Moscow University. (Found photography, 1960s-1970s.)

Private holiday photographs can tell lot about the Soviet tourism. Where brochures, postcards and other Intourist materials reflect the perspective of the state to tourism, photos people have took themselves reveal the more private side of travelling. Here is a snapshot bought from the messy stacks of Udelnaya flea market at St. Petersburg. It is clearly a tourist photo, with the tour busses and the famous Moscow university building in the background, taken sometime in the 1960s or 1970s. The appearance of the woman in the forefront speaks volumes about the ordinary Soviet tourist. She seems bit timid but still enthusiastic, and she has dressed up for the occasion to highlight the importance of travelling. Fundamentally, tourism in the Soviet Union was about the same things than everywhere.

Theatre named after Maxim Gorky, Rostov-on-Don. (Postcard, 1978.)

During the latter part of the 20th century Soviet tourism spread out to the roads. Train was the main means of transportation in the 1920s and 1930s, and remained important also after the war, but bus travel grew with the increase of tourism and improvement of roads. City tours with tourist buses were popular among Soviet tourists. Here are famous LAZ-buses, which were employed extensively in sightseeing trips (one can discern the word “TURIST” on the window), standing in front of the Maxim Gorky theatre at Rostov-on-Don.