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Russia Holiday Package

Russia, officially known as the Russian Federation is a country in northern Eurasia and is a federal semi-presidential republic.  Moscow is the capital city and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural and scientific center and claims to have the highest number of billionaire residents in the world. Get on board the Russia Holiday Package!

Experience the highlights of Moscow on a private walking tour, perfect for travellers who would like to explore the city on their own. This city has always been a popular destination for tourists and some of the more famous attractions include the city's UNESCO World Heritage Sites of the Moscow Kremlin and Red Square.

Move towards the city centre and start  at Red Square from where you could  admire the iconic Sts Basil’s Cathedral, the colourful Russian Orthodox church.  Continue to the famous Moscow Kremlin for a guided tour of the grounds and learn about the history of this amazing fortress, once home to Russian tsars and communist leaders. View the area where coronations of Russian royalty took place at the Assumption Cathedral and admire the gorgeous palaces of Russian emperors, as well as the Tsar Bell and Tsar Cannon. Visit the largest church, Christ the Savior Cathedral, to learn about its astonishing legends and recent political protests. Look at the top landmarks such as the St Basil’s Cathedral, with its elegant onion domes and the Seven Sisters comprising seven massive skyscrapers scattered throughout the city at about an equal distance from the Kremlin. intricate exteriors and a large central spire has been described as Stalinist gothic architecture The Lenin’s Mausoleum and the Historical Museum are other important sites, worth a notice!

The exotic Boyar castle on a little lane in Zamoskvorechie contains the main branch of the State Tretyakov Gallery, housing the world’s best collection of Russian icons and outstanding pieces of other pre­-revolutionary Russian art as the Gallery boasts of some of the most exquisite examples of such novice. The Pushkin Museum is lined with halls that are a cross-section of exhibits on world civilisations, with many copies of ancient sculptures. The State Historical Museum of Russia exhibits a range from relics of the prehistoric tribes inhabiting present-day Russia, through priceless artworks acquired by members of the Romanov dynasty There is also a military history museum not to be missed which includes statues, military hardware, and you will surely hear many interesting stories. The Shchusey State Museum of Architecture is the national museum of Russian architecture.

Moscow also has a widespread of parks to entice the tourists! The Gorky Park ,officially the Central Park of Culture and Rest    contains   estrades, , children's attractions including the Observation Wheel water ponds with boats and water bicycles, dancing, tennis courts and other sports facilities. It borders the Neskuchny Garden   a former imperial residence, featuring the Green Theater, one of the largest open amphitheaters in Europe.  The Losiny Ostroy National Park also called `Elk Island’ is quite wild and also known as the `city taiga’ as elks can be seen here.

The Botanical Garden of Academy of Sciences bordering the All-Russia Exhibition Center contains a live exhibition of different species of plants from various parts of the world, and also a lab for scientific research. It also contains a rosarium with rose bushes, a dendrarium, an oak forest, and a greenhouse. Other popular attractions include the Moscow Zoo, a zoological garden, with nearly a thousand species and specimens, attracting visitors every year. What a wonderland on the Russia Holiday Package!

You could visit the Star City, near Moscow, highlighting the Russian astronaut training centre where you could get full-size models of Russian spacecrafts and related material and the monument of Yuri Gargarin, the charismatic first man in space!

Visit the neo-classical Bolshoi Theater, home to the renowned Bolshoi Ballet and Bolshoi Opera, and watch the changing of the guards near the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. . The repertories in a typical Moscow season are numerous and modern interpretations of classic works, whether operatic or theatrical, are quite common.The city is full of different kinds of clubs, restaurants and bars and Rublevka, the richest area of the city has a wide selection of luxury establishments including Tverskaya Street which is one of the busiest shopping streets in Moscow.

Saint Petersburg is the second large western city of Russia, as well as its cultural capital. The imperial capital is a dazzling metropolis whose sheer grandeur never fails to amaze and has a significant historical and cultural heritage and thus considered a highly enigmatic tourist destination. The city has three skyscrapers: Leader Tower, Alexander Nevsky and Atlantic City all three being situated far away from the historical centre.

Yusupov Palace in St. Petersburg is spectacular having some of the best interiors in the city, in addition to a fascinating history with interiors that are appetizing and rich, with many halls painted in different styles and decked out with gilded chandeliers, silks, frescoes, tapestries and some fantastic furniture.

The city is also home to The Hermitage, one of the largest art museums in the world, mainly set in the magnificent Winter Palace and the adjoining buildings,The Winter Palace is a  stunning mint-green, white and gold profusion of columns, windows and recesses, with its roof topped by rows of classical statues as the  museum   fully lives up to its sterling reputation. You can be absorbed by its treasures for days and still come out wanting more. Concerts and ballets are still performed here and the galleries are open to the public at the State Hermitage Theatre. You may visit the Menshikov Palace lies on Vasilyevsky Island, and the Imperial Porcelain factory is located in the south of the city. The Alexander Nevsky Monastery is the city's most ancient and eminent monastery. That attracts the most devout believers – a revered and holy place – and the gravesite of some of Russia's most famous artistic figures. Feast your eyes on the Russia Holiday Package!

It would be interesting to observe that due to the intricate web of canals, Saint Petersburg is often called the Venice of the North and the embankments and bridges are separated from rivers and canals by granite or cast iron parapets.

Many notable landmarks are situated to the west and south of the Admiralty Building, including the Trinity Cathedral, Marinsky Palace, Hotel Astoria, the famous Marinsky Theatre, New Holland Island, Saint Isaac’s Cathedral, the largest in the city and the Senate Square, also known as Decembrist’s Square with the Bronze Horseman! The southern suburbs of the city feature former imperial residences, including Petergof  with majestic fountain cascades and parks, Tsarskoe Selo  with the baroque Catherine  Palace and the  the neoclassical Alexander Palace and Pavslovsk  which contains a domed palace of Emperor Paul  and one of the largest English-style parks in Europe. The Summer Garden is another old park designed in the regular style and famous for its cast iron railing and marble sculptures.

The Russian Museum is a large museum along with Kunstkamera which established Peter the Great to collect curiosities from all over the world, evolving it into the present-day Peter the Great Museum of Antrhopology and Ethnography! You could visit the Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography containing a vast collection of curiosities and also visit Petersburg School of Ballet!

You could now head for Kazan, which lies at the confluence of the Volga and Kazanka rivers in European Russia, on this Russia Holiday Package! The multi-ethnic city is honored by UNESCO, and famous for Muslims and Christians living side-by-side in peace, which granted it the right to brand itself as the "Third Capital" of Russia!

Start with Kazan’s striking Kremlin, which is home to government offices, pleasant parks, museums, the enormous Kul Sharif Mosque or Qol Sarif Mosque remains as a Saviour Monastery, and other religious buildings. Among the highlights are the Hermitage Kazan Gallery and the Tatarstan Museum of Natural History. About a dozen rooms here tell the story of the planets, geology and minerals, and the development of life forms on Earth. The most interesting sections are on dinosaurs and the rise of mammals, some of the white limestone Kremlin walls date from the 16th and 17th centuries. The Musa Dzhalil is a  striking bronze figure of a man tearing barbed wire is at the entrance to the Kremlin and was erected to honour the Tatar poet who was executed by the Nazis in Berlin’s Moabit Prison Opposite the Kremlin’s main entrance, the National Museum of the Republic of Tatarstan occupies an ornate  building and has a worthwhile archaeology collection as well as jewellery, weapons and exhibits on the history of the Tatar people and its literary figures .The museum inside tells the story of Islam, especially on the Volga, and includes manuscripts, some pieces of furniture and women's costumes.It would also be great to visit  the ornate baroque Sts-Peter-and-Paul's Cathedral on Qawi Nacmi Street and Marcani mosque on Qayum Nasiri Street, dating back to the 18th century.

The most unusual museum, the Soviet Lifestyle Museum is packed with Soviet knick-knacks, is proof that Russia's socialist epoch fostered a lively contemporary cultural scene – especially music.  Another landmark is the huge redbrick Theophany Church Belfry. A small chapel inside is dedicated to Russia’s first musical idol – the early 20th-century opera singer Fyodor Chaliapin, who started his career in the church’s choir. The Nurullah mosque, one of the most historic and surviving mosques here, has been rebuilt several times and also has a shop selling Islamic paraphernalia.

Your next destination would be Samara known earlier as Kuybyshev, the sixth largest city in Russia and the administrative center of Samara Oblast.  It is situated in the southeastern part of European Russia at the confluence of the Volga and Samara Rivers, on the east bank of the Volga.

Look forward to some heritage spots on this Russia Holiday Package! After the suppression of Polish uprisings in the Russian empire, a small group of Polish exiles settled in Samara and the community built the beautiful Gothic Catholic Church. The Ulyanov family house-museum is where Vladimir Ilych and his family lived for three years and worth a visit. The private Gallereya Vikoria gallery in Samara is excellent for viewing (and purchasing) works by the best of the Volga region artists in regular exhibitions. The historical and significant Pokrovsky Cathedral,  was once resplendent in gold, marble and artistry. Apparently these riches proved their value during a famine, when they were sold to Finland wagons of bread for Samara residents to eat.

A little detour and you could reach Kazakhstan, officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a contiguous transcontinental country in Central Asia with its smaller part west of the Ural River in Europe with the world's largest land area and the ninth largest country in the world as its territory is larger than Western Europe.

Some of the best sight-seeing areas in Kazakhstan could be landmarked as you may make a quick trip to Almaty’s best museum, which takes you through Kazakhstan’s history from Bronze Age burials to telecommunications and the transfer of the capital to Astana, with many beautiful artefacts. A large replica of the Golden Man stands in the entrance hall. Downstairs, the hall  deals with archaeological finds and early history up to Chinggis Khan, with balbals (totemlike stones bearing the carved faces of honoured warriors or chieftains, placed at sacred spots by nomadic early Turks) and models of some of this country’s major monuments. Next to it is the ‘Open Collection’, an exhibit of outstanding ancient gold adornments, mainly from earlier Scythian burials which requires a special ticket (you do get a tour in English, Russian or Kazakh for your money). The ethnographic display in the hall upstairs features a finely kitted-out yurt and some beautifully worked weaponry and horse and camel gear, plus musical instruments and exotic costumes going back to the 18th century. The halls on the fourth floor deal with the 20th and 21st centuries, including exhibits on some of Kazakhstan’s many ethnic groups.

Tourists would be fascinated by Astana's most extraordinary building, the Khan Shatyr , a 150m-high, translucent, tent-like structure made of ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE), a heat-absorbing material that produces summer temperatures inside even when it’s -30°C outside. Touted as a 'lifestyle centre with world-class shopping', from outside it resembles a colourful circus tent, while the multilevel interior contains yet another shopping mall and food court and also several other scintillating attractions for children and adults, such as a drop tower, flume ride and 500m-long monorail  on the top level, the Sky Beach Club with a big swimming pool, sandy beach, palm trees and water slides, where those who can afford it can imagine they're on a tropical coast in the middle of the Eurasian steppe. To its east, across a park, stands the grand headquarters of the state energy company, KazMunayGaz, with Nurzhol Bulvar beginning beyond it.

The Koke Tobe hill in Almaty, on the southeast edge is crowned by a 372m-high TV tower, visible from far and wide, and affords great views over the city and the mountains, plus an assortment of attractions at the top. The easy way up is by the smooth cable car, which glides from beside the Palace of the Republic on Dostyk. At the top you would find assorted cafes and restaurants, craft shops, a roller-coaster, a mini zoo, a children’s playground – and life-sized bronze statues of the four Beatles and, this is claimed to be the world’s only monument showing all the Fab Four together. You can sit beside a guitar-strumming John Lenon on the bench and could reach the hill either by cable car or by bus. The Karaganda Ecological Museum has to be the most imaginative museum in the city. Everything can be touched, and this includes large rocket parts that have fallen on the steppe after Baykonur space launches and debris collected from the Semipalatinsk Polygon. Other display topics include the saiga antelope and chemical safety in theThe guided tours, available in English, is well worth it and is best requested in advance. The large and attractive rectangle of greenery called Panfilov Park is one of central Almaty's most popular strolling and hangout places for all ages. At its heart stands the candy-coloured Zenkov Cathedral , Kazakhstan's nearest (albeit distant) relative to St Basil’s Cathedral and one of the few surviving tsarist-era buildings here, having been built entirely of wood (including the nails).

Used as a museum and concert hall in Soviet times, this building was returned to the Russian Orthodox Church and has been restored with colourful icons and murals. The Park is named for the Panfilov Heroes, and an eternal flame honouring the war heroes of the Civil War and World War II flickers in front of the giant black monument. Kazakhstan has three cultural and natural heritages on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, worth a visit, such as the Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yassaui, Petro Glyphs within the Archaeological landscape of Tamgaly and Korgalzhyn and Nauryzumsky Reserves.

Tourists could finally move towards Uzbekistan, officially known as the Republic of Uzbekistan,   a doubly landlocked country in Central Asia and   a unitary, constitutional, presidential republic, bordered by five countries, Kazakhstan and the Aral Sea to the north, Tajikistan to the southeast, Kyrgyzstan  to the northeast, Afghanistan to the south, and Turkmenistan to the southwest.

A dry, landlocked country and one of the two doubly landlocked countries in the world (that is, a country completely surrounded by landlocked countries), the other being Leichtenstein, is located within a series of endorheic  basins,and  none of its rivers lead to the sea. It is an intensively cultivated irrigated land in river valleys and oases and the rest is a vast desert Kyzyl Kum and mountains.

The Savitsky Museum in Nukus, Uzbekistan houses one of the most remarkable art collections in the former Soviet Union. The museum owns artefacts and pieces of art,  including paintings, only a fraction of which are actually on display.where the renegade artist and ethnographer Igor Savitsky,  managed to work within the system to preserve an entire generation of avant-garde work finding protection in these isolated backwaters  and it’s interesting to hear how this nonconformist museum survived during the Soviet Era. An English-language guided tour can really help to contextualise the collection and acts as an introduction to the fascinating stories behind many of the paintings.

The Museum has impressive archaeological, ethnographic and folk art collections to match its collection of paintings, as well as high-quality temporary exhibits. The huge collection is rotated every few months, so you could visit many times and continue to see new works.

The region’s cradle of culture for more than two millennia is the proud home to a spellbinding arsenal of architecture and ancient cities all deeply infused with the fascinating history of the Silk Road. In terms of sights alone. Uzbekistan is Central Asia’s biggest draw and most impressive showstopper! Samarkhand, Bukhara and Khiva, never fail to impress visitors with their fabulous mosques, medressas and mausoleums, while its more eccentric attractions, such as the fast disappearing Aral Sea, the fortresses of desperately remote Karakalpakstan,its boom town capital Tashkent and ecotourism opportunities of the Nuratau Mountains, means that most diverse tastes can be catered. Despite being a harsly governed police state.  Uzbekistan remains an extremely friendly country where hospitality remains an essential element of daily life and you would be made to feel genuinely welcomed by the people you meet.

In Uzbekistan, between the two covered bazaars, in what was the old herb-and-spice bazaar, is Central Asia’s oldest surviving mosque, the Maghoki-Attar, a lovely mishmash of 9th-century facade and 16th-century reconstruction.

Tashkent’s Chorsu Bazaar, is the most famous farmers market, topped by a giant green dome,  a delightful slice of city life spilling into the streets off Old Town’s southern edge. If it grows and it’s edible, it’s here. There are acres of spices arranged in brightly coloured mountains, Volkswagen-sized sacks of grain, entire sheds dedicated to candy, dairy products and bread, interminable rows of freshly slaughtered livestock, and,  of course, scores of pomegranates, melons, persimmons, huge mutant tomatoes and whatever fruits are in season. Souvenir Hunters will find kurpacha (colourful sitting mattresses), skull caps, chapan (traditional cloaks) and knives here.

This is probably also the town’s holiest spot as archaeologists found bits of a 5th-century Zoroastrian temple and an earlier Buddhist temple. The building also today ostensibly functions as a museum of carpets exhibiting Bukhara carpets and prayer mats. Climb the stairs inside the mosque for a view of the Zoroastrian remains.

Close to the Oliy Majlis in Navoi Park,in Tashkent, the Abulkasim  Medressa has been turned into an artisans’ school and workshop where local wood carvers, lacquerware makers, metal workers and miniature painters ply and teach their craft. It’s a great place to buy the fruits of their labour, plus souvenirs such as suzani, rospic (lacquer boxes) and ceramics.

The inhabitants here are rather fond of traditional and popular music. Endurance of listening and continual audiences that attend events, such as Bazms or Weddings, is what makes the folk-pop style of music so famous. The classical music in Uzbekistan is very different than pop music and the habitats are mostly listening to shash maqam, which is the main component of the classical genre of music, besides a blend of International and Indian music!

Shopping:

 Alena Akhmadullina’s romantic, flowing fashions have been wowing trendsetters for the subtly expressive designs which are known for offering a new perspective on Russian themes. The sprawling area, also known as Vernisazh market, is packed with art, handmade crafts, antiques, Soviet paraphernalia and just about anything you might want for a souvenir. You will find Moscow’s biggest original range of matryoshki, palekh and khokhloma ware, and less traditional woodworking crafts all around. There are also rugs from the Caucasus and Central Asia, pottery, linens, jewellery, fur hats, chess sets, toys, Soviet posters and much more. Finally, stroll down Arbat Street and browse the fancy boutiques for gifts, including the well-loved Russian matryoshka dolls or painted wooden nesting dolls. Prosto Tak is famed for quirky, clever souvenirs, as it is a stop by the network of artists’ cooperatives with uniquely Russian gifts such as artist-designed tapki (slippers) and hand-woven linens. Most intriguingly, artist Yury Movchan has invented a line of funky, functional fixtures (lights, clocks) made from old appliances and other industrial discards. Zupperia in Moscow is an old furrier and has been Manufacturing shapky (fur hats) and shuby (fur coats) while Yekaterina has always maintained a reputation for high-quality furs and leather, with updated designs. Khokhlovka is about the most clandestine fashion store that has ever been reviewed as the small showroom displays clothes and accessories produced by dozens of young, but often stellar Russian designers. Also, look for the ceramic plaque and the small sign indicating the entrance to an 'exposition hall', which is actually a cluster of small shops, each one showcasing arts and crafts by local artists. In addition to paintings and pottery, the most intriguing items are the gorgeous knit sweaters, woolly coats and embroidered dresses, all handmade and unique, The design may often seem controversial, but you may rest assured you would never see anyone wearing the same item back home. The same craft and designerware would be available all over St. Petersburg, Kazan and Samara!

In Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan souvenir hunters will find kurpacha (colourful sitting mattresses), skull caps, chapan (traditional cloaks) and knives here. Wood carvers, lacquerware makers, metal workers and miniature painters ply and teach their craft. It’s a great place to buy the fruits of their labour, plus souvenirs such as suzani, rospic (lacquer boxes) and ceramics. Also plenty of designer wear apparels, cosmetics, bags, jewellery and accessories would be available to make a hole in your pockets!

Would you be able to stop overloading your bags with goodies on the Russia Holiday Package!

Cuisine:

The affable and chatty owners of eateries in Moscow have travelled the world and experiment with the menu a lot, turning burgers, pizzas and pasta into artfully constructed objects of modern culinary art. The other source of joy could be outlets with cabinets full of bottles of ripening fruity liquors, which may destroy your budget if consumed uncontrollably. Delicatessen is rated as one of the World’s Top 50 bars list with an amzing spread of liquor, liqueurs and mocktails. 

Brassereie Most is where Moscow's most venerated and erudite restaurateur Aleksander Rappoport shares his love for regional French cuisine in this classy and expensive place on Kuznetsky most. The menu is a grand gastrotour taking in seemingly every major area of France from Bretagne to Alsace. Authenticity is religion and if  they say bouillabaisse, be sure it will taste exactly like Marseille's best.Designed to look like a transplant from some old-worldish European city, you would find  unpretentious eateries where the minimalist menu includes soups, bruschettas and salads.  Welcome to the Russian Portlandia – all the food here is organic and hails from little farms where you may rest assured all the lambs and chickens and is a great place to sample local food cooked in a funky improvisational style, also fermented rye bread drink and farm produce, served inhouse and as a takeaway.

In St. Petersburg, you would find standalone dining spaces with lavish interiors as all white tablecloths, polished wood floors and scattered objets d'art, rather like dining in the home of a wealthy friend. The contemporary Russian cookery is superb, and service couldn't be more attentive or polite. Sample dishes include pumpkin fritters with Siberian salmon roe, roast hare with stewed vegetables and deer fillet with warm pear, while the wine list is voluminous. This is an excellent choice for a thoughtfully prepared and beautifully presented meal in sumptuous surroundings. Grand Crust is a wine emporium which may function as a shop, but its excellent gastronomic restaurant is no afterthought and has a beautifully decorated space with moody red lighting, timber floors and big windows serving an ambitious and expensive menu with dishes such as rabbit with millet risotto and beetroot mousse presented on slabs of black slate and paired with a wine.  Duo Gastrobar  is a  light-bathed place, done out in wood and gorgeous glass lampshades offering a short fusion menu that excels, featuring such unlikely delights as passionfruit and gorgonzola mousse and salmon with quinoa and marscarpone. There are also more conventional choices such as risottos, pastas and salads.

The variety and content of cuisine is similar in Kazan and Samara, where the restaurants and eateries cater to International and the Indian palate, satisfying their taste buds wherever they go!

In the national cuisine of Kazakhstan,livestock meat can be cooked in a variety of ways and is usually served with a wide assortment of traditional bread products. Refreshments often include black tea and traditional milk-derived drinks such as ayran shubat and kymyz a traditional Kazakh dinner involves a multitude of appetisers on the table, followed by a soup and one or two main courses such as pilaf and beshbarmak. They also drink their national beverage, which consists of fermented mare's milk.

Uzbekistan's signature dish is Paloy (Plov or Osh), a main course typically made with rice, pieces of meat, and grated carrots and onions. Oshi Nahor, or morning Plov, is served in the early morning to large gatherings of guests, typically as part of an ongoing wedding celebration. Other notable national dishes include, Shurpa (Shurva orShorva), a soup made of large pieces of fatty meat, usually mutton and fresh vegetables and various kebabs.

Green tea is the national hot beverage taken throughout the day, teahouses (Chaikhanas) is of cultural importance. The more usual black tea is preferred in Tashkent. Tea always accompanies a meal, but it is also a drink of hospitality,that is automatically offered: green or black to every guest. Ayran, a chilled yogurt drink, is popular in summer, but does not replace hot tea.

Besides the above unusual but delectable specialities, both Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan have enough content and versatility in their cuisine to cater to Indian and International tourists from all over the world!

Stuff yourselves with this sumptuous foodfare on the Russia Holiday Package!

Climate:

Moscow has a humid continental climate with long, cold winters usually lasting from mid-November through the end of March, and warm summers. St. Petersburg has a humid continental climate with distinct moderating influence of the Baltic Sea cyclones result in warm, humid and short summers and long, cold wet winters. Kazan has a humid continental climate with long cold winters and warm, often hot dry summers. Samara experiences a humid continental climate though the humidity levels are higher in the summer than many Russian cities.

In Kazakhstan, the climate is continental with warm summers and colder winters. Precipitation varies between arid and semi-arid conditions. The climate in the Republic of Uzbekistan is continental, with little precipitation expected annually.

Perhaps tourists may not be able to stop thinking about their tantlising path on the Russia Holiday Package, even after they return to their homeland!


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