Did you know that more than 5 million tourists visited Russia in 2019? Even if this happens to a lot of people, Russia is a country that a lot of people never visit. It’s an underrated destination to add to your bucket list if you haven’t already. Russia is the perfect travel destination to experience delicious food, interesting culture and beautiful architecture!
Are you thinking about going to Russia? If so, there are some facts that you need to know before you go. Read on to find out 16 facts about Russia that will soon have you getting on a plane.
Funny and interesting facts about Russia
1. The longest railway in the world is in Russia
Did you know that the longest railway in the world is in Russia? The Trans-Siberian Railway stretches from Moscow to Vladivostock for a total of 5,772 miles. If you want to take your time and travel around Russia by train, the Trans-Siberian Railway makes it easy. You can choose to travel in a first class cabin or a third class seat depending on your budget and the experience you want.
The Trans-Siberian Railway even connects China and Mongolia if you want to visit those countries too. Read more: Mongolia Pictures from the Russian border to the Gobi desert
2. Russia is home to many famous literature
If you are a literature lover, you probably know that Russia is home to some of the best and most respected writers. Some of the great Russian authors are Alexander Pushkin, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Ivan Turgenev, and Vladimir Nabokov. The famous Russian writers you may also know are Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Crime and Punishment) and Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace) and Anton Chekhov (a well-known playwright known for The Seagull).
A museum is dedicated to many famous literary writers, which you can visit in Russia in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Whether you are a super fan of their works or you don’t know who they are, you can learn something new about them and Russian literature in their museums.
3. Russia has 12 active volcanoes
Another of the most surprising facts about Russia is that it has 12 active volcanoes! Of these volcanoes, Kamchatka is one of the most visited due to its accessible location.
If you love nature and beautiful landscapes, you should visit Kamchatka. This active volcano has over 1,000 different plant species. It is also home to brown bears, sheep, and wolves. You can visit Kamchatka on your own or take a guided tour. If you are not familiar with the Russian language, an organized tour is the easier option.
4. Siberia makes up the majority of the country
Did you know that Siberia makes up 77% of the Russian Federation? Siberia is a large region in northern Russia. Although it makes up 77% of the country, only 20% of Russians live in Siberia due to the harsh conditions.
We drove across Siberia in the summer and it was beautiful. Siberia reminded us a lot of Canada. And the people were so friendly and welcoming. If you like to venture off the beaten path while traveling, Siberia is a place to visit. It is known for its natural beauty and if you are lucky you might even spot a reindeer. Read: Motherland is calling – Mother Russia is proud of Volgograd
5. Russians have a lot of superstition
Another interesting fact about Russia is that Russians in general have a lot of superstitions and traditions. One of the most common traditions is to give flowers only in odd numbers. Many Russians believe that even numbers of flowers are only intended for cemeteries. If you give a Russian an even number of flowers, he has to take it personally.
Russians believe not only that you should give away an even number of flowers, but also that you shouldn’t wear clothes inside out. If you put your clothes inside out, the Russians believe you will be beaten.
6. Russia has one of the busiest subways in the world
The metro station in Moscow is the fourth largest metro station in the world. The only busier subway stations are in Seol, Shanghai, and Tokyo. More than 2 billion people use the metro in Russia every year.
One of the best things about Russia having a busy metro is that it makes it easy for locals and tourists to get around. There are trains for almost everywhere you want to go. Read more: 17 exciting things to do in Moscow
7. Tetris was invented in Russia
Many do not know that the game Tetris was invented in Russia. In 1984 Alexey Pajitnov developed the first version of Tetris for the computer Electronika 60. The game quickly caught on and spread throughout Russia. In 1987 the game was released in Europe and North America and became one of the most popular computer games in the world.
8. Russians learn not to smile
Another of the best Russian facts is that Russians learn not to smile while growing up. While smiling is a sign of happiness and friendliness in many cultures, Russians don’t see it that way. For Russians, smiling is a sign of weakness and does not reveal real feelings. Russians smile at people they know well and who are important to them, but not at strangers, as is the case in many other cultures.
If you smile at a Russian on the street, don’t expect them to return the favor. However, we noticed that many Russians smiled and waved back while driving in Russia. When traveling to Russia it is important to respect their culture and traditions as much as possible.
9. Russia is the largest country by land mass
In terms of total land mass, Russia is the largest country in the world. This is great for travelers as there is a lot to discover. The total land mass of Russia is 6,601,665 square miles. That corresponds to 11% of the total land mass in the world! For comparison, the second largest country is Canada with 3,855,101 square miles. Read: 72 Fun And Interesting Facts About Canada
10. 54% of the Russian population are female
In Russia there are big differences between the male and female populations. While women make up 54% of the population in Russia, men make up only 46%. Why are there such great differences in the population? The population gap began during World War II when 25 million Russian soldiers died during the war. Although there is no longer a war, men in Russia still have a much shorter life expectancy than women.
Many Russians live in rural communities where the way of life is tough. Russian men are victims of hunting accidents, poor health care and too much vodka.
11. Folk dance is a tradition in Russia
Folk dance is an important part of Russian history and culture. Chorovod is one of the most common types of Russian folk dance. This dance style consists of people dancing in a circle while holding hands.
Russians perform folk dances at festivals, markets and in the theater. If you have the opportunity to travel to Russia, be sure to attend a Russian folk dance performance to learn more about the culture and traditions of Russia.
12. 20% of the world’s trees are in Russia
If you are someone who loves the outdoors this will be a fact that you will enjoy. Around 20% of all trees in the world are in Russia. In the end, that’s around 640 billion trees.
Many of the trees are in remote areas of Siberia. They are part of wild, pristine forests that are too cold to travel through. These pristine forests are home to the critically endangered Siberian tigers.
13. Russia is home to the coldest village in the world
Given the harsh winter conditions in Russia, it’s probably no surprise that Russia is home to the coldest village in the world. The winters in Oimyakon, Russia average -58 degrees Fahrenheit. The coldest measured temperature in Oymyakon is -96 degrees Fahrenheit.
Living in these harsh temperatures has some disadvantages. For example, if someone tries to wear glasses outside, the glasses freeze on their face. In addition, cars have to be parked in heated garages or they won’t start.
If you want to take a trip to the coldest village in the world, it won’t be easy. To get there, you must first travel to Yakutsk, and from there it is a two-day drive to Oymyakon. If you decide to visit Oimyakon be sure to pack for the winter.
14. Russia sold Alaska for $ 7.2 million
In 1897 Russia sold Alaska to the United States for only $ 7.2 million. With inflation that’s around $ 120 million today. Back then, Russia needed the money, and there weren’t many Russian settlers in Alaska.
Not only did Russia need the money, but it believed that selling the country to the United States would help balance Europe’s power. Check out: The best sights in Alaska
15. Russia has 11 time zones
Did you know that Russia is so big that it has 11 different time zones? Even though Russia has 11 time zones, it is still not the country with the most time zones. France has the most time zones due to all of the small islands that make up France. Russia may not have the most time zones, but it does have many. If you choose to travel around Russia, you can experience jet lag without leaving the country!
Did you like these facts about Russia?
Russia is a great place to visit if you love history, culture, and architecture. Russia may not be one of the most popular travel destinations, but it’s perfect for anyone looking to get off the beaten path.
Did you enjoy reading this article about facts about Russia? Are you planning a trip to Russia? If so, read our ultimate Russia travel guide for everything you need to know about traveling in Russia.
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