Moscow is a fascinating city to visit on any Russian River cruise, and therefore, several days should be spent in the city before embarkation. When you take an all-inclusive river cruise, you often can take advantage of a self-guided tour of the city. One of the key attractions is the Kremlin, which once was once the residence of Russia's tsars, and which was first established in the 1400s. Travelers can also browse the famous GUM department store when they want to make a switch from visiting historical sites.
Best Time to Visit According to U.S. News World Travel, the best time to travel to Moscow is in either April or May. During those months, the temperature hovers at 55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. You will pay less for river cruise travel, as summer is the peak season when the city's tourist trade picks up.
You Should Know Red Square is the country's symbolic core – home to Lenin's Tomb and the memorable St. Basil's Cathedral, which displays colorful onion-shaped domes. Moscow is one of the most expensive cities worldwide. According to Forbes, 84 billionaires live in Moscow, which also claims more billionaires than any city internationally.
Pushkin Versailles-Styled Palace
Catharine the Great was very big on decorating and having lavish palaces and places of interest built in the past. The Pushkin Palaces with Versailles-styled architecture are some of the most beautiful buildings you will ever see.
Best Time To Visit Visiting this and other palaces can be done throughout the year, whenever you are visiting. The gardens outside of the palaces are nice, so good weather can be ideal.
You Should Know This is not the only palace in Pushkin, there are a series of other palaces that were constructed. The palaces were based on Baroque-style architecture and art.
Located in the heart of Moscow, the Red Square is a place of interest for so many. Inside the square, you can find the St. Basil's Cathedral, GUM Department Store, and Lenin's Tomb. All of these are open and ready for the general public to come and see once you walk through the Red Square.
Best Time To Visit Since the square is outside, you may want to visit when the weather is warmer and nicer. You can find that walking during this time is more pleasant and you can stop into all of the points of interest.
You Should Know The president of Russia lives right to the side of the Red Square. The Kremlin is to the other side of the square, so you can make an entire day of visiting these areas.
The Pushkin Gallery is located in Moscow. With not just art inside, but other arts including music and dance, you will find that there is a lot for you to take in. You can go during the time when they are offering shows or other performances.
Best Time To Visit It is ideal to visit this area when the weather is mild, or even if it is raining since it is inside. You can walk through and not have to worry about the weather.
You Should Know The International Musical Festival Sviatoslav Richter's December nights is held in this museum and have been since 1981. They do charge for tickets to come in, RUB 200-400.
Kazan is an interesting mix of culture and history. It is one of the oldest cities in both Eastern Europe and Russia, and about 150 years older than Moscow. The city, which was established in 1005, became a part of the Mogol-Tartar Empire. Ivan the Terrible seized Kazan in the 1500s, bringing it under the reign of the Russian Empire.
Best Time to Visit Visit the lively city in the spring, so you can enjoy the sights without fighting crowds of tourists.
You Should Know Kazan is home to over 40 museums and 30+ universities. The city is considered Russia's third city, behind the two capitals of Moscow and St. Petersburg. Because it is a university town, Kazan has a vibrant nightlife.
Church of St. Elijah the Prophet
This church not only has beautiful architecture inside and out, but it comes with a story behind it. This is why many people enjoy visiting. You can learn more about the history and folklore that brings a lot of residents and visitors inside just to see and feel the magic within.
Best Time To Visit When the outside is chilly and raining, you can go inside the church for warmth and to take in the sights, sounds, and everything else that comes with it.
You Should Know White with green onion domes and topped with gold crosses, the colors of the church make it stand out more. The church is a 14th-century church, so it holds a lot of history.
A significant Golden Ring city, it is worth visiting to see all of the attractions hidden within the circle. It is also the biggest city you will visit while on a river cruise through Russia. There are also a handful of streets full of cafes and shops that are made just for pedestrians, so you don't have to worry about traffic.
Best Time To Visit The best time to come to Yaroslavl is when the weather is warm, and the sun is out. You will be doing a lot of walking, so the weather should be comfortable to do so in.
You Should Know Check out the embankment to the side of the city, this is where locals go to eat lunch and use the greenery as a park. This area is also home to many gorgeous, older churches.
Also known as Rostov-na-Donu, Rostov-on-Don is the administrative center for the Rostov Oblast, or province, in southwest Russia. It sits beside the lower Don River, and is located 30 miles above the river's mouth, next to the Sea of Azov.
Best Time To Visit Your travel dollars are better spent during the spring, when the prices are lower and the tourist trade has not yet gotten into full swing.
You Should Know Besides the Sea of Azov, the Caspian Sea, the Black Sea, the Baltic Sea, and White Sea all come together at the seaport of Rostov-on-Don. Rostov-on-Don is home to the Northern Cemetery, which is one of the largest cemeteries on the European continent. As many as 50 burials per day can occur at the massive graveyard. Because Rostov-on-Don is located next to several seas, its fish markets are teeming with a variety of fish.
Formerly known as Stalingrad, Volgograd lies in southwestern Russia beside the Volga River. The city is the site for the Second World War's Battle of Stalingrad. The Panorama Museum, in the city, features a 360-degree painting of the conflict, including war-time artifacts and weapons. The city's Lenin Volga-Don Shipping Canal is marked with a large arch.
Best Time To Visit Spring warms the countryside just enough to attract a small number of travelers – the ideal time to take advantage of the lower river cruise rates.
You Should Know The city was founded in 1589. Its City Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of September. Volgograd was once called Tsaritsyn from 1589 to 1925 and Stalingrad from 1925 to 1961. The industrial city is the administrative center of the Volgograd Oblast (region) in southwest Russia.
Established as a city in 1796, Ulyanovsk is also the birthplace of the Soviet leader, Vladimir Lenin. The Lenin Memorial complex in the city features a research center and museum in Lenin's former homes. The Museum of Civil Aviation exhibits old aircraft and helicopters.
Best Time To Visit Plan a trip to Ulyanovsk during April or May when travel prices are lower but the temperatures are comfortable.
You Should Know Formerly known as Simbirsk, this city, located on the Volga River, was founded in 1648. It is the administrative center for the Ulyanovsk Oblast. The city was renamed in 1924 to Ulyanovsk, after Vladimir Ulyanov, better known as Vladimir Lenin.
The Bolshoi Theater is also located inside Moscow and it is one of the most visited places for those living and visiting the city. The theatre mainly does opera and ballet performances, but sometimes they have other shows that visitors can take part in, depending on what you want to see during that time.
Best Time To Visit Most of the shows are held at night, so if you want to visit during one of them then it is ideal to visit during one of the times when you're docked at port for the night.
You Should Know The shows each cost a different amount, and you can purchase tickets in advance to make sure you have one. The theatre was built in 1821 and is still standing and fully functional to this day.
Located in St. Petersburg, this is generally one of the biggest and most known places to visit in the area. It is one of the world's largest art collections by far. With many popular artists that have their artwork showcased in this museum, you'll easily be able to look through the halls of what is available.
Best Time To Visit This attraction is ideal to see during the off-season because it is less packed inside. However, if the weather is chilly and not so ideal, then this would be a good time to visit the museum.
You Should Know The Hermitage was once the official home to Russian Tsars throughout the years. Very few people were allowed to come into this home in the past. The Hermitage is huge. It consists of 5 interconnected buildings and has over 3 million art pieces.
You cannot take any Russian river cruise without visiting Uglich, a fascinating city on the Volga River. Located 155 miles north of the capital city of Moscow, the ancient town was established in the 10th century. Some of the town's sights include monasteries, churches, historic structures, and unique places, such as the interactive Hydropower Museum and the Museum of Russian Vodka.
Best Time To Visit If you want to avoid the crowds, visit Uglich during April or May, or in the spring. At this time, the temperatures are agreeable and so are your surroundings, as you don't have to fight the rush of tourists that visit in the summer.
You Should Know The Kremlin in Uglich is a true Russian architectural masterpiece. Built during the 10th century, the rose and aqua building is located on the Volga's high bank, and is the site of the murder of Ivan the Terrible's son, Prince Dmitry. The death of Prince Dmitry remains a mystery, still today. Historical experts believe the 8-year-old prince died as the result of a power struggle between some of the country's elite clans. The Alekseevsky Monastery was found at the end of the 1300s but was almost totally destroyed during a Polish and Lithuanian conflict in the early 1600s. The architectural highlight of the building is the Uspenskaya Church, whose refectory was known for its unparalleled beauty.
Once an important military city, Nizhniy Novgorod was closed to the public, or foreign travelers, when Russia was the Soviet Union. Since that time, the city has reopened so people can visit its historic sites and enjoy the river views.
Best Time To Visit A good time to visit Nizhniy Novgorod is in May or April when you can take a slower pace and not have to fight the crowds.
You Should Know In 1932, the city was renamed Gorky, after the Soviet writer, Maxim Gorky, who was also a nominee of the Nobel prize 5 different times. The name was switched back to Nizhniy Novgorod in 1990. Nizhny Novgorod has been the venue for several films, including the 2010 film, Salt, which starred Angelina Jolie. The Soviet Union's first tank was made during the Second World War in Nizhny Novgorod.
June, July, and August are the most popular and warmest months to visit. Keep this in mind when planning a trip. If you choose other months, it might be a bit chillier, but there will be less crowds and the cost of the trip may be more affordable since this is more of an ‘off-season'. To fully enjoy a Don River cruise and take advantage of lower prices, it is best to arrange a river cruise trip in the spring, usually in April or May. This is a propitious time to go, as the temperatures begin to warm, and the skies are sunnier. During this period, the temperatures are between 55 degrees and 60 degrees Fahrenheit.