Looking for things to do in Russia? Don’t follow the crowds. Instead, check out sights and venues popular with locals rather than tourists, but just as interesting. Caspian News has searched the world’s largest country’s nooks and crannies to find the very best unusual things to do in Russia!
1. Check out Russia’s Park Patriot
Located in the town of Kubinka just 60 kilometers (37 miles) west of Moscow, Park Patriot is a truly unique place, where visitors can watch tanks in mock combat, dine on army rations, take a look at Russia’s surface-to-air missiles and sit inside the control cabin that launches intercontinental ballistic missiles.
Children can play hide-and-seek in the chassis of a military aircraft, taste free army food and play on the weaponry. There is also a stage hosts different performances like an air force choir singing, funky dancers dressed as Russian soldiers.
Park Patriot was opened with a grandiose opening ceremony in 2015 to inculcate a sense of patriotism and military valor in Russia's youth. Here, you can find a plenty of souvenirs on sale, including fridge magnets featuring Putin, Joseph Stalin, "Iron Felix" Dzerzhinsky, founder of the Soviet secret police, and secret police chief Lavrenty Beria.
2. Be served by doubles at the Twin Stars Diner
If all the cafes along your tourist trails are starting to look the same to you, then you need to check out the Twin Stars Diner in Russia’s capital. But be careful! You may start seeing double images at the diner, which is staffed purely by identical twins.
Every employee – the waitresses, bartenders and even the cooks – share their position with their identical twin, who are dressed identically on each shift. The dinning concept was inspired after the owner of the diner saw a 1964 Soviet film called “Kingdom of Crooked Mirrors,” which centered on a young woman who confronts a twin of herself in an alternate reality.
3. Lose gravity in Star City
Star City is a cosmonaut training center where Russian astronauts have been training since the 1960s. Here you will have a chance to learn about the history of the Russian space program while experiencing a simulated Russian rocket launch, as well as a zero-gravity flight.
During the two-hour experience at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre – named after the first man to journey into space and orbit the Earth in 1961, Yuri Gagarin – visitors will see artifacts and items from Russia, and the Soviet Union’s, space program, as well as the largest centrifuge in the world that was designed to simulate G-force. And do not miss a chance to get inside full-size models of the Russian spacecraft models “Soyuz” and “Mir,” which are used for cosmonauts training.
If you are looking to go to Star City, be sure to book your reservation 45 days in advance, which is required.
4. Watch a show a the Moscow Cats Theatre
All cat-lovers visiting Russia should not miss out on the Moscow Cats Theatre. More than a hundred cats are casted as performers that do some astonishing tricks! The feline actors balance on a ball, walk a tightrope, and pose in costumes with their human counterparts on stage.
This cat circus was founded by veteran Russian clown Yuri Kuklachev in 1990, who has gained fame all over the world and has performed everywhere from America to Israel.
5. Take part in the Bubble Baba Challenge
If you want to experience something really unique, then be prepared for Bubble Baba Challenge. Every year, fun-loving contestants gather in the rapids of Vuoksi River in Russia to race in the water using sex dolls as flotation devices. This strange race has been held since 2003.
Participants of either gender are allowed to compete but are required to be 16 years or older, and must pass a compulsory alcohol test before joining in on the sordid fun.