5 super EXPENSIVE tours in Russia

Picture alliance/Global Look Press
Looking for a trip on a budget? Then avoid these places at all costs!

People usually try to save money when traveling, but if you want to see these places in Russia, prepare to mortgage your house!

1. The Putorana Plateau, est. cost: $3,000

 Putorana Plateau, Taymyr Peninsula (Taymyria), Krasnoyarsk Krai, northern Siberia.

It’s not easy to reach the unique natural monument that is the Putorana plateau, included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. But if you really want to see the bottomless canyons and the highest waterfalls in Russia, it’s totally worth it! Tours to Putorana usually last for 6-10 days and include a long trip on a bus, then on a boat, then on a helicopter, as well as tracking! The adventure will set you back you about $3,000 – plus you need to buy an air ticket to Norilsk (at least $500 from Moscow).

Can you get there on a budget?

It’s hard to do. This area is restricted for visitors, and you’ll need to get a special permit from Russia’s FSB (find out more here), which a travel agency can help to obtain. Plus, it’s almost impossible to get to the Putorana plateau via public transport.

2. Kamchatka volcanoes, est. cost: $8,000

Tourist photographing an active magma stream below the Tolbachik volcano, Kamchatka.

Do you know where the largest number of active volcanoes in Russia is? In the Far Far East. If you want to see incredible space-like landscapes with your own eyes, pack your things and head to Kamchatka! There, you can spend months photographing flora and fauna. Travel agencies can also suggest many interesting tours to the different islands of Russia’s Far East. A usual trip across Kamchatka takes 10-12 days and includes a visit to the Klyuchevskaya Sopka volcano, a boat cruise to the Avacha Bay, fishing activities and watching wild animals. The $8,000 tour includes accommodation in a tent or at a tourist base, transport, and excursions. A plane ticket to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky from Moscow (ca. $700) is not included.

Can you get there on a budget?

Some nationalities can visit Russia’s Far East with just an e-visa (read more here) or even without it, if arriving aboard a cruise ship. In this case, you have a chance to explore Kamchatka freely on your feet.

3. Russian Far North and Chukotka, est. cost: $11,000

Wrangel Island.

Polar bears, grey whales, carnivorous walruses, and thousands of northern birds are waiting for you on the edge of the Earth. The living conditions on Chukotka are rather severe: it’s cold, icy, windy, and mostly empty, so only a true traveler can explore it. Journeys begin in the city of Anadyr (a plane ticket from Moscow costs about $700), where you take the 2-week voyage on an icebreaker.  This arctic journey will cost you at least $11,000, including tours and meals. 

Can you get there on a budget?

Actually, the cheapest way to see Chukotka is from Alaska. Moreover, it’s free. Head over to Little Diomede Island, and you’ll be able to see Russia’s Eastern point of Cape Dezhnev. 

4. Trans-Siberian Railway, est. cost: $15,000

The most romantic way to travel across Russia would be on a train. On the Trans-Siberian Railway, there are some special retro-styled trains for tourists. The most luxurious is the Golden Eagle train, which looks like a real palace inside – and even offers full-sized bathtubs in some coupes. The price for such a trip starts from $15,000 from Moscow to Vladivostok. The meal and tours are included (thankfully!). For the return journey, you could do it all again or buy an air ticket back to Moscow (from $400)!

Can you get there on a budget?

Easy. Check the route, plan a trip and buy separate tickets online for every segment of the route! 

5. Russian Arctic, est. cost: $30,000

Want to see the Arctic Ocean and discover the age-old ice? On the trip to the Franz Josef Land on an icebreaker, you’ll see polar bears face to face and the most uninhabited areas in Russia. Bookings for each trip begin a whopping 18 months before, and all places are usually sold out in months. The price starts from $30,000 for a twin cabin, including meals, guided tours- and rubber boots! Again, you have to get there yourself and plane tickets to Murmansk from Moscow will cost around $200).

Can you get there on a budget?

No way! Try getting to the Arctic by yourself!

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