Russia: Travel Tips

Here you will find some useful tips on how to organize your trip to Russia.

Currency. Russian ruble (RUR) is the only official currency in Russia. You can easily buy rubles for US dollars or euros at any bank, international airport or major railway station. There are plenty of small currency exchange offices in any district of Moscow and St. Petersburg. However it is highly recommended to buy cash at reputable bank offices – such as Sberbank, VTB24, Rosbank, Raiffeisen bank – to avoid any kind of fraud.

The exchange rate is about 33 RUR for 1 $ and 44 RUR for 1 EUR. Some major bank offices also accept British pounds (GBP), Swiss francs (CHF) and Japanese yen (JPY).

Credit cards are widely accepted at restaurants, hotels and central shops in Moscow, St. Petersburg and other big cities. However having cash is absolutely necessary if you plan to use public transport or taxi, shopping at small stores, attend museums or visit other places than Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Language. Though many Russian people study foreign languages at school and university language barrier is still likely to be a problem. English is spoken mainly by young people in Moscow and St. Petersburg, at some hotels and some restaurants with an English menu. But you shouldn’t really expect English-speaking personnel at most shops and cafes. Nearly all signs are also in Russian.  At the same time most people will try to help find the way with gestures or even a few English words.

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