PASSPORT AND VISAS
1. Foreigners should be in possession of a valid national internal or foreign passport for entry and exit from Russia or for transit through Russia.
2. Foreigners can enter and leave Russia or travel by transit with or without a visa.
Russian entry and exit visas are issued by Russian Consulates and Consular Departments of Russian Embassies abroad.
To obtain a visa, the following documents should be presented to the Consular Office:
a valid passport, duly completed visa application, three recent passport photos (3x4 cm);
a letter from Russian travel agency and a copy our notice confirming the booking of tourist services - to secure a tourist visa.
a ticket (or a voucher for a ticket) with confirmed dates and itinerary of transit travel through Russia, as well as a letter from the travel agency with our confirmation of services provided on arrival and departure, transfer and excursions in the points reserved by the client - to secure a transit visa.
a written invitation from an organization or relatives (friends), located or residing in Russia - to get an ordinary (guest) visa.
The above mentioned documents should be presented in advance to the Russian Consulate in your country, in accordance with the rules established by them.
More infomation about tourist visas...
Russian Embassies & Consulates - Addresses
There are 11 time zones in Russia. The difference between Greenwich Mean Time and the time in some Russian cities is:
Moscow and St. Petersburg: +3
Khabarovsk and the Far East: +10
Air and railway tickets indicate the time of departure and arrival by local time.
Summer daylight saving time is effective on most of the territory of Russia.
Offices 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Service bureaus 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Tipping is not required in Russia and no one should feel obliged to do so. However, many visitors use tipping as a way to show appreciation for a job well done and this is certainly acceptable. Such gestures are voluntary and at the sole discretion of the visitor.
The Russian monetary unit is the rouble. There is no limit to the amount of foreign currency allowed to be brought into Russia. However, all money brought into the country (including traveller's checks) must be declared upon entering the country. In Russia, tourists can exchange any amount of hard currency for roubles at any of the following locations: authorized Russian banks, International exchange offices or foreign currency offices located in major hotels, international airports and sea ports. Exchange rates between the rouble and hard currencies are set by authorized Russian banks within Russia and by authorized banks within each of the independent republics. It is prohibited to take roubles out of Russia. All major credit cards are accepted in Russia including American Express, Diners Club, Eurocard/Mastercard, Visa International and others.
The best stores for shopping in Moscow are the GUM State Department Store on Red Square, Detsky Mir (Children's World), Passazh Shopping Center on Petrovka Street and recently opened Manezh Shopping Center on The Manezh square. Such traditional Russian souvenirs as matryoshka dolls, Palekh boxes and shawls can be bought in numerous shops on Arbat street and Izmailovo Park. All payments are made in roubles.
Working hours for food stores are from 8-9 a.m. to 8-9 pm, for department stores - from 10-11 a.m. to 7-8 p. m. Most department stores are closed on Sundays.
Russian food is famous for its meat dishes, ukha (fish soup), shchi (cabbage soup), pokhlyobka (thick broth), okroshka (cold vegetable soup), bliny (pancakes) with sour cream or caviar, cabbage pie, and beef a la Stroganoff. Siberia is known for its pelmeni (dumplings). Tea with lemon is the traditional Russian beverage.
Theater, concerts, folklore performances, circus can be visited by tourists in big cities. Also numerous restaurants, bars, casinos and night clubs are also available. All information of evening entertainments in Moscow can be obtained at Service Bureau or desks at the hotels.
MAIL AND TELEPHONE SERVICES
The tariff for postal services and international and local telephone service on the territory of Russia is in roubles. Major hotels have post office facilities. Automatic dial telephone service is available in most areas of Russia. Tourists can dial directly from their room phone or from special pay phones in the lobby.
It is recommended to purchase travel insurance before departing for Russia and the CIS or to buy insurance from a CIS insurance company.
HEALTH CARE AND MEDICAL SERVICES
Currently, there are no medical restrictions for entry into Russia. More detailed information is available in local health offices. First aid is provided free of charge if the tourist does not require a doctor or hospitalization.
In an emergency, the unused part of the cost of the tour will be used to pay any hospital bills. If the cost of the stay in hospital exceeds the unused part of the tour, then the tourist is responsible for the remainder of the bill.
Mentally or physically handicapped persons are welcome to travel in Russia if accompanied by a person to cater for them.
The electric current in Russia is 220V. European type plugs are required.
The Metro is the most comfortable and fastest public transportation within a city. The fare for metro journey irrespective of distance in any city is flat. In Moscow passengers buy special travel cards for one, two or more trips in the vestibule of the metro station, put in a turnsstile and pass through when the light turns green.
Tickets are required for bus, trolleybus and train journeys.
One ticket must be validated for each journey.lt is best to purchase tickets prior to boarding, but they can also be purchased directly from the driver once you are on board.
If you need to get a taxi you can either order it at your hotel or hail in the street. Taxis are normally yellow with chekers.
Green light indicates availability of the taxi.