Located in Eastern Europe, Russia is one of the largest countries in the world. This massive territory stretches across the entire continent, and is home to numerous cultures, languages and ethnicities. The country also boasts a rich history and cultural achievements that are unmatched in the world, including major contributions to science and technology.
Visiting Russia is not an easy feat, and requires a little research. There are many rules and regulations that must be followed, including visa requirements. The process can take up to 10 working days, so it’s best to plan ahead.
Traveling in Russia isn’t for the faint of heart, but if you have the patience to overcome the challenges and are prepared to put up with some inconvenience, there are several ways to see this vast country. The most popular way to get around is by train, as the Trans-Siberian Railway runs through all of Russia’s major cities and climatic zones.
A long-distance train trip is a great opportunity to experience the vastness of this amazing country and make friends along the way. Russians are very friendly and love to chat with foreign visitors, so don’t be afraid to ask questions!
It is important to be aware of the risks of terrorism in Russia. Terrorists use suicide bombings and indiscriminate attacks against civilians to target Western targets, including schools, businesses, public gatherings and religious sites. Moreover, some regions of Russia are under increased security threats due to heightened tensions with neighboring countries such as Georgia and Azerbaijan.
The security situation in most parts of the country is relatively stable, but there is a risk of terrorist incidents in Chechnya and Dagestan. The border region with Georgia is volatile and travelers should be prepared for frequent, sometimes lengthy, border closures.
If you want to visit Russia in winter, it is highly recommended to dress warmly and comfortably. You can also avoid shivering by choosing hotels with a good heating system.
Getting around in Moscow and Saint Petersburg is rather easy, especially with the Metro. Unlike in Western Europe, where you can easily get lost, the Russian metro system is easy to navigate, and all of the street names and maps are translated into English.
Language-wise, the younger generation can usually communicate on a very basic level, so don’t be afraid to ask for directions or help from locals. Alternatively, you can find some English speakers at any cafe or coffee shop.
Most restaurants have a menu in English. If not, you can always order something that is available in Russian.
In addition to traditional dishes, you will have a chance to try a lot of fresh and healthy foods. Most supermarkets sell imported food and drinks at very low prices, so you can stock up on supplies while in Russia for a more reasonable price than you’d pay back home.
You can also find a large number of Russian-owned shops, including department stores and multi-format food retailers. There are a variety of different brands of Russian-made clothing and footwear available, as well as some very beautiful souvenirs to buy.