Everything You Must Know Before Travelling to Russia

Visa and Temporary Residence Permits

The Russian visa application is fairly simple with travel websites like visaexpress.com helping you obtain both the Russian invitation letter as well as the visa itself.

Temporary Residence Permit

Many also seek temporary residence permits, and while the probability of being checked when travelling into Russia is very small, you may be checked for temporary residence permits. Although I and pretty much everyone I know have not encountered any temporary residence permit inspections during stays in Russia. Either way, these can be applied for with the owners of a hotel or homestay, for example. People with a Transcaucasian face may be asked by the police on the road to check the temporary residence permit.

Accessing the Internet

There are generally two ways to surf the Internet in Russia:

1. Buy a local phone card;

2. Rent WIFI.

WIFI Rental

Travel will be made much simpler with access to the internet, so even if the price of WIFI is a bit more expensive (about 25 a day which is not too expensive) I will always choose to rent WIFI. With a Wifi ‘buddy’ there is also no need to disassemble your phone and change over the phone card etc. And no worries about accidentally losing the phone card.

Purchasing a local calling card

If you think WIFI is too expensive, you can also use a local phone card. You can see this operator’s store in airports and other places. Just tell the clerk how many days you spend in Russia, mainly for the Internet or making a phone call, and he will help you choose a suitable package and set it up for you. You use it directly. If you are unable to access the Internet when your phone card is out of money during your stay in Russia, you can go to the BEELINE business halls in major transportation hubs such as railway stations and shopping malls to purchase a data supplement package.

Power Supplies

The Russian power supply is European standard or German standard, voltage 220V, 50 Hz, so you need to bring a standard converter, and you can use it with multiple electrical appliances with a power strip.

The Ruble and Currency Exchange

This depends on how many rubles do you exchange in the country? You can make an appointment with a domestic bank in advance to exchange some rubles. It doesn’t need too much, because the local consumption is not high, and it’s more troublesome to change too much, unless you want to go to Russia or take Aeroflot in Moscow later. It can be used when transferring to other countries when transferring at the airport.

Another point is that when exchanging rubles, it’s best to ask the bank to provide some small denomination bills, such as 5000 bills. Many shops (including scenic ticket offices) cannot be found in the morning. Vending machines Nothing can be used.

Withdrawing money in Russia

After arriving in Russia, if the ruble exchanged in advance is not enough, you can also withdraw money at the local ATM. ATMs with the following bank signs can be used to withdraw cash with UnionPay cards. Hua Xia Bank Card has many outlets for withdrawing money on ATMs of ВТБ24 and has an English interface for easy operation. Currently, Hua Xia Bank Card overseas withdrawals do not charge a handling fee for the first monthly payment. Each handling fee is 12 yuan.

Credit Card

Many shops can also swipe cards, and UnionPay shops are also more common.

Duty-free shops and tax refunds

Except for the duty-free shops in the airport, there is no tax refund for consumption in other places.

But if you want to buy cosmetics, vodka, food, etc., even if there is no tax refund in the city store, it will be cheaper than at the airport. Pro-testing Clarins skincare products and vodka will be much cheaper than the airport, supermarkets, shopping malls, and speciality stores in the city. The first food store on the first floor of the GUM Department Store in Moscow is a store with many tourists.

Tipping Culture

In addition, Russia is a tipping country. Tips are required in many places. For example, if you dine in a restaurant, if the service fee is not included in the bill, you will generally tip 10% of the consumption amount. It is directly charged on the bill, or the clerk indicates that I am satisfied with the service when giving me the bill, and hopes to be rewarded, and will not directly deduct it when I am getting change. But this is only for regular restaurants, fast food restaurants, roadside stalls, etc. are not needed. If you are staying in a hotel, if there is a waiter to help you with your luggage, it is best to give you a tip. Remember to ask for paper money. I will give you 100-200 rubles.

Buying subway tickets with Alipay

There is also good news. From July this year, Alipay can be used to buy tickets at five metro stations in Moscow. It is expected that tickets will be available for purchase on the whole line next year. However, we usually buy more tickets for multiple times, and this news will also be watched. Have fun. For local consumption, I personally think that it is the most convenient to swipe a bank card. There are many places where you can swipe UnionPay.

Safety and Advice

The first thing to talk about is safety. Although Russia as a whole is relatively safe, you still need to pay attention to it. For example, don’t walk on secret trails at night, don’t conflict with drunks, and take good care of your belongings.

Take the three places I went as an example. The people in Moscow have a high degree of cold safety, Vladimir and Suzdal are enthusiastic and open and safe, and people in St. Petersburg are also cold outside and hot inside, but you must be very careful. Property security.

To sum up, the robbing is usually in low-density spaces such as subways and buses, and the bag is robbed in front of you. The stolen is basically due to your own carelessness. So if possible, it is safer to put things like passports and cards next to your body.


The second is going to the toilet. In Moscow, except for the hotel and attractions you live in, there are many places where you have to pay for the toilet, including shopping malls and stations (the station looks like the toilet is free with a ticket), and the cost is some 20 rubles, some 25 -30, some even cost 40 rubles, such as GUM Department Store, so you’d better carry some coins with you, which can be used when going to the toilet.

Local Scams

Then talk about taking photos at scenic spots. For example, there are many people dressed in court costumes or dressed up as Lenin and Stalin in the vicinity of the Winter Palace Square, St. Isaac’s Cathedral, Red Square, etc. Come over and hug you, then a casual person next to you will take a picture of you with your phone or camera. If you have the will, you can take a picture. If not, it’s best to say NO in time and decisively, and hesitate a little. It is very possible to be hugged in one shot, and one person was shot 5000 rubles.

Ordering at Restaurants

Many restaurants do not have pictures on the menu when ordering. Most of them are in Russian and English. If you don’t understand both languages ​​and are not good at using translation software, it’s best to go to the restaurant and put a menu with pictures at the entrance of the restaurant. Shop, or go to the shops found based on various food review websites, point to the pictures of the dishes ordered by others on the review website to communicate with the waiter, when you pay the bill, call the waiter over, and he will give you a bill folder Put the bills and put the bills in this clip.

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