Stretching across nine time zones, Russia is a vast country on the rise. Its capital, Moscow, is a cosmopolitan city of staggering cathedrals, gilded concert halls and famed galleries. Russia's growing economy has also made it a major draw for foreign talent.
Art, music, history: this is a land of countless wonders. You can spend the day taking in imperial relics and medieval convents, then catch the sunset on a cruise along the river. Historic Red Square, leafy Gorky Park and the Bolshoi Theatre for world class opera and ballet are a few of the many must-see attractions.
Beneath the cold façade, Russians are deeply hospitable people, full of humour and generosity. This is a land of great traditions with over 180 ethnic groups, extravagant architecture dating back to its East Slavic roots and the eighth most spoken language in the world.
OUT & ABOUT
This vibrant metropolis has it all. Colourful boutiques and renowned concert halls are all part of the scenery. Catch unforgettable football matches at colossal Luzhniki stadium and enjoy nights out at brewpubs, art-filled lounges and dance clubs. Locals will proudly tell (and show) you that Moscow never sleeps.
The image most people have of Russia is unrelenting cold weather year-round and staunch Soviet era men in fur hats. Contrary to popular belief, the country has become a land of opportunity and is modernizing at a rapid pace. While some living costs are higher, low tax rates make Russia a good value for expats. You'll find hot summers, fiery autumns and winters with temperatures rivaling those on the US East Coast.
Russia has an excellent transport network, and it's an easy overnight train ride to St Petersburg or Kiev. A short hop from Moscow, the Golden Ring is awash in age-old monasteries and idyllic Russian villages. There's world-class skiing near Sochi, host of the 2014 Winter Olympics. Frequent flights provide speedy connections to Europe and beyond.