St Basil Cathedral

Russia

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WHAT TO FIND IN THIS TRAVELLING TO RUSSIA PAGE

Snapshot | When to travel | Costs of a Trip to Russia | Films to watch | Blog posts

russian flag

 

The Russian Federation is the largest country in the world, containing 1 eighth of the earth’s inhabited land area, bordering 14 countries: Belarus, Finland, Latvia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Norway, Estonia, Poland (via the Kaliningrad Oblast), Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, China and North Korea. Home of the former Russian Empire and its Czares, a travel to Russia will take you deep into places which one might think is inhabitable – and surely fascinate you by its history, culture and gastronomy too. Russia is near the North Pole than the Equator line, which tell a lot about what to expect too.

Snapshot of Russia

Capital: Moscow
Population: 145 million (2020) (9th)
Rank in territory: (1st)
Currency: Rouble
Currency to US$: approx 68
Currency to EUR: approx 77
Rank in GDP: 11th (1.64 trillion)
Electric Socket: 220V (50Hz) two prong plug (types C, E and F)

Safety

Russia is fairly safe. However, you are susceptible to petty crimes, particularly in major cities, such as Moscow, and in train stations. Note that travelling by train in Russia normally takes a long time and people sleep over, therefore be careful with your belongings when falling asleep. And remember to always travel insured!

Language

Russian – You can get by with basic English, mainly in the major cities - just get by, really. Also, their alphabet is Cyrillic, which makes things even harder. But why not give it a go and try to learn a bit of Russia when you are there?

Religion

Christian Orthodox (43%), Atheist (13%), Islam (7%), Believe in something (25%), Others (12%)

Regions and cities

  • 22 Republics – Nominally autonomous, each has its own constitution and legislature and is represented by the federal government in international affairs. It's meant to be home to a specific ethnic minority.
  • 46 Oblasts (regions) – The most common type of federal subject with a governor and locally elected legislature. Commonly named after their administrative centres.
  • 9 Krays (territories) – Essentially the same as oblasts. The title "krai" ("frontier" or "territory") is historic, related to geographic (frontier) position in a certain period of history. The current krais are not related to frontiers.
  • 3 Federal Cities – Major cities that function as separate regions - Moscow, St Petersburg and Sevastopol (Crimea).
  • 4 Autonomous Okrugs (area) – With a substantial or predominant ethnic minority.
  • 1 Autonomous Oblast (region) – The only autonomous oblast is the Jewish Autonomous Oblast.
  • Most populated cities - Moscow, St Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg, Nizhny Novgorod
  • Most visited cities - St Petersburg, Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan, Kaliningrad
  • Top 5 Monday Feelings places - St Petersburg, Moscow, Irkutsk, Vladmir, Ulan-Ude

Visa

The citizens of CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) member states plus the most of Latin American countries, Israel and South Africa can travel in Russia for 90 days without a visa; visitors from South Korea can visit Russia for 60 days without a visa; while tourists from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cuba, Laos, Macau, Macedonia, Mongolia, Montenegro, Serbia, Seychelles and Thailand, can visit for 30 days without a visa.
Free e-visas for visiting three regions in Russia's Far East (Primorye, Sakhalin, and Kamchatka) are available for tourists from China, Japan, India, Iran, Turkey, Morocco, Mexico, and some other countries.
Tourists from other countries are required to visit a Russian diplomatic mission to purchase a visa. Tourists are required to have a valid passport when crossing the Russian border. Russian visas cannot be purchased at the border. For more information see the visa policy of Russia.

Click here to see the countries that are port of the CIS.
Armenia; Azerbaijan; Belarus; Kazakhstan; Kyrgyzstan; Moldova; Russia; Tajikistan; Uzbekistan

When to travel to Russia

*Best time to travel to Russia is MAY to September*

Weather in Russia

The weather in Russia varies greatly from one part to another - let's not forget that it is the largest country in the world and encompasses the polar areas as well as the subtropical too. In addition, it varies greatly too from summer to winter (from over 30°C to below 25°C, respectively). Also, some cities in Russia, most notorious Saint Petersburg, is famous for the White Nights, when the city sees the sun setting around midnight and is never completely dark. July can be very hot and Russia has no aircon, which can be an issue (who would have thought of that, hey?). On the contrary, they also have the coldest population on earth, the Oymyakon, living with temperatures up to below 70 in the east of Siberia. Best tip here, always check weather forecast when travelling to Russia.

Approximate temperature in Moscow in °C
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Ago Sept Oct Nov Dec
-8 -6 -2 5 14 18 19 18 12 6 2 -5
Approximate temperature in Saint Petersburg in °C
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Ago Sept Oct Nov Dec
-5 -6 1 5 12 15 21 18 13 7 2 -2

Seasons

As the days are considerably longer during the summer and much hotter, you will see a lot more tourists and prices quite higher too. You will already see snow falling from November until even April. The end of December the country is pretty much covered in snow, though they are well-prepared for that, so nothing really stops. March and April are really not the best time to go, because the country will covered in mud from the melting snow.

Low season: November to March
Mid season: April to June and September to October
High season: July to August

best time to visit Russia graph

what to pack

If you are going for the mid and high seasons, you should bring with you a hat, swimming clothes, repellent for mosquitoes and raincoat.
If you are going for the cold season, consider skiing, bring appropriate clothes because it will get really cold.

Costs of a Trip to Russia

Low budget vs Luxury

Russia can pleases many pockets. It's a country affordable for the budget travellers as well as for those looking for a luxury trip.

ACCOMMODATION

accommodation logo

budget - about €10
average - about €20
luxury - about €50+

FOOD

food logo

budget (Cafe Mu Mu) - about €3
average (tourist menu) - about €15
luxury (nice restaurants) - about €35+

TRANSPORT

logo of train

local buses e metro - about €0.6
intercity trains/buses - about €20
intercity trains 1st class - about €90

What to see in Russia

Art and history

art and history symbol

Kremlin
Hermitag Museum

SPORTS AND WELLNESS

sports and welness symbol

Skiing
Saunas

CULTURE AND ENTERTAINMENT

culture and entertainment symbol

Bolshoi and Mariinsky Theater
White Nights

What to eat in Russia

Soups (Okroshka, Borscht, Solyanka)
Stews
Blini

Films to watch

Battleship Potemkin

A film from the acclaimed director Sergei Eisenstein, made in 1925, tells the story of a crew of the battleship Potemkin mutiny against the brutal, tyrannical regime of the vessel's officers in the midst of the Russian Revolution of 1905.

Battleship Potemkin film poster
Brother film poster

Brother

An ex-soldier with a personal honour code enters the family crime business in St. Petersburg, Russia. After finishing his military service, the young Danila Bagrov seeks help from his older brother, a gangster in St. Petersburg, who puts him to work as a hired gun.

Stalker

In an unnamed country at an unspecified time, there is a fiercely protected post-apocalyptic wasteland known as The Zone. An illegal guide, whose mutant child suggests unspeakable horrors within The Zone, leads a writer and a scientist into the heart of the devastation in search of a mythical place known only as The Room. Anyone who enters The Room will supposedly have any of his earthly desires immediately fulfilled.

Stalker film poster
Empire of the Tsars netflix poster

Empire of the Tsars

Historian Lucy Worsley chronicles the triumphs, excesses and violent downfall of the imperial Romanov dynasty, which ruled Russia for three centuries.

Blog posts