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The AFAR Guide to Russia

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Griboyedov channel embankment, 2Б, Sankt-Peterburg, Russia, 191186
Late summer is the time to explore the 42 islands that make up St. Petersburg. Daylight stretches past 11 p.m., and a burgeoning arts and nightlife scene keeps locals on their toes well into the bright nights. On July 31, the party hits the port...
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Siberian Federal District, Russia
April, 2012 - Irkutsk, Siberia I arrived from NY met my German friends here and traveled with guide, in minibus for the 5 hour ride up to Lake Baikal. Why? To photograph the 2012 Russian Iceboat Championship. The boats were "DN"s for the adults...
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Siberian Federal District, Russia
In Land Rovers and on foot, climb Central Asia’s mountains in pursuit of snow leopards. Volunteers search for the elusive green-eyed cats by tracking their footprints, scat, and prey: the argali (mountain sheep) and the Altai ibex. The expeditions...
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Bol'shaya Pushkarskaya Ulitsa, 10, Санкт-Петерург, Sankt-Peterburg, Russia, 197198
Frustrated by the lack of organic foods in Russia, Boris Akimov cofounded LavkaLavka, an online store that sells local produce and heritage goods. LavkaLavka supports farmers who bring back once-forgotten foods such as burbot liver, a 19th-century...
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Kronshtadt, Saint Petersburg, Russia, 197760

By Nick Marmet

Swanky Dom Byta, above, (12 Razyezzhaya) has a name that means fix-it shop. Throwback teapots and ashtrays, not to mention spinning disco balls, evoke the ’70s.

Its name means lighthouse, but spotting Kafe Mayak (20 Mayakovskaya) is...

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Inzhenernaya St, 4, Sankt-Peterburg, Russia, 191186
If you don’t know Andrei Rublev from Ilya Repin, the Russian Museum, above, (4 Inzhenernaya St.) provides a crash course in the country’s art history. For contemporary pieces, Loft Project Etagi (74 Ligovsky Prospekt) shows paintings, sculptures,...
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Kuznechnyy Pereulok, 3, Sankt-Peterburg, Ленинградская обл, Russia, 191025
With piles of thick white cream cheese, buckets of fresh honey, and spicy pickled cucumbers, Kuznechny Market in St. Petersburg, Russia, is a site not to miss. Before I visited Russia, I was told that St. Petersburg was the "Venice of the north,"...
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Bol'shiye Gorki, Leningrad Oblast, Russia, 188515

By Nick Marmet

Ride down the endless escalators to the metro (St. Petersburg has the world’s deepest subway system) and head 20 minutes north to Udelnaya—“Udelka” locally. The sprawling flea market sells Russian military hats, children’s books...

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Suzdal, Vladimir Oblast, Russia
Along Russia’s Kamenka River, the medieval township of Suzdal draws weekenders from Moscow, about 130 miles southwest, to its opulent, onion-domed Orthodox churches and well-preserved monasteries. But Muscovites also visit to experience Suzdal’s...
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Theatre Square, 1, Sankt-Peterburg, Russia, 190000
One of the great things to do in St. Petersburg Russia is to spend an evening enjoying the opera at the historic Mariinsky Theater. They also have ballet and musical theater but we chose Boris Godunov (without Natasha- LOL) during the White Nights...
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Red Square, Moskva, Russia, 109012
When visiting Moscow, one has to go to Red Square and the place that most stands out from a distance is St. Basil's Cathedral.
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Vyborgsky District, St Petersburg, Russia

By Nick Marmet

In a palace that dates back to 1820, the Four Seasons St. Petersburg opens this fall. Suites offer terraces that overlook St. Isaac’s Cathedral (by Auguste de Montferrand, the same architect who designed the palace). The hotel has a...

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Tverskoy Boulevard, 26А, Moskva, Russia, 125009
$$$$
Chef Andrey Makhov of Cafe Pushkin recently contributed to AFAR, and opened his second location in New York. But if you are in Moscow, you will want to check the original out. Open 24 hours, with a great vibe. You may want to ask for Dmitri, a...
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Kronshtadt, Saint Petersburg, Russia
Russian pies. Why in the world do people not talk more about these things. We unknowingly stepped into this wonderful smelling cafe and of course, ended up ordering almost every single type of pie they had to offer. Salmon, rabbit, egg with green...
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Krasnoyarsk, Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia
I went with my best friend to adopt her son from here a few years ago ... in February. I saw spectacular ice sculptures, practiced my Russian, and learned that 40 degrees below zero is the same in Fahrenheit and Celsius. Cold. Anton Chekhov...
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Red Square, 3, Moskva, Russia, 109012
Originally built at the bequest of Catherine the Great and used as a trading center, then a huge department store in the Soviet era, and now a big upscale shopping mall right across from the Kremlin and Lenin's Tomb in Red Square.
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Palace Square, 2, Sankt-Peterburg, Russia, 190000
We visited the Hermitage Museum on Monday (the day it's closed to the public) and were able to witness art students painting some of the museum's most famous works. If you go, definitely try to arrange a private tour. On a typical day, 10,000...
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Bol'shiye Porogi, Leningrad Oblast, Russia, 187330
I didn't actually find out that this was such a big deal until I got to St. Petersburg, but let me tell you, it's a big deal. The Neva River flows through the city of St. Petersburg with connecting bridges all along its path. These bridges open...
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Chistoprudny Blvd, 3, Moskva, Russia, 101000
One of the highlights of my visit to Moscow was taking a leisurely walk along the boulevard ring. Lots of nice restaurants and bars to the either side to stop at, but many locals are just hanging on the benches, drinking beer, listening to music...
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Ulitsa Nekrasova, 26, Sankt-Peterburg, Russia, 191014
So if you ever plan on travelling to Russia most likely the two places you'll be looking at are Moscow and St. Petersburg. Here's something that you won't see in Moscow. Beautiful gardens surrounding beautiful palaces. Point one for St. Petersburg...