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travelingRRussia has so much to offer for you to see! With its more than 1,200 year-old history it has plenty of sightseeing places. Russia is full of contrasts : it has cold winters and hot summer, mountains and flat lands seas and the biggest lake in the world Baikal. Russia streches over 11 time zones. The most Western part is Kaliningrad and the most Eastern is Vladivostok.


 

Preparation for the trip


Before going to Russia, check the local news coverage and other useful information about the cities that you want to visit. Remember to always follow these tips:

Remember, if you lose your passport you might spoil the whole trip because that would take plenty of time and efforts to get it back. Don't forget to make a note of all important info and contacts you might need while traveling (info about for embassies and consulates). It might speed things up if you keep photocopies of important documents in case they get stolen or lost.

Getting a Russian Visa

visaIt is important to state the exact purpose of your trip be that tourism, business, diplomatic relationships and others.There're different visas for each case. It's important not to stay over the limit stated in your visa. And there could be other limitations like sticking to the purpose of your visit so as not getting involved in religious work while traveling on a business visa.

Receiving an invitation normally takes around a month. So plan everything in advance. One of the most important aspects is to get an invitation from an organization that is registered and recognized by the Russian government. If the registration is not up-to-date it could cause problems for the travelers like having to deal with a lot of bureaucracy. It's a good idea to be open about your purpose of visit.

 

Customs Clearance and Duty Free Zones

DFLOGOSome tips for buying things at duty-free zones Prohibited imports: military weapons and ammunition, narcotics, pornography, loose pearls, fruit and vegetables, live animals.Well basically stuff you are not supposed to bring in any country.

Prohibited exports: same as imports, as well as annulled securities, state loan certificates, lottery tickets, minerals, works of art and antiques (unless you have a permission from the Russian Ministry of Culture)

 

 

 

Russian weather

Seasons in Russia are fairly unpredictable. Sudden changes of weather and temperature are common. But of course summers are noirmally hot and winters are cold. Winters are usually cold and windy. It normally starts snowing in late November. Normally it doesn't get below -20 if you're in european part of Russia.

Choose you clothes according to season of the year. Check out weather forecasts before going. In spring it might be chilly at times,  in April and May it gets warmer. A sweater or a jacket is good for this time of year.

Summers are hot and dry, but may be rainy. Remember to take an umbrella. If you plan to do a lot of walking, think about comfortable shoes. At different times of the year, you might need warm boots, waterproof boots, winter shoes and comfortable summer shoes.

Medical Care

It's a good idea to take any pills you may need. Check with your health provider before you depart to make sure you're covered in the event of emergency. Many insurance providers offer special riders that cover emergency evacuation if needed.

Electricity

Remember the outlets are 220 volts If you have an electric device for 110V, use voltage converter.

Russian language

If you haven't learned to speak Russian yet and find yourself in a difficult situation, you may ask hotel receptionists, guides, translators or any English-speaking people to help you get around and find your way back to hotel or railroad station.

In big cities of Russia you may buy a map or travel-guide in English with sightseeing places on them. Russian transcription is often found in most subways. If you get lost, you may turn to any policeman or passer-by. More and more people speak English in Russia with each year. The biggest tip is to lear lesson from this website and fell like a Russian in Russia!

Take some Russian lesson before you go!

Some expressions that you must know:

Safety tips

ppIn big cities of Russia like in big cities of other countries, take precautions against assault, robbery, or pickpocketing especially in underground walkways and subways, overnight trains, train stations, airports,backstreets, and markets.

Some safety tips for you:

If you have been the victim of a crime, immediately contact your consulate or consular agency. You should also report the crime to МИЛИЦИЯ (militsiya) immediately, dial 02 from any public phone or 112 or 911 from most cellphones (this you'd better check it differs).

Photography Restrictions

Some museums do not permit taking pictures of the exhibits. Inquire as to whether or not photography is allowed in the museum, if a permit is required, is so how much the permit costs. When in doubt, ask your tour guide or someone else in authority if it is acceptable to take a photograph. The general guidelines for photography:

Russian police - Милиция

miliciyaThe police in Russia are called Милиция (mi-lee-tsiya). If you are stopped on the street by them and asked to show your ID and visa, just do it, smile and be polite.It's common practice in Russia, especially in Moscow. Make sure your visa is duly registered.

 

 

 

 

 

Mobile phones

GSM networks operate in all Russian cities. International roaming works fine, but may cost high dollars. The cheapest option for overseas calling with your cell is to purchase a local SIM card. Remember that once you leave the city where you have purchased your SIM card, you go onto roaming tariffs in another area. Please check back with your cell phone operator in advance to see if your cell phone will work in Russia.

Tips (Чаевые)

Tipping is encouraged. About 10 to 15% is the accepted rate of tipping for most restaurant waiters. For coat check and luggage attendants, anything from 50 rubles ($1,5) and higher is acceptable, although many people don't tip at all. Cheap travelers!Laughing You may also tip drivers, tour guides and housekeeping staff. Note that restaurants are not allowed to add a tip to the credit card charge, so even if you are paying with a credit card, the tip must still be left in cash.

Public Transportation

tramThe public transportation system is good in big cities. You may use trolleybuses, trams, buses, mini-buses (маршрутка - marshrutka), taxis and metro. Tram, buses and trolleybuses are inexpensive and reliable but usually packed during rush hours. Tickets are purchased onboard selling lady. Metro is a popular means of transportation in large cities. Mini-buses (so-called Маршрутка) follow a fixed route. When you see the number you want, just hail it down like a taxi. If you want to get out, ask a driver to stop where you need - Извините, можно здесь остановить?

 

Holidays and days-off  Праздники и выходные


Here is the list of major Russian holidays. On these days most offices are closed.

How much money am I likely to spend daily in Russia?

It depends on what living standards you are used to, but on the average:

Russian cuisine

ruisineRussian cuisine is rich and varied because of Russia's vast and multicultural expanse. While in Russia do not miss the opportunity to visit some Russian restaurants.

Soups

Soups have always played an important role in the Russian meal. The traditional stable of soups such as ЩИ (Shchee) (cabbage soup), БОРЩ (borshch) (vegetable soup traditionally made with beetroot), УХА (ooha) (fish soup) and РАССОЛЬНИК(rassolnik) (soup with a salty-sour pickle base).ОКРОШКА (okroshka) is considered a perfect summer soup since it has the refreshing taste of КВАС (kvas) and lightness of a salad.

Main dishes

Пельмени is a traditional Russian dish usually cooked with minced meat, wrapped in thin dough. For filling, pork, lamb, beef, or any other kind of meat can be used although pork and beef are most typical. You know Putin treated Obama with pelpmeni with quail. Ural recipe of pelmeni is considered the best.

rc2Пирожки are small stuffed buns (pies) made of either yeast dough or short pastry. They are filled with one of many different fillings and are either baked or shallow-fried. For cooking pirozhki usually use fillings: onion, mushroom, meat and rice stuffing; fish; chopped boiled meat; rice and boiled eggs with dill; mashed potatoes mixed with dill and green onion; sautéed cabbage; sauteed mushrooms with onions and sometimes carrots.

Traditional Russian Блины are made from wheat, buckwheat, and other grains, although wheat blini are most popular in Russia. They may be topped with butter, sour cream, honey, fruit preserves or caviar.

rc3Almost all Russian traditional drinks are original and not present in other national cuisines, such as КВАС, МЕДОВУХА, МОРС (fruit drink) and ВОДКА. Hot tea is very popular in Russia, and Russians prefer to drink hot tea even in summer.

take a lesson on Russian Cuisine

More about Russian Cuisine


 

 

 

 

Driving in Russia

In Russia people drive on the right side of the road. Eighteen is the legal driving age.You are required to have a valid driver's license and proof of insurance if driving a private or rented vehicle. Please carry a form of photo ID (passport) and your native driver's license with you.

Speed is measured in kilometres per hour (not miles). Speed limit signs are posted along roads. The speed limit in the city is 60 kph, on the highway - 90 kph.

Remember, that fines for breaking road regulations are rather high. You need a hands-free device to talk on your cell phone while driving. No drinki and driving allowed of course. You may be fined up to 3,000 rubles and receive jail time and your driving licence may be be revoked.

Smoking & Drinking alcohol

Eighteen is the legal smoking and drinking age. Usually no ID is required for purchasing cigarettes or alcohol but it's a good idea to carry yuor ID with you just in case.

Smoking and drinking is not allowed in public places - stadiums and sport centres, parks and recreation areas, hospitals, railroad stations and airports. In bars or restaurants there are usually smoking and non-smoking sections(зал для курящих / зал для некурящих).

Most bars and pubs close at 12pm-2a.m. weeknights and 6-7a.m. on weekends. There are some 24-hours bars as well.

You may buy cigarettes and alcohol in shops, including special liquior stores and grocery stores. Usually they close around 11-12p.m. If it is a 24-hour store, usually you see a special note on the door (Круглосуточно).

 

 

So where do you wanna go?

 

Moscow

St. Petersburg

Yekaterinburg

Kazan

Perm

Novosibirsk

Samara

Vladivostok

Baikal Lake

Sochi

Nizhny Novgorod

Irkutsk

 

 

 

 

 

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