Tips On Visiting Russia

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    Water
    Water quality varies widely in Russia. It would be best if you drink and brush your teeth only with boiled or bottled water. Be careful to avoid ice and raw foods and vegetables.

    Transport
    St. Petersburg is a large metropolitan agglomeration spread over a vast territory, that is why the city has a well-developed transportation system, which includes buses, trolleybuses, trams, taxis, automobiles, a subway, and a railway system connecting the city with its suburbs.All forms of public transportation can take our city’s guests to any point of interest at any destination in St. Petersburg. If you want to catch a taxi, raise your hand at the curb of the road and then negotiate with the driver about the cost.

    Tipping
    Tipping is increasingly expected at restaurants. Tip 10-15% depending on service.

    Electricity
    Electricity throughout Russia is 220 volt/50 hz. The plug is the two-pin thin European standard. Be sure to bring your own converter as most places in Russia do not carry them.

    Currency
    The national monetary unit is the Russian rouble. One rouble is made up of 100 kopecks. At the present time, coins denominating 1, 5, 10, and 50 kopecks, as well as 1, 2, and 5 roubles are in circulation, in addition to paper notes denominating 5, 10, 50, 100, 500, and 1000 roubles. In St.Petersburg, as in all of Russia, payment for all goods and services is to be made in Russian roubles or by credit card. It is possible to exchange money at any bank, at exchange booths, and at the majority of hotels and large department stores.
    We can do money exchange for you here in the office of “RSPB Travel“.

    Credit and Debit Cards
    In Russia the following credit and debit cards are acceptable:
    VISA, Master Card/Euro card, American Express, Diners Club, Maestro

    Clothes. What should I take with me to be prepared for any weather?
    Whatever the season, it is wise to bring your umbrella and a windproof raincoat or jacket. You will do a lot of walking in St. Petersburg, so think carefully about footwear. Depending on the time of the year, you will need warm boots with a non-slip sole, waterproof boots/shoes, comfortable sandals. In winter it can get very cold outside, but hotels and homes are reasonably well heated. In spring it might be chilly at times, but in mid-May it gets warmer. You can wear shorts in summer, though these might prevent you from entering churches. Bring a sweater or light jacket for those chilly evenings. It is in autumn that you are most likely to use your umbrella and waterproof boots, though a Russian version of an Indian Summer (around mid-September) can be mild and fairly dry.

    Shopping
    In general, stores are open from 10:00 am until 8:00 pm from Monday to Saturday. Large department stores and supermarkets are open from 9:00 am until 9:00 pm, without lunch breaks, seven days a week. A number of supermarkets are open around the clock, seven days a week.

    Telephones
    Despite the recent rapid improvements in the telecommunications infrastructure, telephoning in Russia can be difficult and expensive. Best bet is to use the phone at your hotel or use our BCL phone cards (can be purchased in the office of “RST”) if calling from a regular phone. Tokens are required for street pay phones, which can be purchased at newsstands, in some stores, and many kiosks.

    Time
    Time is GMT +3 for both Moscow & St.Petersburg.
    Medical Care
    Remember to bring any medications you may need. Check with your health insurer before you depart to ascertain your coverage in the event of emergency. Many insurance providers offer specialized riders which can cover emergency evacuation

    Remember!
    Safety guide
    – Plan your trip in advance, ask the RSPB Travel staff for help or talk with friends who have already been to Russia before.
    – If you are from one of those countries where they drive on the left (Britain, Australia, etc), be aware when crossing the road. We drive on the right here.
    – In Russia narcotic drugs are strictly controlled by law. Do not carry any non-medicinal drugs with you.
    – Do not carry all of your money and valuables with you all together, especially in outer pockets, leave some in a safe place. We suggest you have the identifying documents with you always.
    – Think before you pay. One and the same thing may be costly in one place and much cheaper in the other.
    – It is a good idea to keep the address (22 Sinopskaya emb.) and emergency telephone number of  RSPB Travel ways with you at all times.
    – Russian people are generally very friendly. Although do not forget about your personal safety – do not walk alone at night, do not talk to strange-looking individuals.

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