Major tourist routes in Russia include a travel around the Golden Ring of ancient cities, cruises on the big rivers including the Volga, and long journeys on the famous Trans-Siberian Railway. Diverse regions and ethnic cultures of Russia offer many different food and souvenirs, and show a great variety of traditions, including Russian banya, Tatar Sabantuy, or Siberian shamanist rituals. In 2013, Russia was visited by 28.4 million tourists, it is the ninth most visited country in the world and the seventh most visited in Europe.
Unless exempt, tourists to Russia are required to purchase a visa, in addition to having a valid passport. Visas cannot be purchased at the border, and once at the border must be presented with other relevant documents.
In 2013, 27 million international tourists arrived in Russia and brought US$11.2 billion in international tourism receipts to the country. Including domestic and international tourism, the industry directly contributed RUB860 billion to Russian GDP and supported 966,500 jobs in the country.
The most famous natural tourist destination in Russia is Lake Baikal, named the Blue Eye of Siberia. This unique lake, oldest and deepest in the world, has crystal-clean waters and is surrounded by taiga-covered mountains.