Traveling in Russia

Russia – arrival

Airplane: Aeroflot Russian International Airlines (SU) is the stateairline Of Russia. Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport is the most important transport hub. Numerous international airlines offer flights to and from Russia. For example, Lufthansa (LH), KLM (KL), Finnair (AY), CSA-Czech Airlines (OK), Vladivostok Air (XF), Austrian Airlines (OS), Air France (AF), Alitalia (AZ),British Airways(BA) or LOT Polish Airlines (LO).

Airports: the largest and most important airports – Russia’s Moscow airports are Domodedewo (DME) and Sheremetyewo-2 (SVO). They handle a large part of the international flights to and from Russia. Pulkovo-2 Airport (LED) in St. Petersburg is also important. However, international flights also land at the airports of Irkutsk (IKT), Novosibirsk (OVB), Kawkazskiye Mineralnye Vody (MRV), Arkhangelsk (ARH), Murmansk (MMK), Krasnodar (KRR), Kazan (KZN), Khabarovsk (HNV), Nizhny Novgorod (GOJ), Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk (UUS), Perm (PEE), Vladivostok (VVO) and Yekatarinburg (SVX).

Rail: from Moscow there are regular train connections to Tallinn, Helsinki, Riga, Kiev, Prague, Berlin, Budapest, Vilnius, Warsaw, Minsk and Chisinau. Moscow is the center of the Russian railway network. Trains also run from there to the Caucasus, Central Asia, Mongolia and China. Night trains connect Moscow and St. Petersburg with each other.
Trains run from St. Petersburg to Vilinius, Kiev, Budapest, Helsinki, Prague, Riga, Kaliningrad, Berlin and Warsaw. Timetables are available on the Internet at CIS Railway Table.

Automobile: It may not be advisable to drive your own car to Russia. The public transport network is well developed, the local drivers are sometimes quite aggressive and the traffic rules in Moscow and St. Petersburg are very complex. If you still want to enter the country with your own vehicle, you need an international driver’s license, a passport, adequate insurance and vehicle documents.

Bus: Eurolines buses run several times a day from the St. Petersburg metro station Baltijskaja to Riga and Tallinn. From Moscow, in view of the great distances involved, it is advisable to travel to neighboring countries by train.

Russia – traveling in the country

Railway: Russia Route network is operated by the state railway company Rossiysky Sheleznye Dorogo. Probably the most famous route is that of the Trans-Siberian Railway, the line from Moscow to Vladivostok.Ticketslong-distance trains must always be booked in advance. It is advisable to do this 24 hours before departure. The passport or a copy is required to reserve.
Rides in shared compartments (Platskartny) are cheaper than those in the so-called Kupeyny. The cheapest have four beds.

Car: the road signs in Russia are only written in Russian. The international driver’s license is recommended for driving in Russia, alternatively a translated national driver’s license. The international green insurance card is accepted in Russia.

The maximum speed in built-up areas is 60 km / h, on country roads: 90 km / h, on motorways 110: km / h. There is an exception for novice drivers (ie those who have not had their driving license for more than 2 years), they are allowed to drive a maximum of 70 km / h.

Drivers may have a maximum of 0.3 per mille, even during the day they have to drive with dipped headlights.

Rental cars: There are several international rental companies in Moscow. Insurance is usually included in the price. The documents required are the passport with visa, the international or translated national driving license as well as the documents of the approved route and the planned overnight stops. It is generally recommended that the tour operator book the rental car.

Bus: the cheapest way to discover Russia is by bus. This travel option may not seem particularly attractive in view of the vastness of the country, but journeys from city to city are faster by bus than by train. There are also more frequent connections.

Best travel time for Russia

Large regions of Russia are covered by snow for a large part of the year, in Moscow and St. Petersburg, for example, it can also snow in May and September. In recent years the temperatures have increased and made for relatively mild temperatures in January, but you have to be prepared for low temperatures. Between September and May, prices are lower and the sights are less crowded. An exception is the period around the New Year when hotels and airlines raise their prices. Visit petwithsupplies for Russia Travel Guide.

Most visitors to Moscow and St. Petersburg come in summer when the days are long and the temperatures are mild. During this time, numerous festivals and open-air concerts take place here. However, the summer weather in both cities can also be very hot or rainy cold. It is therefore advisable to be prepared in terms of clothing.

Autumn is in the weeks between late September and early October, when the trees shed their leaves and the afternoon sun is still warming. The nights are then cool to cold. Spring is usually in April.

In December, the sun rises just above the horizon and snow covers the land. Active vacationers can ski in the woods or skate across the frozen Gulf of Finland near St. Petersburg.

The best weather for outdoor activities is in July and August (in Karelia: rafting and trekking, on Lake Baikal: swimming, hiking, camping, in the Altai Mountains: rafting and hiking).

During the Russian holiday season in the first two weeks in January, the first two weeks in May and a large part of August, shops and authorities only open to a limited extent. A vacation during these periods is quieter, but can be problematic, for example, when dealing with the authorities (e.g. in connection with the visa).

Traveling in Russia