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What You Need to Know About Russia Before You Come Here

What You Need to Know About Russia Before You Come Here

The first time you visit Russia, it's natural to have numerous questions and uncertainties. To help alleviate your concerns and ensure a memorable trip, we have compiled important information and addressed the most common queries for first-time visitors to Russia.

Visa Requirements and Currency

Before planning your trip to Russia, it's crucial to check the visa requirements for your country of residence. Most visitors will need a visa to enter Russia, so make sure to obtain one well in advance to avoid any last-minute hassles. Additionally, it's important to note that international payment services like Visa and Mastercard may not work in Russia. Therefore, it's advisable to carry cash with you during your visit. However, remember that you can bring a maximum of $10,000 without declaration.

Language: Do You Need to Know Russian?

The Russian language is known for its complexity, but fear not! You don't necessarily need to learn Russian to travel around the country. While it's true that not everyone in Russia speaks fluent English, major cities like Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Kazan have a considerable number of English speakers. According to official statistics, approximately 36% of Russians can communicate in English, and 5% are fluent, which is at an average European level. Even if you encounter language barriers, most people will understand simple English sentences and assist you. Therefore, you can feel relatively comfortable communicating in English in urban areas.

If you plan to study in Russia, knowing the Russian language becomes more advantageous. While some universities offer English-language programs, many still require a Russian language exam for admission. Moreover, studying in Russian is generally more cost-effective. If you're serious about studying in Russia, it's recommended to learn the Russian language at the pre-university courses.

Studying in Russia

If pursuing higher education in Russia is part of your plan, it's essential to be prepared. While it's possible to study in English, but without knowledge of Russian it will be challenging. Some universities even require a Russian language exam for English-language programs. Therefore, having at least a B1 level in Russian is highly beneficial. Additionally, studying in Russian is usually 15-20% cheaper than studying in English. If you're considering studying in Russia, it's recommended to get in touch with our experts who can guide you in choosing a suitable Russian language course in the country. Upon completion, you'll receive a certificate and can start study your major.

Infrastructure and Safety

Safety is a primary concern for travelers, and fortunately, Russian cities prioritize the well-being of residents and visitors. Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan, and Ekaterinburg are technologically advanced and well-equipped cities that offer a high quality of life. In fact, Moscow was ranked first among large cities for quality of life and infrastructure by the United Nations in 2022. While every city has safe and dangerous areas, Russian cities are generally clean and safe. However, it's always recommended to exercise caution and research specific neighborhoods before your visit.

Transportation: Getting Around Russia

Navigating transportation in Russia can be a concern for first-time visitors. To ensure a smooth travel experience, here are some tips. When arriving at the airport, avoid unofficial taxi drivers who may overcharge you. Instead, use taxi-calling apps like Uber Russia or Yandex.Go, which provide reliable and safe transportation services. If you're looking for a more economical option, consider taking the Aeroexpress, a special train that connects airports to city centers at an affordable price. Once you're in the city, the metro system is an efficient way to get around, especially in major cities like Moscow and St. Petersburg. Buses, commonly known as marshrutkas, are another mode of transportation for shorter distances.

By keeping these important aspects in mind, you'll be well-prepared for your trip to Russia. More advices you will find in the video below.