E-VISA: Eligible Countries
Andorra, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cambodia, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland
Italy, Japan, North Korea, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Myanmar, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Oman, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, Vatican, Vietnam
E-visa is granted within 4 days. The permitted period of stay in the Russian Federation on the basis of a unified e-visa of up to 16 days DOES NOT IMPLY the possibility of staying for 384 hours net time (24 hours x 16). The day of arrival and the day of departure are counted as two days. Please use only official website to apply: https://evisa.kdmid.ru/
Most international travelers visiting Russia need a Russian tourist visa prior to travel and it is easy to get. Effective 3 Sept 2021 you may get single/dupable entry visa for 90 days or multiple entry visa for up to 180days. Discovery Russia will provide two special documents. One is often referred to as a “letter of invitation” or “visa supporting letter”, which confirms your travel itinerary; another document is the official travel voucher. In some countries, you might need to come personally for fingerprints (once). More detailed information will be provided by your Discovery Russia Travel agent. You will also receive detailed visa manuals to facilitate the visa application process. Visa validity, requirements, processing time and fees vary from country to country. Some itineraries required double entry visa for which additional requirements apply. Please refer to our Visa Manuals or consult your nearest Discovery Russia Travel Planner.
Currency exchange/credit cards
USD Internationally issued cards ARE NO LONGER accepted in Russia. Your visa, master or discover will not work. You can bring up to $10,000 USD (in any currency) and convert freely into Rubles. In Moscow and St Petersburg, you can get a local SIM card and open local debit card. THe process is smooth and takes just 1-2 hours.
We can arrange your travel and medical insurance from a Russian insurance company. Payment is possible with an internationally issued credit card.
Is it safe to travel to Russia?
Discovery Russia operates via its own licensed local Russian tour operator with a head office in Moscow that handles all operations in Russia. The company is registered by the Ministry of Tourism in Russia and has all the necessary licenses. Only companies with such licenses are permitted to be registered in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia and are authorized to issue visa-supporting documents. If you travel with Discovery Russia, you are travelling with an official Russian travel agent.
Will I have Wi-Fi and mobile coverage in Russia?
In the cities and hot spot tourist locations, along the main highways the network is good, though it can be unstable on board the trains. Mobile coverage is very limited in the hard-to-access places in Siberia and the Far East. Wi-Fi is stable and free in the Moscow metro, Moscow and St Petersburg airports. Many local restaurants, cafes and hotels also offer free wi-fi.
Should I go on a small group tour or travel independently?
Since March 2022, the selection of group tours we're offering is limited. Please ask you manager for availability.
What is the ‘kid-friendly’ travel concept?
We know how hard it can be to leave the little ones at home and to travel for more than a few days. And what if you planned a trip for two or three weeks? Nightmare! So many things to think about. Even finding a relative or a nanny to take care of the kids for a few days can be a great problem, especially if your relatives live in another city.
We have a solution: our unique, Kid-Friendly selection of smart tours for families with kids; Take them in all the top cities and attractions, with short daily tours that won’t wear them out. Each tour has been specifically designed to keep kids entertained and allow the grownups to discover Russia. Kid-Friendly tour to Russia is an ideal balance between your parental responsibilities and your desire to explore the world!
On what side of the road do Russians drive?
Electricity and fuel tips?
In Russia, the standard voltage is 220 V, with a standard frequency of 50 Hz. You can use an ordinary world travel adaptor, or most hotels allow you to rent one.
If you are renting a car, you will find many types of fuel at petrol stations. We recommend you buy 92 or 95 octane unleaded petrol. Diesel is also available. Electric/hybrid vehicles are not yet common in Russia, and charge stations are limited and we do not advise this option. While in the cities, petrol stations are abundant; however, in rural areas, our recommendation is that if you see a fuel station, then use it! Distances between opportunities to fill up your car can be great outside the cities.
How do I enter Russia?
To visit Russia, you must fill in a migration card, which will be handed out during your flight. The card consists of two identical parts printed either side-to-side or top-to-bottom. You need to fill out both parts, in either English or Russian. It is important that you do not lose your migration card. If you do lose or damage your migration card, you must report it to the nearest migration office within three working days of your arrival. Your Discovery Russia travel specialist will assist you.
Items that must be declared on entry to Russia:
• Amounts of cash exceeding USD 10,000, if you plan to leave the country with the money
• Items of significant value, including jewels, artwork, or antiques
• Musical instruments
• Goods with a value exceeding EUR 2,000 and weighing over 35 kg
• Weapons and drugs
• Alcohol in excess of 2 liters per adult.
• Tobacco, more than 50 cigars, 100 cigarillos, 200 cigarettes, or 250 g of pipe tobacco.
What does “visa registration” mean?
At the present time, all foreign citizens are required to register their Russian visas within seven working days of arrival. It your trip is shorter than 7 days, it does not apply. If you stay longer, the hotels will register your stay with the Federal Migration Service. No action is required from your side, but please do not lose your migration card which you will be given at the airport at the border crossing. It is important that you have it. You must keep the registration with you until your departure from the country, to facilitate the departure process at the airport. If you change hotels during the trip, you will have a registration done at every location.
Am I able to access local medical care?
We strongly recommend that all travelers who visit Russia purchase comprehensive travel medical insurance. While Russian hospitals do offer quality services, many of them restrict services to within normal business hours and/or to people willing to pay for services in advance. Furthermore, it is rare for Russian hospitals to accept insurance without payment in advance. Most patients must pay in cash and receive reimbursement from their insurance companies upon their return to Australia.
How do I make phone calls to and from Russia?
To make a call to Russia, dial: 7 + city code + phone number.
To make a call from Russia, dial: 8 10 + country code + city/area code + phone number.
To make a call within Russia between cities, dial: city code + 7 or 8 + phone / mobile number.
Weather and climate
Warm season is more popular, but we strongly promote travels in winter as well. You will see off-crowded Russia as described in Leo Tolstoy’s famous novels. Take a deep breath and just do it. Our travelers reached the Pole of Cole (-67 Cesium) in January, and with kids! The Pole of Cold is located in Yakutia, by thy way. For Winter Trans Siberian, just take usual ski gear, that is perfectly enough and recommended by our travelers. The experience you’ll get will be absolutely unique. Summer is short and lasts for the three months of June to August. You should be aware of important national holidays: New Year 1-10 January, pretty weird Old New Year on 13 January, May 1-9 (Victory Day), 12 June (Russia Day), 4-8 November (National Union Day). It can be crowded sometimes, but you will have a chance to participate in some great events with the locals. As for the Trans Siberians, it's a great destination year round. In autumn, you will see colorful endless taiga, in spring - awakening Lake Baikal getting rid of its winter ice, and who dares to say what's better?
I travel Trans Mongolian. Can I Enjoy 144-hour visa exemption regarding visa to China?
NO, YOU CAN NOT. Travelers who take the international train from Ulaanbaatar to Beijing do not qualify for 144-hour visa-free transit, because the valid ports of entry in Beijing are Beijing Capital Airport and Beijing West Railway Station(北京西站). International trains between Ulaanbaatar - Beijing arrive in / depart from Beijing Railway Station(北京火车站), which is not the port for the 144-hour visa-free policy.
The Trans-SiberianTrain Tours: what you need to know
World-famous Trans-Siberian route goes from St Petersburg or Moscow to Vladivostok, and Trans- Mongolian option turns from Irkutsk/ Lake Baikal to the south, passing Mongolia to reach Beijing, China. Besides, all itineraries run the other way round. From Beijing, you may connect to Hong Kong, Vietnam or other destinations. From St Petersburg, we can put your itinerary through to Europe, Scandinavia or the Baltic States. Trans-Siberian railroad connects Europe and Asia, so you literally can reach Hong Kong from London overland. There are over 60 stops available along the Trans-Siberian route.
You may choose one of our set group departures travelling eastbound and westbound a few times a year, with a special selection of winter train tours available. These are hop on/hop off train tours. All tours listed also run on a private basis. There has never been a easier way to explore the Trans-Siberian railroad.
If you’d like to experience luxury cruising Trans-Siberian Express trains (that means: stay aboard all the time, no overnights in the cities), or need more flexibility with your itinerary, or have any specific destination on your mind, please don't hesitate to chat online with one of our agents or simply send us an email to start planning your perfect custom-made Trans-Siberian railway holiday package.
Trans-Siberian train: types of compartments
There are 2 types of compartments used for the Trans-Siberian railway holidays. Second class has 4 berths and 1st class in Russia has 2 berth. Please note, that if you are a solo traveler and want a private compartment on board, you will need to buy out other seats. Please inform your travel agent and the tour quote will be adjusted. Mind that a shower is featured on 1st class only and not in all the trains operating in Russia. This means, 1st class carriages does NOT guarantee that the is a shower on board. Different train types are used by Russian railways to operate each leg of the journey and the train specification is not published until 90 days in advance. Our tours are designed to use best available Russian trains, however the final authority does not belong to Discover Russia. Hence, we can recommend but can not guarantee that this or that specific train will be available on a certain date on a certain leg of your train trip. Trans -Siberian travels requires and assumes certain flexibility. There is also 3rd class carriage without doors, recommended for backpackers and travelers on a tight budget. Discovery Russia does not run tours based on 3rd class compartments. Please contact Discovery Russia travel specialists to get more details of how this exiting train journey operates.
Is Metric or Imperial system used in Russia?
Russians use the metric system: kilometers, not miles; and Celsius, rather than Fahrenheit.
Are tips included/ compulsory in Russia? How much?
Tips to guides & drivers are already included in the tour package.
Tips are largely expected in big cities when you eat out and not expected in smaller towns or villages. You may live 300-400 Rub in cafes/restaurants, that will be fair enough. In upscale places, between 5 and 10% is recommended, but, again, it is NOT compulsory.
What are the time zones in Russia?
Russia is the largest country in the world. You can find yourself anywhere between UTC (+2) in the West to UTC (+12) in the Far East.
Check the time zones of your intended locations here:
Is it difficult to understand and read the Russian language?
The Cyrillic alphabet can be difficult to read. For instance, “restaurant” in Russian looks like P-E-C-T-O-P-A-H. Sounds funny? Indeed! But apart from the two capitals of Moscow and St. Petersburg, you will rarely find street signs in English or people speaking English. Even in Moscow it is still not common to find written information in English in the museums, even the top ones (although museums and tourist buses often have English audio-guides). Language should be taken into consideration when you choose between hiring a personal English-speaking local guide, when you are joining a guided tour or when you are travelling on your own. Note that only licensed guides are permitted to lead excursions in the top museums such as the Moscow Kremlin or the St. Petersburg Hermitage. Also, only the guides have fast-track entrance tickets and off-working-hours right of admission into the top attractions such as Hermitage. A Russia guided tour with a certified guide will allow you to get the most out of your itinerary, and maximum flexibility during your stay in Russia.
Russian Embassy in the USA
For visa and other entry rules please read official guidance at https://washington.mid.ru/en/
Russian Embassy in the UK
For visa and other entry rules please read official guidance at https://www.rusemb.org.uk
Russian Embassy in Canada
For visa and other entry rules please read official guidance at https://canada.mid.ru/en/
Russian Embassy in Australia
For visa and other entry rules please read official guidance at https://australia.mid.ru/web/en