On Travel and Arrival
Can I travel to Russia without a visa?
Absolutely not. Make sure you leave plenty of time for the process of obtaining a visa, as these things move at their own pace and not yours. The cost of the visa varies depending on the processing time. The quicker you need it, the more you pay.
Are there any goods you are short of in Russia that you recommend bringing?
The choice in the shops is now similar to what you have at home so just pack your luggage as if you were coming to any other European country.
Is there anything special I should bring?
Slippers: Russians always take their shoes off at home and wear slippers instead. Small gifts for your host: some souvenirs from your home country, like chocolate etc., are always appreciated. Electrical adapters: Russian sockets take two thin pins (European jacks).
Will I freeze in Russia?
We don’t think so. In both cities, summers are generally pleasant, sometimes hot, especially in Moscow, which has a more continental climate than St. Petersburg. Even during summer, the temperature may suddenly drop to 10-15°C, so don’t forget to bring a jumper and jacket. In winter the temperature can fall below -20°C and in January it will rarely rise above 0° C. Bring plenty of warm clothes. The traditional Russian fur hat (ushanka) can be bought here. You should bring heavy-duty shoes, boots and gloves.
Will I be picked up at the airport, railway or bus station?
We offer transportation from the airport or railway/bus station for free if you have booked accommodation through us.
How much money should I bring with me?
For lunch in the cafeteria (St. Petersburg only) you will need the Russian equivalent of € 5 to € 10. School-organised excursions cost between €10 and €40 (full-day trips). Your personal expenses will range from € 50 (going out once a week, no shopping, no souvenirs) to € 300 per week. Please do not bring a lot of cash with you. There are plenty of ATMs around.
Can I get around by bike?
We do not recommend this. There are no bicycle lanes and Russian car drivers are not very polite, to put it nicely.