In this page:
Entry Requirements |
Organizing Your Trip |
Living Conditions |
Organizing Your Trip
Means of Transport Recommended in Town
The big cities, in particular Moscow and St Petersburg, have an extensive, fast metro network. For travels between Moskow and St Petersburg, it is advisable to take the high-speed SAPSAN train (4 hour of travel).
The most convenient means of transport remains the taxi. It is best to use official taxis (they have a yellow sign on the roof) for security reasons. If you book the taxi in advance and agree on the fare, you can avoid unpleasant surprises. Take into account that the travel time between the city centre and airports could take long time.
A basic knowledge of Russian is useful for getting around.
- Maps of Urban Networks
Map of the Moscow metro
Map of the St Petersburg metro
Transportation From Airport to City Centre:
Moscow - Domodedovo (DME)
37 km / 23 miles
RUR 750-1000 / 40 min
RUR 30 / 25-30 min
RUR 120 / 40 min
Means of Transport Recommended in the Rest of the Country
The rail network is relatively extensive and good quality. Trains keep to the timetable but they are slow. For security reasons it is better not to travel alone.
Domestic flights have greatly increased over the last few years; but the planes are old and comfort is Spartan for most companies. Accidents still happen quite frequently. Some airlines don't have advanced reservation systems and sell tickets for cash in the airport. Flights are often cancelled.
- Rail Companies
Russian railways (in English)
Traveling By Yourself
Because of climatic conditions and the road network's lack of maintenance, driving is often difficult and dangerous. The sometimes unpredictable behavior of local drivers, an often disconcerting traffic system, the presence of unexpected objects or vehicles on the public highway, all require very careful attention.
The highway police (GAI) frequently make checks; fines for speeding or crossing solid lines have to be paid on the spot. Emergency road services, medical or mechanical, are slow in coming.
There are often traffic jams near large built-up areas, especially Moscow.
On the main roads, the signs are also written in the Roman alphabet.
- Road Maps
- Find an Itinerary
Different Forms of Tourism
Old cities in the European part, and especially the cities of the Golden Ring.
Museums and art galleries in the big cities. Theatre, ballet and opera.
Russia is crammed with natural resources: the Volga, Caucasus and the Urals, the forests of Carelia and Siberia, lake Baïkal, the Kamchatka peninsula.
There are numerous active monasteries across the country.
You should make a note of the monasteries of Suzdal and Sergueiev Possad near Moscow.
Thermal tourism is concentrated mainly in the North Caucasus, around cities such as Mineralny Vody, Kislovodsk, Zheleznovodsk or Essentuki.
Most establishments are Soviet sanatoriums with Spartan comfort.
In summer, people bathe in many lakes and rivers, especially on the island of Serebrianny Bor in Moscow.
There are several resorts on the Black Sea starting with Anapa (sand beach) and Sotchi (pebble beach).
- Winter Sports
Cross-country skiing and skating are practiced practically everywhere in the country.
Downhill skiing is booming. There are bigger resorts in the Caucasus, and also in the Urals and the Kouzbass.
- Outdoor Activities
Fishing, rambling and white-water sports.
Luxury shopping is generally concentrated in the GOUM or TSOUM in Moscow and in the Gostiny Dvor (in Russian) in St Petersburg.
The market in Izmailovsky park is renowned for souvenirs, furs, crafts and other Soviet antiques.
Time Difference and Climate
- Time and Time Difference
It is %T:%M %A In Moscow, Kazan, Saint Petersburg (GMT+3 in winter, GMT+4 in summer)
It is %T:%M %A In Iekaterinbourg, Perm, Chelyabinsk (GMT+5 in winter, GMT+6 in summer)
It is %T:%M %A In Novosibirsk, Omsk (GMT+6 in winter, GMT+7 in summer)
It is %T:%M %A In Vladivostok, Khabarovsk (GMT+10 in winter, GMT+11 in summer)
- Summer Time Period
Summer time from March to October
Map of the Time Zone
- Type of Climate
Winter is long and very harsh (except around the Black Sea) while summer is hot and short.
The best time to visit the country is without doubt during the months of May and June; July and August can be stifling especially in the big cities.
- For Further Information
Federal meteorological service
Russian meteorological institute
Average Annual Temperatures and Rainfall
- Food Specialties
Caviar has always been considered to be the luxury food par excellence.
The Russians eat a great variety of salads (the most famous of which is called 'the olive') and soups (borch, salinaka, yra,...). The ravioli ("pelmeni") from Siberia and the kebabs ("chachlik") from the Caucasus are also among the specialties.
Also called "khlebnoe pivo" (bread beer), le Kvas (or kvass) is a drink much enjoyed in Russia. Mildly alcoholic and sparkling, it is made by fermenting bread in water.
Vodka or "little water" (diminutive of voda, water) is the traditional Russian drink. It is often drunk with canapés called "zakouski".
Russians also drink large quantities of beer ("pivo") and tea ("tchai") which often replaces water.
- Dietary Restrictions
- Domestic Currency
- ISO Code
- To Obtain Domestic Currency
There are many bureaux de change. Foreign currency can also be changed in banks, certain hotels and department stores.
You can also withdraw roubles directly from the many ATMs which take European credit cards such as Visa or MasterCard.
- Possible Means of Payment
Cash is generally preferred. But big hotels, stores or restaurants take credit cards.
- Official Language
- Other Languages Spoken
More than 150 languages are spoken in the Russian Federation and some of them are the official language in a part of the country.
- Business Language
English is more and more widespread.
Managers often understand English better than they speak it. You must be prepared to conduct negotiations in Russian.
- Getting Some Knowledge
Consult the travlang website.
- Free Translation Tools
Multitran : On-line Dictionary including the most important European languages.
Rambler : English and German Dictionary
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Last Updates: January 2015