Major Cities in Russia

Moscow

Moscow is a major political, economic, cultural, and scientific centre of Russia and Eastern Europe, as well as the largest city entirely on the European continent. By broader definitions Moscow is among the world’s largest cities, being the 14th largest metro area, the 18th largest agglomeration, the 15th largest urban area, and the 11th largest by population within city limits worldwide. According to Forbes 2013, Moscow has been ranked as the ninth most expensive city in the world by Mercer and has one of the world’s largest urban economies, being ranked as an alpha global city according to the Globalization and World Cities Research Network, and is also one of the fastest growing tourist destinations in the world according to the MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index. Moscow is the northernmost and coldest megacity and metropolis on Earth. It is home to the Ostankino Tower, the tallest free standing structure in Europe; the Federation Tower, the tallest skyscraper in Europe; and the Moscow International Business Center. By its territorial expansion on July 1, 2012 southwest into the Moscow Oblast, the area of the capital more than doubled, going from 1,091 to 2,511 square kilometers (421 to 970 sq mi), and it gained an additional population of 233,000 people.

Moscow is situated on the Moskva River in the Central Federal District of European Russia, making it the world’s most populated inland city. The city is well known for its architecture, particularly its historic buildings such as Saint Basil’s Cathedral with its brightly coloured domes. With over 40 percent of its territory covered by greenery, it is one of the greenest capitals and major cities in Europe and the world, having the largest forest in an urban area within its borders—more than any other major city—even before its expansion in 2012. The city has served as the capital of a progression of states, from the medieval Grand Duchy of Moscow and the subsequent Tsardom of Russia to the Russian Empire to the Soviet Union and the contemporary Russian Federation. Moscow is considered the centre of Russian culture, having served as the home of Russian artists, scientists and sports figures and because of the presence of museums, academic and political institutions and theatres.

Saint Petersburg

Saint Petersburg is Russia’s second-largest city after Moscow, with five million inhabitants in 2012 and an important Russian port on the Baltic Sea. It is politically incorporated as a federal subject (a federal city). Situated on the Neva River, at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea, it was founded by Tsar Peter the Great on May 27 1703. In 1914, the name was changed from Saint Petersburg to Petrograd in 1924 to Leningrad and in 1991 back to Saint Petersburg. Between 1713 and 1728 and in 1732–1918, Saint Petersburg was the capital of imperial Russia. In 1918, the central government bodies moved to Moscow.

Saint Petersburg is one of the modern cities of Russia, as well as its cultural capital.The Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments constitute a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Saint Petersburg is home to The Hermitage, one of the largest art museums in the world. Many foreign consulates, international corporations, banks, and businesses have offices in Saint Petersburg.

Novosibirsk

Novosibirsk is the third-most populous city in Russia after Moscow and St. Petersburg. It is the most populous city in Asian Russia, with a population of 1,473,754 as of the 2010 Census. It is the administrative center of Novosibirsk Oblast as well as of the Siberian Federal District.

The city is located in the southwestern part of Siberia on the banks of the Ob River adjacent to the Ob River Valley, near the large water reservoir formed by the dam of the Novosibirsk Hydro Power Plant. It is split into ten districts and occupies an area of 502.1 square kilometres

Yekaterinburg

Yekaterinburg, alternatively romanised as Ekaterinburg, is the fourth-largest city in Russia and the administrative centre of Sverdlovsk Oblast, located in the middle of the Eurasian continent, on the border of Europe and Asia. At the 2010 Census, it had a population of 1,349,772.

Yekaterinburg is the main industrial and cultural centre of the Ural Federal District. Between 1924 and 1991, the city was named Sverdlovsk after the Communist party leader Yakov Sverdlov.

Kazan

Kazan is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia. With a population of 1,216,965, it is the eighth most populous city in Russia.Kazan lies at the confluence of the Volga and Kazanka Rivers in European Russia. The Kazan Kremlin is a World Heritage Site.

In April 2009, the Russian Patent Office granted Kazan the right to brand itself as the “Third Capital” of Russia. In 2009 it was chosen as the “Sports capital of Russia” and it still is referred to as such. The city hosted the 2013 Summer Universiade, 2014 World Fencing Championships, the 2015 World Aquatics Championships, and is one of the host cities for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

In 2015, Kazan was visited by 2.1 million tourists, which is a 20% increase in comparison with 2014. The Kazan Kremlin was visited by 1.5 million tourists in 2015 and hotel and entertainment complex with aquapark called “Kazan Riviera” was visited by 1 million tourists.

Rostov-on-Don

The official date of foundation of Rostov-on-Don is considered to be December 15, 1749, when the Empress Elizaveta Petrovna signed a decree establishing Temernitskaya customs. The Don River connected the northern and southern regions of the Russian Empire. Temernitskiy port became the only Russian port in the south of the country providing trade with the countries of the Black, Aegean, and Mediterranean seas.

In 1760-1761, for the protection of the lower reaches of the Don from the raids of the Turks and Crimean Tatars, construction of a fortress began. The garrison of the fortress consisted of more than four thousand people. The fortress was given the name of Metropolitan of Rostov and Yaroslavl Demetrius (1652-1709). Subsequently, the name was transformed: the fortress of Dimitri Rostov, Rostovskaya fortress, simply Rostov, and finally, to distinguish from the ancient town of Rostov the Great located near Yaroslavl, Rostov-on-Don.