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Which city is good for a tourist to see the "deep Russia"?

Which city is good for a tourist to see the "deep Russia"?

Old Dec 20, 15, 7:21 am
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Smile Which city is good for a tourist to see the "deep Russia"?

Russia is the likeliest option for my next vacation. It will be a 2-week(ish) affair.

I'm just not into Moscow or SPb. I'm torn between Nizhny Novgorod, Perm, Yekaterinburg, Novosibirsk, Krasnoyarsk or Irkutsk (or maybe Yakutsk). Which of those would you suggest for a Russia first-timer who will realistically only get to phrasebook-level Russian?

More on my style/taste: I'm a seasoned traveler who likes to roam independently. So no expensive tours, no tourist traps, no taxis when bus or train options are available, no 4 or 5-star stays when there are hostels.

Last edited by carlos783; Dec 20, 15 at 7:37 am
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Old Dec 20, 15, 7:51 am
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Russia is the likeliest option for my next vacation. It will be a 2-week(ish) affair.

I'm just not into Moscow or SPb. I'm torn between Nizhny Novgorod, Perm, Yekaterinburg, Novosibirsk, Krasnoyarsk or Irkutsk (or maybe Yakutsk). Which of those cities do you suggest for a Russia first-timer who will realistically only achieve phrasebook-level Russian?

More on my style/taste: I'm a seasoned traveler who likes to roam independently. No expensive tours, no tourist traps, no taxis when bus or train options are available, no 4 or 5-star stays when there are hostels.
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Old Dec 20, 15, 8:22 am
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1. When do you plan to go? Winter is really gloomy and cold in most of these cities, and it lasts longer than in Moscow or SPb.
2. How much time do you plan to spend in a city? Perm is OK for a day-trip, while there's no reason to go to Irkutsk if you're not visiting Baikal
3. What do you prefer? City life, architecture, etc. or natural attractions?

Language: you will encounter more problems than in Moscow or SPb in all of the cities you mention.
Now to the question of "deep Russia". I think it's either Perm or Yakutsk that are closest to it. Also I'd recommend looking into smaller cities, maybe as near to Moscow as Vladimir and Ryazan.
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Old Dec 20, 15, 10:51 am
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1. As for the time of the year, I'm thinking May-October. I have maximum flexibility because I want to grab cheap tickets.

2. Whenever I travel for let's say two weeks, I like to focus on 2 cities, maybe 3 if I really want to push the envelope, but no more than that.

3. I yearn for city life, architecture, sightseeing. I also enjoy discovering the culture of the place, hanging out with locals, having dinner or drinks with them, going for a walk in the park, people watching, etc. I want to experience the nightlife, their mindset, their conversation topics, the music they dance to.

I'm more of a cultural, experience-driven tourist, so you likely won't see me taking selfies in Red Square
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Old Dec 20, 15, 11:48 am
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May-September is fine for most cities (except Yakutsk), October may be too cold.
A week is too much for any of these cities unless you're travelling around (have a plan beforehand!). Neither of them is anywhere close to the "two capitals" in terms of places of interest for a tourist.
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Old Dec 21, 15, 3:36 am
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Maybe you shouldn't dismiss Moscow straight out - it is so much more than the Red Square and the Kreml.
It is huge and I'm sure you can find plenty of areas without tourists so you can experience the 'real' Moscow.
First weekend of September, Moscow celebrates its birthday.
I was there this year and it was very interesting - absolutely aimed at locals.
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Old Dec 23, 15, 5:09 pm
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I'd choose Moscow, St.Petersburg and one or two of the others. Novosibirsk was nice ... so was Kazan (not on your list)... I've not been to the others on yur list. But as others have said, a week in any of the cities on your list is almost certainly too much time. You could hit the two biggies and take a long train ride elsewhere...
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Old Dec 25, 15, 11:29 am
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Go to Norilsk
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Old Dec 25, 15, 4:15 pm
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Originally Posted by Palal View Post
Go to Norilsk
While I will always defer to Palal in these matters, it seems that Norilsk is clsed to foreigners and so is almost certainly not an option in this case.
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Old Dec 25, 15, 8:59 pm
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Originally Posted by Xyzzy View Post
While I will always defer to Palal in these matters, it seems that Norilsk is clsed to foreigners and so is almost certainly not an option in this case.
Ah yea, that's right. You need friends or relatives there to make you an invitation. Complicated stuff...
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Old Jan 24, 16, 8:39 am
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All said above regarding the too general nature of the request. Two cities I'd highly recommend though are:
- Velikiy Novgorod - it's right in between Moscow and Saint Petersburg, and it's magnificent
- Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan - much more interesting than Nizhniy Novgorod which is nearby
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Old Jan 26, 16, 8:47 pm
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Ekaterinaburg? (spelling?)
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Old Jan 27, 16, 4:43 am
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Ekaterinburg (not EkaterinAburg) is a modern city, nothing very special. Try Tomsk (wooden architecture), Krasnoyarsk (Stolby nature reserve and Sayano–Shushenskaya hydroelectric power station)
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Old Feb 20, 16, 5:03 am
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Best Russia holiday destinations beyond Moscow and St Petersburg

http://www.theguardian.com/travel/20...-st-petersburg
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Old Feb 21, 16, 1:48 am
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Comments.
1. Ruskeala is not the only place to visit in Karelia. Kizhi, Valaam, Kivach waterfall and Vottovaara mountain are also must see places.
2. Stolby on photo are from Yakutia region, on the Lena river bank. It's very far from Stolby Krasnoyarsk. But Krasnoyarsk rocks looks better
3. Petropavlovsk is the best place to go late summer. But you have to know few things. You can't find any comfort there. It's really wild territory. Get ready for adventure. And you will need to rent helicopter if you want to see Geyser Valley, Uzon caldera, Semyachik volcano acidic Lake and other miracles of Kamchatka.
4. Kazan now is the most popular travel destination in Russia after Moscow and Petersburg. It's tourist friendly and there are many attractions in the city and around.
5. Yessentuki is not the only historical resort, you also can try Pyatigorsk and Kislovodsk, all the towns are close each other. And Elbrus mountain (highest in Europe) is not very far from.
6. In Vladivostok you have to visit Vladivostok fortress - the most powerful fortress on the Pacific region. But ask local guides to contact diggers who will show you the real fortress but not the museum.
7. Altay is one of the most beautiful places in Russia but also wild. Take jeep and horse safari for 4-7 days to explore it.
There are also many interesting places in Russia but mostly wild and not tourist friendly. I can recommend some of them, depends of what do you want to see.
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