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126 votes
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How to use public transport in Russia with limited knowledge of Russian?

While you will generally experience a strong language barrier, the public transport system should be the least of your worries. With a bit of beforehand knowledge it can be an easy, interesting and ...
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  • 2,771
111 votes

What to do if I overstayed my e-visa for Saint Petersburg/Leningrad Oblast

First of all, if you are not fluent in Russian, you'll need (this is mandatory) an official translator to a language you speak fluently (in my case it was English, even though I'm a German). The ...
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  • 1,544
102 votes
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Personal security during a business trip to Moscow

Update: as of March 2022, travel to Russia is unsafe for anyone. The country is not even safe for its own citizens. Anyone — regardless of whether you're a Russian national or not, no matter what ...
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  • 2,564
87 votes
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Is it possible to enter Russia by train 1-1.5 hours before the visa validity period starts?

There are things I would try doing and there are the others. Attempting to enter Russia before my visa is valid (or attempt to overstay my Russian visa) even if by a few hours only clearly belongs to ...
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  • 15.3k
81 votes

Refused boarding to New Zealand because I couldn't demonstrate I'm an NZ citizen. What are my options?

You travelled with your daughter to Russia on Russian passports, but your daughter is a New Zealand citizen with a New Zealand birth certificate. I assume that you have a valid New Zealand visa ...
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77 votes
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Where this picture was taken ~100 years ago?

This one looks like the one on your image. The name of this building is Kamenez (Wikipedia: Kamianets-Podilskyi). Location: Photo of our days:
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  • 4,266
71 votes

Is it possible to enter Russia by train 1-1.5 hours before the visa validity period starts?

I wouldn't risk this. I exited Russia with a friend. He had given the end date for his visa, by mistake, as the day we left Moscow. Travelling by train, we didn't reach the border until a couple of ...
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66 votes
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Will Wi-Fi passwords in Russia be in Cyrillic? How do I type them on a Latin keyboard?

Do not worry, Wifi pass phrases for personal use should only be in printable ASCII characters, in other words English characters. They do not support Unicode or other codepages. For more details ...
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64 votes

Is it possible to enter Russia by train 1-1.5 hours before the visa validity period starts?

I've been on a Russian train with a Canadian whose visa expired during the train ride (so just a couple of hours) as we crossed the border after midnight into Mongolia. Said passenger was marched off ...
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  • 157k
62 votes
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Do Russians smile at each other?

Yes, it's true. In general, Russians never smile without a reason. No, you will not insult anybody in Russia if you smile. But, in some cases it can be assessed as rude or strange. For example, if ...
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59 votes

Do Russians smile at each other?

In defense of @MikkaRin's answer, I offer a contrast of cultural norms regarding emotional expression in Russia versus USA. This may not clearly represent differences between Russian and global norms (...
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  • 2,157
59 votes

Moscow (DME) airport arrival 23:55. My Russian visa becomes valid at midnight

Technically, your visa is not valid when you are scheduled to land so boarding is a problem. Practically, it will be perfectly valid by the time you reach the immigration counter, so you are ...
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  • 32.5k
57 votes
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What time zone do trains in Russia operate on?

All trains in Russia for years have operated on Moscow time. It's only slightly unsettling when you get to your train in Yekaterinburg and find out it's not there, but the upside is most of Russia is ...
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  • 157k
54 votes

A Russian girl is asking for 500 euros to get a passport in Russia. Is this a realistic amount of money for a passport fee?

If you apply by yourself: The waiting time for getting a International passport is 30 days if you apply in your city (where you're registered) and 120 days if you apply from another Russian city. ...
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49 votes
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Why am I not allowed to buy alcohol at the store after 11pm in Russia?

It's a law that's designed to reduce public drunkenness / alcoholism, especially at night when you don't want loud, rowdy and sometimes violent drunk people in the streets. Sometimes vendors try to ...
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48 votes
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Why are there yellow dot stickers on the front doors of businesses in Russia?

This means "there's a glass door, please don't go through it without opening first". If it contains black curl, then it also means "you can order delivery via Yandex.Food" (a service similar to Uber ...
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  • 11.1k
48 votes
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What exactly is a marshrutka (маршрутка)?

Just to add to the above guys answers. Маршрутка (Marshrutka) is a slang. It's a shortened version of "Маршрутное такси" (can be roughly translated as "Routed" taxi, essentially a taxi that has a ...
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48 votes
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How easy is it to get in and out of Russia by illegally crossing its border?

My answer might have fit better as a comment, but is too long, so please bear with me here. 'How easy' is of course difficult to quantify, but it is in most areas not as easy as it might seem. You are ...
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46 votes

Is it possible to enter Russia by train 1-1.5 hours before the visa validity period starts?

Let's think logically. Imagine one is a Russian border officer. One got a job during which each day got the stamp for the passport and visa checks: As you can see, there is a date on it, and it's ...
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  • 22.2k
46 votes
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Can a person be arrested/detained if a prohibited item is found in the carry-on luggage while transiting?

Why wasn’t the knife taken out at Russian airport ? Probably because they missed it during screening. Airport security has been known to miss actual explosives in peoples bags, so a tiny knife is not ...
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  • 79k
45 votes
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Moscow SVO airport, how to avoid scam taxis without pre-booking?

To avoid any trouble with taxis, you can use the Aeroexpress train. It will get you to the city centre for ~8$ (500 RUB). You can use wireless payment options at the automatic gates: PayPass, PayWave,...
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  • 11.1k
42 votes

What meals are available on Russian trains?

This is the dining car on the train between Perm and Moscow (Trans Siberian)... As shown, there are ample provisions with the most concern devoted to alcoholic beverages. But there's nearly every ...
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  • 83.5k
33 votes

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

The most important thing in this situation is to get documentation about your luggage as soon as possible. No matter what the airline says, the only thing that matters is what they write. As this ...
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  • 22.2k
33 votes
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Food on the 54-hour Yekaterinburg-Irkutsk train?

Easy, since I've done this trip. In Yekaterinburg, go to the markets and get some base food. Whatever drinks you want, but vodka will be good to share if you're the sharing type (especially in ...
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  • 157k
32 votes
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What's the best way to get sleep on a train in a sitting compartment?

Get a Window Seat When I reserve a seat on train (or a plane, for that matter), knowing that I would like to sleep during the journey, I often book a window seat. That way I can lean my head on the ...
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  • 51.7k
32 votes

Will Wi-Fi passwords in Russia be in Cyrillic? How do I type them on a Latin keyboard?

I am Russian and I never met a WiFi password in Cyrillic.
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  • 421
31 votes
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Will it matter if I cross the Russian border 6 hours after my visa expires?

I was on a train with a Canadian who experienced this. We left Irkutsk, Russia heading towards Ulan Bator, Mongolia on the ... let's say Tuesday, the last day of his visa. Seemed ok, but we didn't ...
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  • 157k
31 votes
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Do I need a transit visa for a Russian overflight?

I've never heard of any situation in which you need a visa of any kind to fly over a country. You would only potentially need one if the flight was planning to land in Russia, in which case it would ...
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31 votes

What meals are available on Russian trains?

Here is a (blurry, sorry!) picture of the menu as I found it when travelling on the Trans-Siberian Railroad in 2013. Here are some further pictures of the specialties, pancakes, and appetizers. They ...
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