Russia’s Top 10 Most Beautiful Cities

10. Krasnoyarsk – Voted Russia’s Most Livable City

We will start with Krasnoyarsk as being one of the most beautiful cities in Russia. It been voted as one of the most comfortable cities to live in throughout the Russian Federation. It is from this city that one can reach one of the many wonders of Russia, Stolby National Park. Krasnoyarsk itself lies on one of the most beautiful rivers in Siberia, the Yenisei river. Because it’s surrounded by mountains, this truly unique city is different than other cities in Russia. One of the more interesting things to see are the numerous sculptures and statues that line the streets of the city.

9. Rostov-on-Don – City of Military Glory

Rostov-on-Don is Russia’s “Southern Capital” was once the site of Tanais, an ancient Greek colony. The southwestern suburbs of the city abuts the Don River delta to the Sea of Azov. In the lead-up to the 63rd anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War, Rostov-on-Don was awarded the honorary title “City of Military Glory.” Today Rostov is one of the largest megalopolises in modern Russia, the political, economic, cultural and scientific center in the country’s south, and an important junction of main transportation routes.

8. Sochi – Home of the 2014 Winter Olympics

Sochi is often called the unofficial ‘Summer Capital’ of Russia, or the Black Sea Pearl. The ‘Summer Capital’ was also the home of the 2014 winter Olympics and boasts to be the longest city in the world. It sprawls for 145 kilometers (90 mi) along the shores of the Black Sea near the Caucasus Mountains.  Being part of the Caucasian Riviera, it is one of the very few places in Russia with a subtropical climate, with warm to hot summers and mild winters. The most famous Russian saying about the city is “If I could read the cards, I would live in Sochi” (“Знал бы прикуп – жил бы в Сочи”). Initially coming from the Preference card game, this saying shows the association of Sochi and its inhabitants with luck, moreover, with an accidental and unpredictable fortune.

7. Novosibirsk – Sister City to Minneapolis

Number seven on our list is Russia’s third largest and Siberia’s largest city, “New Siberia” was originally founded as Novonikolayevsk in 1893 as the site of the Trans-Siberian Railway Bridge. It is also sister city with Minneapolis, Minnesota. The city has many theaters, a famous Opera House, and hosts the beautiful Central Siberian Botanic Garden, which houses more than 9,000 plants from different regions of the world. The city also hosts the annual Mayovka music festival (usually in early October), a sort of Woodstock of modern Russian music. It’s also interesting to note that Novosibirsk was the first city in Russia to officially require primary education, starting in 1913.

6. Kaliningrad – The Tail that Wags the Dog

Kaliningrad falls at number six on our list of most beautiful cities in Russia. It’s the only city on our list that isn’t actually within borders of Russia itself. It is a Russian exclave between Poland and Lithuania on the Baltic Sea. The town was successively part of the monastic State of the Teutonic Order, enfeoffed to the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, then part of Prussia and Germany (the latter until 1945). Kaliningrad sits at the mouth of the Pregolya River, which empties into the Vistula Lagoon, an inlet of the Baltic Sea. Kaliningrad has become a little Russian island trapped in Europe, thus the tail that wags the dog. No matter what it’s still one of Russia’s most beautiful cities.

5. Nizhny Novgorod – Russia’s Wallet

It is understandable why Nizhny Novgorod is one of the most beautiful cities in Russia. A glorious setting is not something most Russian cities can boast, but Nizhny (as it is usually called) is a lucky exception. It sits at the idyllic  confluence of the rivers Oka and Volga. The city stretches over 20 km along the bank of the Oka and 30 km along the bank of the Volga. The city boasts more than 600 monuments of architecture, history and culture of Russia are preserved in Nizhny Novgorod: Nizhegorodsky Kremlin, Mikhailo-Arkhangelsky cathedral, Minin and Pozharsky square, Chkalov staircase, the building of the State Bank, Romodanovsky station, numerous churches and monasteries, the River port along with many others.

4. Yekaterinburg – Land of the Uralites

Yekaterinburg falls east of the Ural Mountains on the banks of the Iset River. What few understand is that those who live here claim their city isn’t in Siberia, “it’s part of the Ural Mountain range thus the land of the Uralites. No matter where it lies it’s one of Russia’s most gorgeous cities. Thou it can’t escape its’ industry past (Yekaterinburg is often referred to as the Russian Manchester), today it can be summed up as, ‘Industry fused with pop culture.’ Old at heart it beats to a new drummer, it has a middle-class way of thinking, that guides you from “entertainment and amusement to self-improvement”. Being the middle child Yekaterinburg gains its’ beauty from both east and west.

3. Kazan – A UNESCO World Heritage City

Kazan is popularly called Russia’s third capital, Kazan is the city – ‘Where Europe meets Asia’.  The pride of Kazan is its impressive Kremlin which boasts both a mosque and an Orthodox cathedral.  The city is housed with buildings raised in many architectural styles. It a place where modernistic mansions coexist with the Baroque monuments. You can feel the aura of antiquity along with the ancient spell of the white walls of the Kazan Kremlin that look upon the superb view of the Volga river.  The ones’ Imagination can be boggled by the red bell tower of Bogoyavlenskaya church on the pedestrian Bauman street. It’s a place that is truly beloved by most tourists that visit here.

2. Moscow – A City of Oddity and Majesty

During any season, any hour of day, Moscow thrills visitors with its artistry, history and majesty. Where else in the world would a brand-new $2 million Bugatti Veyron ride next to a vintage black Volga or a semi-broken Lada? (A 1972 Lada model “kopeika,” which in Russian means a coin of the smallest value.) It’s a city of most bizarre and yet remarkably curious architectural landscapes. In Moscow, a Stalin-era Orwellesque high-rise, a prison-looking former Soviet factory turned into a trendy art gallery, a quaint 19th century mansion and a baroque church might all stand tightly together in one neighborhood. It’s a city of the world’s most beautiful subways and of the most peculiar subway riders, too.

1. St. Petersburg – The Land of Bridges

One of the world’s most beautiful cities, St. Petersburg has all the ingredients for an unforgettable travel experience: high art, lavish architecture, wild nightlife, an extraordinary history and rich cultural traditions that have inspired and nurtured some of the modern world’s greatest literature, music, and visual art. From the mysterious twilight of the White Nights to world-beating opera and ballet productions on magical winter evenings, St. Petersburg charms and entices in every season.

20 thoughts on “Russia’s Top 10 Most Beautiful Cities

  1. Glad to get your post. Are we meeting up in Sochi? I arrived yesterday in Moscow. It’s supposed to snow!

    🙂 Deena

  2. My family would certainly claim that Odessa was the most architecturally and culturally the most beautiful city, if you can include it still.

  3. There is so much to see there. Our visit to Moscow was too short and we didn’t get a chance to see other parts of Russia. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Your site is reallly wonderful and I hope you’re working on a book.

    Can you call me in Moscow at 7 916 170 9154? I will be leaving Thursday for St Pete, then arriving in Sochi on the 19th for a week. I hope you’re still planning to join me there.

    🙂 Deena

  5. After the Soviet Union fell I found the missing piece of my family near the Caucasus mountains. Made many good friends in Russia and wish everyone here in the west would visit Russia. Your article with photos and video made me feel calm and sane. Thank you

    1. In many ways Russia soothes the spirit, I’ve been to Abkhazia which is part of the Caucasus mountain range, absolutely gorgeous. Sanity is the best part of life.

  6. Actually, small though it is I found Irutsk to be quite surprisingly pretty. As was Ekanterinburg, Moscow you think is going to be big (which it is) and foreboding (which again it is) and yet it is very attractive in it’s own way. But there’s no doubt on your number one! Ahhh St Petersburg!

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