Travel makes a wise man better, and a fool worse.
— Thomas Fuller, 1608 - 1661




Founded in the 12th century, the Principality of Muscovy, was able to emerge from over 200 years of Mongol domination (13th-15th centuries) and to gradually conquer and absorb surrounding principalities. In the early 17th century, a new Romanov Dynasty continued this policy of expansion across Siberia to the Pacific. Under PETER I (ruled 1682-1725), hegemony was extended to the Baltic Sea and the country was renamed the Russian Empire. During the 19th century, more territorial acquisitions were made in Europe and Asia. Defeat in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05 contributed to the Revolution of 1905, which resulted in the formation of a parliament and other reforms. Repeated devastating defeats of the Russian army in World War I led to widespread rioting in the major cities of the Russian Empire and to the overthrow in 1917 of the imperial household. The Communists under Vladimir LENIN seized power soon after and formed the USSR. The brutal rule of Iosif STALIN (1928-53) strengthened Communist rule and Russian dominance of the Soviet Union at a cost of tens of millions of lives. The Soviet economy and society stagnated in the following decades until General Secretary Mikhail GORBACHEV (1985-91) introduced glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring) in an attempt to modernize Communism, but his initiatives inadvertently released forces that by December 1991 splintered the USSR into Russia and 14 other independent republics. Since then, Russia has shifted its post-Soviet democratic ambitions in favor of a centralized semi-authoritarian state whose legitimacy is buttressed, in part, by carefully managed national elections, former President PUTIN's genuine popularity, and the prudent management of Russia's windfall energy wealth. Russia has severely disabled a Chechen rebel movement, although violence still occurs throughout the North Caucasus.


Russia, (Russian Росси́я, transliteration Rossiya) - officially known as the Russian Federation (Russian Росси́йская Федера́ция, transliteration Rossiyskaya Federatsiya) - is the world's largest country spanning Eastern Europe, and northern Asia, sharing land borders with Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia and North Korea.

Read more about Russia in our Russia travel guide »

Featured journals from



by blynchexpress

This is a test to see the functionality available on TravelJournal.

Aug 2014  »  Latvia | Russia

Summer 2017

by madjeanne

Headed North to cool down a bit.

Jul 2017 - Sep 2017  »  United States | United Kingdom | Norway | Svalbard and Jan Mayen | Sweden | Estonia | Russia | Finland | Germany | Netherlands | Belgium | Ireland | Iceland | Greenland | Canada

Summer 2017 Northern Europepalooza trip! Three weeks / five countries / lots of food and drink....

by LJField14

"Travel is about the gorgeous feeling of teetering in the unknown.." - Anthony Bourdain

Jun 2017 - Jul 2017  »  Russia | Belarus | Latvia | Ukraine | United Kingdom | United States

Friends hostel in St.Petersburg

by moriegres - Friends hostel in St.Petersburg Named after the famous TV show, the hostel chain “Friends” offers budget & cool accommodation in the center of St.Petersburg. All four locations are great: Friends on Griboedova, Friends on Bankovsky, Friends on Nevsky, Friends on Vosstania. Almost all the major sights of St Petersburg are located within easy walking distance of the hostels. Range of comfortable private and dorm rooms, clean bed linens, free wireless as well as computers for guest use, free national and international phone calls, washing machines, an iron, fully equipped kitchens, free tea, coffee and a never-ending supply of biscuits, free postcards, envelopes and stamps, board games, library. Bathroom facilities are shared and can be found in the corridor. Rates start from 400 rubles for dorms, from 1000 rubles for private rooms. There are all male, all female and mixed versions of dorms.

Feb 2013 - Nov 1999  »  Russia

Тестовый трип

by troll

Jun 2010  »  Russia

Featured hotels in


RussiaHilton Moscow Leningradskaya 

Kalanchevskaya Street 21 40
Moscow 107078

Price (US$): $216 - $570 / night

Check rates »

Location. Hilton Moscow Leningradskaya is a business friendly hotel located in Moscow's Krasnoselsky neighborhood, close to Olimpiyskiy Sports Complex, Moscow Kremlin, and Red Square. Additional points of interest include St. Basil's Cathedral and Bolshoi Theatre. Hotel Features. Hilton Moscow Leningradskaya features a restaurant and a bar/lounge. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves hot and cold buffet breakfasts each morning in the restaurant (surcharges apply).… more »

RussiaKorston Hotel And Mall Kazan 

1a Ershova street
Kazan 420061

Price (US$): $211 - $268 / night

Check rates »

Location. Korston Hotel And Mall Kazan is a business friendly hotel located in Kazan, close to Qolsarif Mosque, Kazan Kremlin, and Central Stadium. Hotel Features. Dining options at Korston Hotel And Mall Kazan include a restaurant and a coffee shop/café. A poolside bar and a bar/lounge are open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves a complimentary buffet breakfast. Recreational amenities include an indoor pool, a health club, a sauna, and a steam room. The… more »

RussiaDon Hotel, Rostov 

25G/4 Beregovaya Street
Rostov-on-Don 344002

Price (US$): $323 - $324 / night

Check rates »

Location. Located in central Rostov on Don, Don Hotel, Rostov is near the airport and close to Rostov Gorky Park and Olimp 2. Hotel Features. Recreational amenities include a health club, a spa tub, a sauna, and a steam room. The property's full service health spa has massage/treatment rooms. This 4.5 star property has a business center and offers small meeting rooms, a technology helpdesk, and limo/town car service. Complimentary wireless and wired high speed Internet access is available in… more »

RussiaRenaissance St. Petersburg Baltic Hotel 

Pochtamtskaya Str 4
St Petersburg 190 000

Price (US$): $266 - $466 / night

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Location. Renaissance St. Petersburg Baltic Hotel is a business friendly hotel located in St. Petersburg's St. Petersburg City Centre neighborhood, close to St. Isaac's Cathedral, Palace Square, and Mariinnsky Theater. Additional points of interest include State Hermitage Museum and Winter Palace and Kazan Cathedral. Hotel Features. Renaissance St. Petersburg Baltic Hotel features 2 bars/lounges and a restaurant. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves hot and cold buffet… more »

RussiaRadisson Blu Resort & Congress Centre, Sochi 

Golubaya, 1A
Adler 354350

Price (US$): $166 - $306 / night

Check rates »

Location. Located in central Adler, Radisson Blu Resort & Congress Centre, Sochi is near the airport and close to Adler Beach. Regional points of interest also include Khosta Beach and Akhun Tower. Hotel Features. Dining options at Radisson Blu Resort & Congress Centre, Sochi include 3 restaurants. A poolside bar and a bar/lounge are open for drinks. Room service is available. The hotel serves buffet breakfasts each morning in the restaurant (surcharges apply). Recreational amenities include… more »

Browse more hotels in Russia »


Full name
Russian Federation

Northern Asia (the area west of the Urals is considered part of Europe), bordering the Arctic Ocean, between Europe and the North Pacific Ocean

Geographic coordinates

60 00 N, 100 00 E

Area comparative

approximately 1.8 times the size of the US

Border countries

Azerbaijan 284 km, Belarus 959 km, China (southeast) 3,605 km, China (south) 40 km, Estonia 290 km, Finland 1,313 km, Georgia 723 km, Kazakhstan 6,846 km, North Korea 17.5 km, Latvia 292 km, Lithuania (Kaliningrad Oblast) 227 km, Mongolia 3,441 km, Norway 196 km, Poland (Kaliningrad Oblast) 432 km, Ukraine 1,576 km


37,653 km


ranges from steppes in the south through humid continental in much of European Russia; subarctic in Siberia to tundra climate in the polar north; winters vary from cool along Black Sea coast to frigid in Siberia; summers vary from warm in the steppes to cool along Arctic coast


broad plain with low hills west of Urals; vast coniferous forest and tundra in Siberia; uplands and mountains along southern border regions

Lowest point

Caspian Sea -28 m

Highest point

Gora El'brus 5,633 m

Natural resources

wide natural resource base including major deposits of oil, natural gas, coal, and many strategic minerals, reserves of rare earth elements, timber


139,390,205 (July 2010 est.)

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 15-20%, Muslim 10-15%, other Christian 2% (2006 est.)


Russian (official), many minority languages

Government type



24 August 1991 (from the Soviet Union); notable earlier dates 1157 (Principality of Vladimir-Suzdal created); 16 January 1547 (Tsardom of Muscovy established); 22 October 1721 (Russian Empire proclaimed); 30 December 1922 (Soviet Union established)

National holiday

Russia Day, 12 June (1990)

Chief of state

President Dmitriy Anatolyevich MEDVEDEV (since 7 May 2008)

Head of government

Premier Vladimir Vladimirovich PUTIN (since 8 May 2008); First Deputy Premiers Igor Ivanovich SHUVALOV and Viktor Alekseyevich ZUBKOV (since 12 May 2008); Deputy Premiers Sergey Borisovich IVANOV (since 12 May 2008), Aleksandr Gennadiyevich KHLOPONIN (since 19 January 2010), Dmitriy Nikolayevich KOZAK (since 14 October 2008), Aleksey Leonidovich KUDRIN (since 24 September 2007), Igor Ivanovich SECHIN (since 12 May 2008), Vyacheslav Viktorovich VOLODIN (since 21 October 2010), Aleksandr Dmitriyevich ZHUKOV (since 9 March 2004)

Internet country code

.ru; note - Russia also has responsibility for a legacy domain ".su" that was allocated to the Soviet Union and is being phased out

Internet users

40.853 million (2009)


1,213 (2010)

Ports and terminals

Kaliningrad, Kavkaz, Nakhodka, Novorossiysk, Primorsk, Saint Petersburg, Vostochnyy

Other countries in the region