Russia, located east of Finland, has a colorful and difficult history. The changes that have taken place in the country have often been drastic and sudden, and the country’s transition to a market economy and democracy has not been easy. Opposites in modern Russia are great, but on the other hand, opposition has always been an integral part of the country’s attractiveness.
According to countryaah, Russia is so large that the size of the country can even be difficult to comprehend. Russia is almost twice the size of Canada, the world’s second largest state. Russia extends from the Baltic Sea to the Pacific Ocean and covers most of northern Eurasia. Indeed, it can be difficult for many to realize that Russia extends all the way north of Japan and all the way to Alaska’s neighbor.
The huge size also guarantees diverse opportunities for tourists, and we travel to Russia for city breaks, car and train trips, in search of food experiences and nature experiences. Russia is not a real beach resort, but there are plenty of great beaches in the country.
Most of the main tourist destinations are located on the European side, the most famous being the capital Moscow and the former capital St. Petersburg, which has changed its name many times .
Russians are proud of their culture and the most typical experiences for tourists when visiting the country are, for example, ballet, opera or circus performances. The circuses and theaters of St. Petersburg and Moscow in particular are world-renowned. Other popular destinations include Kazan, Murmansk and Irkutsk near the huge Lake Baikal.
The large land can accommodate a wide variety of natural sites.
Partly challenging climate
Due to the huge size of Russia, it is impossible to put the country’s climate in one mold. Partly due to the difficult and cold climate, Russia is a relatively sparsely populated country. Nature is very diverse in places, but most of the country is uninhabited forest or steppe.
On the other hand, the southern parts of Russia may have a very warm and mild climate, but winters are cold almost everywhere in Russia.
The best time to travel to Russia is in the summer, when there is the best probability for good weather.
City break and experiences
Finns typically travel to Russia for a city break in St. Petersburg or Moscow, or alternatively for a Trans-Siberian train journey across the country. The huge country is also perfect for active tourism, for example, as Russia’s nature is full of wonderful places.
From the Finnish point of view, Russia is not the best possible for car tourism, as the Russian traffic culture is very risky in Finnish terms and, for example, the speeds of the situation differ considerably from Finnish ones. Many Finns also travel to Russia by car through the eastern border crossings.
Short for RU by abbreviationfinder, Russia is a favorable destination in Finnish terms, as the price level is considerably cheaper than in Finland, especially with regard to everyday things, such as food and accommodation purchased from a store. On the other hand, there are plenty of luxury experiences in the country, which are also expensive for those accustomed to the Finnish price level.
Russia is becoming more international
Russia was a fairly closed country during the Soviet era, and the place still does not have the reputation of being an easy travel destination, as the culture of operation differs from that of the West. Usually a tourist survives without hesitation, but it is good to keep in mind the saying “In Russia, nothing works as it should, but everything is fine”.
The Russian tourism business has taken big steps forward in recent years. The younger generation is already already proficient in English, but English cannot be expected to get along even everywhere in St. Petersburg or Moscow.
For Finns, the language barrier is often the biggest factor hindering tourism. The tourist should learn at least the Cyrillic alphabet as well as a few basic phrases. These can work wonders.
The main destinations are the largest cities
The largest cities in Russia, St. Petersburg and Moscow, offer an incomprehensible glory of antiquity. The flair of the tsarist era still surrounds the former capital, St. Petersburg. Everywhere rises magnificent churches and palaces that hide art treasures and history.
The capital, Moscow, is the largest city in Europe, accommodating both some of the most beautiful old buildings in the world and an exaggerated socialist building stock. Unlike St. Petersburg, Moscow also has an abundance of tall buildings and skyscrapers that have been built, especially in the intoxication of 21st century economic growth.
However, Russia is not limited to St. Petersburg and Moscow. Try mystical Kazan, for example, marvel at the huge Mother Russia statue in Volgorad, try a swim in the freezing cold Lake Baikal, or visit the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi on the Black Sea, called the Russian Riviera.
Russia properly taken over: Trans-Siberian train ride
For the most diverse travel experience, take a legendary Trans-Siberian train ride through Russia. You can tune in to the trip if there is some kind of stop, if there is enough time and enthusiasm.
Good options for stops include Yekaterinburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Tomsk, Irkutsk, Ulan-Ude, Khabarovsk and Vladivostok. All are unique cities and offer different things to see and do in an authentic Russian spirit.
Bureaucracy and visas to Russia
The Russian bureaucracy is notorious for its visa and registration practices. The easiest way to obtain a visa is to leave it to a competent travel agency.
The alien must always register with the authorities within seven working days of entering the country. Registration is site-specific and must be done in each city separately.
In hotels, the traveler does not have to worry about registration other than making sure to get a registration mark on their entry card filled in at the border. The hotels themselves handle the registration with the authorities.
Foreign citizens residing outside the hotel accommodation are registered in the passport and visa units of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs in OVIRs. Further information on the practices is provided by the Finnish missions in Russia.
Always keep a copy of your passport and visa with you
In principle, Russia must always carry an identity card. However, for tourists, a photocopy of passport and visa is usually sufficient.
Russian police sometimes carry out passport checks on the streets. Unfortunately, the ranks include corrupt police officers who demand bribes if they make the mistake of handing over their passports. In such situations, it is advisable to call the Finnish missions in Russia immediately . Calling usually triggers the situation.
Security in Russia
Russia even has a reputation as an unreasonably dangerous travel destination. However, the years of wild crime in the 1990s after the break-up of the Soviet Union are already behind us, and Russia is not a much more dangerous destination for tourists than most other European countries.
The traveler should follow the usual precautions and take care of their belongings in a crowded crowd and not move alone at night. Vague offers and suggestions should never be accepted either.
For the average traveler, the biggest risks are chaotic traffic and tap water, the use of which should be avoided, especially in St. Petersburg because of the Giardia parasite.