11 Tips To Keep In Mind While Travelling To Russia
Traveling to Russia for the first time may seem like a crazy adventure – and though a ‘closed door’ policy was in place for almost a century, Russia is not that scary at all. While touristy cities are well furnished for visitors, there are a few details to contemplate beforehand. The sheer scale of this country makes it the ideal destination for every type of tourist. Adventurous types head to the mountains and lakes for hiking, skiing, and water sports, while those looking for ground-level culture and experience explore the country’s 1,110 cities and towns. Check if you need a Visa. Tourist Visa is in need in case you enter Russian Federation for tourism purposes. A tourist visa can be valid for up to 30 days and can be accommodated for single or double entry. The dates of validity of the visa will coincide with the dates mentioned on your tourist confirmation. The process is fairly elementary, but an invitation from a licensed tourism operator or a Russian citizen is required. The only ambiguity is arriving by cruise ship. Visitors looming by sea are granted 72 hours of visa-free entrance into Russia if they have made arrangements with a travel agent. It’s not a lot of freedom to ramble around, but at least it will save a bit of bash on the visa front.
1. Dress Suitably
Whenever – Whoever comes to Russia thinking that it is freezing all year round will have a very unpleasant surprise upon arrival. Russia does incline to have cold winters, but the summers can also be extremely hot and humid, exclusively in cities like St Petersburg. Needless to say, weather is hard to predict, but an overall understanding of the climate can be incredibly useful when scheduling doings. If traveling during the winter, it’s more significant to protect yourself from the wet, preferably more than the cold. Snow in big cities leans towards melting soon after it falls, turning into sloppy mud, so pack apposite footwear and have a change of socks handy if a lot of walking is on the journey. Layers are relaxed and needed warm coats for outside activities. Dressing like this helps you present an optimistic, professional image of your society to others. Even if you dress unconcernedly, making sure you look neat and put together can advance the reception you receive. Dressing up in traditional, formal commercial attire is standard in Russia. Men should wear suits. Womenfolk should wear skirts that are not too short or revealing.
2. Get apprised of the cuisine
Russian gastronomy has a lot to offer but does throw quite a few unacquainted names at you. Russian cuisine is rich in soups: borsch, fish soup (ukha), pickle soup (rassolnik), okroshka, shchi. They contain meat or fish, vegetables, spices. The first gastronomic symbol of spring is the green soup, which is arranged with sorrel, nettles, fennel, and other herbs, seasoned with egg and sour cream. If you are looking to make the most of your gastronomic visits, do some research in advance of the different food available each season, so you are not wedged eating borscht (beetroot soup). Centrally located restaurants will positively have English-speaking staff to help you out. But if you are in search of a local restaurant, it is wise to be ready.
3. Don’t drink the tap water
Unlike most Western countries where ordering tap water at an eatery is a common concern, Russians unquestionably don’t drink their tap water. It isn’t rare even to unclutter the tap to see some brown water coming out for a bit while. Suffice to say that bottled water is the only one safe to drink, even though don’t fear using water from the tap to brush, your teeth. If you don’t want to fork up for bottled water, boiling water can make it safe to drink, although will having said that it will taste a little bit heavy. As of 2018, more than 11 million Russians do not have admittance to fresh and clean drinking water, according to the Russian regulatory bodies. Reports also show that coarsely one-third of Russia’s population of 144 million drink water with high iron content. These studies show that the west of Russia is the most susceptible region of the country to water trauma.
4. Be Watchful of prices
Obviously, as a tourist, you assume to spend more than your usual local does. For example, museum tickets for immigrants in Russia are more expensive and, yes, they will enquire to see your passport. Still, remember that Russia is not the most exclusive and expensive country in Europe and prices are usually quite average. So, when choosing a restaurant, taking a cab, or buying mementos but even a quick look on the internet will prevent any financial disappointments. Life for outcasts in Russia is generally comfortable, with expenses such as groceries and value bills being fairly reasonable even in major cities such as Moscow. Outside of the foremost metropolitan areas, charges are even cheaper, with lesser bills for food and transportation. be watchful of what the prices should be. The best means is to ask inhabitants for recommendations.
5. Interchange money in advance
It’s best not to set out into the city without any cash handy. Russia is steadily making the conversion from cash to credit, debit and cards are generally accepted, but you may never know what the exchange proportion might be and if Russian banks will accept your cards. Also, public transportation is usually paid for with cash, and some taxis are unable to accept cards. Tipping is expected at eateries which are done for cash after paying the invoice or bill. To avoid any difficulty, exchange your local currency for roubles in advance to get a good rate, and have it ready before traveling. Exchanging money is important because the exchange rate, the price of one currency in terms of another, helps to determine a nation’s economic health and hence the well-being of all the people residing in it. Reminisce, the innocent and safest option is to exchange money in a bank.
6. Respect local customs
There are determined do’s and don’ts when incoming in any country. Russia is becoming more annoyance-free over the years, but being an honestly traditional society, there are certain rules-regulations and expectations that people follow. Like, if invited to a Russian home, visitors are expected to follow decorum, like bringing a small gift upon arrival. Also, the dress code is quite vital in theatres and some restaurants. Nobody will stop you from entering, but it’s best to be ready than wearing some jeans in a crowd of formally and appropriately dressed people. As well, visiting Russian Traditional churches implies several rules: women should cover their heads and wear long skirts, trousers are mostly allowed and men should wear long trousers as well as take any headwear.
7. Plan a proposed outline
Good drafting allows you to accelerate the time they have away. By certifying each small detail that is included in the document, there will be no time for unexploited wandering between places, activities, or quartering. This will represent a representative view of how much can fit into an each-every day and manage prospects. Preparation and planning are key when visiting Russia – in Moscow and St Petersburg particularly, there is much to see and do. With limited time and alternative museum closure days, it’s good to plan of getting there. Some attractions are also located outside of the city and would also need traveling time factored in. Of course, a spontaneous trip is never out of the question, but arriving with a general understanding of what exactly is of interest to you and when is the best time to visit is beneficial. Unless staying for an extensive period, seeing everything will be an unlikely ordeal, so don’t be afraid to be picky.
8. Cram or download a phrasebook
While this may vary from terminus to terminus, generally Russians are not that good at speaking English. Indeed, they do study it from an early age and many have a good concern but are just usually bashful to speak. Restaurants incline to have menus in English, people working in the service sector or tourism speak a second or third language, but a general stranger may not be able to properly explain itself. So get ready with some phrasebooks-guidebooks and maps that you could use as supporters. Cramming a few useful words and phrases may also be a good impression, not just to assist in an emergency, but also to impress the occasional local with a considerate and polite ‘spasibo‘ (thank you]. Putting a thumb up is considered a very rude and ill-mannered sign in Russia.
9. Research public transport
Public transportation is the best way to move around in most cities, particularly the larger ones prepared with a subway system. The underground inclines to be more handler-friendly as maps are interpreted into English, but staff or employees usually won’t be helping you with buying tickets or answering any questions about directions or supervision. Accordingly, make sure you know how the structure works. Like, where to buy the tickets and how to use the underpass map. Furthermore, when wandering by bus or underground, pay clear attention to the names of the stations proclaimed and announced. It is usually only in Russian, but English maps give a phonic transcription, better listen closely. Railways are the foremost mode of transportation.
10. Trust that Russia is safe
Meaning of course that traveling to Russia is as safe as visiting any other European country. Petty crimes such as pickpocketing are still very common, which is no different from any other tourist destination, but there is no violent crime in broad daylight. Exercise due carefulness in crowds, and being careful not to get scammed in tourist traps are the most important points to remember. If anything does occur, hotels will help reach out to the police or delegates in case of lost passports. But again, these are doubtful events. Crime tolls in Russia are dropping and have decreased considerably over the past two to three decades. As a result, deportees will feel safe in Russia. In spite of decreasing crime rates, one must constantly be aware of the risks of robbery, beat-up, and petty crime. If you’re traveling as a tourist to large cities such as Moscow, St. Petersburg, Vladivostok, etc, or if you take the Trans-Siberian railway route. Although, there are several risk areas in Russia, which is worthwhile advisable not to travel to the border along with Ukraine.