Russia is a country of sweeping contrasts; where architecturally-rich cities sit alongside the sweeping tundra and ice-capped mountains of Siberia, where grand opulence coexists with vast plains of emptiness. This is a land to have bestowed cultural greatness upon the global scene, from great literary figures such as Pushkin, Chekhov, Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky, to the world of ballet, classical music and art.
As immense as Russia may be, many of its treasures are concentrated in the major cities of the west. Moscow is a vibrant capital, brim full of contemporary culture and imposing architecture, the kaleidoscopically colourful tented roofs and onion domes of St Basil's Cathedral leading the way as the city's iconic landmark. St Petersburg meanwhile boasts baroque and neoclassical design reminiscent of Europe, its canals adding romance to an already splendid city.