The largest landscape in the world that offers not only beautiful cities, wide rivers, endless Siberia, but also places where the average traveler has not gone.
Russia is bigger than Europe, so even though you have been here a few times, you do not know it just as easily and quickly. Those who love cities will find love in Petrohrad, Irkutsk, Novgorod, or Moscow. Those who love nature will be captivated by Baikal, Kamchatka or even the infinite Russian forests. Russia also offers opportunities for real adventurers. For example, you can experience winter at -60°C or pass through the frozen Baikal. Everything is possible here. In Russia, you can travel for a few euros a day, but also for a few hundred.
Russia is a much safer country compared to what it was in the crazy 90s. For sure, however, we recommend:
- Do not let your eyes off of things in the metro and in the crowded means of transport.
- Do not talk about unnecessary political debate.
- Have a copy of your passport in case of loss.
When to go
May – September
In principle, this is the best time to travel to Russia. Temperatures are similar to ours in Slovakia. Even in Siberia the air temperature is around +25 to 30°C.
October – April
The air temperature drops dramatically. In January, the temperature in Siberia will fall to -50°C and in Moscow, for example, to -10°C.
Nevertheless, plan your trip to Russia according to what you specifically want to see and experience, i.e. long nights, long white days or extreme frosts. The best place to watch long days or nights is definitely St. Petersburg. If you are more interested in the Far East than Kamchatka, Chukotka or Sakhalin, then the best time to travel is August and September. However, it is necessary to prepare that there are very many mosquitoes during this period. Other months do not hurt the traveler, especially because of high temperature fluctuations.
April – September
Long sunny days. The closer you are to the polar circle, the longer the days will be. During the month of July, the days are very long and the Sun sets only for a few hours. Beyond the polar circle, the sun does not set at all.
October – March
Long polar nights. The closer you are to the polar circle, the shorter the days are and the Sun does not even rise after the polar circle. During polar nights there is a great chance to see the aurora.
In Russia there are great bazaars, respectively. Markets where you will always get fresh cheeses, meat, fruits and vegetables. We offer a selection of Russian specialties:
- shashlik – meat on lard, especially chicken, beef, pork.
- borscht – a national soup, made up of red beet, cabbage, beef and cream on the top of the soup. Russian borscht is, however, shorter than Ukrainian.
- caviar from beluga – put on the bottom of the glass and poured vodka.
- pelmene – pasta bags filled with vegetables or meat.
- plov – rice mixed with carrots and raisins, served with beef meat.
In Russia, Russian ruble (RUB) is applicable, whose current rate can be found, for example, on this page: http://www.xe.com/currency/rub-russian-ruble.
Due to Russia’s ruble’s collapse today Russia belongs to comparatively cheap landscapes. So if you are thinking whether to go or not to Russia, it is definitely the most appropriate moment. Prices are currently cheaper by half, and so are services. Moscow and Saint Petersburg are the most expensive cities in Russia, but outside of these places, prices are significantly lower, unless we look at distant parts such as Chukotka, Kamchatka and Magadan. There are ATMs in the big cities, and when you go out of town, you have enough money exchanged for Russian rubles.
Citizens of the Slovak Republic need visas to visit Russia, which they can apply for in Bratislava at the Embassy of the Russian Federation – http://slovakia.mid.ru/sk/web/svk/. At this time, you must reserve the date of a personal visit for processing your request and submitting the necessary documents. You have two options. Either you go through
the Consulate Department of the Russian Federation Embassy in the Slovak Republic, but which has, in principle, very few free dates and you have to order in advance, or you can do it through
Russia’s Visa Center in Bratislava on Klemens Street 2A, which has a service fee of EUR 25 for the visa process but has more deadlines and is therefore faster.
Detailed information about Russian visas can be found here: http://www.slovakia-vhs.com/main.php?id=general-information&lang=sk.
In Russia you still have a registration fee that the hotel charges for a mandatory fee, which is sometimes included in the price of the hotel or hostel.