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ORGANIZE YOUR TRIP TO RUSSIA STEP BY STEP
Hello! I'm Ory! The creator of the Russian Lover website. How are you?
From now on I will share my experience with you so that you can achieve travel to Russia smoothly.
If you have reached this section it means that you have already received the call of Mother Russia ...
Congratulations! This is the beginning of your own Russian adventure!
Whether you know much about Russia or not ... do not worry! Coming Soon I will solve all your doubts and in the blink of an eye you will be stepping on the Russian steppe or making friends with Siberian bears.
A little context about my personal experience ...
The year 2011 was running there when, without knowing too well why, I decided to travel for the first time to the largest country in the world, for me totally unknown at the time. I did not even know that I could be found in these parts and many important historical and cultural facts about the country I did not know about. But I thought it was a very interesting country, mysterious and good ... its women are very beautiful! If you are a man and you continue reading these lines, tell yourself what can happen to you as I do. Unexpectedly you will end up happily married in Russia and start your new life in the biggest country in the world. Well, if you are a woman, tell you that Russian men are very gentlemanly, strong and definitely men from head to toe.
Well, what are we talking about? This is not a dating house! We're going to travel to Russia ... 🙂
My Russian adventure began with a simple tourist trip to St. Petersburg. Today I live in Moscow and I continue to enjoy and discover the secrets of this great country that gave me a new family and many unforgettable moments.
I advise that from now on you leave all your fears and prejudices behind, erase from your memory all the Hollywood movies that have fed your darkest imagination and prepare the suitcase to make the trip that will surely change your life.
THE FINAL GUIDE TO ORGANIZE YOUR TRIP TO RUSSIA FOR YOUR ACCOUNT
1-. LOOK AT THE MAP!
This premise seems silly in the case of the largest country in the world, but it is not. If you are traveling to any country in the world, you should know where it is located, how many kilometers from your home, which borders will cross your path and which important cities will be marked on your route. Russia is almost 2 times bigger than the whole of Europe, so it is fundamental that you understand where you are going to situate yourself concretely. If it's going to be your first time in Russia, I advise you to take the reference of Moscow and St. Petersburg. Although I now live in Moscow, the first time I stepped on Russia was in the city of St. Petersburg. To begin with, I sincerely believe that it is the friendliest city and will definitely make you fall in love with this country. Some say it is the most beautiful city in the world and surely it is.
All right. Once you look at the map and if you live in Spain for example, you will have already taken away that idea that Russia is so far away. They are less than 4000 Km ... 4 hours and a half of plane in direct flight to the capital! If you want, unless you sing a cock, you plant in the land of infinite vodka. Do not be fooled by the news on TV. The only border that there is to travel to Russia is that of your mind. Russia is a wonderful country and it is being modernized at a much higher speed than most European cities. The change that its main cities have made after the 2018 World Cup in Russia has been simply spectacular.
If you want, you can continue reading this guide and In less than half an hour you will have your tickets booked and your trip planned. But if you do not know anything about Russia. Maybe you take a walk around the Blog of Russian Lover? In it you will find infinite articles on tourism, cities of Russia, culture, society etc ... Do not forget to follow our publications and share them with your friends!
2-. PACK YOUR BAGS!
If you are already decided to travel to Russia, I advise you to pack your bags right now, because very soon you will be at the airport. The following steps are so easy that you will be surprised and ask Why had not I traveled to Russia before?
By the way ... How are you doing with the Russian language?
#Hello in Russian is #Priviet
Well, you already knew ...
Well #Potato is # Kartoshka ... Is this too?
#Perro is #Sabaka, #Sol is #Solnze, #Calle is #Ulitza, #Guapa is # Krasivaya ... #I love you is #Ya liubliu tebya ...
Surely with some I've caught you, huh? Do we write them in Cyrillic? ... Well, okay, for later we leave.
Do not worry. If you are only going to go sightseeing in Russia, you do not need to study the Russian language, but if you have plans beyond a vacation and you really want to know the culture and people of this country, I recommend that you begin to value the possibility of studying Russian language in depth. If you want to work in Russia, without knowing Russian there are very few possibilities.
I advise you to start study Russian with an online course that offers you a simple and fun method. Then you will decide if Russian is your thing or not, and you will sign up for a language school. Studying Russian seriously can meaningfully occupy the next 5 or 10 years of your life. If you want in Russian Lover we propose you different ways of studying Russian. From studying at home at your own pace, to studying language studies in Moscow or St. Petersburg.
Are you ready to study Russian? ...
3-. CHOOSE THE DATES OF YOUR TRIP
Unlike most citizens of Latin American countries, if you live in a European country such as Spain, you should plan your trip more ahead of time because as you will see later in the next point, you need a mandatory VISA to be able to enter Russia. This is the most uncomfortable point of your trip, but we will solve it in a jiffy. For citizens of South American countries, this requirement will not be necessary since they enjoy a visa-free regime. Although in Russia the laws and regulations change from day to morning and I recommend asking at the consulates of each country about the issue of visas. For the time being you can check this list of countries without mandatory visa regime.
So, it would be It is advisable to book the trip with at least 30 days in advance so that you have plenty of time to have everything under control, especially if it is the first time you travel to Russia. Then you will see that everything is easier than it seems. Oh! If you are a somewhat clueless person, right now you can check the status of your passport ... You will not have it expired right? Run, run ... look at it or you run out of travel ...
By the way, have you already decided which Russian city you are going to fly? Well, the easiest entry is Moscow and St. Petersburg, but if you have other plans ... then I leave you a small post where you can find the most tourist cities in Russia and very affordable prices for flights.
4-. THE AIRCRAFT TICKETS
If you have already decided which Russian city you are going to travel to, obviously you need to buy the plane tickets. Traveling to Russia is no more difficult than traveling to any other country. So this guide is only really to give a little emotion to the matter 🙂
Find cheap flights with the powerful comparator Momondo.
And if you want I give you another option to compare comparators and do not say you have not found the cheapest flight of all ... The powerful mega comparator skyscanner.
Hmm ... wait. If you do not reside in Spain, you may be interested in finding flights in dollars or other currencies. Then I recommend the global search engine Jetradar
Take your time to finish choosing dates and destinations ... I wait for you, I'm in no hurry. I'm already in Russia waiting for you 🙂
By the way, here is one list with the most important airports in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Any of them is valid, just keep in mind the distances when booking the hotel, as it could be too far from the airport. Remember to look at the map again and again. Here in Russia everything is huge.
Main Airports of RUSSIA
- International Airport Sheremetyevo (SVO) to 29 km northwest of the city.
- International Airport Domodedovo (DME) to 34 km south of the city.
- International Airport Vnukovo (VKO) to 28 KM from the center of the city.
International Airport Pulkovo (LED) 17 km south of the city
Already have you bought the plane tickets?
Buying tickets is the most important step, because when you finish the purchase of them means that you are virtually treading your destiny. If you buy them right now, there is no turning back. You are going to travel to Russia even if your neighbor is against ...
Well, jokes aside, you probably do not usually buy tickets so lightly so you should know that there are many tours and vacation packages that many travel agencies offer and that for many can be an ideal option to solve everything at once and not even read these steps. Of course, you will usually pay a higher amount than you would pay organizing everything on your own ... But you will have everything controlled by heart and with a program organized by professionals and including guide, transportation, excursions, diets ...
On the Web www.atrapalo.com They have endless organized trips and circuits around Russia that are usually very up to date and with constant discounts. It does not hurt to keep an eye on them, there are even times when everything could be more profitable than organizing it on your own if there is a planetary alignment ... Mmm, sometimes these things happen. To me in the organized trip ... they already included me the permanent stay, the marriage, a French bulldog dog and even a web about Russia that is reading at the moment ...
If you have not been happy with the organized travel offers of atrapalo.com, then do not be sad. If you wanted Borsch, two cups. Here I leave the offers of another website that is also highly recommended, especially for residents in Spain, Muchoviaje
Well, you've already realized that paying Vladimir Putin sings ... I personally, I recommend that you make all your reservations for free, using the links that I show you on this page, especially if you are young and you know some languages (eg English) . This way you will save an impressive amount of money and your adventure will be a thousand times more intense. But if languages are not your thing and you are afraid to face the trip with a pocket guide and your mobile translator, then it makes sense to acquire a customized vacation package so that everything is under control. Ay, ay, ay ... we get older.
Well, if you are the most daring and you organize everything on your own or want to add a personalized bonus to your organized trip, I recommend booking a TOUR WITH A GUIDE FOR RUSSIA In Spanish language. Really the prices are very cheap and it is very worth having someone to explain to you that the Russian matter is going ... If you are going in a group, with more reason still. There is a huge amount of things to see in Russia and if you think that in 4 or 5 days you will be able to soak up everything for yourself, you better make plans to stay here ... I have been living in Moscow since 2013 and not yet I know not half of the mass. Every day I keep discovering things and if I like something in this country, it never ends and never abhors you. Well ... the cold sometimes becomes unbearable ... but that's another issue and they say that it keeps)
5-. CHOOSE YOUR HOTEL
In Russia you need a place to settle. Finding a nice place is essential so that the experience of your trip is satisfactory. Cities like Moscow or St. Petersburg are HUGE And if you're not used to this type of urban mastodon, they can give you a lot of vertigo. That's why I suggest that if it's your first time in Russia, look for central and well-connected areas, close to tourist attractions and well-known metro stations. The hotel offer in Russia is immense and you can find very comfortable and luxurious places, or otherwise come across a site that does not meet your expectations at all. The tourism sector is experiencing a revolution in Russia but choosing a good hotel is not an easy task. If you are used to European quality and do not settle for little, you should choose hotels from 3 stars. Of the total budget of your trip, where I would save the least in expenses, is in the accommodation. If you have a good budget do not worry, there are hotels in Russia worthy of Tsars and Emperors. And if you are young and you do not arrive ... Then you will live like me the experience of the communitarian baths of the Soviet Union! Often simple and modest plans are much more interesting. In any case, the course of the current ruble is very favorable for those who pay in dollars and euros. So there's a lot to choose from at a good price.
Do not risk with the hotel and search the internet for those who have good services and processing of documents such as the INVITATION or VOUCHER letter (you will need it to formalize your visa), taxi, good internet, contact with official administrations, health services, payment by card etc ...
A good hotel is always a guarantee and support for the solution of possible contingencies.
Well, you'll tell me how it went! My wife and I love choosing hotels when we travel. I hope you also have a good time with this task!
6-. THE RUSSIAN VISA (Mandatory countries)
The visa is a stamp as a sticker with a hologram that the Russian consulate in your country is going to paste in your passport so you can cross the Russian borders. Citizens of most Latin American countries do not need this type of procedure (lucky ...).
If you are a Spanish national, you need a Russian visa to travel to Russia. To formalize the visa you must visit the website of the Russian consulate in your country. In Spain they are located in Madrid y Barcelona. You should ask what documents and information are required. Going directly to the consulate to formalize the visa will allow you to save a lot of money but you will notice that the paperwork they are going to request is quite cumbersome and you will have to obtain for yourself documents such as Invitation letter / Voucher. And is that to enter Russia you need to be invited, and this invitation can come from an individual, a hotel, a company etc ... That's why, and as I have recommended before, if you have a good hotel, this will provide much the paperwork as well as the later Compulsory Registration that you must formalize once arrived in Russia. If your hotel is good, you will do it for free and without problems, otherwise you will have to pay an additional fee. This is one of the things I did not know when I traveled to Russia for the first time. Therefore, do not stop reading my advice.
In Russia they say: We are not so rich that we can buy cheap things.
Well, if you're getting a little dizzy and you're missing the thread ... Organizing the trip on your own is not for you. You always have the option that we have commented above ... ORGANIZED TRIP. You pay to touch tile ... and you forget this guide forever) Have you saved enough?
Come on, there's little left. How about a motivating video?
7-. TRAVEL INSURANCE
You need compulsory travel medical insurance to travel to Russia. In fact you need it to process the visa from the previous section. Obtaining it is as easy as accessing your trusted online insurance company and taking out insurance for the time of your stay in Russia. They are not usually too expensive and the expedition of it is instantaneous once you have made the online payment. You print it from your own home and deliver it along with the visa papaelo. Make sure it covers the bear bites that walk the streets of Moscow! (It's a joke in case).
8-. READY TO TRAVEL!
If you have the tickets, the hotel, the visa and a lot of desire to travel ... You are ready @!
Remember that if you are going to travel in summer, in Russia it is quite hot so you will surely go all day in short sleeves. But if it is true that in cities like Saint Petersburg you can take some fright with the rain and you can spend some cold and windy moments. I myself have experienced in St. Petersburg being in the morning quietly at 25 degrees in short sleeves and at night being shivering at 0 degrees. So take some warm clothes and stay tuned for the weather forecast. If you go at other times of the year, which I recommend, since the Russian winter is impressive, make sure you wear appropriate warm clothes to go out on the street. Well if you are going to take long walks you should be prepared for extreme negative temperatures especially in the most humid areas. Not to be alarmed, I tell you in good hands that in cities like Moscow, the cold can stand very well if you are well wrapped, as it is not usually too windy and it is a rather dry climate. In Russia they say something like it's never too cold ... It's just your clothes that you do not harbor.
COMPLEMENTARY TRAVEL GUIDE (VERY RECOMMENDED)
If you are one of the most perfectionists and want to have everything under control to the smallest detail ... Russian Lover recommends you the RUSSIA GUIDE, the most complete guide to organize your trip to Russia online. Today, this guide is the most professional information product, with the highest quality and the most orderly about Russia. Its price is very cheap and it is a small investment that we recommend you to make your trip to Russia simply be the best experience of your life.
The guide has detailed information about the planning of the trips, the customs procedures that you will have to carry out when you arrive in Russia, a complete control list with all the documentation and luggage that you will need to take, itineraries through Moscow and Saint Petersburg,
As you say? Do not want to spend 1 EURO on a travel guide? Well, then do not say that in Russian Lover we did not want to help you ... Really the RUSSIA GUIDE is worth it and I can assure you that the information it offers is totally detailed, schematic, concrete and overwhelmingly useful. Remember that Russia is the largest country in the world and if you are not used to mastodyntic experiences, disorientation is assured. In addition, surely this is a trip for which you are going to have to save a good amount of money and maybe you only have the chance to do it once in a lifetime. The RUSSIA GUIDE will allow you to simply squeeze the experience of traveling to Russia to the fullest.
Now, with so much information, it's just about collecting experiences and enjoying Russia. Stalin's towers are wonderful, for example. Maybe you are the next Russian Lover?
WELCOME TO RUSSIA
¡Felicidades! If you have arrived here, you will surely have your tickets, your reserved hotel, medical insurance, your travel guide, you have signed up for a Russian course and maybe you have started the process of your visa. We can already say that you are half Russian!
Remember that if you want to learn more about Russia and discover the secrets of the largest country in the world, you can always visit the BLOG OF RUSSIAN LOVER
Oh and remember! If this humble guide has helped you, please share it with your loved ones, friends, coworkers etc ... You can give it to the Facebook or WhatsApp button ... Maybe your neighbor goes to live in Russia and leaves you alone time)
SOME DETAILS AND ADVICE FOR TRAVELING TO RUSSIA
Then we could talk about transportation in Russia, your currency, calls abroad, souvenirs, customs, basic rules, precautions and other necessary tips for your trip. I want everything to turn out perfect.
As I told you before, in Russia security is the priority. So if you go to cities like Moscow, you will be surprised at the amount of policemen in the streets watching over public order. That is why at any time you can ask for the relevant documentation, so you must take your passport with you. And yes! Carry it on but do not lose it because it would be a big mess ... But if you still lose it ... and for any other mishap, it is best to always have at hand the data of the consulate of your country in Russia. Here is the contact page with the General Consulate of Spain in Russia. The best will be to write down the addresses, emergency telephones and others for any mishap you may have.
Money and customs:
In Russia the ruble is your official currency, so you must change your money from dollars, euros, Swiss francs ... to rubles to be able to buy Matrioshkas and whatever you want in Russia. But do not worry about changing too much and crazy. Perhaps in the airport of your country or in your own bank, the change will be much more unfavorable than in Russia. Here there is a great tradition of change and the course is usually very competitive. So as always, learn about the current change and compare intelligently to get the most out of it. In the center of Russian cities there are usually many exchange offices. But as personal advice, it would be best to make sure that your credit card has sufficient funds to make it one of the main payment methods. It is the most comfortable and safe.
If you still feel more comfortable with cash, know that you can enter the country with an equivalent of 3000 dollars without having to declare. If you want to enter more money you must fill in additional forms that should not be too problematic.
A little more customs:
If you come for a safe visit, you will bring your suitcases full of wine, ham, cheese and other products from your land to give to your Russian friends. Be careful not to spend with the liters and KG because there may be maximum fees and may have an additional cost. Check with your airline and watch over everything with cigarettes, alcohol and this kind of stuff. This is applicable to the return trip when you come loaded with vodka, caviar and products from the country. Find out if in your country these products are legal and in what quantity they are allowed.
The weather: (VERY IMPORTANT)
As you know, in Russia it's cold. I can corroborate this personally and I would even say that it is very cold or cold devils ... Well, I know that and everyone knows it. What is not clear to everyone is that it is only cold in winter and that although it costs to believe, in Russia there are stations, even summer. Well, leaving aside Siberia and the remote places of the planet, in the Russian capitals and my own experience, the thing is usually like this ...
January: The month that almost certainly there is a good pack of snow on the street and it is normal that the maximum temperature is not higher than -5 degrees. But do not think you're going to be -25, -30 or -35 every day as some preach. Cooler temperatures than -20 occur every year but can be days counted or if you hurry me a week in a row. The normal is between -5 and -15 degrees.
February: It is the coldest month in theory, following the same pattern as in January and it is very likely that you will experience the lowest temperatures of the year. Although it depends on how it bites the climate change ... there may be some week with positive temperatures of up to + 5 degrees. That there are positive temperatures when everything is snowy is the worst thing that can happen, because the snow melts, everything is soaked, dirty and at night it turns into a skating rink and falls ... I like it more when it does cold devils ... Then it is luxury in the street, without humidity And without microbes!
March: Transition between the climatic winter and the climatic spring. I say climatic because on paper it is officially spring since March's 1 day. It is a month that heavy snow falls but tends to bring negative temperatures to positive. The sun starts to come out in a stable way and it turns all greenish color. You will notice that people start to change their mood and they are all happier.
April May: The winter is over, and the temperatures are already positive and the temperatures and the sun invite you to walk and be outdoors. But do not keep warm clothes too far away because you can always get scared. From now on the days will be longer giving way to white nights where it does not darken completely. It's time to enjoy the true colors of Russia's landscapes.
June, July and August: Yes, in Russia there is summer, warmth and even hot flashes. Well, prepare your short-sleeved clothes, your beach sandals and make yourself comfortable because here the environment also gets hot and they sell ice creams in every corner. Well ice cream is sold all year round in Russia, it's something that has always surprised me.
As a curiosity and above all if you are a woman, the Muscovite asphalt gets so hot in the summer that your heels will melt ... And I'm not kidding ... Likewise and as I have explained many times ... You can find the 4 seasons of the year in a single day! Especially in St. Petersburg, so a waterproof jacket by hand will never be over.
September October: You can already see that it has begun to refresh in an important way ... But do not lose faith ... There is still some mini summer to enjoy, so the short sleeve clothes do not leave it too far either. Hope never gets lost say ...
November: He already scratches by speaking clearly ... Everyone has understood that the good is over and the harsh Russian Winter begins. Negative temperatures begin to appear although it does not usually snow. Let's say it's still not safe to use the car's trunk as a freezer and store the meat ... Ehmm ... if I do it. November is a month of transition, something gray and dull. I recommend you better, choose the cold cold, or the summer heat.
December: Well, everyone is already waiting for the snow and although it is not Christmas ... as if it were ... the cities are already beginning to decorate themselves with Christmas lights ... And I assure you that this is a spectacle ... And ... when ... it falls ... the snow ... simply because magic pottery. Everything becomes a postcard. Do not hesitate to come in winter. It is an unforgettable experience. And if you are cold then ... hears! They say that you live more years with the cold and you do not get wrinkles.
You have to choose ... Summer or winter?
Call abroad and Internet connection from Russia:
In the modern era of information and mobile devices, communicating abroad is a minor issue. You already know that the most comfortable and cheap thing to do is to call from the hotel through your WIFI connection using services such as Skype, Whatsapp, Viber. In this way we forget to dial prefixes and additional charges. If you want, you can buy a SIM card in Russia at any phone store to also enjoy Internet 4G + on the street and anywhere. At the airport they also sell them but it is certainly cheaper in the city. In Russia the Internet is very fast and very cheap. For approximately 200 rubles you will have a card of these characteristics and you do not need to make any contract. In Russia there are no permanent contracts with telephone companies! Long live freedom!
Style and cost of living in Russia:
Russia left the Communist Soviet era relatively recently in the timeline but due to the brutal development of the country and its status as a hyper-technological territory, you will find a way of life very similar to that of any developed European city. In Russia you will not miss anything and you will see that people and especially young people, like to dress fashionably, spend money, use technological gadgets, eat in fast food restaurants and go out to parties to fashion clubs. But even though the Russian landscape is changing at the speed of light, the Soviet infrastructure and the ways of life of yesteryear are still latent in a way proportional to the distance from which we move away from the most capitalist urban centers. So, in the big cities the cost of living is quite high, in Moscow much more than in St. Petersburg, but you will be very well priced always keeping in mind that you have changed your money from a foreign currency to Russian rubles that lately They are very cheap.
One of the biggest barriers when it comes to traveling to Russia is the language, especially for its Cyrillic alphabet that makes it impossible to read if you do not know anything about Russian. But do not worry ... Now I explain. And is that the Cyrillic alphabet is not what it seems ... If you insist you can learn it in less than an hour and start deciphering successfully the pronunciation of words. In this way, for example, you can read the names of the subway stations or know if the place in front is a pharmacy or a store of products. It really is very fun to study and you can try it right now by taking the phonetic chart of the sounds of the Cyrillic alphabet and comparing it with the Latin sounds.
Try reading these words: Луна, артерия, паркинг, Америка, Космос ...
Try it and tell me!
Луна, артерия, паркинг, Америка, Космос ...
If you have managed to read any of these words you have a great Russian future! With a small pocket guide, your mobile translator and a little intuition, you can travel to Russia without probelamas! Also in the center and in many establishments you will find things translated in several languages. Above all I recommend you to know some English that is the most universal language. If you do not see anything clear about the Russian or you want to move around not so central, I recommend that you study a little Russian. You can do it from home or from anywhere with an online course for your favorite electronic device. No matter what level you have, whether you're starting from scratch or you want to improve the language for more advanced levels or for business, you can do it here: Start studying Russian now.
If you come to Russia you can not go home without taking your mother a Matrioshka and your father a Ushanka! And well, if you get the budget you can bring back some lacquered box, a jewel of amber, a Jojloma (painting on wooden tableware), a birch figure or a Pavlovsky Posad scarf ... Actually there are thousands of typical things but the best thing is that you walk through one of the flea markets and choose what you like. It will not be an easy task to choose because everything is precious. In Moscow I recommend that you visit the White Kremlin, there is a huge market and you can leave the gifts ready for your whole family. In any case you can go through the Russian store of Russian Lover and make the purchases you need when you want and at the best price.
Mobility and transport in Russia:
Both in Moscow and in St. Petersburg, I advise you to move by subway. In Moscow, the subway is the most efficient and fastest means of transport. In fact it is one of the most frequent trains in the world. If you do not fit in a car you will not have to wait a minute for another train to come. The ticket price is 50 rubles per trip and it is advisable to buy multi-travel vouchers because it will be much cheaper. Other types of transport such as the car, the bus, the Marshrutkas or the tram, I do not recommend them unless you know very well where you are going and at what time. The big problem in Moscow is traffic. If you stay bottled on a highway for hours, you will not want to come back anymore. Why complicate life? By metro you get everywhere and fast. There are a multitude of metro lines and more than 200 stations!