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GENERAL INFORMATION
Passports and Visas

Foreign visitors should be in possession of a valid passport and, in most cases, a valid entry visa for entry and exit from Russia or for transit through Russia. Visas for entry and exit from Russia are issued by Russian Consulates and Consular Departments of Russian Embassies abroad. There are different types of visas depending on the required number of entries. All visas issued for a single trip will have the dates of entry and exit specified. For more detailed information on visa requirements contact your nearest Consular Office of the Russian Federation.

Currency regulations

The Russian monetary unit is the ruble. There is no limit to the amount of foreign currency allowed to be brought into Russia. However, all money brought into the country (including traveller's checks) must be declared upon entering the country. In Russia, visitors can exchange any amount of hard currency for rubles at any of the following locations: authorized Russian banks, exchange offices or foreign currency offices located in major hotels, international airports and sea ports. Exchange rates between the ruble and all hard currencies are set by the Central Bank of the Russian Federation. The following credit cards are accepted in Russia: American Express, Diners Club, Eurocard/Mastercard, Visa International and others.

Time

There are 11 time zones in Russia.
The difference between Greenwich Mean Time and the time in some Russian cities is:

1. Moscow and St.Petersburg: +3
2. Khabarovsk and the Far East: +10

Air and railway tickets indicate the time of departure and arrival by local time. Summer daylight saving time is effective on most of the territory of Russia.

Climate

Climate ranges from continental in the south to humid continental in much of the European Russia; subarctic in Siberia to arctic in the polar north. Please note the following average temperatures (Centigrade):

Russia

January

July

 

January

July

Archangelsk

-15

+18

 

Novosibirsk

-23

+22

Vladimir

-15

+20

 

Novgorod

-10

+20

Ivanovo

-15

+21

 

Petrozavodsk

-12

+19

Irkutsk

-23

+20

 

St.Petersburg

-12

+22

Kostroma

-12

+20

 

Suzdal

-15

+20

Moscow

-15

+22

 

Khabarovsk

-18

+23

Murmansk

-8

+11

 

Yaroslavl

-13

+26

CIS States

 

January

July

 

January

July

Almaty (Kazakhstan)

-10

+26

 

Riga (Latvia)

-6

+21

Bukhara (Uzbekistan)

+3

+30

 

Samarkand (Uzbekistan)

0

+30

Vilnius (Lithuania)

-7

+20

 

Tallinn (Estonia)

-6

+19

Kiev (Ukraine)

-9

+23

 

Tashkent (Uzbekistan)

+3

+30

Odessa (Ukraine)

-7

+25

 

Yalta (Ukraine)

-15

+20


National holidays and festivals in Russia

National Holidays:

New Year
Russian Orthodox Christmas
Women's Day
Spring and Labour Day
Victory Day
Independence Day
National Unity Day

January 1
January 7
March 8
May 1-2
May 9
June 12
November 4

Arts and Folk Festivals: 

Moscow Stars

White Nights

Russian Winter

 

Moscow

St.Petersburg

Moscow
St.Petersburg
Novgorod
Irkutsk
Vladimir/Suzdal

May

June

December 25 to January 5

 

 
Business Hours:

Offices: 9:00 a.m. - 6:00-7.00 p.m. (Monday-Friday)
Exchange offices: 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m., some are open round the clock (Monday-Sunday)
Museums: 10:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m. (Most closed Monday)

Tipping

Tipping is not required in Russia and no one should feel obliged to do so. However, many visitors use tipping as a way to show appreciation for a job well done and this is certainly acceptable. Such gestures are voluntary and at the sole discretion of the visitor.

Shopping

For all purchases payments are made in rubles. Working hours for food shops are 8-9 a.m. to 8-9 p.m., and for department stores - 10-11 a.m. to 7-8 p.m. Most department stores shops are closed on Sundays.

Russian cuisine

Russian food is famous for its meat dishes, ukha (fish soup), shchi (cabbage soup), okroshka (cold vegetable soup), bliny (pancakes) with sour cream or caviar, cabbage pie, and beef a la Strogonoff. Siberia is known for its pelmeni (dumplings). Tea with lemon is known as the traditional Russian beverage.

Mail and telephone services

The tariff for postal services and international and local telephone service on the territory of Russia is in rubles. Major hotels have post office facilities. Automatic dial telephone service is available in most areas of Russia. Visitors can dial directly from their room phone in the hotel or from special pay phones in the lobby.

Insurance

It is recommended to purchase travel insurance before departing for Russia and the CIS.

Health regulations

Currently, no medical restrictions are in effect for entry to Russia. More detailed information is available from local health offices and insurance companies.

Transport

Metro is the most comfortable and fastest means of public transport within the city. The Moscow metro network has 206 stations, the total length of lines covering 346,6 kilometers. The transport fare for all metro lines in any city is one token. You can purchase a token at the entrance of all metro stations. Buses, trolley-buses and trams operate on the ticket system.

Electric current

Electric current in Russia is 220 V. European type plugs are required.

 


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