Discover the enigma that is Russia

Discover the enigma that is Russia


Back in 1939, Winston Churchill famously remarked that Russia was “a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma,” and for many, Russia is still very much a mystery. Here are some fun facts about one of the world’s most intriguing countries.
Moscow is home to the world’s most beautiful train stations
The city of Moscow in Russia operates one of the world’s fastest and most efficient transport systems, called the metro. It features some of the most beautiful stations of any train system in the world. More than just a means of transportation, the capital’s metro is truly a masterpiece of art and architecture. You won’t find two stations that look alike.


The world’s longest continuous railway can be found in Russia
Russia is home to the world’s longest single railway, which is known as the Trans-Siberian. The railway is 9,200 kilometres long. It starts in Moscow and goes through seven time zones, ending at the port of Vladivostok. A non-stop journey from Moscow to Vladivostok takes 152 hours.

There are almost 9 women for every 1 man
There are approximately 10 million more women than men in Russia. The large difference is attributed to the huge number of men who died during World War II. Furthermore, statistics show that up to 25% of males in Russia die before the age of 55.

Moscow has one of the world’s highest concentration of billionaires
According to Forbes, Moscow is inhabited by 60 billionaires whose combined net worth is $217.6 billion. These types of billionaires are usually attracted to cities which have favourable tax breaks, a less expensive standard of living, and world-class restaurants and night clubs. 

The world’s coldest city, Oymyakon, is located in Russia
Oymyakon is the coldest village on Earth. It is also called the “Pole of Cold.” Oymyakon has a population of only 500 inhabitants. Temperatures in January are normally -50 degrees celsius and the lowest temperature ever recorded in the city is -71.2 degrees celsius. During such times nothing grows and mobile phones do not work. Interestingly, it is so cold that people have to keep their cars running all day long. 

Cats protect the cities great artworks
Russia’s greatest museum - The Hermitage in St Petersburg - is home to around 70 cats, which guard its treasures against rodents. The tradition dates back to a 1745 decree of Empress Elizabeth, the daughter of Peter the Great, founder of St. Petersburg. The museum has a press secretary dedicated to the cats, and three people act as caretakers.

Russians are great drinkers
Russians are the world’s fourth biggest drinkers, according to WHO statistics, behind Belarus, Moldova and Lithuania. However, beer wasn’t considered an alcoholic drink in Russia until 2011. Until 2011, anything containing less than 10% alcohol was considered to be a foodstuff and not alcoholic. 

2020 Europe river cruising brochure

Order your FREE Brochure

Order your free 2020 Europe River Cruising brochure today to start planning your next European holiday. With itineraries ranging in length from eight to twenty-two days, our river cruises along the Rhine, Main, Danube, Douro, Saône and Rhône offer an insight into the rich history of each magnificent waterway.

Choose your Russia Cruise Itinerary