Russia travel guide

Russia Tourism | Russia Guide

You're Going to Love Russia

Russia is the home of diverse culture and historical heritage and its size is just a great excuse to return and explore more.

What to do in Russia

1. Visit the Red Valley

The Red Valley is one of the best spots in Russia to snowboard and ski.

2. Hit the Sights in Moscow

Visit the Red Square, Moscow's most famous tourist attraction and landmark.

3. Visit St. Petersburg

In St. Petersburg, don't skip a tour of the famous Hermitage museum.

4. Discover Russian Nature

Travel to the east side of the country to explore the Stolby Nature Reserve.

5. Watch World-Renowned Bolshoi Ballet

Attend a ballet performance at the iconic Bolshoi Theater in Moscow.

When to visit Russia

Russia in November
Estimated hotel price
$51
1 night at 3-star hotel
Russia in November
Estimated hotel price
$51
1 night at 3-star hotel

If you want to see Russia covered in snow, the best time to travel is between November and April. It's the low season, but prices around New Year's tend to increase.

For travelers who prefer the warm weather, plan your trip in June for the White Nights event in St. Petersburg.

How to Get to Russia

Entry Requirements

Nationals from most countries in the world need a visa to enter Russia. The process is often bureaucratic, so start applying for the visa at least one month before your trip. Tourist visas are usually valid for up to one month.

Plane

Most international flights to Russia land at one of the three airports in Moscow (Sheremetyevo, Domodedovo, and Vnukovo) or the Pulkovo International Airport in St. Petersburg.

Train

It's possible to enter Russia by train from most of the neighboring countries. Double check if there are special visa conditions for your nationality when crossing the border from one of them.

Car

Russia is equipped with well-maintained roads and highways in urban areas. To drive, you need car registration and insurance papers, your driver's license, and your valid passport and visa.

It's best to cross the border in Latvia, Estonia, Finland, or Lithuania.

Bus

There are regular buses to Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Kaliningrad from Tallinn (Estonia), Riga (Latvia), Helsinki (Finland), Warsaw and Gdansk (Poland), and Klaipeda and Vilnius (Lithuania).

Boat

In the summer, there are frequent ferry routes to St. Petersburg from Helsinki (Finland), Stockholm (Sweden), and Tallinn (Estonia).

Popular airlines serving Russia

KLM
Good (346 reviews)
Air France
Good (392 reviews)
Turkish Airlines
Good (1,311 reviews)
Qatar Airways
Good (1,190 reviews)
Emirates
Excellent (936 reviews)
Etihad Airways
Good (302 reviews)
Ethiopian Air
Good (146 reviews)
Malaysia Airlines
Good (47 reviews)
ANA
Excellent (137 reviews)
Egypt Air
Good (126 reviews)
Japan Airlines
Good (465 reviews)
Korean Air
Excellent (240 reviews)
Pegasus Airlines
Good (227 reviews)
Gulf Air
Good (50 reviews)
Qantas Airways
Good (175 reviews)
Oman Air
Excellent (5 reviews)
Royal Air Maroc
Good (127 reviews)
SriLankan Airlines
Good (11 reviews)
Air Serbia
Good (36 reviews)
Kenya Airways
Good (38 reviews)
Show more

Where to stay in Russia

Chain hotels are the most common type of accommodation you'll find in Russia. In large touristic cities like Moscow and St. Petersburg, it's becoming more common to find budget-friendly hostels.

Where to stay in popular areas of Russia

Most booked hotels in Russia

Hotel Saint Petersburg
Excellent (9.1, 48 reviews)
$58+
Azimut Hotel Smolenskaya Moscow
Excellent (9.2, 19 reviews)
$132+
Azimut Hotel Olympic Moscow
Excellent (8.5, 12 reviews)
$116+
Izmailovo Beta Hotel
Good (7.6, 43 reviews)
$48+
Azimut Hotel Saint-Petersburg
Excellent (8.5, 3 reviews)
$76+
Shouyuan Hotel
Excellent (8.4, 2 reviews)
$45+
See all hotels

How to Get Around Russia

Public Transportation

Moscow and St. Petersburg have an excellent subway network, but most cities are served by an efficient system of trams, buses, and trolleybuses.

On average, a bus or tram ticket can cost approximately 15-50 RUB (0.25-0.80 USD) per person.

Trains

Getting around by train is one of the most popular and comfortable options. Almost all cities and towns are connected by an efficient railroad with trains that usually run on time.

Long-distance trains are for trips of four hours or longer. For smaller distances, you can take a commuter train.

Bus

Long-distance buses are usually used to reach areas not served by regular trains. An extra fee may be charged if you're traveling with luggage.

Car

Renting a car, with or without a driver, is less of a hassle than bringing your car unless you're traveling for a long time in Russia. You'll need your local driver's license, an International Driving Permit, insurance, car registration papers, and a declaration for customs stating that you won't leave your car behind when leaving the country.

Plane

The rule of thumb to decide to travel by plane within Russia is to check how long it takes to reach that destination by train. If it involves more than an overnight trip, than catching a domestic flight might be a better option. Most flights depart from Moscow.

The Cost of Living in Russia

Eating out can average between approximately 500 RUB (8 USD) for a cheap meal and 1,000 RUB (16 USD) for a more expensive one. Bus and subway tickets cost around 15-50 RUB (0.25-0.80 USD). A week's worth of groceries costs around 600 RUB (9.50 USD). Both credit and debit cards are accepted and ATMs are commonly found.