Naturally, when you think about vodka, you likely think about Russia, so what better way to spend the day than at the Vodka Museum? Here, you will immerse yourself in the history of both and get a chance to taste some of the finest vodka too. Beautifully decorated and centrally located, you can take a tour of the museum and get a good view of history including how vodka is made, tools used to make the drink, and more.
Best Time To Visit There is no specific time that you should or should not visit, just make sure you stop in at some point throughout your trip. The museum is located indoors, so even if the weather is rainy or cold, you can still make your way there and remain comfortable.
You Should Know There is a self-guided tour option for those guests who want to explore the museum on their own. The self-guided tour allows you to walk at your own pace and listen to the prompts at each stop. You can indulge yourself in a vodka tasting while here, which allows you to try a variety of different vodkas. Should you not like vodka, you can enjoy a beer.
Arguably one of the best places to stop while on a Volga River Cruise, Kremlin Grounds is one of the most famous historical landmarks in Moscow. While here, you will likely find yourself taken aback with the breathtaking views of the golden-dome cathedrals and grand architecture. Kremlin Grounds is home to the President of Russia and is its own little city within Moscow.
Best Time To Visit Kremlin Grounds is open all year long and there is no specific time that one should visit. It is important to note that many individuals do say that there are crowds here throughout the year, so plan to spend some extra time exploring.
You Should Know You can visit three of the cathedrals here and all of them date back to the 15th and 16th century. The Assumption Cathedral is one of the ones you can visit and is best known for being the central hub for worship. You should expect to spend about two to three hours touring the area.
The Bolshoi Theatre is a historical landmark within Russia and the center for performing arts. Here, you will find a myriad of performances to include opera and ballet. The main theatre building has been restored several times over the years to help preserve it and maintain the beauty of it. This theatre is considered to be a repertory theatre, which means that it has a list of different performances and then decides, from that list, which performances will take place and when. This also means that the list can change and one night may be one performance and then another performance on any other given night.
Best Time To Visit Those who wish to attend a theatre performance will need to check with the theatre for a list of performances. It is important to note that most performances take place in the evening and year-round.
You Should Know There is a strict dress code to attend any of the theatre performances. Women and men should dress appropriately in evening attire. Those who wish to attend a performance should know that photography, tape recorders, and videos are strictly prohibited anywhere within the theatre.
Peterhof Palace is a destination that you must see while in Russia. The garden was originally built for Peter the Great. As a visitor, you can expect to see more than 80 sculptures, statues, and houses that were designed. The museums on site are packed with information and beautiful antiques that will take you back in time. Sitting near the banks of the Gulf of Finland, you will enjoy breathtaking views as you tour the area.
Best Time To Visit The most popular days to visit include the launch of the fountains in May, White Nights in June, and the end of the season in the middle of September. Any visitors who want to avoid large crowds should avoid Saturdays and Sundays as these are usually the busiest days.
You Should Know Videos and photographs are not allowed within the Palace but are allowed outside of the Palace and in any of the gardens.
The Armory Museum, also known as the Armory Chamber, is located within the Kremlin Grounds. Within the armory, visitors can immerse themselves in the country's history while viewing State regalia, royal garments, crafted silverware, and much more. There are thousands of items to lay your eyes on while inside this world-wide known museum.
Best Time To Visit The best time to tour the museum is during the week around 2:30 pm local time, as that is usually the least busy. The best months to visit are from May to September. If you want to avoid crowds, it is recommended that you avoid the area on Saturdays during midday time. In general, you should expect the area to be busy and allot yourself enough time to walk around and see what the museum has to offer.
You Should Know It will take you about 1 hour to walk through the museum and more time if you want to learn a bit more about the artifacts inside. The Armory Museum is always closed on Thursdays.
One of the largest and best museums to visit is the Hermitage Museum. This museum is packed full of beautiful artwork and is known as one of the most famous throughout the world. The inside of the museum includes more than 17,000 paintings and 3,100,000 exhibits. In fact, if you were to stand in front of each item within the museum for one minute with no breaks, it would take you 10 years to see everything.
Best Time To Visit Visit during the week, as you will avoid less crowds. The museum tends to be busy in January, March, throughout the summer, and in November. Guests can visit the museum year-round. The museum is known to have low crowd numbers after about 4:00 pm local time.
You Should Know The Hermitage Museum is closed on Mondays. The Rembrandt and Leonardo halls are usually always crowded and will take some time to walk through, so it is important to plan accordingly. Photography is allowed within the museum, but flash photography is prohibited. Visitors should expect to spend the day here – it is recommended that guests spend 3 to 5 hours.
The Tretyakov Gallery is home to Russia's art. In fact, it contains one of the world's largest collections within it and the museum is made up of two different buildings. The first building contains paintings and different icons throughout Russia's history that date from the 11th century to the early 20th century while the additional building houses everything after the early 20th century.
Best Time To Visit You could visit year-round but if you want to avoid crowds, it is recommended that you visit on weekday mornings or in the evening on Thursday or Friday.
You Should Know The gallery does offer free admission days on the first and second Sunday of the month. The gallery is closed on Mondays.
The Governor's Palace spans across three floors and is not only large and beautiful on the outside, it is packed with Russia's history on the inside. The entire exhibition will take you through the history of Russia and you can spend time looking at each artifact. While here, guests will enjoy the views that surround the palace as well.
Best Time To Visit Visitors can stop in year round to tour the Palace. The Palace is located indoors, so visitors can attend while it is rainy or cold outside.
You Should Know Most of the displays by the exhibits are written in Russian
The Volga River cuts across Russia's expansive terrain, offering a gateway to the nation's vast interior via river cruise. To start their journey, travelers typically fly into major cities like Moscow or St. Petersburg, where the main ports for Volga cruises are located. From the airport, it's a short ride to the docks, where cruise ships await. These ports are designed for easy access, ensuring that getting on board is a breeze for visitors. Whether you're joining your ship in the historic heartland of Moscow or the cultural tapestry of St. Petersburg, you're just a step away from the tranquil waters of the Volga and the adventures that lie ahead.
Immerse Yourself in Russian Culture
Diving into Russian culture is like opening a book that spans centuries. Russian customs are deeply rooted in history, from the iconic fur hats to the traditional folk dance of the Kalinka. On a Volga cruise, you might encounter festivals like Maslenitsa, celebrating the end of winter with pancakes and merriment, or Victory Day parades on May 9th, marked by fireworks and remembrance.
Handicrafts such as Matryoshka dolls and Gzhel ceramics reflect the artistic heritage of the nation. Orthodox Christianity plays a significant role, evident in the golden domes of churches and the religious icons within.
Community and hospitality are at the heart of Russian culture, with sharing a meal or tea being a common way to welcome guests. Engage with locals and participate in traditional dances, and you'll feel the warm spirit of Russian culture enveloping you.
Experience the Flavors of Russia on the Volga, a River Cruise
A Volga River cruise is a journey through the heart of Russian cuisine. Onboard, you'll likely be treated to staples such as borscht, a beetroot soup with a dollop of sour cream, and pelmeni, delightful dumplings filled with meat or vegetables. Take advantage of sampling pirozhki, small pastries stuffed with a variety of fillings, or the famous Russian pancakes, blini, often rolled up with caviar or smoked salmon.
When docked, venture into local eateries or marketplaces. In cities like Kazan, taste the Tatar twist on traditional dishes, where horsemeat and chak-chak, a sweet honey dessert, are local favorites. In coastal Astrakhan, the catch of the day could be a succulent sturgeon or flavorful Volga perch, reflecting the river's influence on the region's food.
For a truly immersive experience, seek out a cooking class or a home-cooked meal experience. This way, you not only taste but also learn the secrets of Russian cooking. And as for drinks, let's not forget the vodka, best enjoyed with a traditional toast. Whether dining on the ship or in a port city, the flavors of Russia are as rich and varied as the landscapes along the mighty Volga.
Why Book a River Cruise in Volga?
Booking a river cruise on the Volga offers a unique vantage point to experience Russia's sprawling landscapes and rich cultural heritage. It's an experience that combines value, convenience, and the pleasure of travel. With a cruise, you unpack once, and your floating hotel takes you from city to city, with stunning views along the way that you simply can't get from the road. Many of these sights, especially the serene stretches of river and remote historical sites, are often only accessible or best viewed from the water. A cruise also often includes guided tours at each port, giving you a deeper understanding of the places you visit. Plus, there's the added perk of potentially gaining exclusive access to certain landmarks, events, or activities that aren't available to the general public. The convenience of having your transportation, accommodation, and meals all included in the price makes a river cruise a cost-effective way to see this majestic part of the world. It's not just a trip; it's an all-encompassing experience that brings the soul of Russia to you with ease and elegance.
Ready to Book Your Volga River Cruise?
If you're seeking an adventure that combines the comfort of modern travel with the allure of historical discovery, a Volga River cruise is the ideal choice. It's a journey that takes you through the very soul of Russia, with each port of call opening up new vistas of culture, cuisine, and history. Whether it's the majestic spires of Moscow or the tranquil waters of the river itself, the Volga offers an unparalleled experience. With expert guides, exquisite local food, and a route that flows through the heart of Russian civilization, you're in for an unforgettable exploration.
Don't wait to claim your spot on this remarkable voyage—book your Volga River cruise today and prepare to be captivated by the rhythms of Russia.