Without Paris? No problem! Russian tourists go on vacation to the motherland.

Despite six months of intense sanctions against Russia, the ruble is strong, revenues are buoyant and domestic transportation is doing well.

But Russians who want to go on vacation find traditional destinations less accessible, due to the increasing difficulty of obtaining visas, the closure of airspace to Russian airlines and the fact that Russian bank cards no longer work abroad.

why are we writing this

Amid war and sanctions, Russians have been deprived of many of their favorite vacation spots this summer. That has sparked a boom in travel to destinations within their vast homeland.

Therefore, there is a race to discover Russia.

Tour operators report an increase in bookings, especially for traditional destinations like cruises on the Volga River and beach vacations in the Black Sea resorts of Krasnodar and Sochi. In Moscow, there are more Russians than ever walking through Red Square, wandering through museums and galleries, and taking selfies in iconic metro stations. Other rich cultural centers like Saint Petersburg are experiencing similar booms.

“We expect up to 45 million Russians to travel within the country this year. That’s ten times the number going to Turkey, which is the main foreign destination still open to Russians,” says travel agency director Sergei Romashkin. “We are seeing people going to the Far East, to Siberia, to the North Caucasus, to Karelia [on the Finnish border]and Kaliningrad [on the Baltic Sea]. Completely new destinations have suddenly become fashionable.”

Every day, people from all over Russia climb several flights of stairs in an old apartment building in central Moscow. Along the way, they often stop to gawk at the thick layers of fantastical graffiti with metaphysical themes, much of it dating back to the Soviet era, scribbled down by generations of Muscovites.

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At the top of the stairs is one of Moscow’s most popular tourist destinations, the memorabilia-filled former communal apartment where author Mikhail Bulgakov lived and worked a century ago. Today it is a state museum, the graffiti on the stairs is a sign of the locals’ appreciation for Bulgakov’s beloved, sometimes absurd, philosophical writings.

And there has been a significant increase in visitors this year as Russians, increasingly frustrated in their hopes of traveling abroad, turn their attention to discovering their own country, says Alexei Yakovlev, deputy director of the Bulgakov State Museum.

why are we writing this

Amid war and sanctions, Russians have been deprived of many of their favorite vacation spots this summer. That has sparked a boom in travel to destinations within their vast homeland.

Despite six months of intense sanctions, the ruble is strong, employment and incomes are surprisingly buoyant, and national transport networks are functioning well. But vacation-minded people are finding traditional destinations much less attainable than before, due to the increasing difficulty of obtaining visas in many countries, the widespread closure of airspace to Russian airlines, and the fact that Russian bank cards no longer work. beyond the borders of the country. .

Therefore, there is an apparent rush to discover Russia. And the apartment-museum dedicated to Bulgakov, the most widely read author in Russian high school curricula, and whose focus on basic moral questions may resonate in these controversial times, is just one of those attractions benefiting.

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