Back to Russia in 2024

Back to Russia in 2024
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Why not? Travel to Russia is safe, with normalcy in major cities like Moscow and St. Petersburg, Perm, Ekaterinburg, Irkutsk, Vladivostok. The Trans-Siberian Railway is still connecting Moscow with Vladivostok and the Sea of Japan and all the interesting sights along the railway are open for visitors. Mount Elbrus is open for climbers and the salmons are jumping in the rivers on the Kola peninsula.

Despite challenges in recent years traveling to Russia remains feasible and optimistic. Russia's borders are open for tourism and both traditional and electronic visas are available.

While international sanctions pose some challenges, we here aim to provide updated (as per JAN24) information and practical recommendations for travelers ready for a Russian adventure in 2024.

Visa to Russia

Russian consulates are issuing visas for travel to Russia for tourism, visiting relatives etc., as usual. Since 15th of June 2013 it has also become possible to apply for an electronic visa to certains cities and since 1st of August 2023 it is possible to apply for visa to stays all over Russia.

Electronic visa (E-Visa). A total of 55 nationalities can apply for an electronic visa to Russia, for stays of up to 16 days. The electronic visa is giving you the big advantage that it is not necessary to go to the consulate or to the Russian visa centers as long as you and your travel plans live up to the conditions you must fulfill:
Regular or paper visa. You still have the option to apply for a paper or traditional visa allowing longer stays than the electronic visa, if your plans do not meet the conditions required for an electronic visa. Visa fee depending on the embassy/consulate/visa center of the country where you obtain the visa - normally issued within 10 working days (some countries have a faster option against an dditional fee).
Invitations are still required for regular visas. Here we can help you, just like we used to before the world went off the rails.

Travel to Russia without a visa (Visa-Free). There are countries that do not require a visa to travel to Russia, such as Cuba, Colombia, Peru or Venezuela, among others, although under certain conditions. In this case you do not have to apply for a visa, but you must have travel insurance for any eventuality that may arise. 

Insurance covering Russia

A travel insurance is not only a good idea, but it is a must to enter Russia regardless of you visa. If your insurance company cannot cover your travel to Russia some Russian insurance companies like GoingRus and Attollo Assistence provide the service having the option to pay with card from a country outside Russia. The medical insurance must be valid throughout the territory of the Russian Federation (corresponding with the information in the visa) and throughout the stay period. Here you find the requirements:
• Buy the insurance in advance! It is not possible to buy it when arriving in Russia.
• The insurance policy has to be in Russian or English (no other language). Be sure that you get the policy in PDF format to print it in advance and show it along with your visa.
• In the policy must be stated: Policy number and date, period the insurance covers, full names of the insured (identic to visa and passport), list of medical coverage (min. 30.000 EUR or equal in other currency), the area covered by the insurance (World/Russian Federation/ Europe, Russia included) – the territory of Russia includes Europe and Asia, signature of the insurance company.

How to enter Russia

To enter the largest country in the world you can use air or land transport – and within Russia you have busses, railways and domestic flights at your disposal.
For the present there are flight connections to Moscow through the airports in Istanbul (Turkey) with Pegasus Airlines and Turkish Airlines and Belgrade (Serbia) with Air Serbia. Another option is flight from Yerevan by Flyone (Armenia). Compare prices here  or here .

Besides the European connections there are flights from Abu Dhabi (UAE) with Etihad Airways, via Doha (Qatar) with Qatar Airways or via Cairo (Egypt) with EgyptAir. It is also possible to fly to Russia via Tashkent (Uzbekistan) with Uzbekistan Airways or via Casablanca (Morocco) with Royal Air Maroc.
Depending on the program you have chosen for your Russian experience and the possibilities at the given time, we are happy to help with suggestions on how to fly to Russia.

As for the transport on land there are bus connections from the Baltic countries with main routes from Tallinn (Estonia). The routes to St. Petersburg are operated by at least 3 bus companies at the moment ( for Tallinn - another option for Tallinn  and for Riga)

Money - rubles - payments

Forget all about your credit card (if issued outside Russia) for the time being and use this simple recommendation:
Take cash with you and exchange to rubles in a bank in Russia. Bring EUR or USD (max. 10.000 EUR/USD without declaration). Remember to bring banknotes without any defects.

Find a bank offering a good rate of exchange (see here). The official rate of the bank you can find on many websites, check the location of the bank and the working hours. If you arrive outside the opening hours we recommend you to exchange only a minimum in the airport.

If you insist to pay by card you have to get yourself a card valid in Russia like UnionPay bank card (Chinese) or to purchase a bank card in Russia.

Are you ready for a Russian adventure?

We are back in Russia for 2024 with our classical Trans-Siberian adventure, short-stays in St. Petersburg and Moscow, The Golden Ring and exiting stays along the railway from Moscow to Vladivostok in Perm, Ekaterinburg, Irkutsk and Lake Baikal. For climbers of Mt. Elbrus we have several departures in 2024. Fishing for salmons – contact us for exclusive tours to the Kola peninsula.

See our group tour 13th of August through The True Russia - Trans Siberian Journey

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