For several years I've been making occasional short trips to Moscow for business or pleasure. As you can imagine, by now I've visited an awful lot of Russian museums, churches, galleries, restaurants, and cultural events. But my favourite outing so far was to VDNKh, a huge Soviet-era exhibition grounds with pavilions dedicated to (and often still hosting events, stores, markets, and eateries by) that country's national groups: Turkmens, Uzbeks, Belarusians, Karelians, Armenians, etc.

Like the USSR, Russia is a multi-ethnic country, and I'd love to see some parts of it that aren't overwhelmingly ethnically Russian. The problem is that I usually fly in or out of Moscow, and have only one or two days available for sightseeing.

What day trips or overnight trips can I take from Moscow to touristically interesting cities or regions representing Russia's non-Russian ethnicities? For example, are there fast trains or buses to Mordovia, Mari El, or Chuvashia, and if so, are there any cultural events or exhibitions there worth seeing? Or are there perhaps any smaller non-Russian towns to visit in the oblasts surrounding Moscow?

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    I'm afraid I am voting to close as "constructing itineraries", besides likely being too broad. However a smart edit might save this otherwise great question (+1), I just can't think of how right now. – mts Feb 12 '17 at 11:23
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    Tver has some history along with a pleasant river front. For ethnic saturation, Tver has four functioning Russian Orthodox cathedrals, fifteen Orthodox churches, a Mormon chapel, a Catholic church, a mosque, and a synagogue. – Gayot Fow Feb 12 '17 at 11:23
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    Also, if you are flying the twin-cities Tolyatti/Samara/Syzran also provides strong ethnic presence. But @mts comment (to whom thanks) shook out my cobwebs and I agree that your question is 'constructing itineraries'. If I can think of an edit to save this fine question I'll absolutely apply it. – Gayot Fow Feb 12 '17 at 11:30
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    @mts I don't understand why you're voting to close and upvoting. If you think the question should be closed, it can't be good; if you think it's good, you shouldn't be voting to close. I voted to close because it's a "Where should I travel?" question and it's overly broad. – David Richerby Feb 12 '17 at 12:00
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    @DavidRicherby come to chat and we can discuss why I deem it possible to vote up and to close :) – mts Feb 12 '17 at 12:02