Know Before You Go: Russia

Know Before You Go: Russia

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It is important to know that Russian currency is rubles. You can bring any other currency (US dollars and Euros are preferable) and exchange it.  Credit cards are not accepted everywhere, so it is better to have some cash in your pocket. Change money in banks. The largest bank in Russia is Sberbank (Сбербанк), it has thousands of branches in Russian cities.


Long distance telephone calls can usually be made from a hotel. AT&T, MCI and other telecommunications companies can provide calling card service with local access numbers. Check with your phone card provider for specific information. Calls can also be made from phone kiosks, located near Metro and train stations, tourist attractions and in downtown areas, with pre-paid, locally purchased phone cards.

Water and Electricity

Never drink tapwater, it can be dangerous.

Electricity throughout Russia is 220V. The plug is the two-pin thin European standard. 

Passports and Visas

American, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand and European Union citizens all need visas to visit Russia. A recent US-Russia agreement has seen the visa application procedure for US citizens somewhat eased.

Given the relative complexity of applying, using the services of a visa or travel agency is highly recommended.  Travelers to Russia must register within three days of their arrival.  The immigration form received at passport control must go wherever your passport goes – you will get a stamp at your hotel that will complete the registration process. Be sure to register at every new hotel you stay at when moving from city to city. Registration stamps may be checked upon departure or by law enforcement officials.

Vaccinations for Russia Travel

Do Get/Update These Shots:

  • Tetanus
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B

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