Most nations in Europe are located on one continent only. The Russian Federation, along with Turkey, stands out by spanning both Europe and Asia. Russia is an enormous nation with much to offer tourists from both the United States and Europe. Russia extends completely across Asia and includes 40% of Europe as well. In contrast to the United States, which contains three principal time zones, Russia has nine. Russia also possesses the world's largest reserves of forests and about a fourth of all the fresh water on Earth.
Many tourists to Russia choose to visit the nation by means of the famed Trans-Siberian Railway, whose tracks were laid down in the early 20th century. Other popular options include river cruises along huge rivers such as the Volga. The most visited locations in Russia; however, are the two large cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg, both of which have served as capitals of the nation. Considered "World Cities" for the importance of their cultural heritage, they offer tourists staying in holiday vacation rentals in Russia access to some of the most famous sites in all of Russia, including the Lenin Mausoleum, located in the Kremlin, a citadel fortress in Moscow.
Other attractions in these cities include the Bolshoi Ballet, ornately decorated churches of the Eastern Orthodox Church such as St. Basil's Cathedral, and Red Square, the site of many May Day Parades during the Soviet Era.
St. Petersburg has been called the Venice of the North because of its access to beautiful waterways. It was previously called Leningrad to honor the founder of the U.S.S.R.