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The cultural capital of Russia has so much to offer that more than 8 million people visited the city in 2017, and the numbers are growing. Some choose St. Petersburg as the first stop of their Russian holiday and only have time to visit the most iconic buildings and monuments of St. Petersburg, others decide to dedicate some time to explore the less-touristy spots in the city.

To encourage and facilitate international tourism, the Russian government has even launched a new electronic visa system that will allow foreign travelers to apply for an eVisa for St. Petersburg entirely online before leaving for Russia. There has really never been a better time to visit St. Petersburg.

St. Petersburg, Russia

short guide to the second capital of Russia

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Sofia Falls are waterfalls of glacial origin flowing from the Sofia Glacier of Mount Sofia (3,637 meters) – one of the main natural attractions of the Arkhyz ski resort located in the southern part of the Republic of Karachay-Cherkessia in the Western Caucasus.

These picturesque waterfalls are located about 15 km south of the village of Arkhyz. Sofia Falls become the most full-flowing at the height of summer (July, August), when the glacier is actively melting. The following photos were taken in late July by Fedor Lashkov. Sofia Falls on Google Maps.

Sofia Falls, Karachay-Cherkessia, Russia, photo 1

fly over Sofia Falls

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A lot of people know about the picturesque remnant cliffs on the Manpupuner Plateau in the Northern Urals in the Republic of Komi.

However, in Russia, there is a number of similar places and one of them is the mountain range of the Ulakhan-Sis – a geological complex located in the polar part of Yakutia between the Indigirka and Alazeya rivers. The Ulakhan-Sis on Google Maps. Photos by: Sergei Karpukhin.

The cliffs of the Ulakhan-Sis Range, Yakutia, Russia, photo 1

unique monument of nature

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Nerekhta is a small provincial town with a population of about 21 thousand people located in Kostroma Oblast, about 47 km southwest of Kostroma and 71 km southeast of Yaroslavl.

First mentioned in 1214, this old town is included in the famous tourist route known as the Golden Ring of Russia. However, due to the fact that the M-8 federal highway passes away from it, tourists rarely come here (especially organized tourist groups). Nerekhta on Google Maps. Photos by: Eduard Skvortsov.

Nerekhta, Kostroma Oblast, Russia, photo 1

walk around Nerekhta

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Aug/19

6

The rebuilt center of Grozny from above

Grozny, the capital of the Chechen Republic, is a city with a population of about 300 thousand people located in the North Caucasus in the south of the European part of Russia.

During the First and Second Chechen Wars, the city, especially its central part, was almost completely destroyed. In 2003, Grozny was recognized by the UN Commission as the most ruined city on Earth since the Second World War. Photos by: Slava Stepanov.

The rebuilt center of Grozny from above, Russia, photo 1

fly over Grozny

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Jul/19

21

Lena Pillars – the view from above

“Lena Pillars” is a geological formation and a national park located on the banks of the Lena River in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), about 170 km south-west of Yakutsk. Lena Pillars are a complex of vertically elongated rocks up to 220 meters high stretching for many kilometers along the Lena River bank.

In 2012, this natural monument received the status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the language of the locals, the pillars are called “Turuuk Hayalara” (“Mountains of Rising Gods”). The main objective of the park is the development of ecological tourism. Lena Pillars on Google Maps. Photos by: Slava Stepanov.

Lena Pillars, Yakutia, Russia, photo 1

fly over magnificent stone pillars

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“Malye Korely” is an open-air museum of wooden architecture and folk art of the northern regions of Russia located in the Arkhangelsk Region, about 25 km south-east of the center of Arkhangelsk.

This is one of the few places where you can feel the unforgettable atmosphere of the old Russian North. The museum exhibits about 100 civil, public, and church buildings, the earliest of which date from the 16th century (peasant and merchant houses, barns, wells, hedges, windmills, etc.). “Malye Korely” on Google Maps. Photos by: Vladimir Lipetskih.

Winter in the Museum of the Russian North Malye Korely, Astrakhan Oblast, Russia, photo 1

snow covered wooden architecture

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Sulak Canyon, one of the most picturesque natural sights of the Republic of Dagestan, is the deepest canyon in Europe and one of the deepest in the world. The length of the canyon is 53 kilometers, the depth reaches 1,920 meters, which is about 60 meters deeper than the famous Grand Canyon in the US.

This is one of the most visited tourist sites in Dagestan. However, it is also one of the most dangerous places: high cliffs, sharp rocks, strong winds, the absence of any railings along the canyon. Sulak Canyon on Google Maps. Photos by: Murad Magomedov.

Sulak Canyon, Dagestan, Russia - the Deepest Canyon in Europe, photo 1

amazing natural landmark

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Aygir is a small village located in the mountains of the Southern Urals in the Republic of Bashkiria, about 190 km southeast of Ufa. This area, one of the most inaccessible sights of Bashkiria, is very popular with tourists going to conquer the Ural peaks with backpacks on their shoulders.

From here you can enjoy picturesque views of Mount Maly Yamantau and the rocky peak of the Karatash Range. Aygir on Google Maps. Photos by: Vladimir Lyapin.

Colorful Dawn on the Top of the Aygir Cliffs, Bashkiria, Russia, photo 1

amazing morning landscapes

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The Church of the Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God is a famous architectural monument of the Russian pseudo-gothic located in the village of Bykovo in the Ramensky district of the Moscow region, about 40 km south-east of the center of Moscow.

This picturesque church combining baroque and gothic forms was built on the territory of the Vorontsov-Dashkov estate in 1789. The estate itself is an outstanding example of Russian architecture and decorative arts of the era of Emperor Nicholas I. Bykovo on Google Maps. Photos by: Vladimir d’Ar.

Church of the Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God in Bykovo, Moscow Oblast, Russia, photo 1

amazing church

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