Useful information : When to go, Getting around...
When to go
The hot, quite humid summers are the favourite season for many travellers. Cruises take place up and down the Volga and the Neva and the tourist sites are taken by storm. St Petersburg is magnificent during the white nights in June, all the more so thanks to the host of festivities. The snowbound Russian winter, when the temperatures drop below freezing, which lasts for 5-6 months and covers some two-thirds of this territory, is not necessarily to be avoided. Providing you dress up warmly to withstand the dry cold air, you will be able to visit Moscow’s and St Petersburg’s splendid museums without the summer crowds and admire stunning snowbound landscapes. Don’t miss the fantastic Russian winter festival at this time, which takes place in the squares and parks of the Golden Ring and St Petersburg.
Short and rainy, spring and autumn are relatively uninteresting from a tourist’s point of view, although the hotels offer discounts and the Orthodox Easter in April-May is characterised by magnificent religious ceremonies.
Formalities and useful addresses
A visa is required to enter Russia. Contact the Russian Embassy of your country to enquire about what type of visa you need (during periods of high demand, you should apply for your visa well in advance).
Your passport must be valid for six months beyond intended stay.
Office de tourisme : https://www.visitrussia.com/
Money and budget
Banks are generally open Mon-Fri 9am-5pm.
Rubles can be found in Russia exclusively. You can exchange your currency in airports, hotels and in the many exchange offices and banks in the tourist districts.
Most hotels, restaurants, shops and rental agencies accept the major credit cards. There are many ATMs and those with an "English" option accept foreign credit cards.
In Moscow or St-Petersburg, you should expect to pay around £65 to 115 for a double room in a mid-range hotel, and about £12 to 20 for a meal in a restaurant.
Health and safety
Standard European plugs. (220 V, 50 Hz). British and American visitors will probably need an adaptor of some sort.
This list is non-exhaustive as the government decides which days are public holidays each year.
January 1 - New Year
January 7 - Orthodox Christmas Day
February 23 - Defender of the Fatherland Day
March 8 - International Women's Day
May 1 - Spring and Labour Day
May 9 - Victory Day
June 12 - Russia Day
November 4 - Unity Day
Post offices are generally open from 9am until 6pm, with a short break for lunch.