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The Winter Olympics in Sochi has proved great for the tourism industry in Russia, so what other key locations are well worth a visit in this fascinating country?

Saint Sophia Cathedral

Situated in Russia’s most ancient city Novgorod – St. Sophia Cathedral stands within the grounds of the local Kremlin. The oldest church in all Russia, the building is a splendid sight, particularly its five impressive dooms. The church is packed full of stunning artefacts, and is behind a notable set of ancient gates that date from the 12th century.

Lake Baikal

If you are intrepid enough to embark upon a journey on the Trans-Siberian railway, make sure to factor in a trip to Lake Baikal, the oldest and deepest (it holds twenty percent of the earth’s fresh water) lake in the world. Hemmed in on all side by spectacular mountains, this part of Siberia is wild but beautiful and the water in the lake is famously crystal clear. Its popularity among tourists means that a whole resort has grown up around the lake, so it is perfectly possible to spend a few nights there and really explore the area before re-joining the train.

Moscow Kremlin

If, like many visitors to Russia, you are staying in Moscow – you simply must visit the Kremlin. This is the seat of government in the country and within the impressive walled site there are also four splendid ancient cathedrals. The site is massive and includes museums, an armoury, and many artefacts that well illustrate Russia’s royal past.

Hermitage Museum

You could spend days in the Hermitage museum, and still only scrape the surface of what it has to offer. Founded by Catherine the Great in 1764, this huge museum of culture and art is home to a massive collection of items collected from all over the globe. These are displayed in an impressive complex of old buildings which include the famous Winter Palace – the former home of the Emperors.

Saint Basil's Cathedral

Right at the heart of Moscow you will come across St. Basils Cathedral, which has long been one of the most visited sites in Russia. This striking structure was designed to look like a burning bonfire, and is unique not only to the period it was constructed (the 16th century) but also to any other period in history. St. Basil’s Cathedral is truly unique, and a must-visit location on any trip to Moscow.

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