Russia has never been on my radar screen because I had always read that it was extremely expensive and it always seemed to have a poorer fun/hassle ratio than a lot of other countries (Visa requirements, Cyrillic alphabet, having to brush your teeth with bottled water, etc.). I've read some stories that if you lose the card they give you upon entry, they might detain you for ten days and fine you heavily--which sort of confirmed my impression that it's a country where you had better be on your toes, especially with anything related to the authorities.
So, for those that have visited Moscow and St. Petersburg: 1) I still see references to how expensive it is, but I also see references to a devaluation of the Ruble that made it more affordable. I see some very reasonably priced hotels on booking.com in St. Petersburg and Moscow (~100 per night for double or even less)--so has Russia indeed become more affordable? When I say affordable, I mean comparable to say Germany, France, Italy as benchmarks? 2) How easy/hard is it to travel in Russia compared to say, Hungary or Czech Republic? (I found those to be a snap). Obviously the Visa thing is an issue and an expense, but setting that aside. For now let's assume we're talking about Moscow and St. Petersburg.
I have only begun to look into this, but based upon initial investigation it looks spectacular and different than so much of the rest of Europe.