Russia is the largest country in the world, covering more than one-eighth of the Earth’s inhabited land area, stretching from Eastern Europe to Northern Asia. It has many neighboring countries and a rich history, starting with the tsars, through Soviet times, to the modern period you can see today.

Russia, besides rich and picturesque cities and cozy small villages, has also many natural wonders. From the freezing tundra of Yakutia and the mysterious Lake Baikal, through the longest railroad network in the world, to the palm beaches of Sochi and the highest peak in Europe – Mt. Elbrus, you can spend years exploring these worlds off the beaten paths.

need to know for traveling in Russia


Quick facts

Capital CityMoscow
Official languagesRussian
Area17,098,242 km²
CurrencyRubel / RUB
Population143 milion



A valid visa are required to enter Russia for most citizens.

These can be obtained through the Russian Visa Center or directly from the Embassy. In most cases, a letter of invitation is required and, in general, obtaining a visa for EU and US citizens is not an easy process. Yet, worth it.

Fortunately, from 2023 an e-visa are back online and atleast European citizens can apply for 16 days of entry without letter of invitation or any hotel confirmation.

Getting in

Most land borders are open. However, if you are using an e-visa, you must travel through the designated borders listed on your application.

If you decide to fly from the EU, you can fly via Istanbul or Yerevan, where most EU airlines fly. Non-EU flights are without restrictions.
Again, remember that if you are using an e-visa, you must go to the airport listed on your application.


Best time to visit

Russia is a huge country and therefore it is not possible to define it clearly. For example, Lake Baikal can be visited at any time of the year, I would recommend Yakutia and the northern regions in winter, and the southern Caucasus republics or cities like St. Petersburg in summer.

Is Russia safe now?

Russia eu asia borders monument

Russia unfortunately doesn’t have a good, safe reputation especially among inhabitans of western countries. Whether it is because of antipropaganda happening in the movies and online, or way distant cultural values, everyone who spend enought time in Russia eventually liked it.

In my experience, the days when tourists were scared to ask policemen anything are over. Bribery is still very common there, but as a tourist you should not be a common target anymore.

Also, many signs are now in English, which makes navigation very easy, and in general, Russia has made great strides toward tourism in recent years.

Best experiences in Russia

Visit major cities

Moscow, St. Petersburg, Irkutsk, Yakutsk, Vladivostok and many others are extraordinary cities. Each of them deserves several days to explore, see the monuments, meet the people and feel the unique atmosphere.

Feel the real cold

Russia is associated with cold, so do yourself a favor and visit this huge country during the cold season. For extreme lovers there is Yakutsk and the whole Yakutian land, but also Lake Baikal in winter will make your trip unforgettable. If you prefer walking in the city, snowy cold Russian cities with colorful decorations will put you in the right Christmas atmosphere.

Experience the Russian culture

You’ll see it everywhere, but if you want to fully immerse yourself in it, try to travel on 3rd class trains (called Placzkarts), visit shops and churches in small villages, and don’t be afraid to talk to people. Russians like to meet foreigners. You’ll probably be invited to their homes for dinner sooner or later.

tips for Russia



Before the sanctions, you could simply book a hotel through well-known platforms.

Now it’s a bit trickier, but you can still book it online, or at least search for it. Look for the accommodation that suits you on



Due to sanctions, you cannot pay with foregin cards. Still, Russia has its own network called MIR and foreginers can get debit card in Russian Sberbank, so if you’re afrand to go with a cash, you can deposit your money in Russian bank at first day of your arrival and later just enjoy paying with the card and make hotel reservations painlessly.



Planes and trains are popular for long distances. Note that Russian trains are safe, cheap and very comfortable, even for long distances. Some people go to Russia just for this experience.

For short distances, you can use taxis or marshutkas, which are a form of shared taxis that depart when they are full.