Carbon Neutral 100%

6 reasons to travel to Russia

There are so many things to discover during a trip to Russia! Not only are the Russian landscapes and architecture in historic towns amazing, but if you try to get to know the locals and their customs you will come back feeling transformed by the authentic experience!

  1. 1
    Visit the beautiful orthodox churches
  2. 2
    Travelling on the Trans-Siberian
  3. 3
    Landscapes covered in beautiful winter clothing
  4. 4
    Fall in love with Russian cuisine
  5. 5
    Go to a dacha
  6. 6
    Meet the locals
1. Visit the beautiful orthodox churches
What would Russia be without its colourful, onion domed churches with their enormous cupolas? It's impossible to be indifferent to these magnificent, imposing edifices. This is Byzantine architecture - highly coloured, almost kitsch exteriors, sometimes quite elegant, surmounted by golden onion domes and cupolas. The interiors can be quite austere with numerous icons. Mass for the believers can last for hours and hours.
2. Travelling on the Trans-Siberian
Russia's legendary train line. And one of its charms. For a few days you can live in a different world that seems strangely like a commune. You'll either love it or hate it...you have to put up with everyone around you (including their body odours, because there aren't any showers in the train) but you will have some interesting meetings! Have a drink, go back and forth to the samovar to get your tea, watch the immense desert countryside pass by. A great time and some great people!
3. Landscapes covered in beautiful winter clothing
Russia without the cold wouldn't be Russia, so if you want to find out all about the country you also need to experience the extreme cold! Temperatures can get as low as -30°C (even lower sometimes) and although it's difficult to get about in such conditions you will be dazzled by the countryside. See the pack-ice on Lake Baikal, skate on the rivers, walk among snow covered tree, or have fun watching the children get their tongue stuck on their ice cream (the Russians love ice cream, even in winter) - you're bound to love what you see in a Russian winter.
4. Fall in love with Russian cuisine
Although it's not well-known, Russian cuisine has some great surprises in store! There are delicious winter and summer soups (borscht, okroshka, shchi), shashlik (kebabs), dranikis (potato pancakes) with sour cream, and pirozkhi - you won't be disappointed! Meals are often accompanied by tea, which the Russians drink all the time. In summer, it's better to drink kvass (a drink made from fermented bread), which will quench your thirst and is much cheaper than bottled water. You can find people selling it on the corner of the street, from yellow coloured tanks
5. Go to a dacha
Lots of Russians have a dacha (a second home in the country). It is usually very rustic and has a banya (Russian sauna). When your friends come round it's usual to have a few drinks together and then go have a bath together. In winter, after you have spent some time at 60°C you can run outside and roll in the snow (sometimes -30°C) and then go back into the banya to heat up again. To relax you even more, you can be massaged with birch twigs. It's really calming. They often go to the dachas in summer too, and grill shashlik (kebabs).
6. Meet the locals
Once you've got past the language barrier, and your fear of the unknown, the Russians can be very friendly. It's true that Russia can appear to be fairly unfriendly on the surface - people don't say hello in the shops and don't kiss when they meet. - But it would be a shame to stick with first impressions because once you have established contact you see that individualism doesn't really exist in Russia. Probably the result of their difficult past where it was essential to help each other. In addition, Russians generally like Brits, and admire their capacity for drinking!
Discover the destination

Why travel in Russia

Don't be afraid of contrasts, extremes or contradictions: Russia is the country where anything's possible!
You should go if...
  • You go mad for big cities: Moscow, St. Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan and Rostov, the big Russian cities will make your head spin.
  • You like pushing your limits by living in extreme conditions, the great North, the cold, the tundra, taiga or the peaks of the Caucasus Mountains.
  • You have gotten ideas from novels about how friendly people are in Russia: a vodka, and another, some laughing and dancing and another vodka!
  • Colours and onion domes intrigue you: Russian churches and monasteries are an art in themselves, both unique and inimitable.
  • You don't have a lot of experience with the word "distance": taking the Trans-Siberian railway and crossing two inconceivably long continents gives you different feeling about the world.
  • You admire and appreciate great culture: Russia promotes the arts, from ballet to music and architecture, to fine arts and film.
  • You are attracted by European, Caucasian, Turko-Mongolian, Siberian and other cultures. Russia is home to a myriad of people and cultures.
You shouldn't go if...
  • If you detest alcohol, you should know that it's everywhere in Russian culture!
  • If vastness scares you and your ideal human density is like in the Netherlands, it's better to not leave the big cities.
  • If you don't like cold countries, only visit the South (the Caucasus and the Caspian) or plan to go there during August.
  • If you only want to visit plain or boring countries: Russia only has rough edges, from social inequality to pollution.
  • You don't support discussions on nationalism and imperialism, because you may hear a lot of it!

Customize your perfect trip to Russia

Discover all our travel ideas for a trip in Russia.

All our tours in Russia

When to go in Russia?

jan
feb
march
april
may
june
july
aug
sept
oct
nov
dec
The climate of the largest country in the world is very cold in the north and east. Winters there are very cold and during the spring the melting snow makes for generally muddy conditions. So avoid travelling to Russia in the spring, it is far too muddy. The country is beautiful in autumn, when the colours of nature change and offer spectacular landscapes. And even if the winter is icy, it is the period when the country is at its most magical. The theatres are open and the vodka flows abundantly! Those who fear the cold will stick to the months of July and August, but beware if you don't like crowds: these are the busiest months!
See when to go

What to see in Russia?

Top places to discover.

See all places
Prepare your trip in Russia
Here are some advice and practical suggestions for preparing your trip to Russia.

What documents to travel with in Russia?

British passport holders require a visa for any stay in Russia. You have to apply via VFS Global who manage the process for the Russian Embassy in the UK. Their website has very clear instructions on the, fairly complicated, way to apply for a visa. (http://ru.vfsglobal.co.uk)

Please be aware that all applicants for a visa need to go to the offices of VFS Global in person.

Health advise

This is because all applicants for a visa who are 12 years old or older will have their fingerprints scanned as part of the application procedure., -

It is recommended that you check your DTP (diptheria, whooping cough and tetanus) vaccination is up to date. You are also recommended to be vaccinated against Hepatitis A and B, typhoid fever, tick borne encephalitis, flu, and meningococcal meningitis, depending on which regions you intend to visit.

Language

The official language is Russian.

Time difference

Moscow is 3 hours ahead of England in the winter and 2 hours in the summer. When it is noon in London it is either 2 p.m. or 3 p.m. in Moscow.

Phone and internet connection

The international dialling code for Russia is 007. You can use international phone cards to make calls, or go to a call centre.

Free wifi is available more or less everywhere in the big cities so you should have no problem connecting to the internet.

Electricity

Russian plugs are like the ones used in France so you will need an adapter.

Embassy of the United Kingdom in Moscow

Smolenskaya Naberezhnaya 10 -

121099 Moscow

Embassy of Russia in London

6-7 Kensington Palace Gardens

London W8 4QP,

Fire: 01

Police: 02

Ambulances: 03