12 August, 2020
Ranging from the forests of Eastern Europe to the icy swells of the Bering Strait, the Arctic Circle to the crumpled summits of the Caucasus Mountains, Russia is the largest country on the planet. A trip here can be about wondering at priceless artworks in the Hermitage Museum or treading in the footsteps of Dostoyevsky through the lived-in alleys of Petersburg. But it can also be about endless train journeys through the wastelands of Siberia, spying gold-topped Orthodox cathedrals on the edge of the wiggling Volga River, and meeting nomadic tribes on the Kazakh steppe. Cheap flights to Russia from Australia will usually go into either Moscow or St Petersburg, but there are some good deals to other hubs further east to boot.
Like the Louvre and the Vatican, the State Hermitage is a bastion of Western art and culture, with works as varied as Mesopotamian relics and Italian Renaissance canvasses.
Revolutions have played out on the vast plaza that's known as Red Square, and sights like the Kremlin and onion-domed Saint Basil's Cathedral loom high here.
A bucket-list odyssey that crosses the whole breadth of Russia, the Trans-Siberian Railway conquers the great ice lakes of Siberia and the rolling Mongol backcountry.
No airlines fly direct between Australia and Russia.
Qatar Airways is the best airline to fly from Australia to Russia.