Russia in 2-3 days

If you’ve got just a weekend in Russia, aim for St Petersburg. It’s truly one of the most amazing cities in the world. Somehow it combines the majesty of Paris, the culture of Vienna and the fun of Amsterdam.

Alternatively, spend 2 days in Moscow, making sure you see Red Square, the Kremlin, Lenin’s tomb and St Basil’s (surely one of the most photographed churches in the world), and a day exploring the Golden Ring – a collection of charming and historic towns just an hour or so north-east of the capital.

Russia in 7-9 days

If you can, travelling into Russia via St Petersburg and out again via Moscow (or vice versa) will save a long backtrack. Spend three days in St Petersburg, then take a round trip for a night to Novgorod, an interesting city with a lovely town centre. From St Petersburg take an overnight train to Moscow. After a couple of days there take a day trip to the Golden Ring, outside Moscow.

Russia in 2 weeks +

You’ll need at least two weeks to do justice to Russia. This amount of time will enable you to see Moscow, St Petersburg, some of the interesting cities in and around them, and also to head further afield, ideally by travelling along the Trans-Siberian railway. Worth exploring along the ‘Trans-Sib’ from Moscow are Yekaterinburg, Nizhny Novgorod, and Irkutsk. In particular, Irkutsk is a great place to spend a couple of days, and the jumping off point for Lake Baikal, a mountainous area that’s home to some gorgeous scenery.