Russia Quick Guide

So you've decided to embark on a personal tour of Russia. You've done your research, and you know where you're going, but what comes next? Planning a Russia holiday can be a lot more involved than you might think, especially if you want to really experience the country like a true traveler should. The truth is that Russia isn't exactly like an easygoing American tourist destination. This Russia travel guide contains some tips and advice for making your trip truly memorable.

Russia is a huge country, and depending on your purpose for visiting Russia, the best time of year to visit Russia may vary. Yes, I had planned the entire family trip to Russian locations all by myself, gathering much needed information from many different sources, both offline and online. This Russia travel guide covers areas and experiences off the beaten track, other than practical information such as planning a Russia tour, applying for a Russia visitor visa from the Russian authorities, and so on. There are also some useful tips on when is the best time to visit certain places. It is highly recommended to keep these Russia travel guides up to date, and to refer to them often.

Of course, one of the main reasons to visit Russia would be to enjoy the amazing variety of attractions it boasts. This is certainly one major piece of the Russia travel guide, and if you have a list of places you want to visit in Russia, you will certainly benefit from my advice to pack appropriately. Because Russia has a massive variety of attractions ranging from historical sites, stunning beaches, breathtaking landscapes, exciting theme parks, fantastic palaces and magnificent museums, it is important that you make your Russian trip a true success. When planning your trip, it is crucial that you remember to take all necessary precautions to make your trip a success.

My first piece of advice in this Russia travel guide is to make sure you have enough Russian cash with you on your trip. The point is that a large number of Russians today do not hold a bank account, and due to these kinds of circumstances many tourists will face difficulties when trying to pay for things when they get there. If you can, try to use the ATM machine in your hotel during the time you are in Russia. In addition, ensure you use your debit card for all purchases, as Russian banks are known to not accept foreign debit cards. A number of Russia travel guides will indicate whether or not your debit card will be accepted at specific restaurants, shops and ATMs.

Secondly, it is absolutely essential that you understand exactly when to book your accommodation in Russia. The best time to visit Russia is in the summer, between May and August, although there are seasons in which you can visit Russia any time of year. Russia is known for its summer holiday climate, and the best time to see it is from early May to mid October.

Thirdly, you should definitely consider getting assistance when getting around Russia. I've heard countless stories of Russians taking the best of three trips around their country: one for driving, one for sightseeing and one for camping. A lot of Russians would rather hire a guide than paying a lot of money to travel around in a car, which is completely understandable!

On the subject of hiring a car, the Russian tourist visa requirements are quite lenient and you can easily hire a car before you even leave Moscow. The easiest way is to book your trip online with a specialised travel agency, but if you prefer to deal with an ordinary agency it is perfectly acceptable. There is no need to worry about getting the right auto insurance as the rates are extremely reasonable. If you rent a car, you will need to get an individual Russian driving license and it is possible that you may fall foul of the law by failing to display a valid license while you are abroad.

These are just a few of the tips, which are given in the Russia travel guide. This country isn't that hard to reach, but ensure that you follow all of the basic rules. Don't forget to carry enough Russian cash, because visa fraud is quite common. And always remember to read the fine print before agreeing to any trip most websites allow you to print a copy of the Russia tourism laws on-screen!

What vaccinations do I need?

Up to date information for vaccinations before you travel to Russia are available from the NHS Fit for Travel website.

Is it safe to travel?

Best time to visit?

The wettest months are October & November. Tip: the best time to visit St. Petersburg weather-wise is late spring - early June. This is the season when the weather is the most convenient for long hours of sightseeing.

Do I need a Visa?

All British passport holders must have a valid visa prior to travel to Russia. You can either apply for your visa at the Russian Visa Centre (

See which forms you may need for entry into Russia.

What currency do i need?

The official currency of Russia is the Russian Ruble (RUB). If you're looking to transfer or spend money in Russia you can grab amazing Russian Ruble deals via (GBP to RUB).

What about the wildlife?

In the Russian Far East the mammals reported are brown bears, Eurasian lynx, and red deer, Amur tigers, Amur leopards, and Asiatic black bears.

What is the traditional food?

Russian food? Pelmeni is the national dish of Russia. They are pastry dumplings are typically filled with minced meat and wrapped in a thin, pasta-like dough. They can be served alone, slathered in butter and topped with sour cream, or in a soup broth.

What Languages are spoken?

There are over 100 minority languages spoken in Russia today, the most popular of which is Tartar, spoken by more than 3% of the country's population. Other minoritylanguages include Ukrainian, Chuvash, Bashir, Mordvin and Chechen. You can learn some basic Russian before you travel to Russia and really impress the locals!

How much do you tip?

The currency in Russia is the Russian Ruble (Typically in Russia the etiquette is to tip anywhere between 10% and 15% of the bill.Tip in cash, and give it directly to the waiter. Many restaurants don't accept credit cards.).

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Useful Numbers

  • Police: 112
  • Ambulance: 112
  • Fire: 112
  • UK Embassy: +7 495 956-72-00

Time Difference

The GMT time difference is -3 hours

Travel Apps

Grab a travel app or two

Learn Russian

Learn some Russian before your trip to Russia

Russia Guidebook

Stay informed before, during and after your trip to Russia by buying a guidebook.