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Russia travel tips on money saving, personal safety, sightseeing, and enjoying your trip to the fullest from InfoHub suppliers and community members.
Bicycle Carriage on Trains in Russia
Submitted by M05728
Long-distance trains:
According to the regulations every passenger may carry up to 36 kg (50 kg for the 1 class). Bicycles should be demounted (at least wheels, pedals, handlebar) and covered. The main problem is to ... view more find place to keep especially if there are more than one bicycle. In the 3 class it is easier because there are special luggage berths there.

Commuter trains (electrichka):
Bicycle tickets fare is about 1 Euros. No special cars or place for bicycles. In some trains there is a lot of space, in some space is very limited (you should apply your creativity to put your bicycle).

Clothing & Climate Tips
Submitted by M08364
Medium weight clothes are recommended as a base. A raincoat, woolen sweater, wind breaker and good walking shoes are essential. The average temperatures in Scandinavia/Russia/The Baltics during the period May through ... view more September are around 70° F with low humidity. In top Scandinavian restaurants, gentlemen are required to wear a jacket and tie.
Passport and Russian Visa tips
Submitted by M08558
It is required to have a valid international passport and Russian visa. Russian visa can be obtained in Russian consulates in your country. A letter of invitation from your travel agency is needed together with your ... view more passport, pictures, application form and payment to get a tourist visa.

It is recommendable to have a copy of your passport and visa in a separate place from originals when you travel within Russia. It is much faster to renew your passport in case you loose it if you have a copy of your passport. Always carry your passport and hotel card with you when you leave the hotel. Hotel cards have the address of the hotel which is very convenient if you loose the sight of your group.

Travel insurance in Russia
Submitted by M08558
We suggest that you be fully covered with theft, loss and disability policies prior to your arrival to Russia. This does not mean that thefts are more prevalent here than elsewhere but you will be covering a lot of ... view more territory and we advise it for precaution's sake.
Phone call tips in Russia
Submitted by M08558
It is usually very costly to make a international phone call from a hotel room. Expect your bill to be USD3-8 per minute.

We advise your relatives to call you in the hotel or you can buy a Russian sim card for your ... view more GSM phone. All incoming phone calls in the city where you bought your sim card are free of charge. As soon as you leave the city where you bought your card you will have to pay for roaming which might be expensive. Just buy another sim card in the next city.

To call internationally you need to dial 8-10 to get international line, than 1 for US, 44 for UK, than area code and phone number. We appreciate you talking a lot to your relatives helping Russian economy.

Airport and train station tips
Submitted by M08558
We advise to arrive to the airport 3 hours prior to the international and 1,5 hours to domestic planes and 45 minutes to the train departure.
- Do not leave your belongings unattended.
- Do not take packages from ... view more people you do not know.
- Remember you are responsible for anything you take across the boarder.

Custom regulation tips in Russia
Submitted by M08558
Immigration card is a very important document together with your passport and visa. It is given to you during the flight or when crossing the boarder. You will have to state the name of the company which issued your ... view more invitation letter together with address and phone number on your immigration card. Come prepared.

Do not lose your immigration card! It is advisable to staple it in your passport not to loose it. Hotels will stamp the card when registering your.

The amount of USD3000 per person can be brought to Russia without declaring it. In case you bring more money you must fill a declaration form and proceed through red channel. In case you bring musical instruments or antique items to Russia you must declare them and go through red channel. Make sure that the custom officer stamps your declaration form! It is your responsibility to declare these items.

You cannot take out of Russia works of art such as paintings, sculptures, antiques, icons painted before 1950. Only 2 cans of caviar and 1 litter (usually 2 bottles of vodka) of liqueur is allowed to be taken out of the country officially.

In case you take contemporary works of art such as paintings on canvas you should get a permit from the Ministry of Culture. Receipt from the shop is not good for taking works of art out of the country.

No one is allowed to take ruble banknotes out of Russia. But if you take some we would thank you for helping our currency to get stronger.

Weight limitation tips.
Submitted by M08558
Officially there is a limitation of weight of the luggage a foreign traveler can bring with him on a trip duty free. It is 50 kg (100 pounds) per person. But usually if a traveler has not more than two suitcases with him ... view more the luggage is not weighted. Allowance on domestic flights and trains is only 25kg (50 pounds) per person.
Drinking water in Russia
Submitted by M08558
It is recommendable to drink only boiled water, bottled water or use water purification tablets. You can only carry 300ml of water with you on board a plane. The bottle must fit into a small plastic bag.
Behaviour tips
Submitted by M08558
Moscow is a big city and all visitors should realize and always remember this fact. General precautions should be taken to escape unpleasant situations:
- Do not leave valuables in your hotel room - use hotel safes,
... view more
- Do not go to dark areas and parks at night,
- Do not talk to strange people,
- Do not show that you have a lot of cash with you,
- Do not carry cash in purses or bags - have it in your inside pockets,
- Do not take a cab if there is someone else in the car except the driver,
- Do not give money to gypsies. A lot of gypsy kids and some gypsy women near you can be very dangerous even during broad daylight.

In case you decide to go somewhere by yourself it is advisable to inform your roommate or the tour leader where you are going and approximately the time when you are planning to be back in hotel.

Crossing streets in Russia
Submitted by M08558
Be very careful when crossing streets. Cars in Russia do not wait for pedestrians.
Tipping in Russia
Submitted by M08558
- Regular tip in restaurants is 7-10%.
- Porterage tips in hotels is USD1 per bag.
- Guides - USD1-2 per day/per person in case of group travel.
- Drivers - USD0,5-1 per day in case of group travel.
What kind of money should I bring to Russia?
Submitted by M08558
The official currency in Russia is ruble. The coins are kopecks. There are 100 kopecks in one ruble. There is an exchange office in each hotel. Though the rate of exchange in hotels is usually much lower than one can ... view more find in exchange offices out of the hotel. You have to show your passport to exchange money.

You can not use foreign currency in shops or restaurants. Though going shopping to Izmailovo flea-market or Arbat street you can use dollars, euros. But remember it is illegal. Credit cards are excepted in many places but this is usually a feature of an expensive place.

It is advisable to bring new, crispy banknotes. Some banks and exchange offices especially outside big cities will not accept marked, damaged or soiled notes.

Registration is a must in Russia
Submitted by M08558
According to Russian laws, you must register your tourist visa within 3 working days upon arrival to Russia!

Registration can be done either in the hotel where you stay or in the police station. If you plan to stay ... view more in a hotel, your registration will be completed by the hotel and the fee is usually included in the cost of the room (that is why the hotel keeps your passport for 2-3 hours after you checked in). If you plan to rent an apartment or stay with your friends you are responsible for your registration. Your landlord or your friends should go to the post office to complete the registration procedure.

Do not underestimate the importance of registration. Not only you will have to pay a fine but also spend up to 3 hours in police station.

Transportation tips in Russia
Submitted by M08558
In case you decide to go somewhere by yourself you can use metro (subway) or taxi.
- Subway operates from 5:30AM till 01:00AM. But one should at least read Russian to use it since all the signs and information is in ... view more Cyrillic alphabet.
- One can order a taxi through hotel. But if you are adventures it is cheaper to get a cab in the street. Go to the street and hitchhike. Russian cabs usually do not have meters. It is advisable to negotiate the fee before taking a ride. Almost any car in Russia can be a taxi. Russians can give you a ride for some cash if they go the same direction. The common rule is not to take a cab or a car if there is someone else inside except the driver.

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