Best Time to go: July – August. For winter sports, visit in Winter (December – February)
Best For: ‘White Nights’, Cultural Experiences, Winter Sports, Architecture
The world`s largest and perhaps least understood country certainly deserves a visit, whether it be for short trip through Moscow and St Petersburg`s cultural treasures, or a more wide-ranging trip that could include an almost endless list of destinations: the mountains of the Caucasus, the beaches of the Black Sea, the vast Volga River, the endless tracts of Taiga in Siberia, magical Lake Baikal, or the volcanoes of Kamchatka.
Nightlife in Moscow includes the world-famous Bolshoi Opera and Ballet Theatre at Teatralnaya Square. A Russian banya (steam bath) is a true experience and an integral part of Russian culture. Banyas range from small homely affairs in someone`s garden to lavish and expensive places for the wealthy to spend time with friends.
The stunningly beautiful Caucasus contains Europe`s highest peak, Mount Elbrus. At 5,642m ,it straddles the border between Russia and Georgia to the south and is one of the most beautiful in the country. It`s extremely popular with walkers and climbers.
Experiencing the real Russia by taking the Trans-Siberian Express is a trip of a lifetime. Trains are a comfortable, reliable and exciting way to see Russia; you can cover the entire length of the country from Murmansk to Vladivostok.
For up to date Health & Visa information click here
Capital: Moscow (MOW)
Currency: Rouble (RUB)
Language: Russian. Local dialects are also spoken. English, French and German may be spoken.
Dialling code from SA: +7
Time Zone: UTC/GMT +2 – UTC/GMT +12 (Same time as South Africa – 10 hours ahead of South Africa)
Side of the Road: Right.
Plugs: 220 volts AC, 50Hz. Russia uses a standard two-pin European plug
Drinking Water: All water should be regarded as being potentially contaminated. Bottled water is available.
Health: Medical facilities are very limited. It is advisable to carry basic medical supplies. Comprehensive health insurance is recommended and it should include emergency air evacuation coverage. If you require any medication on your travels it is best to bring it with you, in the original packaging, with a signed and dated letter from your doctor detailing exactly what it is and why you need it. Blood transfusions should not be performed in Russia due to concerns about the screening process.
Customs: If visiting Russian Orthodox churches, women should wear long skirts and keep their heads and shoulders covered and men should wear long pants. Homosexuality is frowned upon and public displays of affection should be avoided. Avoid using the “thumbs up” sign, as it is an insult.
Local Offences / Laws: Photography of military installations, government buildings and airports is prohibited. Passports should be carried at all times.
Travel Tips / Warnings: In rural areas, there may be limited ATM’s and cash should be carried. Avoid political demonstrations.
Duty Free: The following goods may be imported into Russia by persons aged 18 years and older without incurring customs duty:
• 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco.
• 3L of alcohol.
• Goods to the value of €1,500 weighing up to 50kg.
Prohibited Imports: Arms and ammunition, undercover surveillance and intelligence gathering equipment, and narcotics.
Prohibited Exports: Arms and ammunition, undercover surveillance and intelligence gathering equipment, narcotics, objects of cultural value, plants and seeds, vegetables, raw precious metals, minerals, wild plants and animals, and endangered species (unless you have a permit).