5 Interesting Things To Do In Russia

Russia is such a vast country, and there is much more to it than just jumping on the Trans-Siberian Railway and passing through it – there are festivals, traditions, delicious food and historic cities to explore all over the country.

Here are some things to do when visiting Russia…

Attend The Pancake Festival

This festival, also known as Maslenitsa, is held every year during the last week of the Great Lent, marking the end of winter and welcoming the coming spring.

It’s a time for celebrations, traditions and of course lots of indulging in food – especially Blini (Russian pancakes).

In fact, these pancakes are an essential part of the Maslenitsa festival. Symbolizing the sun, the people once believed that by eating a pancake, they absorbed a part of the sun’s energy.

During the festival they host all sorts of events, from the more usual things like theater, puppet shows and music performances, to traditional events like troika rides, “storming” a snow fort and even fist-fighting (a popular and traditional event, it might sound a bit absurd but it’s all in good fun).

This festival is not usually an event people attend on their Russia Tours, so if you’re traveling through the country when the festival is on you’re in luck!

Caviar & Vodka Tasting

Russians are known to happily drink vodka at any time of the day, and add a spoon on caviar on everything – they even use it as topping on their pancakes!

But the best way to pair caviar is to simply have it together with a shot of vodka – in Moscow and St Petersburg there are many places that offer vodka and caviar tasting.

Travel The Golden Ring

The Golden Ring are some beautiful historic cities that together form a circle on the map and are some of the most popular destinations on tours to Russia.

The towns have played a big part in Russian history, from its early periods to later when the country’s independence was at stake – along with its history, these towns have not only preserved the architecture but their local traditions as well, a life which is completely different from the cities.

Visit A Winter Festival

Winter in Russia can be absolutely beautiful, and are made even better by its many winter festivals held across the country – Moscow’s winter festival is one of the biggest, running from mid-december to mid-january, full of performances, traditional food and incredible ice sculptures.

Enjoy A Russian Tea Ceremony

While most people associate vodka as the typical drink for Russia, tea is also an old traditional drink in the country.

Even though tea was brought in from China (during the 16th century), Russia has developed its own unique traditions surrounding this drink.

Typical Russian tea is a combination of two or three types and flavors – these different teas are brewed dark and in separate pots. When mixed together in the cup, additional hot water is added to dilute the mixture.

What are your best tips of things to do when traveling through Russia?

(photo credit: 1 – 2 – 3)

15 Responses to 5 Interesting Things To Do In Russia

  1. Hogga March 25, 2013 at 1:57 pm #

    pancake festival?! down!

    • Sofia March 26, 2013 at 2:00 pm #

      I know, so awesome!

  2. nicole @thewondernuts March 25, 2013 at 7:44 pm #

    Thank you for the heads up! We have been really wanting to go to Russia. =)

    • Sofia March 26, 2013 at 2:00 pm #

      You’re welcome Nicole, glad you found the tips useful :)

  3. ashree March 26, 2013 at 11:57 am #

    Good list! I am really curious on pancake festival, hope we could make it in our next trip to Russia. Thanks!

    Regards.
    http://www.jakpost.travel/

    • Sofia March 26, 2013 at 2:03 pm #

      If you do make it there on your next trip, we would love to hear all about it!

  4. Andrew March 26, 2013 at 4:14 pm #

    Maslenitsa is a merry,colourful holiday with dancing and singing. With, of course,pancakes.And nobody drinks vodka!

    • Sofia March 30, 2013 at 6:55 am #

      It seems like a great festival!

  5. Debbie Beardsley @ European Travelista March 26, 2013 at 10:16 pm #

    Very interesting! I think the vodka and tea ceremony sound like great cultural activities.

    • Sofia March 30, 2013 at 6:57 am #

      I agree, food has such a strong connection to the people and is a great way to experience the local culture.

  6. Cristina March 27, 2013 at 5:55 am #

    I’m hoping to head there before the Olympics so these are some great suggestions!

    • Sofia March 30, 2013 at 6:58 am #

      Glad you liked them, great to hear you might be going there soon!

  7. Alexis Marlons March 28, 2013 at 2:20 pm #

    I wonder how caviar and vodka taste like. I’ll surely try it when I get to Russia.

    • Sofia March 30, 2013 at 7:00 am #

      Caviar and vodka taste great together, though I do wonder how caviar would taste on pancakes…

  8. Eva April 1, 2013 at 1:41 pm #

    Oh yes tea is a typical drink for russia from the old times when the samovar (tea pot) was a crucial part of Russian tea drinking tradition !!! :))))