Before the Trip to Russia

Passport and visa
For travel to Russia, Swedish citizens need a visa, which can be obtained from Russia’s embassies in Stockholm, Gothenburg or Malmö. Phoenix Travel will send you a so-called “visa support letter” needed to apply for a visa. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after leaving Russia and contain at least two blank pages (if you continue on the Trans-Siberian Railway via Mongolia to China, more blank pages are needed as Mongolia and China have the same requirements). To obtain a visa to Russia, a travel insurance from a company recognized by a Russian mission is also required. Cost: 35 Euro
Russian center for visa applications in Stockholm Klara Östra Kyrkogata 2A Tel: 08-44685054 E-mail: [email protected]
Website: 31
Russian center for visa applications in Gothenburg. Friggagatan 12B Tel: 031-3013170 E-mail: [email protected]
For information: Russian Consulate in Malmo, Roskildevägen 13A, 4 van 217 46 Malmö Tel: 733-84 25 14 E-mail: [email protected]
Vaccinations and health

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In general, healthcare in Russia does not meet the same standard as in Sweden, but better healthcare is available in the larger cities. Contact the vaccination center or doctor well in advance of departure to find out which vaccinations may be relevant in your case. Check that you have insurance that covers care in Russia as well as home transport in the event of a more serious accident / illness and bring your insurance documents with you during the trip. Medicines should be stored in their original packaging so that it is clear what kind of medicine it is. When carrying prescription drugs, you should bring a certificate from the pharmacy or your doctor in English to pack it together with the medicines in your hand luggage. Do not drink tap water.

Weather and clothes
The vast Russia has several climate zones. Russia, however, has a largely continental climate, but an extremely inland climate in inner Siberia and a subarctic climate in northern Siberia and the northern Kola Peninsula. On the Black Sea coast in southern Russia, on the other hand, there is a subtropical climate. The average temperatures differ, of course, in the different climate zones, but in general Russia has hot to hot summers and in some places extremely cold winters. If you plan to travel in Russia during the winter, you should be well furred! It can be a good idea to bring a pair of comfortable waterproof shoes – roads and walking paths can be of varying quality outside the cities.

Climate table for Moscow

Moscow Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Christmas Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max ° C -9 -6 0 10 19 21 23 22 16 9 2 -5
Min ° C -16 -14 -8 1 8 11 13 12 7 3 -1 -10
Precipitation etc. 39 38 36 37 53 58 88 71 58 45 47 54

Currency and exchange rate
You can exchange Russian rubles at most exchange offices and banks in Sweden, but you may need to pre-order the currency at certain locations. If you intend to exchange rubles from US dollars or euros on the spot, you should check in advance that your banknotes are smooth and whole and only exchange at authorized exchange offices. Card payments are not yet as common as in Sweden, for example, and it can therefore be a good idea to always carry a sum of cash. Larger stores and restaurants, however, usually accept cards such as Visa and Mastercard. In larger cities, there is a fairly good supply of ATMs where you can easily withdraw cash with the most common cards. You should choose to be charged in the local currency to get as close to the current exchange rate as possible.

Before the trip to Russia

Transport and communication
Russia has a large railway network that spans huge expanses and also good air connections between the most important cities. During our excursions in the cities, we usually take a tourist bus or walk. The infrastructure in the larger cities is otherwise reasonably well developed with functioning local transport. Moscow and St. Petersburg, for example, have efficient metro systems. It is easy to get a taxi in the larger cities, but agree a price with the driver. GSM works well in Russia and both 3G and EDGE are well developed. If you intend to use your Swedish subscription, you should consult with your operator as the prices can vary considerably depending on which operator you have. There are many internet cafes in Russia and better hotels offer Wi-Fi.

Food and drinks
In Russia you will find specialties such as Stroganoff steak, pasties, the wonderful beetroot soup borscht and blinier – the delicious buckwheat platters that are often served with Russian caviar and sour cream. There is a lot to choose from in Russian cuisine. Russia is known for its rich selection of different types of vodka, but there are also a large number of domestic beer brands such as Baltika and Sibirskaya Korona. For those who like sparkling drinks, there is also “Russian champagne” that tastes great with blinis. But of course there are also non-alcoholic alternatives available in Russia!

Shopping and gifts
Russia has a rich craft tradition and in Russia you will find everything from excellent paints, samovars, porcelain, beautiful shawls, matryoshka dolls to modern design. Or why not buy some Russian chocolate to offer when you get home?

Other information
Electricity: The current is the same as in Sweden. You do not need an adapter.
Luggage: Pack valuables and important medicines with a certificate from your doctor in hand luggage. Label your bags with the luggage tags that Phoenix Travel sends to you before departure.
Local time: Russia no longer has winter time / summer time. Moscow is one hour ahead of Swedish summer time. During Swedish winter time, the time difference is two hours. Note that Russia has several time zones. Remember that the trains run according to Moscow time as long as you are in Russia, regardless of the local time, so knowledge of the time zone you are in and a recalculation is necessary when checking the timetable. The further east, the more you have to put in to get local time. It differs e.g. 5 hours between Moscow and Irkutsk
Language: Russian. Some residents speak English.
Tips: If the tips are not included in the bill, you can add about 10 – 15% to the price.
Travel Insurance: You can purchase travel insurance through Phoenix Travel. First, check what your home insurance policy covers.

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