Russia a Popular Tourist Destination

By: Douglas Scott

Russia has become a popular tourist destination and this will continue as it is now a main target for the low cost airlines.

Bad points may include some of the following. Throughout Russia there is risk of terrorism linked to Chechnya and other extremists from the Northern Caucasuses. These threats include bombings, hostage taking and suicide attacks in public places. Moscow is often a primary target. Recently a passenger train from Chechnya to Moscow was derailed by an explosion, a bomb was left on the metro in Moscow, another blew up at a Moscow bus stop and two Russian airliners on internal flights were destroyed by suicide bombers. In the past Moscow has seen other terrorist acts on metro trains, in a hotel, market and a theatre.

St Petersburg and Moscow have pick pockets and muggers especially in and near railway stations. These may involve children and women. Theft from hotel rooms and cars is a problem. Beware of strangers in bars and night clubs who may spike your drinks in order to rob you. Several tourists have been held up at knife point in St Petersburg and robbed on public transport. Bogus police officers operate in both cities. Racist attacks may also occur by skinheads on Asians and Afro Caribbeans.

Moscow is the Capital of the largest geographical country in the world which has a population of over 145 million living in eleven time zones. 82 percent of the population are Russian with the other 18 percent being made up of more than one hundred nationalities. The official currency is the rouble, but American dollars are widely accepted.

The leading religions are Orthodox Christian, Muslim, Jewish and Buddist.

Climate is moderate. The average temperature in July and August is 20 in December and January 10. The humidity is moderate. The Moscows winters are, as a rule, cold and snowy. Moscow is conveniently sited in the centre of Russias European part where the rivers Moskva and Yauza cross the Central Russian Plateau.

Moscow is one of the biggest cities in the world. It occupies the area of 1035 square kilometres. Moscow has more than 5000 streets. The population is about 9 million people, plus more than three million tourists and guests coming annually.

Russia today is a nation of enormous diversity and tremendous vitality. It is as if the cultural traditions of a century ago have re awakened with a newfound strength ancient cathedrals are being rebuilt and restored, colourful markets hum with activity once again and literature and the arts are quickly regaining the creative renown they enjoyed decades ago. A new Russia is now in full bloom.

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