Russia - Traveling
Organizing your trip
Means of transport recommended in town
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.
Means of transport recommended in the rest of the country
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.
|Name||Type||Domestic flights||International flights|
|Sibir Airlines (S7)||Major||Yes||Yes|
|KD Avia||low cost||Yes||Yes|
|Sky Express||Low cost||Yes||No|
Traveling by yourself
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.
Different forms of tourism
You should make a note of the monasteries of Suzdal and Sergueiev Possad near Moscow.
Most establishments are Soviet sanatoriums with Spartan comfort.
There are several resorts on the Black Sea starting with Anapa (sand beach) and Sotchi (pebble beach).
Downhill skiing is booming. There are bigger resorts in the Caucasus, and also in the Urals and the Kouzbass.
Health and safety
Visitors staying more than 3 months must produce a certificate of HIV-negative status (see this with the Embassy).
Because counterfeiting of medicines has increased so much in Russia, travelers are advised to take with them the medicines they need for their state of health or for treatment.
Time difference and climate
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.
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.
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.