- Lookout Point at Sparrow Hills (Moscow): With the Stalin Gothic skyscraper of Moscow State University at your back, the capital spreads out beneath you in its enormity. Watch newlyweds pose and embrace at the lookout, leaving empty champagne bottles on the ledge.
- Resurrection Gate Entrance to Red Square (Moscow): Get ready to gasp when the beveled onion domes of St. Basil's Cathedral greet you at this cobblestone hilltop square. Resurrection Gate, itself resurrected in the 1990s, forms a perfect frame.
- Strelka (St. Petersburg): If you stand on this spit of land on Vasilevsky Island, you'll get a panorama of nearly every major landmark and monument in St. Petersburg, while the Neva River laps at your feet. It's also a window onto the classical conformity of the city's architecture.
- The Sail Up to the Petrodvorets Palace (Peterhof): The dense forests along the Baltic shore suddenly part and the gilded palace emerges, atop cascading fountains and sculpted gardens. Any boat from St. Petersburg to the imperial summer residence offers this vista. Hydrofoils leave from the Winter Palace/Hermitage in the warmer months.
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