OK. YOU’VE DECIDED you want to take the world’s longest and most famous train ride. But aside from playing cards, drinking tea (ahem, vodka), and eating noodles on the train, what are you going to do? Unless you really have to be somewhere, I highly recommend at least a few stops along the journey.
Hardly a quick side trip, Kizhi Island — a UNESCO World Heritage Site — is a bit off the beaten track. It’s most easily visited from Petrozavodsk, which is an overnight train ride from St. Petersburg. Yes, most people begin their Trans-Siberian journey from Moscow, but I say if you’re going to do it, go all out and start from St. Pete.