Russia is a huge country with different faces where anyone can find something outstanding for themselves. Did you know that travelling within Russia is super-cheap and that there is wi-fi in the Moscow underground?
1. Travelling is cheap.
Like really cheap. Using local airlines (Aeroflot.ru – which was actually named the best eastern European airline in 2014, third year in a row!) it is possible to book a flight there and back for 150 euros – the price of standard European train ticket. But during flight you will even get a sandwich. :)
2. Easy to get a visa
Many people are afraid of complicated visa processes. It is certainly not the easiest one, but multiple agencies on the internet provide full visa service for a reasonable price (approx. 80-100 euro already including embassy fee), with minimum of documents required.
Accommodation is fast to book and very affordable. An average apartment in the middle of St Petersburg will cost around 30 euros per night, if you are young and courageous enough you can try to find new friends who will easily host you for free – for Russians guest is a king, and visiting friends is very common and nothing to be shy about.
3. Once there, it opens possibilities to see more
Travelling to such an extreme destination brings the urge to explore more in the country. In Russia it is quite simple – flight Moscow-St Petersburg costs around 20 euros, local travel agencies have promotions to interesting destinations (Russian North, old towns, natural wonders…)
4. It is safe
Some people would be already horrified by a thought of going to a “gangster Russia”, but there is not much to be afraid of. Touristic situation is rapidly improving, in big cities police is patrolling everywhere, and also “emergency service buttons” on the streets are visible. Most geographical names and underground stations are written in Latin letters, young generation of locals speak English or/and German, French or even Finnish.
5. It is extremely diverse and multicultural
If you are interested in multiple cultures, but have no money to travel to many countries – Russia is the best destination. It is similar to USA with the large amount of nations living there. In a usual grocery store one can find food from Korea, Uzbekistan, China, Armenia, Georgia… After the collapse of USSR still many nations are living in Russia, continuing to share their culture among others. Buddhist temple neighboring Orthodox church, Armenian café close to Ukrainian folklore school – anything is possible.
6. No vaccination needed
Russia is located partly in Asia – and one of many Asian countries where you shouldn’t be afraid of foreign diseases. Tourists are not obliged to get vaccination and according to CDC website (cdc.gov) health notices are almost the same as with travelling to Germany.
7. Unusual and good quality food on every corner
Food quality is good and improving every year. It is completely safe to eat in restaurants or small cafes, and the range of tastes varies from Scandinavian simple cuisine to hot and spicy Caucasian delicacies.
8. New horizons for “internet generation”
Internet speed is very fast and generally access is not a problem. Free wi-fi connection in underground already exists in Moscow, as well as in multiple parks and public places. One shouldn’t forget about soft piracy laws in the country – torrents trekkers have wide choice of movies and programs in English.
9. New experiences are available
The meaning of “laws and rules” in Russia is much shifted and could be adoptable to any situation. Of course, outlaws are severely punished, but something naïve and nice is not publicly forbidden. Have you ever tried to swim in a fountain? Or see sunset from a roof? Russia is a country of possibilities.
10. It is a warm country!
It is warm there! Unlike many people think. St Petersburg weather is almost the same as in London or Stockholm, Moscow weather is a bit more harsh, but very warm in spring-summer-autumn time. Siberia is hot during summer! Come and check yourself.
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