Country in northern Eurasia, largest country in the world, covering more than 1/8 of the Earth's inhabited land area.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

116
votes
9answers
11k views

How to avoid drinking vodka?

This summer, I spent some time in Moscow and St. Petersburg; I also visited a friend and his family. Their custom was to drink a lot of vodka during the meal. We, the guests, also had to drink some ...
51
votes
9answers
14k views

Do Russians smile at each other?

I'm planning to go to Russia. In my culture, smiling is really common even to strangers. I've heard that Russians don't smile or laugh unless it's something funny or something that makes them happy. ...
49
votes
6answers
8k views

If I've visited Crimea, what country do I list on my customs declaration form?

On returning to the U.S. I must fill out a customs declaration form, which includes listing the countries that I have visited prior to arrival in the U.S. If I was in Russia and visited Crimea after ...
43
votes
3answers
5k views

Luggage was stopped by customs (we learned about it after our flight)

We have returned from Russia 4 days ago (Moscow-St.Petersburg-Prague). After we've arrived to Prague, we learned that our luggage didn't come in our airplane and was lost. Today we've received ...
29
votes
2answers
913 views

Why does Nizhni Novgorod have visa restrictions?

When filling out a form for a Russian visa, there is a specific question asking if I will be flying directly into a city called Nizhnii Novgorod from outside of Russia. I am not, but I think it's ...
25
votes
1answer
741 views

Where this picture was taken ~100 years ago?

It probably was taken in Russia/Estonia/Latvia/Lithuania during Russian Civil War by one of my ancestors. I'm sure this place exists today - I saw it on the poster few years ago. But place was not ...
22
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the best way to obtain visas for the Trans-Siberian/Trans-Mongolian Railway?

I'm planning on taking the trans-Siberian / trans-Mongolian from Moscow to Beijing via Ulaan Bataar next year and I'd like some advice on how best to organise the visa situation. I'm a British ...
21
votes
4answers
590 views

Trans-Siberian Express: Stopping along the way?

I'm planning a trip on the Trans-Siberian Express. I've already received excellent advice on a related post, but I've got a couple more questions. My plan is to head from Moscow to Beijing. It's six ...
20
votes
4answers
2k views

Is it now feasible for an adventurous independent traveller to visit Chechnya?

Right now I'm drinking vodka with a Chechen guy who's staying at my hostel here in Tbilisi Georgia. I told him I would like to visit Chechnya but it's too dangerous. He reacted like I imagine ...
18
votes
4answers
733 views

How can I get an 'invitation' to Russia?

I understand that in order to get a visa to visit Russia you need an invitation before you can get a visa. If you don't have family or friends that you are visiting and you aren't part of an ...
17
votes
3answers
271 views

Former Gulag camps in Russia

I have already asked a simular question about Former Nazi camps and prisons in Europe, now I would like to know if there are any Gulag camps that I can see from the inside?
17
votes
1answer
2k views

What time of year is best for taking the Trans-Siberian Express?

I'm interested in taking a train journey from Moscow to Beijing via Mongolia. Is there a recommended time of year for this Trans-Siberian trip?
17
votes
1answer
355 views

Fast train between Moscow and Saint Petersburg?

I'm planning to go on holiday to Moscow Russia in April and would really like to see Saint Petersburg as well. I've heard that there's a speed train which travels between the two cities, does anyone ...
17
votes
1answer
1k views

How does one visit a cult leader Vissarion?

This is perhaps a strange question but I'm curious if anyone knows more about it or if there's any chance someone here has been there. Somewhere in Siberia is a religious cult leader of the name ...
16
votes
5answers
2k views

How much Russian do I need to know for travelling within Russia?

Or alternatively - how well-spoken (and widely-spoken) is English? I intend to visit St. Petersburg, Moscow, Irkutsk and Vladivostok. I feel like I might have the most troubles in the latter two ...
16
votes
4answers
2k views

Do I need a visa if I go with a cruise line to St. Petersburg?

Last week I discussed with a friend if it is necessary to get a Russian visa if you travel with a cruise liner to Saint Petersburg in Russia? I think so, but my friend has the opinion that it is not ...
16
votes
1answer
407 views

Are there currently any international ferries that travel to Saint Petersburg, Russia?

Years ago I was in Europe and decided it would be a great idea to go to Saint Petersburg by ferry since it is regarded as a beautiful city and is a port. I didn't mind departing from Finland, Estonia, ...
16
votes
1answer
4k views

What are the requirements for a minor (16) traveling alone from Russia to the USA and back?

My cousin wants to send her 16 year old daughter to visit my family for 3 weeks this summer. This will require her to fly from her home in Russia to my home in the USA alone. She speaks some English. ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

Will it matter if I cross the Russian border 6 hours after my visa expires?

I am visiting Moscow, Russia and leaving on a specific date in July, per my tourist visa. I'll be leaving via bus, going into Lithuania. I just realized that the bus leaves at 10:30pm the day my visa ...
15
votes
4answers
3k views

Is the border between Georgia and Russia open to citizens of other countries?

I know the one border between the Republic of Georgia and Russia that is not in a rebel province was officially opened in the last couple of years... but reports are conflicting as to whether people ...
14
votes
6answers
3k views

Do I need a transit visa for a Russian overflight?

I'm going to Tokyo from London as a Norwegian citizen, it's a direct flight from Copenhagen to Tokyo. Do I need to apply for a transit visa to fly over Russia and reach Japan? Can an aeroplane company ...
14
votes
2answers
452 views

Curonian Spit and Kaliningrad

The Curonian Spit is one of the places I would like to visit. As an EU citizen, the obvious approach is to focus on the Lithuanian side. Nevertheless, I wonder if it is worthwhile to pay a visit to ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

Advice on Hotel - Travelling to visit my girlfriend in Russia

In few months I will be traveling to Russia to visit my gf there. I will be booking a Hotel just for myself, will the staff/reception/security have any issues with letting my gf get into the Hotel ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

Is it possible to camp in Russia on a tourist visa?

I'm interested in crossing the border from Norway to Russia at Storskog, via car. We thought about driving to Murmansk or even not so far - Zapolyarny for instance. We will have a tent with us and ...
13
votes
1answer
252 views

How to register Russian tourist visa while on the Trans-Mongolian railway?

My partner and I will be starting our Trans-Mongolian adventure in about a week or so, but after reading the visa registration procedures from various resources, we're still a little confused about ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

Border crossing on Curonian Spit

I am planning to drive over the Curonian Spit from the Lithuanian side in 2013. I would love to travel on into the Russian side and visit Kaliningrad. Is there a border crossing on the Spit? If not, ...
12
votes
6answers
2k views

Would it be unsafe for an American to go to Moscow right now?

I'm an American, and I'm considering going to Moscow in a month. Would it likely be unsafe for me to do so, considering the current situation with Ukraine? EDIT Well, I went this summer, and it was ...
12
votes
1answer
649 views

Is there a risk with flights stopping off in Russia?

Here is a thought experiment... Assume one wants to go from the EU to Japan. There will of course be different carriers (and paths) available to choose from, and usually there will be a stopover in ...
12
votes
2answers
797 views

How to book Kaliningrad Ferries

I was looking for a ferry from Kaliningrad to St. Petersburg (travelling without vehicle). Many Google hits can be found, even this one http://www.ferryto.com/Kaliningrad_Ferries.html advertising ...
12
votes
2answers
280 views

Why is there a СТОП (STOP) sign along with priority signs on traffic lights in Russia?

If you drive around in Moscow you will see a plain white sign reading СТОП (STOP) attached to traffic lights at some intersections. I've also seen priority road signs (which almost makes sense) ...
12
votes
3answers
682 views

When travelling overland in Russia I hear you must register with the police in each new place, but does this cost money?

When travelling overland in Russia (i.e. not on the Trans-Siberian) I hear you must register with the police in each new place, but does this cost money? I know there are some gotchas with ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it possible to get a visa for Kaliningrad in the neighboring countries?

I am planning to visit Northern Poland and then Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. I am thinking of going into the Russian state of Kaliningrad as well. I've read that compared to Russia proper it is ...
11
votes
1answer
536 views

Identifying a community in Russia

I am trying to identify a Russian location I stayed at many years ago. I don't speak or read Russian The place name was phonetically "Sher-na-ga-LOFF-ga" (or very close) The community consisted of a ...
11
votes
3answers
727 views

Do you need to submit an itinerary to get a Russian visa? And do you have to stick to it?

I believe there are certain countries which in order to be granted a visa you must submit your intended itinerary. I am pretty sure I've heard Russia is or was formerly such a country. What do ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it possible for a tourist to visit South Ossetia?

South Ossetia is a rebel provice of the Republic of Georgia recognized and supported by Russia as an independent state since 2008 but recognized by most countries in the world as part of the Republic ...
11
votes
1answer
178 views

What are the registration requirements when visiting Russia?

I'm visiting Russia, and I've read that I need to register my visa after arrival. Some hotels do this for you, but I'm staying in a rental apartment. What exactly do I need to do? Where should I go? ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

How can a US citizen obtain a Russian tourist visa from Berlin?

I'm in Berlin and plan to travel to Saint Petersburg in the not-too-distant future. How can I obtain a Russian visa while I'm in Berlin? Here are my criteria: Obtain a Russian tourist visa while in ...
10
votes
2answers
357 views

How does one get to Lake Vivi, at the geographical center in Russia?

In 2008 I went to Novosibirsk, Russia, for a solar eclipse. We were told at the time that The Chapel of Nikolai the Miracle Maker in town marks the geographical center of Russia. I also went back in ...
10
votes
3answers
304 views

Russia roadmap with information on the surface

In Russia, some segments of major highways are of mediocre quality: Russia road M53 / Baikal Highway, near Taishet. Source: Wikimedia Russian Trans-Siberian highway near Cheremshanka, Krasnoyarsk ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

Russian visas and short-term apartment rental in St Petersburg and Moscow

I'm attending a close friend's wedding in Russia in July. We'll be visiting St Petersburg for a few days first, then on to Moscow. We have a toddler who goes to bed early and we would much rather stay ...
10
votes
2answers
756 views

Can I apply for a Russian visa from the Republic of Georgia?

I will be in the Republic of Georgia in the Caucasus in a few months and am considering a side trip to Russia; either via the Black Sea to Sochi or across the one land border that is apparently open ...
10
votes
1answer
401 views

Transit in Moscow airport while waiting for visa to become valid?

I am booked on a river cruise out of Moscow from 6th of may which I can get a letter of invitation, but the trouble is my plane arrives in Moscow on the 5th, at about 10pm. I had intended waiting in ...
10
votes
2answers
3k views

Irkutsk to Ulaanbaatar by train or bus?

I've tried using tutu.ru for the trains, but it won't show me any train to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Despite this I know there are daily trains. What I don't know is what time they are, how long they ...
10
votes
1answer
215 views

Where in Russia can I pay to shoot an AK-47?

I'm planning a trip to Russia in October (primarily Moscow and St Petersburg) and recently I read this question and liked the idea of being able to use military equipment, specially AK-47, as this ...
10
votes
1answer
368 views

Does the Ukraine-Georgia ferry go via Russia and if so must I have a Russian visa even if I don't disembark?

Previously we had a question about ferries between Ukraine and the Republic of Georgia. The answer was that the company UkrFerry has such a route but I'm unsure of the details and the site seems to be ...
10
votes
1answer
564 views

Are there any ferry companies operating between Russian East ports and Japan?

I'm interested in visiting the Japan after some Russian Far East trip. I'm searching for the sea ways to the Japan. Can you help me with that? Update: I'm searching some extremal variants not from ...
9
votes
3answers
295 views

Biathlon World Cup in Russia: Sochi or Khanty-Mansiysk?

In the 2012-13 season of the Biathlon World Cup the last two events take place in Russia: Sochi (March 7-10) and Khanty-Mansiysk (March 14-17). The next Winter Olympic Games (2014) also take place in ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

How can I maximize my chances of obtaining a Russian visa outside my home country?

I had been sure from topics here and on other forums that it was not possible for me as an Australian citizen to obtain a visa for the Russian Federation anywhere other than the Russian Embassy in ...
9
votes
3answers
755 views

What are the cheapest trains from Helsinki to Saint Petersburg?

I want to travel from Helsinki to Saint Petersburg, I want to take a train. Please suggest the cheapest train options, and as a secondary consideration, the fastest.
9
votes
3answers
531 views

Best Time for Visiting the Curonian Spit

I am interested in visiting the Curonian Spit, possibly with a sidetrip to Kaliningrad. Now I would like to know the best time of the year to do so. I would like to avoid the crowds of the high and ...