Why You Should Visit Russia

By David Swanson

Just back from a week in Moscow, I feel obliged to point out a few things about it.

  • Most people there still love Americans.
  • Many people there speak English.
  • Learning basic Russian is not that hard.
  • Moscow is the biggest city in Europe (and far bigger than any in the United States).
  • Moscow has the charm, culture, architecture, history, activities, events, parks, museums, and entertainment to match any other city in Europe.
  • It’s warm there now with flowers everywhere.
  • Moscow is safer than U.S. cities. You can walk around alone at night with no worries.
  • The Metro goes everywhere. A train comes every 2 minutes. The trains have free Wi-Fi. So do the parks.
  • You can rent bicycles at lots of different spots and return them to any other.
  • You can fly direct from New York to Moscow, and if you fly on the Russian airline Aeroflot you’ll get a nostalgic reminder of what it’s like to have airplane seats large enough to hold a human being.
  • Everybody says that St. Petersburg and various other cities are even more beautiful than Moscow.
  • Right now the sun is up from 4:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. in Moscow, and until 9:30 p.m. in St. Petersburg. The longest day of the year in St. Petersburg is 18-and-a-half hours.

Americans seem not to know about Russia. While four-and-a-half million Americans visit Italy in a year, and two-and-a-half million go to Germany as tourists, only 86 thousand go to Russia. More tourists go to Russia from several other countries than go there from the U.S.

If you want to visit Russia and really learn about it, go, as I did, with the Center for Citizen Initiatives.

If you want the best tour guide I’ve had in Moscow or anywhere else, contact MoscowMe.

Here are some reports on my trip:

Love From Russians

The U.S. Behavior That Concerns Russia

Gorbachev: It Was Worse Than This, and We Fixed It

Things Russians Can Teach Americans

A Russian Entrepreneur’s Perspective

A Russian Journalist’s Perspective

Racists Love Russia?

What I Saw When I Visited a Russian School

American/Russian Vladimir Posner on the State of Journalism

Crosstalk Video on Russiagate Madness

3 Responses

  1. Why would you suggest that anyone visit Russia considering their draconian treatment of LGBT people and the reported detention, torture and murder of gay men in Chechnya whose leader is supported by the Kremlin? I am going to seriously reconsider membership in this group.

  2. St Petersburg, where I am visiting, is overwhelming. Although it has been referred to as the Venice of th North, I don’t think there is another city anything like it in the world. What Peter the Great built at the turn of the eighteenth century dwarfs anything the Sun King or anyone else in Europe was doing and it stands in all its glory, painted in bright pastels, with an incredibly wide river winding through it. Tour busses crowd the road to the Hermitage but just getting in without prior tickets is a challenge and surprisingly few attendants speak English. But if you love Europe, go to St. Petersburg and forget Moscow.

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