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I'm planning a several week trip to Russia (Moscow and Yekaterinburg specifically) , and I want to pack as lightly as possible --- ideally, I want to be able to do laundry, so I don't have to bring enough clothes for every day of the trip.

On that note: are there laundromats in Russia where tourists can go to do laundry? Or do hotels normally offer a laundry service? If not, are there alternatives? Or do I need to resort to washing clothes by hand in the hotel bathroom?

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    There are self-service laundromats in Russia, though maybe not as commonly found as elsewhere in the world. Search for прачечная-автомат. – Michael Hampton Jul 30 '16 at 8:26
  • @MichaelHampton thanks! do you know if they tend to take rubles or do you have to buy special tokens? – Cardinull Jul 30 '16 at 18:44
  • It depends... You might have to use coins, or a really modern place might have you load credit onto a card, which you then use at the machines. – Michael Hampton Jul 30 '16 at 20:28
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Laundromats are very rare; I can hardly remember seeing any in my life (actually, I can't remember exactly whether I have seen them, I can just think of some places where they may have been). I guess that if you ask a random person, they will not help you.

There are places where you can drop off your clothes and the next day receive it clean (ask for химчистка khimchistka or прачечная prachechnaya), but the interval differs (some may offer an option for quick cleaning — several hours, — some may require a week), and some may refuse some types of clothing.

At the same time, I think that most hotels and hostels do offer laundry services. However, as always, better check when booking.

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    This site shows some I believe... samprachka.ru/adresa-prachechnyix-v-moskve.html – Martin Smith Jul 30 '16 at 11:34
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    Have you actually looked for Laundromats? It is amazingly easy to miss seeing them when you do not need them, even when they are there. – Willeke Jul 30 '16 at 18:16
  • @Willeke, yes, I've never actually looked for them. – Petr Jul 30 '16 at 20:07
  • If you were to look for them what would be the best phrase to put into Google Maps? ПРАЧЕЧНАЯ САМООБСЛУЖИВАНИЯ or something different? – Martin Smith Jul 31 '16 at 17:11
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    @MartinSmith, yes, "ПРАЧЕЧНАЯ САМООБСЛУЖИВАНИЯ", but also like "Автопрачечная" "автостирка" etc, because the format is not widespread, thus different names may be used. Also I would be using 2gis (2gis.ru) instead of google maps, as it is has much more complete data. – Petr Aug 1 '16 at 6:46
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Russian apartment almost universally has a washing machine.

This means when you rent an apartment (via AirBnB or even Booking or by googling "квартиры посуточно {city}", the apartment will usually have an operable washing machine and some detergent. If you ask for it in advance you can arrange apartment with washing machine confidently.

So your best bet is sometimes renting an apartment (as opposed to hotels and hostels), making sure that apartment has washing machine, and using it to wash your clothes (note that drying machines are unheard of so you will need to hang clothes on overhead wires or balcony or furniture doors:)

  • I suppose dryers are unheard of mostly in the figurative sense. Surely commercial laundries have them and people are aware that they exist. – phoog Mar 19 at 12:19
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    @phoog people here are mostly oblivious to their existence. I don't think I ever saw one in Russia. Commercial laudries are not common as you could guess from the rest of answers. – alamar Mar 19 at 12:40
  • If commercial laundries are uncommon, who washes the sheets and towels in the hotels? – phoog Mar 19 at 12:53
  • @phoog Common Russians do not stay in hotels that often, and when they do they don't give much contemplation about how they wash their sheets (russian saying about "knowing how sausage is made" goes here). So unless you work for a hotel or commercial laundry, good chances you have never heard about drying machine. – alamar Mar 19 at 13:10
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    Can confirm that separate hot air dryers are pretty much unheard of in Russia, though some newer and fancier washing machines do have that function. While some tech stores do sell driers as separate units, most people's apartments are cramped enough already to have room for another giant box that just sits there and collects dust most of the time, so most people don't bother to even remotely consider buying one. – undercat Mar 20 at 20:39
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Just google "химчистка золушка" - this is a very common laundry service in Russia.
For example in Sankt-Petersburg - http://zolushkaspb.ru/adress/ ( sorry - only in Russian language, and staff will speaking only in Russian, so be ready for that).

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    You are not affiliated with them, are you? – Jan Sep 20 '16 at 14:25
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    No of course, just in not "capitals cityes" like Moscow or St Petersburg, Volgograd for example - where I live now, this is single common laundry service. In Volgograd that laundry service exists even in shopping moll (Ашан). – Alexander Sep 22 '16 at 4:37
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    химчистка ("dry cleaning") is often aimed at cleaning single but complex items (such as dresses or furs). If this is the case they may be puzzled when you give them your 10 pairs of socks, and the price may be surprising since it will be per-item. Maybe they also do laundry by kg, but that's not for granted. – alamar Mar 19 at 9:07

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