Ive always been fascinated with Russia! Would love to go sometime.. I need some advice.. The best time of year to travel there? Sights? Cost of travelling for say 2 weeks? Day tours? Good and inexpensive hotels?
Russia is one of those pain-in-the-arse countries when it comes to visas. Its quite difficult to get in unless your with some sort of organised tour/package thing. If you really want to avoid that it is possible but they like to know all the details of where you will be staying for pretty much the duration of your stay. In a nut shell its not the sort of country you can go to and just see where the road takes you and stay wherever you want for as long as you want, you have to plan a lot. Having said that its definately worth it, its a fascinating place. I only went to St Petersburg and Moscow but I had a great time in these 2 towns, completly different both with so much amazing and unique stuff to offer. Time of year? I was there around the start of May and it was fine, cold but fine. Any earlier and it might be too cold.
Cost of travelling? Well Russia is both dirt cheap and incredibly overpriced. One thing (say a bottle of vodka) might cost you next to nothing while another thing (say an mp3 player) might cost twice as much as everywhere else. So it depends on how you like to travel how much you'll spend.
Hotels? Sorry I cant remember where I stayed, Im sure if you do a websearch you'll get an idea, try and make sure your hotel is close to the underground though, cabs are bloody expensive and black cabs might scare you. about 10 years ago
Thanks for that!
So how much would i need to budget for to spend say 2 weeks in Russia...? Would it be the same as holidaying in Europe?
What is the best airline to fly with.. I have been looking online and it is quite expensive. Emirates seem to be the cheapest however as it has a stopover in Dubai ..it is a 25hr flight! about 10 years ago
Sorry I cant really help you with either of those answers, when I went there I went via bus from Finland.
As for money... Well when I went there I went with a bus group the uni I was studying at in Sweden organised. For a 15-odd day road trip from stockholm to moscow and back cost me about $1000 AUD plus maybe another $500 on booze food etc (but I was living it up). But this was something the uni organised so it was pretty cheap, if you go with some sort of package tour it might end up costing you quite a bit. I hate package tours and this bus the uni organised is as far as Id ever go but if you want to go to Russia they make it very difficult for you to not go on a package. Contact the Russian embassy on details about what you have to go through, but I think its something along the lines of you need some sort of documentation from a tour company which is approved by Russia. You need to fill out a form saying where you will be staying, for how long, why you are going to Russia etc etc. You need to get yourself a visa then theres always the chance they will simply refuse you entry at the border. So you dont need to go with an organised tour but its heaps easier if you do, and if you do you'll have a better idea on what you'll spend. Talk to the guys at STA they might have one of those heaps basic cheap "tours" which make visa issues easier. about 10 years ago