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Although twice the capital of Russia in the past, elegant St. Petersburg is now the countrys second city. However, thats not to say that it has any less history, culture or significance that its main rival, Moscow.

In the last ten years, Moscow has undergone something of a transformation. Once notorious for its gangsters and economic woes, the city is now a buzzing modern metropolis with the culture, restaurants and nightlife of a major international city.

Russia is a fantastic backpacking destination exciting, exotic and affordable. Whats more, with the recent relaxation of visa laws allowing travelers to enter the country independently rather than just by organized tours, its become much more accessible.

The authorities and travel agencies of St. Petersburg put much effort to make the city more attractive for foreign tourists. However, the influx of tourists decreases every year. The main reasons are the expensiveness and underdeveloped infrastructure. In order to attract foreign guests to St. Petersburg the local travel companies have introduced a number of new non-standard tours around the city.

Not only England and Romania are known to be a favourite residence for spirits. As a city with rich history and the bloody past, Moscow is wrapped in legends and myths, and some of the city streets and districts have a strong mystical reputation.

Active travel in Russia is a ticket from weekdays to an adventure and an opportunity to have a bright journey one would remember again and again. Unfortunately, active travel in Russia is still surrounded by stereotypes of the Soviet era and the most difficult thing about it is to break the ice.

On the 1st of August 2.20pm Moscow time a total solar eclipse will cross the territory of Russia. It will last for only 2 minutes but the opportunistic travel companies already estimate the profit brought by the eclipse. Where to observe the black solar circle and how much it costs?

For the first time ever in Russian history a specialized helicopter exhibition HeliRussia 2008 is to take place at Crocus Expo Exhibition Centre in Moscow on May-15-17, 2008. 128 companies have applied to participate in the exhibition, including 18 foreign companies from the UK, Italy, Germany, France, the USA, Switzerland, Belarus, and Ukraine.

Not so long ago a new tendency appeared in tourism: instead of having a rest in a noisy crowd at a hot beach people seek quietness and isolation, seek those few places on the planet where mobile phones do not work, where there are no artificially created things, and where no one can draw you away from enjoying wild nature.

Looking and behaving like a pure Muscovite can be useful when visiting Moscow. It partially reduces the risk of being robbed and can allow to buy tickets to some museums and other cultural and entertainment establishments at a lower price, due to many of them set higher prices for foreigners.

Amongst the advantages of Moscow the tourists mainly mention two: plenty of seductive prostitutes with a wide spectrum of prices on their services and the intense cultural life of the city. In this way Moscow does not appear on the list of the most boring European cities that includes, for instance, Brussels, Zurich, and Warsaw.

Wild Western Festival 2008 will take place on the territory of the horseracing-tourist base Avanpost in Mozhaisk town near Moscow on the 14th of June 2008. For the first time Wild Western Festival took place in Russia in autumn 2007 and caused high interest in people of different ages, horseracing professionals and amateurs, historians and re-enactors.

It is possible to find spa resorts all around Russia: in Moscow and the Moscow Region, in the Caucasus, in Altai and Ural. However, the most popular spa resorts of Russia are the cities of the Caucasus Mineral Waters: Pyatigorsk, Kislovodsk, and Essentuki, and also spa resorts at the Black Sea: in Anapa, Sochi, Gelendzhik, and Tuapse.

For 8 years already fellows of the Buryat State University organize specialized ecological tours to the Republic of Buryatia. Hundreds of tourists from different corners of the world are ready to cross thousands of kilometres for only seeing the birds, animals and insects or just to enjoy the view of beautiful nature.

Russia is a multi-confessional state where several world religions co-exist. The main confessions in Russia are Orthodox Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, and Catholicism. Such bright palette of various faiths has given a number of unique architectural and cultural monuments.

Attending a dolphinarium can become a memorable entertainment during a trip to Russia. There are dolphinariums in many Russian cities; the majority of them are branches of the Utrish Dolphinarium LTD the largest enterprise of this kind in Russia and one of the largest in Europe.

There are those who love Moscow and those who hate it. On the whole Moscow has many minuses but some people consider them pluses.

Lake Baikal has perfect conditions for mirages formation. The number of days with mirages at Baikal normally varies from 2 to 16; while seeing them is a great luck for tourists, the local fishermen often tell about ancient castles, old ships and trains, and even UFO witnessed above Baikal.

The ski resort Krasnaya Polyana is located at a height of 550 metres above sea level, 45 kilometres distant from Adler. It is quite a new and rapidly developing resort that has skiing slopes of various difficulty categories which can cause interest in both ski beginners and professionals.

Virgin Galactic appears a serious competitor for the Russian Space Agency and it is up to space tourists to decide what looks more interesting: watching the northern lights for $US 200.000 or flying around the colourless Moon for $US 100 million.

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