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Russia’s Location: Is it in Europe, Asia, or Both?

You are probably wondering for a while if is Russia in Europe and Asia and I am here to give you the right answer to this question: that Russia is a transcontinental country located in both Europe and Asia.

Russian Federation is one of the very few countries in the world that belongs to two continents, so don’t be afraid and say it loud, Russia belongs to Europe and Asia.

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The natural boundary between European Russia or Western Russia and the Asian Russia is the Ural Mountains range and the Ural River.

According to the official documents, about 75% of the total surface of the country is located in the Asian part, while the remaining part is in the European part of the country.

Things are a little bit different when we speak about population, as 75% of the Russians live in the European part of the country, while the remaining 25% of the Russians live in the Asian part.

With a total surface of over 17 million square kilometres, the Russian Federation is the largest country in the world with a total population of over 145 million people.

Is Russia in Europe and Asia

Russian Federation or Russia located in Eastern Europe has terrestrial borders with 14 countries and 2 maritime borders.

The fact that it extends over two continents gives it a true Eurasian character very easily noticed in the country’s cultural and ethnic elements.

An interesting fact is that when people talk about Russia they immediately think about Europe and not Asia.

Russia is seen as a great European power, not just today but even during medieval times.

The capital of the country is Moscow which is also the largest city with more than 10 million inhabitants.

The next larger city is Saint Petersburg, a metropole with more than 5 million people founded by Peter the Great in 1703.

Now it is clear if is Russia in Asia and Europe, so it’s time to discover some interesting facts about the people that live in this magnificent country.

Russian population

Russia is the most populous country in Europe with a total population of over 145 million people and a population density of 9 inhabitants per square metres.

Indeed is Russia in Europe and Asia so let’s see on the world scale how populous this country is. It occupies the 9th place in the world after the number of inhabitants after China, India, United States, Indonesia, Pakistan, Brazil, Nigeria and Bangladesh.

The overall life expectancy in the country at birth is 72 years on average, with 77.5 years for females and just 67 for males.

It is believed that the main cause of such a low life expectancy for males is alcohol as more than 52% of the dead people with ages between 15 to 54 are because of alcohol intoxication.



Like many other countries from Europe, the Russian population is getting older and older and the number of dead people exceeds the newborns.

Today Russia is home to more than 117 million ethnic Russians and about 20 million ethnic Russians that live outside the country in the former republics of the Soviet Union, especially Ukraine and Kazakhstan.

Europe and Russia

The main reasons why we consider Russia a European country are its culture and the distribution of the population.

As I mentioned earlier about 75% of the total population is located in the European part of Russia while just a small part lives in the Asian part.

People density in the Asian part is just 2 people per square metre but the Asian part is important for other reasons: it is full of natural resources like oil and gas.

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The two biggest cities from the country, Moscow and St Petersburg, both located in the European part and also the federal authorities concentrate most of the population, so this is the main reason why Russia is considered a European country.

Is Russia in Asia or Europe and Russian culture

The question “is Russia a European country or not” raised many debates in the 19th century when the Slavophiles and the Westernizers dominated the Russian intellectuals groups.

The Slavophiles promote the idea that Russia should rely on its heritage referring to the Russian traditions, rural life and Christianity, while the Westernizers promote the idea of European-style modernisation and individualism.

Even if the two wars put on pause the debate between these two parties, things are not clear even today.



One thing is clear when we speak about Russian culture: it has a very long tradition and notable achievements in many fields like literature, folk dancing, philosophy, classical music, architecture, painting, animation and politics.

Everybody knows that Russian literature is considered to be one of the most developed in the world that gave to this planet famous writers like Puskin, Gogol, Turgenev, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy and Bulgakov.

On the other hand, Russian architecture is unique and recognised all over the world.

Most of the iconic buildings we know in this country have been built in the 1870s – 1890s, there are some later constructions which stand out.

In order to be easier for you to recognise the Russian architecture I will drop you some lines below to describe the characteristics of the Russian buildings:

  • The Byzantine vibe
  • The use of wood which probably was the most popular construction material available
  • The distinctive brickwork especially for the 19th-century buildings
  • Floral ornaments which can be seen inside and outside the buildings
  • Narrow windows
  • Multiple arches, a major element in Russian architecture
  • “Terem” roof which is a triangle like a rooftop with a very small angle between the two parts of the roof
  • Decorated facades which make them look like a gingerbread cookie very nice decorated

Is Russia in Europe and Asia from the Asian perspective

Not everybody agrees with the idea that Russia belongs to the Western world as the country lives at the crossroads of the western and eastern civilisation and the country has cultural influences from both Europe and Asia.

Regarding this matter, Lev Gumilev, the most authoritative Eurasianists and a very famous historian said: “Russia is a distinctive country which unites elements from West and East”.

The Eurasianists sustain the idea that Russia is not part of Europe as “Europe will never embrace us”.

Actually, Russia is more close to the global West, especially from a cultural perspective and the differences between Europe and Russia can be quite significant in certain domains.


Even if it sounds weird, the answer to the question if is Russia in Europe and Asia is yes, the country is located on both continents making it a transcontinental country.

Russia is the largest country in the world, and it is an incredible country with many amazing sceneries and beautiful landforms.

Its rich cultural heritage and great natural variety place Russia among the most popular tourist destinations from all over the world.

Russia is home to more than 29 Unesco World Heritage Sites and the main touristy routed in Russia include a travel around the Golden Ring of ancient cities, cruises on the big Volga river and the world-famous Trans Siberian Railway.

This fascinating country is full of surprises and a trip to this country might be the experience of your lifetime.