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Photo: EnW.

It’s not all about Red Square and churches in Russia, and there are a few unusual things to seek out while travelling in this fascinating country. Insider would like to introduce you 7 weird things you need to know when visiting this country.

Go down to the Moscow Metro

The Moscow Metro, one of the biggest underground museums in the world and one of the key attractions of the Russian capital, is definitely worth visiting. Three basic facts you should know about it are listed below.

First, all the stations have a unique design, no duplicates at all. Second, Moscow metro is a true example of Soviet and modern Russian décor, there are stations which are 80 years old in the centre, and there are ones younger than a year in the suburbs. And finally, one of the bronze statues at Ploshchad Revolyutsii station depicts a dog and carries one of the main superstitions of the metro: One should rub the dog's nose for good luck.

Go skating… on the roof of a skyscraper

Russians are the greatest fans of winter, which by the way lasts from the end of October to the beginning of April. One of the main Muscovites’ leisure activities is skating at popular public places like Red Square, Gorky Park, and VDNKh, where Europe’s biggest skate rink is located. At the end of 2016, the new skating rink started operating on the roof of Moscow City’s 85-floor OKO tower at a height of 354 metres. Breathtaking!

Visit Bolshoi Zayatsky Island

Ranked 3rd in the top weird things one needs to know about Russia is visiting Bolshoi Zayatsky Island. According to the worldnomads.com, in the north of Russia, in the White Sea, near Finland, is the mysterious little island of Bolshoi Zayatsky. Less than two square kilometres in size, Bolshoi Zayatsky is home to 35 Neolithic labyrinths, known as Babylon.

No one how these intricate and ornate labyrinths exist, but the prevailing opinion of local archaeologists is that the detailed maze formations serve as a doorway between this world and the next, for the souls of the deceased Sami people native to the region to move through as they make their way to the afterlife.

It’s easiest to reach the islands by plane from either Moscow or St Petersburg. It’s well worth the journey for the chance to experience the feeling of being in another world.

Take a riverboat trip over the frozen waters

In Moscow river transportation season never stops. Many enclosed and heated boats with panoramic windows and ice-breaking equipment can be found on the Moscow River. The boarding areas are at the pier next to Radisson Royal Hotel (also famous by its Soviet name ‘Ukraina’) and at the Gorky Park pier.

On your way, you’ll enjoy the main sights of pre-revolutionary and Soviet Moscow – Stalin's skyscrapers, the Kremlin, and Novodevichy Convent. It is possible to go out to the open deck and take photos. A ticket costs just $10, but you should also mind extra costs in the restaurant onboard.

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Photo: Worldnomads.

Experience in Golosov Ravine

Take the Line 2 metro from Novokuznetskaya in Moscow to Kolomenskaya stop, and after a short walk alongside the lush woodlands of Kolomenskoye Park, you’ll find yourself face-to-face with the infamous Golosov Ravine. According to Russian folklore, Golosov Ravine is a playground for mythical creatures and tales of time travel date back to 1621.

Shoot an AK-47

If shooting blanks from an AK-47 during the tank experience sounded disappointing to you – fret not! You can shoot real ammunition from any gun of your choice (including the AK-47) at Labyrith Shooting Range. They also have an archery range and knife and ax throwing.

I recommend calling ahead to book the time you want to go – the underground range is not the friendliest place to sit and wait for your shooting time. (Although, there are many nice restaurants and bars nearby.)

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Photo: Have clothes will travel.

See the First Space Dogs

If you’re interested in space exploration but a more budget-friendly option – head over to the Museum of Cosmonautics. Here, you can see a museum dedicated to space exploration that charts the history of the Russian space race and famous Russian astronauts and has an impressive variety of space equipment, suits, lets you sample space food…and even see some famous taxidermied dogs.

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