Russia might flank most of the Central Asian countries that were synonymous with the Silk Road, but the main route mostly bypassed the transcontinental country. However, some of the northern routes carried up from Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan up by the Caspian Sea and the Volga River towards Astrakhan and to the rest of Russia.
The country itself is the size of a continent with a varied landscape from the tundra of Siberia, grassy steppes, snow-capped mountains, and dense forests.
Russia shares land-borders with Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, China, North Korea and even Poland and Lithuania if you include Kalingrad.
Moscow is Russia’s capital city and a preliminary starting point for many looking to explore the Silk Road or the Trans-Siberian Railway. The city boasts endless attractions to keep visitors occupied.
St. Petersburg is Russia’s second city and located at the very western end of the country. It is famed for its Hermitage Museum and imperial architecture.
Irkutsk is a popular stopping point on the Trans-Siberian Railway in deep Siberia. It’s located close to Lake Baikal.
Kazan sits in the heart of the Volga region and is known for its Tatar culture.
Yekaterinburg is another popular stop-off point on the Trans-Siberian, for its cultural center and proximity to the Ural Mountains and also marks the geographical border between Europe and Asia.
Eat & drink
Blini are thin pancakes made from buckwheat that are often served with caviar or sour cream.
Borsch is a classic soup made from beetroot that you’ll find all over Eastern Europe.
Pelmeni are dumplings that have been filled with meat, a popular dish in the Siberian and Ural regions in Russia.
Lake Baikal is the largest and deepest fresh water lake in the world. Located in the heart of Siberia, not far from the Mongolian border. It’s noted for its natural beauty and walks.
Astrakhan is located between the Volga Delta and the Caspian Sea, putting it in an optimal position for trade. The city was founded around the 13th century when the Golden Horde controlled it. Its proximity to Central Asia and the Caspian Sea made it one of the cities in which the northern route of the Silk Road passed into.
The Ural Mountains are one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world and mark the border between Europe and Asia. However, the mountains are very low, but still provide plenty of opportunities for adventure travel. The range runs from the north of Russia in the arctic Kara Sea down to northern Kazakhstan.