#1. Learn the cyrillic alphabet:
It’s worth getting to grips with some cyrillic alphabet basics before you go. This will help you better understand public information at railway stations and in big cities.
#2. Learn some Russian expressions:
Most Russians – especially the older generation – don’t speak any English, so they will really appreciate you taking the time to learn popular Russian expressions.
#3. Travel by rail:
The Russian Railway is a fantastic way to get around! You can get from Moscow to St Petersburg easily by high-speed train. Book here: https://rail.ninja/route/moscow-to-st.petersburg.
#4. Stay warm!
If you’re visiting in winter, the temperatures are very low! Take a warm coat, hat and gloves!
#5. Inform your bank:
Credit cards are widely accepted, but don’t run the risk of your bank blocking your card. Let them know you’re planning a trip to Russia.
#6. Experience Russian hospitality:
Visit a local – the hospitality is second to none!
#7. Learn Russian etiquette:
Be polite – always remove your shoes if you enter somebody’s home.
#8. Get your visa early:
Depending on where you’re traveling from, the visa process can be lengthy. Make sure to start as early as possible.
#9. Visit the Moscow metro stations:
The metro stations in Moscow are an attraction in themselves. Even if you’re not planning to use the metro, they’re worth the visit.
#10. Check your hotel’s location:
Russian cities are massive, so when you book your hotel, check the location. Try to stay somewhere as central as possible, to cut down on travel time.
#11. Book tickets in advance:
If you’re planning to visit any of the major attractions, be aware that tickets can sell out quickly. It’s worth booking online well in advance to secure your place.
#12. Download Yandex Maps:
Google Maps might not work as well in Russia, so download Yandex Maps to your smartphone before you arrive.
#13. Taste Russian food:
Be sure to sample the local cuisine. There are plenty of buffets where you can sample a huge range of dishes and pay for what you take.
#14. Download a translation app:
English isn’t widely spoken or used in Russia, so a translation app will be your best friend.
#15. See Russian architecture:
Architecture in the major cities is stunning, so be sure to spend some extra time admiring the buildings. You can’t miss out on Russian churches in particular.
#16. Ask for an English-speaking guide:
If you opt for a guided tour or have a hotel guide, you may need to request somebody who speaks English.
#17. Expect more tea than coffee:
Western-style coffee shops are growing in popularity, but tea is by far the most popular hot beverage here. Expect to find more varieties of tea than you even knew existed, and don’t be afraid to try as many as possible.
#18. Visit a monastery:
The beautiful monasteries are definitely worth the visit with incredible architecture providing a breath of fresh air from the big cities. Keep the dress code in mind; women are expected to wear skirts below the knee and ensure their head is covered before entering a religious site.
#19. Visit a Russian banya:
Be sure to visit a Russian banya to really enjoy your tour to Russia. It’s an amazing, unique experience that can give you a great burst of energy to start the day in the winter.
#20. Visit a flea market:
Finally, make sure that you head to a flea market to pick up unique and different souvenirs of your trip.
Russia is an incredible country with so much to see and do. Keep these tips in mind and be prepared to enjoy your visit!