The name of the city is thought to be derived from the name of the Moskva River. 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 colored 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. There are 96 parks and 18 gardens in Moscow, including four botanical gardens.
Moscow is a major political, economic, cultural, and scientific center 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.
Moscow's road system is centered roughly on the Kremlin at the heart of the city. From there, roads generally span outwards to intersect with a sequence of circular roads ("rings").
Moscow's architecture is world-renowned. Moscow is the site of Saint Basil’s Cathedral, with its elegant onion domes, as well as the Cathedral of Christ the Savior and the Seven Sisters. The first Kremlin was built in the middle of the 12th century.
Moscow has always been a popular destination for tourists. Some of the more famous attractions include the city's UNESCO World Heritage Site, Moscow Kremlin and Red Square, which was built between the 14th and 17th centuries. The Church of the Ascension at Kolomenskoye, which dates from 1532, is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and another popular attraction.
Moscow is home to 63 stadiums (besides eight football and eleven light athletics maneges), of which Luzhniki Stadium is the largest and the 4th biggest in Europe (it hosted the 1998–99 UEFA Cup, 2007–08 UEFA Champions League finals, and the 1980 Summer Olympics, and will host the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ with 6 games total). Moscow was the Host City of the 1980 Summer Olympics. Large sports facilities and the main international airport, Sheremetyevo Terminal 2, were built in preparation for the 1980 Summer Olympics. In football, FC Spartak Moscow has won more championship titles in the Russian Premier League than any other team. PFC CSKA Moscow was the first Russian football team to win a UEFA title. FC Lokomotiv Moscow, FC Dynamo Moscow and FC Torpedo Moscow are other professional football teams also based in Moscow.
Saint Petersburg is Russia's second-largest city after Moscow and an important Russian port on the Baltic Sea. 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.
Saint Petersburg is the most Westernized city 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. A large number of foreign consulates, international corporations, banks, and businesses have offices in Saint Petersburg.
Saint Petersburg is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list as an area with 36 historical architectural complexes and around 4000 outstanding individual monuments of architecture, history and culture. New tourist programs and sightseeing tours have been developed for those wishing to see Saint Petersburg's cultural heritage.
The city has 221 museums, 2000 libraries, more than 80 theaters, 100 concert organizations, 45 galleries and exhibition halls, 62 cinemas and around 80 other cultural establishments. Every year the city hosts around 100 festivals and various competitions of art and culture, including more than 50 international ones.
There is also a second professional football club in Saint Petersburg, FC Dynamo Saint Petersburg, which is owned by the historic Dynamo sports society.
Sochi is a city in Krasnodar Krai, Russia, located on the Black Sea coast near the border between Georgia/Abkhazia and Russia. Russia's largest resort city.
Greater Sochi is elongated along the Black Sea coast for 145 kilometers. Being part of the Caucasian Riviera, it is one of the very few places in Russia with a subtropical climate, with warm to hot summers and mild winters.
Sochi is unique among larger Russian cities as having some aspects of a subtropical resort. Apart from the scenic Caucasus Mountains, pebble and sand beaches, the city attracts vacation-goers with its subtropical vegetation, numerous parks, monuments, and extravagant Stalinist architecture. About two million people visit Greater Sochi each summer, when the city is home to the annual film festival "Kinotavr" and a getaway for Russia's elite.
Sochi is also known for its sport facilities: a local tennis school spawned the careers of such notable players as Grand Slam champions Maria Sharapova and Yevgeny Kafelnikov (Kafelnikov spent much of his childhood here, while Sharapova relocated to Florida at the age of seven). In late 2005, the Russian Football Union announced that it was planning to establish a year-round training center for the country's national teams in Sochi. The city's warm climate was cited as one of the main incentives. Sochi is also the home for the football team FC Zhemchuzhina which plays in the Russian First Division and for the ice hockey team HC Sochi which plays in the Kontinental Hockey League.
With the alpine and Nordic events held at the nearby ski resort of Roza Khutor in Krasnaya Polyana, Sochi hosted the XXII Olympic Winter Games and XI Paralympic Winter Games in 2014, as well as the Russian Formula 1 Grand Prix from 2014 until at least 2020.
Kazan is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia. 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 one of the Host Cities for the FIFA Confederations Cup Russia 2017 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.
The city has a citadel. Major monuments in the kremlin are the five-domed six-columned Annunciation Cathedral (1561–62) and the mysterious leaning Soyembika Tower, named after the last queen of Kazan and regarded as the city's most conspicuous landmark.
Also of interest are the towers and walls, erected in the 16th and 17th centuries but later reconstructed; the Qol-Şarif mosque, which is already rebuilt inside the citadel; remains of the Saviour Monastery (its splendid 16th-century cathedral having been demolished by the Bolsheviks) with the Spasskaya Tower; and the Governor's House (1843–53), designed by Konstantin Thon, now the Palace of the President of Tatarstan.
Next door, the ornate baroque Sts-Peter-and-Paul's Cathedral on Qawi Nacmi Street and Marcani mosque on Qayum Nasiri Street date back to the 18th century.
Kazan now is one of the most developed city in Russia in terms of sport. The city hosts two World Championships in Field Hockey in 2005 and 2011, World Summer Universiade 2013, World Championship in fencing in 2014, Aquatics Championship FINA 2015 and other international competitions of various levels. City is a leader in terms of winnings in various sports including most popular teams sports.