In summer 2018, Russia will see a considerable rise in the number of visitors. Blacklane is here to help by offering our chauffeur service in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Sochi. If you are visiting, and are wondering what to do when you have some free time, why not take a look at our recommendations for each city and experience Russia with Blacklane?
Spilling over the banks of the Moskva River you will find Moscow, the capital city of Russia. It is not only the largest city in Russia but also the second largest city in Europe. It is the country’s center for business, economics, science and, of course, politics, with the Government of Russia based there.
The number-one stop for Russian culture, many famous writers, prominent scientists and athletes having spent time in the city. It boasts a large number of museums and theaters. If you find yourself with a few hours to fill, these are our top recommendations for what you should see and do in Moscow:
The Kremlin, a medieval inner-city fortress, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a must-see when you are visiting. It is not only home to the President, but also a museum. You can get your Russian history fix in the armory chamber and the cathedrals on site. There are also a variety of exhibitions which take place throughout the year. Find out more at the Moscow Kremlin Museums website.
Right outside the Kremlin, just to the east, you will find the eye-catching, World-Heritage protected Red Square. Next to it is arguably one of the country’s most-recognised buildings: St. Basil’s Cathedral. The cathedral, which is now a museum, owes its fame to its colorful domes. The shape of the building represents a bonfire rising upwards. A selfie with it will send your photo cred rising upwards, too!
Our last recommendation isn’t really a site… it’s food! Don’t leave the city without having tried some Russian delights such as pelmeni, borscht and blini. Find out how the Russian pirog is not the same as Polish pierogi, and warm up during a midday stop with a hearty solyanka.
Take the metro to enjoy some of the beautiful marble-covered, frescoed stations which look more like the inside of palaces. On the other hand, a Blacklane chauffeur service in Moscow will allow you to take in the sites above ground that much better!
Russia’s second city, perched on the coast of the Baltic Sea, is alive with history and culture. Home to a spectacular array of architecture that is varied but also quintessentially Russian, St. Petersburg is a beautiful city that draws an enormous amount of visitors every year. There are a million things to do and see – we’ve tried to narrow it down to three essentials.
Palace Square functioned as the main square of the Russian Empire. To describe it as historic is perhaps an understatement. The square is partially encircled by the looming Winter Palace. At its center, it is dominated by the imposing Alexander Column – the largest of its type in the world. It was here that the Russian Orthodox priest Father Gregory Gapon led a crowd of petitioners to Tsar Nicholas in 1905. The resulting massacre, known as Bloody Sunday, would have ramifications that would influence the Russian Revolution twelve years later. Palace Square is an awe-inspiring and intriguing visit if you’re in St. Petersburg.
The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood may sound ominous, but this recognisable landmark is one of the most visited attractions in the city. Resembling the St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow, the church is a beautiful example of the architecture of Romantic Nationalism. Its coloured domes are perched upon a red facade of windows and ornate arches. A warming bowl of hearty goulash is just the ticket before you head up to explore the building and its surroundings in the colder winter months – the most Russian of Russian experiences.
There’s no shortage of things to do outside if you’re in town during the more clement seasons. The grounds of the Peterhof Palace – regarded as Russia’s answer to Versailles – are one of St. Petersburg’s many UNESCO World Heritage Sites and a wonderful way to while away the hours. The collection of buildings were laid out on the orders of Peter the Great. It’s easy to see that not much has changed in the centuries since. Relax among the manicured lawns and beautiful fountains before heading inside the opulent Peterhof Grand Palace.
You could spend a lifetime in St. Petersburg and still not see half of what makes the city so special. If you’re in town you’ll want to maximise your time there – and a limousine service from Blacklane is a great way to get to where you need to be with minimal fuss. In Russia’s second city, you’ll need all the time you can get to focus on what there is on offer.
The most famous resort city in Russia, Sochi is much more than just the site of the 2014 Winter Olympics. On the beautiful east coast of the Black Sea, Sochi will show you a warmer side of Russia.
One of the best ways to find the perfect holiday destination in a country is to follow the locals. Russians have been flocking to Sochi for their vacations since the city was established. Only recently have international travelers started following suit. What this means for you is that you get a gorgeous beach getaway without the crowds, and a taste of Russian culture that’s a little more leisurely.
For an overview of Sochi, get a literal overview. Take a gondola ride to the summit of the Krasnaya Ployana cluster of mountains for a stunning bird’s eye view of the area at any time of year. It’s a bit of a drive inland to get to the base, but for 25 minutes of vistas in all directions it’s absolutely worth it.
If you get peckish, visit the Dagomys Tea Plantation for a bite to eat and a great view. The tea house itself is a masterfully constructed log building filled to the brim with charming wood-carved flourishes. Sampling Sochi’s tea while listening to traditional folk music is the perfect way to unwind after an afternoon of exploring. Their tea and preserves will also make for great souvenirs for your loved ones.
To be impressed by nature and history all at the same time, pay a visit to the Vorontsovka Caves. The massive cave system stretches alongside the coastline for around 400 meters and is carved out of limestone dating back to the Mesozoic Era (252-66 million years ago). They’ve even found evidence of early humans inside. Dress a little warmer and wear some sensible shoes, and you’ll be ready to explore them for yourself.
Of course, the best way to navigate Sochi is to ride with one of our local chauffeurs who know all the ins and outs of the city. Eliminate the stress of figuring out how you’re going to get to all these wonderful places by booking your rides in advance, and you can edit them up to one hour before pickup.
Our last tip is just to take lots of photos, as Sochi is very photogenic, and be sure to share them on social media so your friends can live vicariously.