FAQ Russia

Do you have a question for us? You may find the answer below, Scanbalt offers a great variety of tours; check the tour descriptions and program for more information.
 
Regarding general booking, cancelation, change etc conditions of your reservation, please visit https://www.scanbaltexperience.com/conditions-for-travel-and-bookings
 

What should I bring with me?

  • Passport (make sure it’s valid at least 6 months after the last day of the tour). Note that ID-card is not valid for this travel!
  • Residence permit for EU country you currently live in (necessary only for non-EU citizens)
  •  Student card, if you are a student
  •  Travel insurance that covers Russia (highly suggested to have it with you)
     

What luggage to take?

You are allowed to take 1 item of big luggage: a suitcase or a bigger backpack; and 1 item of smaller luggage: smaller backpack, handbag.

  • We will be travelling to St.Petersburg by ferry where cabins are rather small, so having a lot of luggage will take a quite some space from your cabin living space
  • Travel to Moscow is done by bus where the luggage space is limited to each passenger having 1 bigger piece of luggage in the baggage compartment and 1 smaller piece of luggage on the overhead shelves

Note that you must be able to walk for about 20 minutes with all your luggage (!). Some our hostels don’t have proper parking and thus we need to get there via foot. Also when getting on/off the ferry in St.Petersburg you need to be ready to walk up/down the stairs.

Shoes and clothing – what outfit ot bring?

During this tour we will be walking a lot! Make sure you have comfortable shoes with you! The weather in St.Petersburg and Moscow can be very unpredictable. Be sure to have a warmer jacket with you in case it gets cold. We advise that you bring an umbrella or raincoat.
Good idea is to have a pair of slippers to wear in the hostel, as some our hostels have no-shoe policy.
For going out: good to know that in Russia there is a dress-code at many bars and clubs. You don’t have to dress too festive, but smart-casual is expected if you go out in the city.

How much money do I need to bring with me?

Note that in many places, especially in bars, clubs, smaller cafes and shops you cannot pay by card. So make sure you always have some cash with you!
Eating out and shopping is not too expensive, unless you choose a very fancy restaurant for your dinner. Souvenirs are rather cheap, especially if you buy them on the market.
If you decide to book some Optional Activities on the spot, be sure to be able to pay for them in cash to your tour guide (Rub and Eur are accepted).
There are cash machines currency exchange places in the city, so you will surely have a change to withdraw/exchange more money if you need.

Where is it better to exchange/withdraw currency?

We strongly advise that you exchange to Rubles in advance, so when you arrive in Russia you will already have some cash for the first day. It can be at least 1000-1500 Rub. Later you will have the chance to exchange/withdraw some more.
Avoid exchanging currency in the ferry terminals and on the ships. Those places often have worse exchange rate and bigger service fees.
We advise you to exchange some Rubles already in your home country.

How expensive is it to eat out in Russia?

Russia is considered rather an inexpensive country, however when staying in touristic areas you must be ready that the prices in proper restaurants and night clubs are average for Central Europe. There are a lot of cafes and local fast-food chains directly in city centre where you can get home-made local dishes for very good prices: pirogi (pies), bliny (pancakes), pelmeni (dumplings), borsch (beetroot soup) – are typical Russian dishes that don’t cost much and are definitely worth trying.


Will there be possibility to cook own meals?

Most our hostels have at least basic cooking facilities, so you can prepare your own meals. Food stores are also situated close by. Some hostels also have a café/bar where you can buy snacks, tea and coffee.

Can I drink tap water in Russia?

You can drink tap water in Russia, as well as on the ferries, it’s not considered dangerous by Russian sanitary standards. However, you must keep in mind that those sanitary standards can be different from your country, as well as the quality of water itself. So we would rather advise you to buy bottled water, or at least boil the tap water before drinking, it will kill the bacteria and thus reduce the risk of getting stomach desease.

Will there be wifi on the tour?

There will be free wifi in the hostel (in common areas), as well as on the ferries connecting between Stockholm, Helsinki and Tallinn. On the ferry connecting to St-Petersburg, wifi is for extra charge. The price is 10 Eur/h, and since the speed is very low we would advise you no to use it, unless it’s really urgent.
When travelling to Moscow, we do not have wifi on the bus.

Custom regulations for alcohol and cigarettes – what can I brin from Russia?

  • 1 liter of Vodka or other strong alcohol (sparkling wine counts as strong alcohol)
  • 4 liters of wine
  • 16 liters of beer
  • 1 carton of cigarettes
    *From tax free shop on the boat you can buy unlimited amount of alcohol and cigarettes
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Is it safe to be a tourist in Russia?

We wouldn’t say that Russia (especially the cities of St.Petersburg or Moscow) is a dangerous destination to travel. The 2 cities are famous tourist destinations and the safety of local and foreign tourists is a high priority. When staying in central areas it’s nothing to be scared of.
However, you must keep an eye on your personal belongings. Petty theft is rather common especially in crowded and touristic places and in high season.
Always keep your personal belongings in a safe place (best in inner pockets). Always have your Passport and/or ID with you when going out in the city, and better keep those in separate places (in different pockets).
Hostels have safety lockers, so if you feel unsafe to carry along your Passport/ID when going our, then you can make a copy of it to take with you, and leave your actual Passport/ID in the safety locker.

 

If you have more questions please check the official St.Petersburg tourism website:http://www.visit-petersburg.ru/en/

 

Haven't you found the answer on your question? Contact us on info@scanbaltexperience.com.