59 amazing facts you didn’t know about Russia

If you want to obtain more information about this country, including on the best hotels where you can stay during your visit, check out our guide.

1. The hotel Astoria in St. Petersburg is the place where Hitler planned to throw a huge Banquet after the capture of the city.


2. In the greatest Museum in St. Petersburg, the Hermitage is home to approximately 70 cats who keep his treasures from rodents. The tradition is rooted in 1745, when he was issued the corresponding decree of Empress Elizabeth, daughter of the founder of the city Peter the Great. In the Museum there are also nearly 22 kilometres of marble corridors.

3. Saturday is the day when the inhabitants of Russian cities voluntarily sweep and clean the streets. This practice began after the revolution but extended still.

4. The name red square has nothing to do with communism: the word “red” meant once “beautiful.”

5. In the winter with waste chutes in Moscow is such a huge hanging icicles that the sidewalks under them it is necessary to fence: if icicle will drop a man on the head, it can lead to death.

6. At the metro station revolution Square is a bronze sculpture of a dog with a shiny nose. He shines because of the common belief that touching it brings good luck.

7. This is not the only monument to a dog in Russia: there is also a monument, travelled into space in 1957, Laika.

8. One of the traditional delicacies in Russia, it is a broth from chicken feet (aspic).

9. They love wardrobes: don’t even expect to get into the restaurant/bar/Museum/gallery, without hearing the request to remove outer clothing and/or bag and leave them in the closet. The best of them are under the guidance of the group “grandmothers.”

10. If you give in Russia the flowers, you must keep in mind one delicate feature of etiquette. Make sure that you give odd number of flowers, unless, of course, you are going to a funeral where it is customary to bring a bouquet with an even number of flowers.

11. In St. Petersburg, near the bridge leading to the Peter and Paul fortress, is a statue of a hare in memory of a large number of rabbits who lived on the island and their survival in times of floods, from which the city suffered in the 18th and 19th centuries. It is believed that the contact birds coin brings good luck.

12. The farther away from the capital, the Russian cars are becoming less and hair stranger.

13. According to statistics from WHO, the Russian ranked fourth in the world for alcohol consumption, after Belarus, Moldova and Lithuania. Britain occupies the 25th place.

14. The word “vodka” comes from the word “water”.

15. The average life expectancy is only 63 years old, lower than in North Korea and Iraq. But, on the other hand, the average life expectancy of Russian women is 74 years.

16. On the island Itygran is the so-called Whale alley, laid out the bones of marine mammals.

17. The Moscow metro is probably the most beautiful in the world.

18. Say that in Moscow there is one underground transport system — Metro 2 — connecting a series of military bunkers.

19. Russians pickle everything: cucumbers, beets, and former political leaders.

20. In Moscow you can see the trees hung with locks: pair hang them here as a token of his love.

21. In the Museum located beneath the monument to the heroes defense of Leningrad, the only sound is uniform metronome sound: it was broadcast on the radio during the siege, that the inhabitants of the city knew that Leningrad was still alive.

22. Here it is considered cowardice to omit the “ears” of the cap until the temperature fell below -20 degrees.

23. The tube that the rich Russians hire fake ambulances to drive around the city.

24. Moscow Park with the monuments of ousted leaders is a collection of junk in the Soviet era monuments, as well as more contemporary works.

25. Russian women some 11 million more than men.

26. About 50% of police officers take bribes.

27. In Moscow there is a cafe, the state which consists exclusively of twins.

28. Russia is not all made up of tundra and taiga, here you can find and volcanoes.

29. The price of admission to many tourist places in Russia for foreigners are higher than for residents of Russia. It’s unfair, but you can not do nothing, and there is almost no reason to complain. It’s good to laugh, imagining how Roman Abramovich pays five times less than you, under the “discounts for Russian citizens”.

30. Postnik Yakovlev — the architect who created St. Basil’s Cathedral. According to legend, Ivan the terrible after the work is completed blinded him, so he can’t build anything more beautiful.

31. Russia has more time zones than any other country.

32. Despite numerous improvements, the Russian police is still famous because of the fine foreigners for “the documents”. Always carry your documents.

33. One of the mysteries of the Second world war — the fate of the Amber room, decorated with amber panels, gold leaves and mirrors located in the Catherine Palace in Tsarskoye Selo outside St. Petersburg. It was sacked by the Nazis and brought to Konigsberg for reconstruction, the trail of the Amber room is still not found.

34. Olkhon island — the largest on lake Baikal, is the centre of shamanism. On its Western shore there is a Rock shaman.

35. Western leaders are not welcome in the duty free, at least one Russian airport.

36. On the fireplace White dining room in the Palace, the Hermitage is worth a watch. They stopped at 2.10 the night of 25 October 1917, when Kerensky’s provisional government which was in power since the February revolution, was arrested by the Bolsheviks. At this point Russia began to control the Communists.

37. Mikhail Gorbachev recorded an album of romantic ballads. Putin has a DVD course judo.

38. For a short period in the 90-ies, PepsiCo owned one of the largest fleets of submarines, buying them from Russia.

39. In Russia you can get without a visa on the ferry from Helsinki (in Saint Petersburg).

40. Russia is one of the scariest suspension bridges — 439-meter-long Skybridge.

41. In St. Petersburg there is a beach near the Peter and Paul fortress. The so-called walrus (people who believe in the healing effect of ice water) is collected and swim here in the winter.

42. Vasilievsky island in St. Petersburg offers a strange collection of sites, including here on the waterfront you can see the pair of sphinxes of the 15th century from Egypt and visit the Museum where the skeleton and heart with incredible growth personal servant of Peter the Great.

43. On the slopes of Sheregesh in this year of 1800 skiers and snowboarders in bikinis in attempt to beat a Guinness world record.

44. Developed ambitious plans for the construction of an Expressway with a length of 20,000 kilometers between the Atlantic and Pacific ocean.

45. Russia is Europe’s longest river Volga (3690 km). She has more than 200 tributaries, all together they make a 357 thousand kilometers.

46. The Russian labor camps known as “Gulag”, soon turned into a “tourist camp”. On the ambiguous terms of attracting tourists, it was stated last year in the regional tourist Department in the Sakha in East Siberia.

47. About 10 thousand British tourists every year visit Russia, more than 90% of them come only in Moscow and in Saint Petersburg.

48. In Uglich, 200 kilometers from Moscow, on the Volga river is the red-white Church where, in 1591, was killed youngest son of Ivan the terrible eight-year-old Tsarevich Dmitry, the last representative of the Rurik dynasty, presumably on the orders of Boris Godunov. To suppress the ensuing rebellion of Moscow conducted an investigation, concluded that the Prince fell and accidentally stabbed himself with a knife (“Seven times!”, — outraged the locals).

49. In Russia is the coldest inhabited place on earth — Oymyakon. 6 February 1933 at the meteorological station there was a recorded temperature of -67,7 degrees Celsius.

50. The Russians once built a round warship. Here are his model.

51. In 1908 Russian Olympic team arrived to London 12 days later, because Russia used the Julian calendar.

52. Terek-Sami language of the Kola Peninsula is on the brink of extinction: it is spoken by only two people.

53. In small tents on the street to buy the old brand.

54. According to the biography, Henri troyat, Peter the Great was so fond of his toy soldiers that were executed (by hanging) of a rat which dared to gnaw off one of them the head. Peter also imposed a tax on wearing beards.

55. In Russia there is a cafe where everything is free and you pay only for the time you are there. This network opened a couple of years ago a branch office in London.

56. Lake Karachay used for the storage of nuclear waste is so radioactive that you can die, having staid about it for hours.

57. In one Museum in St. Petersburg exhibited, as stated, cut off the penis of Rasputin. Experts, however, doubt its authenticity.

58. Russian love DVRs.

59. According to some, Russia is building a ski resort with a military theme.