What to Expect in Russia: Transportation and Accommodations
Russia is an immense, mysterious and fascinating country that has been alluring adventurous tourists for decades. In addition to its breathtaking architecture and stunning landscapes, Russia also has world-class art, unique culinary delights and various other cultural treasures to offer its many tourists.
With so much to do and see in Russia, prospective travelers should do a bit of preliminary research to make sure they know which popular hotspots and local gems they want to see during their trip. By doing a bit of planning ahead of time, tourists can greatly reduce the stress of traveling and ensure that they get the most out of their Russian vacation.
Russian Traveling Resources
If you are planning a Russian vacation and don't speak Russian well (or at all), bring a portable Russian language dictionary and a reliable travel guide with you wherever you go. These two resources will significantly ease your travel and communications throughout Russia.
For additional help getting around Russia, consider hiring a Russian interpreter or tour guide for the first few days of your trip. With a Russian interpreter as your guide, you can fully enjoy your Russian vacation and avoid the anxiety of trying to overcome the language barrier.
Getting Around in Russia: Public and Private Transportation Options
Like many European destinations, Russia has a number of transportation options to offer the adventurous tourist. Here is a brief look at some of the most popular transportation options in Russia:
- Bus: Public buses are affordable and widely accessible, as they frequently traverse various Russian cities, including Moscow and other major European capitals. Remember, however, that it will take you longer to travel by Russian buses, as regular stops and layovers will delay your progress.
- Cab: Taxicab companies will vary from city to city, as each Russian city has its own unique cab service. For the most part, plan on negotiating rates with a Russian cab driver before accepting a ride, as this will ensure that you don't get ripped off.
- Rental Cars: Those who want to traverse more of the Russian countryside on their own schedule may want to rent a car when visiting Russia. In addition to AutoEurope, which offers rental car services in a number of European cities, AVIS is also a reliable choice for Russian car rental services.
- Train: Taking the train is an inexpensive, low-stress way to see the vast landscapes of Russia. Tourists who don't want to deal with directions or who don't have an international driver's license are best suited for train travel in Russia.
- Plane: If you are traveling to Russia from further distances (or other continents), you will likely need to fly into one of Russia's major airports – Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan, etc. Plan your flight around your chosen destination.
For the last 500 or so years, the national currency of Russia has been the Ruble or Rouble. While travelers may want to exchange their money for Ruble before getting to Russia, currency exchange services are also available at airports, hotels and banks throughout Russia.
Get an up-to-date calculation of Rouble exchange rates.
Best Places to Stay in Russia
Russia has a variety of economical to opulent accommodation options to suit the needs of any traveler. The best accommodations for you will depend on your budget and preferences, as well as the budgets and preferences of your travel companions.
Here is a look at popular accommodation options in Russia:
- Hostels: Travelers seeking cheaper, last minute accommodations may want to stay in Russian hostels. Because these more communal environments can lack some privacy, they are usually best suited for solo travelers, students and others looking to make new friends on their Russian travels. View a comprehensive listing of Russian hostels.
- Hotels: Tourists looking for more comfort, privacy and/or luxury will want to stay in one of Russia's hotels. While prices will vary according to season and location, the vast number of options means that tourists can usually find a deal on their hotel stay. Research Russian hotel options and book your stay.
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