Culture and History Holidays in Russia

Top-10 cultural and historical sights in the north-western part of Russia.

The cultural and historical heritage of the North-West of Russia is widely known throughout the country, as well as beyond its borders.

We have included the following places into our subjective list of ten most important and interesting sights of this big region of Russia.

1. The historical center of St. Petersburg

In the center of St. Petersburg there are dozens, if not hundreds, of attractions, including palaces, cathedrals, historical buildings and museums. The State Hermitage Museum, Peter and Paul Fortress, St. Isaac's Cathedral and the Church of the Savior on the Spilled Blood are visited annually by millions of tourists.

2. The museum of wooden architecture «Kizhi» (Karelia)

The world famous museum of wooden architecture on the island of Kizhi, in Lake Onega. The ensemble of Kizhi Pogost is based on the ancient Preobrazhenskaya (Transfiguration) and Pokrovskaya (Intercession) churches, as well as on the bell tower. In 2020, the long-term restoration of the Church of the Transfiguration was finished.

3. Solovetsky Islands (Arkhangelsk region)

The medieval fortress and the monastery, prehistoric labyrinths, the history of the Crimean War, exiles and imprisonment on Solovki, a botanical garden, white whales - belugas, rowing boats and bicycles – all this is available on the Solovetsky Islands.

4. Velikiy Novgorod

This ancient Russian city is known for its Kremlin, monasteries, plenty of ancient churches and cathedrals, as well as for the collections of icons, birch bark manuscripts and ancient artefacts in Novgorod Museum. Veliky Novgorod also has its own museum of wooden architecture, which is called Vitoslavlitsy.

5. Pskov

The main attractions of Pskov include Pskov Kremlin, the Holy Trinity Cathedral, the Transfiguration Cathedral of Mirozhsky Monastery and other churches of Pskov School of Architecture.

6. Peterhof (Saint Petersburg)

The Palace and Park Ensemble of Peterhof annually attracts millions of tourists who come to see the beautiful fountains of the Lower Park, the Grand Peterhof Palace and other historical and cultural sights.

7. Valaam Monastery (Karelia)

This ancient Russian Orthodox monastery is located on the island in Lake Ladoga. Among the sights of the island the most famous are the Transfiguration Cathedral, Gethsemane, Voskresensky and Nikolsky sketes (skete is a separate building for monks and hermits with stricter rules). Pilgrims and tourists can learn about the history of the monastery, the life of monks and novices, listen to a concert of spiritual chants.

8. Kirillo-Belozersky and Ferapontov Monasteries (Vologda region)

These two monasteries are located in Vologda region, not far from each other. Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery is known for its impressive fortifications - walls and high towers.

Ferapontov Monastery is famous for its frescoes. The ancient Russian master Dionysius and his sons painted the interior of the Cathedral of the Nativity of our Lady in 1502.

9. Kargopol and its surroundings (Arkhangelsk region)

This small provincial town is located in the south of Arkhangelsk region. Both stone and wooden churches and chapels of the 16th-19th centuries have been preserved in the city and its area. Not far from Kargopol there is Kenozero National Park, which has both cultural and natural attractions.

10. Vyborg (Leningrad region)

The main attraction of this medieval city is the Vyborg Castle, founded by the Swedes in 1293.
The city has preserved interesting buildings built in various architectural styles, including Gothic, Classical, Imperial styles as well as the Finnish Art Nouveau.

View all our holidays that include historical and cultural sights in Russia