particular fame due to the fact that the leader of the world proletariat began his glorious life here. It was in honor of Lenin, who was born under the name Ulyanov, that the city of Simbirsk was renamed Ulyanovsk at the beginning of the last century. All the most significant sights are in one way or another connected with the name of a famous figure – for example, the Lenin Memorial, the monument and Lenin Square, Lenin's house-museum, etc.
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Aerial view of the Pskov Kremlin and Trinity Cathedral on a narrow and high cape
In the past, Pleskov, now Pskov, has become part of the oldest history of the region – the number of architectural and historical monuments is simply off scale. This fact makes the city one of the most popular sightseeing destinations in the country. On the lands of Pskov, countless religious, fortifications and other civil structures of the 12th-16th centuries survived the terrible invasions during the years of the Tatar-Mongol yoke. Numerous museums, monuments, many ancient temples and monasteries, embankments of the Velikaya and Pskova rivers are just a small part of those places that everyone should see with their own eyes.
A bird's eye view of one of the Voronezh microdistricts
The city of military glory, which became the cradle of the navy, during the reign of Peter the Great played an important role in the history of the Russian state. And Voronezh began with a fortress built to protect against the raids of the Tatars and the Polish-Lithuanian troops. The memory of historical events to this day keeps Petrovsky Square with a monument to Peter. The ship-museum “GoTo Predestination”, Admiralteyskaya Square are no less famous monuments reflecting the glorious history of the city. A number of ancient temples, museums, the Drama Theatre, an oceanarium, the ancient Venevitinov estate are the main places where you should go to explore the city.
The rating of the 20 most beautiful cities in Russia will become an important basis for everyone who decides to comprehend all the beauty , diversity and magnificence of the most vast country in the world – Russia.