The weather in Russia varies greatly between summer and winter. Temperatures can rise from -25 °C degrees in winter, to over 30 °C degrees in summer. Summer is one of the best times to visit Russia, however, the advantages of travelling in winter are also obvious: fewer tourists, fewer queues and cheaper hotel prices and airline and train tickets.
Russia is generally safe for solo travellers, especially if you are sticking to the major cities. Russian people are friendly and helpful to tourists.
There is no mandatory requirement of vaccinations to go on holiday.
Health care in Russia is as per European and North American protocols.
Good emergency medical treatment is not cheap in Russia, so take out a policy that covers you.
Summer - Lightweight and breathable clothing is your best bet, and a sunhat and sunglasses are essential items. To be respectful when visiting Russia’s churches, bring a scarf to cover your head and shoulders.
Winter - Layers are vital. For maximum comfort (and safety), bring sweatshirts or hoodies, warm long trousers or extra thick tights, and thermal underwear. A long, warm coat is highly recommended. Ideally, very warm gloves, a fur or wool hat which covers your ears, and a scarf which can be wrapped around your face as well.
Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted in Russia.
You can legally drive in Russia with a full and valid UK driving licence.
Electricity in Russia conforms to the European standard of 220V to 230V, with a frequency of 50Hz. Wall outlets typically accommodate plugs with two or three round pins therefore, you need to pack an adapter for your holiday.
Only 11% of Russians speak English, which is few in comparison to other European countries. However, in museums, hotels, restaurants and bars in tourist areas, it’s likely that some staff speak English. There are also special English-speaking tourist police in big cities.
It is advisable to check with your mobile provider before travelling.
Most ATMs accept international debit cards, and this is the best way to get cash in Russia.
All major banks ATMs can be found easily with English language instructions.
Russians (almost) always tip waiters about 5-15% of the check. In some restaurants, tips are included in the bill as a service charge. But most of the time you’ll see the phrase (in Russian): “Gratuities are welcome, but always remain at your discretion.”
Formerly the USSR, the vast expanse that is now Russia is by far the world’s largest country stretching across Asia and Eastern Europe. With so many diverse climates, cultures and historical influences Russia is both an intriguing and beautiful place to visit.
When looking back at influences on world culture Russia can boast a long list of power players especially in the fields of the arts and sciences, names such as Chekhov, Pushkin, Tolstoy and Tchaikovsky to name but a few are all considered masters in their chosen field.
Home of the powerful Tsars and Fabergé Eggs, brutal winters that changed the course of history, mega rich Oligarchs with their expensive toys and of course the beautiful architecture like the Moscow Kremlin and the Catherine Palace.