Moscow & St. Peterrsburg
On first impressions, it would seem Moscow and St Petersburg have much in common. They have both served as Russia's capital, are both set on major rivers and both boast outstanding cultural centres with many museums and theatres.
As the country's capital, Moscow is the best place to comprehend the power and might of Russia. With a history stretching back a millennium, Moscow is known for its military battles and political struggles - with remains of the Soviet state scattered all over the city. Alongside vast public squares and unique Russian architecture, you'll find Communist-era monuments and commanding citadels. But Moscow is far from stuck in the past, with plenty of shopping, excellent restaurants and a buzzing nightlife to add to the mix.
Intended from the start to be a display of Imperial Russia's growing status in the world, St Petersburg oozes elegance and splendor. A host of European architects were employed to add marvellous cathedrals and palaces to the city's layout. These, combined with the maze of canals and over 300 bridges, cause the city to have a distinctly European feel. There's also galleries, impressive monuments and a wealth of museums adding to the glory of Russia's first great modern city.