American and Canadian citizens must have a passport that is valid for at least 90 days beyond the intended return date in order to enter and depart the country. Tourists must also provide proof of return or onward travel. Each traveler is responsible for ensuring that his/her passport is up to date. Citizens of other nationalities should check with respective authorities before departure.
Please ensure that the name on your passport matches all travel documents we have issued. If this is not the case, please contact us immediately.
Please make a photocopy of your passport’s identification page and keep it separate from your original. It’s also a good idea to leave a digital copy with someone at home. This may speed up the replacement process should you lose your passport.
To enter Russia for any purpose, American and Canadian citizens are required to possess a visa. It is impossible to obtain an entry visa upon arrival, so travelers must apply for their visas well in advance. Processing generally takes 20 working days along with a visa processing fee of approximately $75 for a single-entry visa and approximately $130 for a multiple-entry visa. Visa letter of support and the voucher required for Russian visa will be provided by our company, free of charge at the time of booking. These requirements change often and therefore it is best that you check with the Embassy of Russia for the most up-to-date visa information.
Cancelation and Medical Insurance is highly recommended as it can safeguard against the expenses associated with in-country medical emergencies, lost or delayed baggage and emergency cancelation or interruption of your trip. Please ensure your policy will provide you with upfront medical coverage so that you are not responsible for a hefty medical bill. Insurance can be purchased through us.
We always recommend that you see a doctor or health-care provider who specializes in Travel Medicine. They will best determine your vaccination and medication needs based on your health and immunization history, areas of the country you will be visiting, planned activities and up-to-the-minute requirement changes. For all vaccinations and health requirements, we also recommend that you consult the World Health Organization (WHO): http://www.who.int or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) http://wwwnc.cdc.gov.
If there are any medical items that are essential to your health, such as prescription drugs or corrective eye wear, bring duplicates and divide them between your checked bags and hand luggage. While non-prescription drugs such as aspirin are generally available, it is difficult to replace prescription items.
Being such a large country, the climate can vary quite a bit depending on the region. Most of the country has two distinct seasons; winter and summer. Coastal cities are generally cooler with a wetter climate as, while inland regions tend to be dryer and can get quite hot in the summer. Although most of Russia isn’t quite as cold as most people believe, about 65% of Russia is covered by an underlying layer of permafrost. Winters can be extremely cold with north-eastern Russia reaching very cold temperatures as low as -50 degrees C and generally last between November and April. Russia also receives very enjoyable summer temperatures. For up-to-date forecasts, check weather.com.
Electricity in Russia is supplied at 220 volts. Russian sockets are designed to accept standard two-pin European plugs. Some sockets will take the plugs with large prongs only; others will take the ones with small prongs. A multi-adaptor with different plug configurations can be very useful. We advise not to bring a hair dryer as it could blow a fuse.
Phone: Roaming charges vary between carriers, but tend to be quite costly. Consult your phone provider prior to departure to discuss overseas rates and international package options. It is also possible to purchase a SIM card locally to avoid international charges when calling numbers within Russia. (You should check to see that your cell phone is SIM card compatible.)
Internet: Wireless access is available in most urban areas, airports and hotels. You’ll find Internet cafés throughout Russia.
Generally speaking, we advise bringing $70-100 per day, per person, for spending money. Be sure to bring lots of small bills for porters, wait staff and housekeeping (not obligatory and based on your satisfaction). Russian paper money comes in different colors and denominations (10, 50, 100, 500, 1000, 5000 notes). There are also Russian coins: 1 kopek, 5 kopek, 10 kopek, 50 kopek, 1 ruble, 2 ruble, 5 ruble, and 10 ruble coins. We recommend that you bring spare cash in small denominations to have ready for tips and expenses when you first arrive.
It is recommended that you get local currency from your bank before you leave home or from a bank machine in-country which is much cheaper than an exchange service at the airport or in tourist areas. Your bank card may work, but Visa or MasterCard are more widely accepted.
Currency: Russian Ruble
Religion: Fifty percent of the population is Russian Orthodox
Time Zone: UTC +3 to UTC +12
Electricity: 220 volts
Telephone: Country code for calling you from outside Russia is 7
Calling North America: Dial 001 and your 10 digit number
Emergency numbers in Russia: Medical: 03; Police: 02; Fire: 01; General: 112