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Tips for traveling in Russia

Russia is becoming increasingly popular with tourists due to its rich cultural heritage and the popular cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg. If you are planning or traveling to Russia, we suggest you consider some of the following travel tips.

Get to know Russia

Read about Russia before visiting it to learn a little about the country. To give you some insight, Russia covers nine time zones and is the largest country in the world, with landscapes ranging from frozen tundra in Siberia and endless fields of wheat and pine forests in central Russia to the mountains and palm trees of the Caucasus in the south. According to the latest census, which included Moscow, which is the most populous area, the population was about 140 million people.

Health

Be sure to check what you have and what you can’t eat before heading to Russia. There are no serious health threats in the country, the most common is the problem of food poisoning. Most recommendations suggest avoiding buying barbecues at stalls, especially at train stations, while tourists are also advised to be wary of dairy products. Tap water can be drunk in Moscow after boiling, but tourists are advised to drink bottled water everywhere; Avoid ice cubes and use bottled water to brush your teeth.

Money

Russia is an impressive country, and so are prices. The big cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg, like most famous European cities, are very expensive. On the outskirts of big cities you will find cheaper restaurants and accommodation. Vacationers are encouraged to receive Russian rubles before the trip, but ATMs of local banks, such as Sberbank, and international ones, such as HSBC and Citibank, are available throughout Moscow, St. Petersburg and other Russian cities. When paying for anything, retailers in Russia prefer to pay in cash, but credit cards are usually accepted, and travelers can still pay by traveler’s checks.

Manners

Before making a trip to Russia, you need to know some Russian etiquette. If you are on a business trip and are late, do not panic, because it is considered normal, often because of the terrible traffic in Moscow. If you are offered a drink, it is considered rude not to take it, especially for men. Some reference books also say that Russian men often meet men only when meeting, so women traveling with their husbands should be prepared to see that their husband’s hand is shaken, not theirs. Russians also like to dress almost everywhere they go, so maybe you should pack smart clothes for the trip.