Being the world’s largest country, Russia as a travel destination offers it all, from its historic cities and scenic countryside to its epic train rides, artistic riches and its famous vodka, this big and beautiful country in the north will never run out of things to offer to its visitors. Russia may not be in everyone’s bucket list and holiday destination, but it should be. Russia is an extraordinary country, and those who have taken the plunge and visited the beautiful country come back with so many wonderful travel memories. If you are thinking of planning your next travel adventure abroad, make sure to consider traveling to Russia, and discover the history and beauty of this huge land of a country. When traveling to Russia and abroad you can make use of flight trackers like flightstatus24.com to check the real-time status of your flight online. It’s so easy and convenient to use and you can even download their app on your phone, so you can use it at your own comfort. Aeroflot’s flight status (Russia’s national flag carrier) can also be monitored and checked here.
If you have decided to spend your holiday destination in Russia and are already packing your bags for your trip here, let us first give you the 8 things you should know before traveling to Russia.
- Be mindful of prices in the country. Contrary to what many think about Russia, traveling into this big country is not that expensive. Prices here are average compared to other expensive countries in Europe like Iceland, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Of course, as a tourist and a visitor, it is to be expected that you get to spend more than what the locals do. For museums only, tickets for foreigners in Russia tend to be more expensive than the locals, and yes, they will ask for your passport before purchasing a ticket. It is important that you get to be mindful of prices for the restaurant, cab, or buying souvenirs to avoid disappointment. Asking locals for recommendations or even a quick browse on the internet will do to check the prices of goods and services in Russia.
- Russia’s language is hard to understand.Most people don’t speak English in Russia, and you can only find English more widely spoken in Russia’s major cities. Understanding the Cyrillic Alphabet and Russia’s language is hard, so try to learn some useful Russian expressions before visiting the country. Downloading a translation app can also come very handy, so make you have one before you go. Yandex, Russia’s own kind of Google has Yandex Translate that is good for the Russian translation. If you are going on a city tour, it is also better if you would ask your hotel for an English speaking guide, as not all guides can speak English well.
- Avoid political conversations.Russia is a politically charged country and politics are better off as a topic especially when you are talking with a local. A lot of people are not comfortable discussing politics, and if you are asked by a local in regards to your opinion for a certain political topic, it’s better to keep your mouth shut.
- Don’t drain your glass if you cannot drink like a Russian.Russians have a great love for vodka. The word vodka came from the word “Voda”, which means water in Russia. Once they open a bottle of vodka, they don’t leave until it’s finished. If drinking is getting too much for you, you can leave some vodka in your glass to indicate that you would want to pass for the time being.
- Russians’ customs and culture.Just like with any other country, Russia has certain dos and don’ts that you need to follow and you are expected to respect local customs when visiting the country. For example, if you are invited to a Russian home, you are expected to follow etiquette like taking your shoes off when entering someone’s home and bring a small gift upon your arrival. Dress code is also important, especially when going into theatres and some restaurants. It is better to be ready than be underdressed in a crowd of formally dressed people. When visiting Russian Orthodox churches, which in any way you must do, women are to cover their heads and wear long skirts, and men should remove any headwear and wear long trousers.
- Make sure to visit Metro Station in Moscow.The Metro stations in Moscow are worth admiring and are an amazing historical artifact. A tour of the Moscow Metro is highly recommended to fully appreciate its stunning stations that were built during Soviet times.
- Russia’s public transportation.Russians are very proud of their subway system, and their public transportation is a great way to get around cities. Research routes and make sure you know how the system works like where to buy tickets and how to use the subway map as personnel won’t be able to help you with this as not all of them can speak English.
- Yandex works better than Google for maps.Say goodbye to Google maps for now, and say hello to Yandex for Maps. Yandex a counterpart of Google in Russia, better works for maps in the country as their map can be far more accurate and is actually easy to use even for non-Russian speakers.