What are your picks for the top travel destinations in Russia?

Ty asked:
What are your picks for the top travel destinations in Russia for those wanting to visit both the older, culturally rich areas and the newer, modern cities?
Hello Ty!

I've already spoken about lake Baikal; it's really top destination.

Other from that, I believe my mom when she says there is nothing like Solovetsky Islands. I've never been there myself (yet) but I've heard amazing stories from those who have. You can see Instagram hashtag for live photos here.

It's magical place, they say, closed from the world and full of history. Monasteries and Gulag for political prisoners, amazing nature with scent of toska.

There also is Valaam. It's an island closer to Moscow and St. Pete but it has similar monastery-prison history. I've been there and I can admit you feel differently there. It's unexpressible. Worth coming there.

Instagram hashtag for Valaam in Russian is here.

If we speak about modern cities, I'd recommend to visit Astana which is not quite Russia but a capital of ex-USSR Kazakhstan country. It have been developed lately and now it's quite astonishing. Not much to do there, but for a modern city lover it could be interesting.

This post is an answer to one of The Listserve replies I’ve got.
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