The Best 2 Week Russia Itinerary: What To See & Do In Russia
Written by Campbell & Alya of Stingy Nomads. They’ve traveled together to over 30 countries globally, including Africa, Latin America, Asia & Europe.
For many travelers visiting Russia is an adventure on its own; with huge countries like Russia, it’s often difficult to decide where to go, how to move around. This two-week Russia itinerary allows you to visit both must-see places and more off-the-beaten paths destinations in Russia.
Best Ways To Move Around Russia
Russia is a vast country for long-distance travel. We’d suggest flying, but budget airline options are quite limited in Russia – so be prepared to shell out some serious Russian Ruble. Also, if you are flying with a local airline, check for their luggage allowance, as it can vary.
For many tourists taking a train in Russia is a must-have experience, especially the Transsiberian or an overnight train from Moscow to St Petersburg. The train system is quite good in general for moving around Russia
Taking a bus in Russia is also an option, but the costs for a coach are the same as for traveling by train for the same distance and the travel time might be a lot longer and buses, as you know, are much less comfortable.
Renting a car is not very popular for travelers to Russia, as it tends to be a bit of a hassle. There are always lengthy traffic jams, poor road maintenance, and random police inspections. So instead, look to get a private transfer service.
The Best Two Week Russia Itinerary
Day 1 – 3: St.Petersburg
The most beautiful and romantic city in Russia has a lot to offer, from top world art museums and stunning royal residences to nightlife and shopping.
The best time to visit St.Petersburg is in the summer months of June and July to witness famous White Nights when the city literally doesn’t sleep, and neither do you.
Public transport works quite well in the city with the metro being the fastest and the easiest way of moving around. One metro trip costs 0,5 Euro. There are hundreds of accommodation options in the city, from hostels to B&Bs and fancy hotels.
St.Petersburg White Nights
Day 4: Veliky Novgorod
Distance from St.Petersburg 195km takes 2h50min to get here by train.
Located between St.Petersburg and Moscow, the oldest Russian city, founded in 859, is definitely worthy of a day stop, especially for those who like history.
Veliky Novgorod is not a usual stop on any Russia itinerary, but it has many old churches and monasteries. The city is quite small you can move on foot between the main attractions. To get from the train station take a bus, there is a bus stop in front of it.
You’ll notice that everything here is cheaper than in the capital cities; food, accommodation, souvenirs, and entrance fees. There are three of four hostels and quite a few hotels, both budget, and luxury, in the city.
Veliky Novgorod Highlights
Day 5 – 7: Moscow
Red Square and Basil Cathedral
Distance from Novgorod 537km takes 8 hours to arrive by night train.
Crazy and bustling Russian capital city is a strange mix of everything; old-style Russian churches neighboring with skyscrapers of Moscow City. Moscow is famous for the terrible traffic; the Metro is the best way to move around the city, it’s cheap, 0,6 Euro per trip, and fast in the rush hours it gets hectic.
There are many hostels, B&Bs and hotels in the city for any budget, the most important thing is to find a place in the city center, or as close to it as possible otherwise you risk spending quite a lot of time commuting.
Like any capital city, there are many things to do and places to see, to explore Moscow you’ll need a lot of time, but you’ll be able to visit its highlights in three days.
Day 8 – 9: Kazan
Distance from Moscow 825km takes 11 hours to get by night train.
Kazan is very different from St.Petersburg and Moscow, and visiting it will give you a more complete picture of Russia.
The city is becoming a new tourist attraction in Russia; in the last years, its infrastructure was improved significantly with FIFA World Cup games taking place here, the city got a new stadium and even a new metro. However, it’s relatively small and has only ten stations.
Kazan has the largest Muslim population in Russia, an interesting place to come, a unique mix of European and Asian traditions and culture. Due to recent significant sports events, many hostels and budget hotels were recently opened in the city.
Day 10 – 12: Sochi
Distance from Kazan 2000km, there are three flights per week, duration 2h40min.
A subtropical sea city might be the last most people imagine when thinking of Russia.
The city is busy all year round; in summer, many locals come here seeking sea and sun; in winter, it welcomes ski and snowboard enthusiasts, mainly from the capital cities. The local infrastructure and hospitality service was improved quite a lot for the Winter Olympic Games.
There are many hotels and resorts in the city for holiday travelers, but it’s possible to find a hostel, price from 5 Euro per dorm bed. Chilling on the beach (though it’s rocky), swimming in warm water, hiking to the waterfalls, or exploring the nearby subtropical forest, all these you can do here.