Russia


Novgorod, Russia
Mother Russia's Viking Grandmother
For most of the past century, the USSR authorities have omitted part of the origins of the Russian people. But history leaves no room for doubt. Long before the rise and supremacy of the tsars and the soviets, the first Scandinavian settlers founded their mighty nation in Novgorod.
Saint Petersburg e Mikhaylovkoe, Russia
The Writer Who Succumbed to His Own Plot
Alexander Pushkin is hailed by many as the greatest Russian poet and the founder of modern Russian literature. But Pushkin also dictated an almost tragicomic epilogue to his prolific life.
suzdal, Russia
Centuries of Devotion to a Devoted Monk
Euthymius was a fourteenth-century Russian ascetic who gave himself body and soul to God. His faith inspired Suzdal's religiosity. The city's believers worship him as the saint he has become.
Saint Petersburg, Russia
When the Russian Navy Stations in Saint Petersburg
Russia dedicates the last Sunday of July to its naval forces. On that day, a crowd visits large boats moored on the Neva River as alcohol-drenched sailors seize the city.
suzdal, Russia
The Suzdal Cucumber Celebrations
With summer and warm weather, the Russian city of Suzdal relaxes from its ancient religious orthodoxy. The old town is also famous for having the best cucumbers in the nation. When July arrives, it turns the newly harvested into a real festival.
suzdal, Russia
Thousand Years of Old Fashioned Russia
It was a lavish capital when Moscow was just a rural hamlet. Along the way, it lost political relevance but accumulated the largest concentration of churches, monasteries and convents in the country of the tsars. Today, beneath its countless domes, Suzdal is as orthodox as it is monumental.
Solovetsky Islands, Russia
The Mother Island of the Gulag Archipelago
It hosted one of Russia's most powerful Orthodox religious domains, but Lenin and Stalin turned it into a gulag. With the fall of the USSR, Solovestky regains his peace and spirituality.
Saint Petersburg, Russia
On the Trail of "Crime and Punishment"
In St. Petersburg, we cannot resist investigating the inspiration for the base characters in Fyodor Dostoevsky's most famous novel: his own pities and the miseries of certain fellow citizens.
Rostov Veliky, Russia
Under the Domes of the Russian Soul
It is one of the oldest and most important medieval cities, founded during the still pagan origins of the nation of the tsars. At the end of the XNUMXth century, incorporated into the Grand Duchy of Moscow, it became an imposing center of orthodox religiosity. Today, only the splendor of kremlin Muscovite trumps the citadel of tranquil and picturesque Rostov Veliky.
Bolshoi Zayatsky, Russia
Mysterious Russian Babylons
A set of prehistoric spiral labyrinths made of stones decorate Bolshoi Zayatsky Island, part of the Solovetsky archipelago. Devoid of explanations as to when they were erected or what it meant, the inhabitants of these northern reaches of Europe call them vavilons.
Bolshoi Solovetsky, Russia
A Celebration of the Russian Autumn of Life
At the edge of the Arctic Ocean, in mid-September, the boreal foliage glows golden. Welcomed by generous cicerones, we praise the new human times of Bolshoi Solovetsky, famous for having hosted the first of the Soviet Gulag prison camps.
Moscow, Russia
The Supreme Fortress of Russia
There were many kremlins built, over time, in the vastness of the country of the tsars. None stands out, as monumental as that of the capital Moscow, a historic center of despotism and arrogance that, from Ivan the Terrible to Vladimir Putin, for better or worse, dictated Russia's destiny.
Kronstadt, Russia
The Autumn of the Russian Island-City of All Crossroads
Founded by Peter the Great, it became the port and naval base protecting Saint Petersburg and northern Greater Russia. In March 1921, he rebelled against the Bolsheviks he had supported in the October Revolution. In this October that we are going through, Kronstadt is once again covered in the same exuberant yellow of uncertainty.
fortress wall of Novgorod and the Orthodox Cathedral of Hagia Sophia, Russia.
Novgorod, Russia

Mother Russia's Viking Grandmother

For most of the past century, the USSR authorities have omitted part of the origins of the Russian people. But history leaves no room for doubt. Long before the rise and supremacy of the tsars and the soviets, the first Scandinavian settlers founded their mighty nation in Novgorod.
Couple visiting Mikhaylovskoe, village where writer Alexander Pushkin had a home
Saint Petersburg e Mikhaylovkoe, Russia

The Writer Who Succumbed to His Own Plot

Alexander Pushkin is hailed by many as the greatest Russian poet and the founder of modern Russian literature. But Pushkin also dictated an almost tragicomic epilogue to his prolific life.
orthodox procession
suzdal, Russia

Centuries of Devotion to a Devoted Monk

Euthymius was a fourteenth-century Russian ascetic who gave himself body and soul to God. His faith inspired Suzdal's religiosity. The city's believers worship him as the saint he has become.
Parade and Pomp
Saint Petersburg, Russia

When the Russian Navy Stations in Saint Petersburg

Russia dedicates the last Sunday of July to its naval forces. On that day, a crowd visits large boats moored on the Neva River as alcohol-drenched sailors seize the city.
Tiredness in shades of green
suzdal, Russia

The Suzdal Cucumber Celebrations

With summer and warm weather, the Russian city of Suzdal relaxes from its ancient religious orthodoxy. The old town is also famous for having the best cucumbers in the nation. When July arrives, it turns the newly harvested into a real festival.
gaudy courtship
suzdal, Russia

Thousand Years of Old Fashioned Russia

It was a lavish capital when Moscow was just a rural hamlet. Along the way, it lost political relevance but accumulated the largest concentration of churches, monasteries and convents in the country of the tsars. Today, beneath its countless domes, Suzdal is as orthodox as it is monumental.
Solovestsky Autumn
Solovetsky Islands, Russia

The Mother Island of the Gulag Archipelago

It hosted one of Russia's most powerful Orthodox religious domains, but Lenin and Stalin turned it into a gulag. With the fall of the USSR, Solovestky regains his peace and spirituality.
On the Crime and Punishment trail, St. Petersburg, Russia, Vladimirskaya
Saint Petersburg, Russia

On the Trail of "Crime and Punishment"

In St. Petersburg, we cannot resist investigating the inspiration for the base characters in Fyodor Dostoevsky's most famous novel: his own pities and the miseries of certain fellow citizens.
Rostov Veliky Kremlin, Russia
Rostov Veliky, Russia

Under the Domes of the Russian Soul

It is one of the oldest and most important medieval cities, founded during the still pagan origins of the nation of the tsars. At the end of the XNUMXth century, incorporated into the Grand Duchy of Moscow, it became an imposing center of orthodox religiosity. Today, only the splendor of kremlin Muscovite trumps the citadel of tranquil and picturesque Rostov Veliky.
Bolshoi Zayatski Orthodox Church, Solovetsky Islands, Russia.
Bolshoi Zayatsky, Russia

Mysterious Russian Babylons

A set of prehistoric spiral labyrinths made of stones decorate Bolshoi Zayatsky Island, part of the Solovetsky archipelago. Devoid of explanations as to when they were erected or what it meant, the inhabitants of these northern reaches of Europe call them vavilons.
Solovetsky, Islands, Archipelago, Russia, Autumn, UAZ, Autumn road
Bolshoi Solovetsky, Russia

A Celebration of the Russian Autumn of Life

At the edge of the Arctic Ocean, in mid-September, the boreal foliage glows golden. Welcomed by generous cicerones, we praise the new human times of Bolshoi Solovetsky, famous for having hosted the first of the Soviet Gulag prison camps.
Moscow, Kremlin, Red Square, Russia, Moscow River
Moscow, Russia

The Supreme Fortress of Russia

There were many kremlins built, over time, in the vastness of the country of the tsars. None stands out, as monumental as that of the capital Moscow, a historic center of despotism and arrogance that, from Ivan the Terrible to Vladimir Putin, for better or worse, dictated Russia's destiny.
Kronstadt Russia Autumn, owner of the Bouquet
Kronstadt, Russia

The Autumn of the Russian Island-City of All Crossroads

Founded by Peter the Great, it became the port and naval base protecting Saint Petersburg and northern Greater Russia. In March 1921, he rebelled against the Bolsheviks he had supported in the October Revolution. In this October that we are going through, Kronstadt is once again covered in the same exuberant yellow of uncertainty.

Map


How to go


VISA AND OTHER PROCEDURES

Russia has bureaucratic and demanding admission procedures. First, you must obtain a letter from a travel agency accompanied by a detailed program. These documents testify that you will visit the country under the authority of these entities and give precise information about the places you are going to visit and on what dates it is supposed to do so. Then, you have to take out a mandatory insurance. With these elements, you can apply for a visa at the nearest embassy – forms, photographs and a payment apply – and wait for approval. More information at www.vhs-portugal.com

HEALTH CARE

Russian authorities do not require any specific illness certificate to allow entry into the country. Besides the special attention to the very low temperatures (perfectly possible -20°C from November to March) and not drinking tap water even in Moscow or St. Petersburg, there are no prior precautions or risks worthy of alarm.

For more information on traveling health, see the Health Portal of the Ministry of Health and Tropical and Traveler Medicine Clinic. In FitForTravel find country-specific health and disease prevention advice (in English).

TRIP TO RUSSIA   

A TAP (tel: 707 205 700) operates direct flights from Lisbon to Moscow, the main gateway into the country. Count on round-trip flights from €200, more expensive in high season (June to end of August.)

Must Do's


  • Solovetsky Archipelago
  • Kizhi
  • St. Petersburg, Petrodvorets, Tsarskoe Selo and Pavlovsk
  • Moscow
  • Novgorod
  • Golden Ring: Sergiev Posad, Suzdal, Rostov, Yaroslavl​, Vladimir
  • Trans-Siberian Express
  • Tomsk
  • Lake Baikal
  • Kola Peninsula
  • ​Altai Mountains
  • Vladivostok
  • ​Kamchatka Peninsula
  • Kaliningrad

Explore


INTERNAL FLIGHTS

The huge distances between the various places in the largest country in the world make flying a huge advantage for those who have time to explore different regions of the country. Until some time ago, Russian airlines maintained an unenviable reputation for safety. The situation has improved but remains far from ideal.

The main airlines with internal flights are: Aeroflot, S7, Rossiya Airlines, UTair e Yakutia

TRAIN

They are the most advisable alternative to the plane to travel between different areas. Russia has an extensive and functional rail network that passes through countless villages or, at worst, nearby. Russian trains are efficient and punctual and, as a rule, the staff on board carry out their duties diligently. Furthermore, traveling by train in Russia is an unforgettable cultural experience. The Trans-Siberian, in particular, is probably the most iconic and desired rail service on the face of the Earth.

Russian trains have the following classes:  

Lux: it only exists on some special trains. Passengers travel in private compartments for two adults and one child (also private bathroom inside). 

1st Class: in private compartments for two people but not so luxurious

2st Class: in private compartments for 4 people.

3st Class: up to 6 beds in the same space 

Sitting places: as a rule, they only apply to short trips.

TRUCK

Normally, Russian cities only have bus connections to others, at most, 6 or 7 hours away and connected by good roads, which rarely happens. If you still consider the country's deplorable road safety, it is easy that the train is almost always a better option.

SHIP

Boat trips apply in Russia as ferry trips to international destinations or to reach villages on islands in the middle of large lakes or seas, such as Kizhi on Lake Onega and Solovetsky on the White Sea.

METRO

Moscow, St. Petersburg and several other major Russian cities have very comprehensive and functional metro systems.

CAR RENTAL

We recall the issue of poor road safety to discourage this option. Russian roads continue to be miles from standard Western European roads. Drivers do not look for ways to get there faster than others and they flout rules and even mere wisdom whenever it seems more convenient to them. If we add to this, the high level of alcohol consumption, it is clear why Russian roads are among the most tragic in the world. Also, the more you drive in Russia, the more you are putting your life and that of your passengers at risk. 

When to go


Unless you're a serious fan of the cold, the ideal time to visit Russia is from May to mid-September, the country's summer. In these months, sunlight lasts longer (it's a dark night only about 4, 5 hours in June in St. Petersburg, and even less to the north) and the weather is more favorable, with mild temperatures – even hot days – and much less rain. In early autumn, Russia is embellished with beautiful yellow foliage but this period is short, fluctuates from year to year and region to region and is difficult to predict accurately. In addition, it can happen with a predominance of blue skies and radiant sun, as it can happen mostly under cloudy skies or permanent rain. Having stated all the conditions, we strongly advise you to try to experience this fascinating yellow Russia.

 

Money and costs


The Russian currency is the Ruble (RUB). Russia is currently a very expensive country. Moscow is one of the most expensive cities in the world, St. Petersburg is increasingly following the example and, in other less emblematic cities or in the countryside, the cost of living is decreasing, but not as much as one would expect. The main Russian cities are well equipped with ATMs and most of the most modern and sophisticated establishments accept credit card payments.

ACCOMMODATION

In St. Petersburg and Moscow, quality hotels have increased exponentially in number. and they charge more and more affordable prices for the comfort and service they offer. It has also become common for homeowners to rent their homes to foreigners through internet sites, which has proven to be an excellent solution for many visitors.

More cosmopolitan, Moscow and St. Petersburg also have a good number of guest houses at prices that could be more merciful. Unless you are in a period of ruble devaluation, expect to pay around €25 for a spartan double room and most likely cramped. From €10 to €18 for a dormitory stay. 

Overnight in a real hotel in Moscow or St. Petersburg can start at €70 per night for a double room and go up to many hundreds of euros per night. 

The situation in other cities with lesser notoriety can be radically different with a lack of hotels and high prices in those that exist. At times of important events, it becomes difficult to get rooms at any price in any Russian city.

Keep in mind that the above reference values ​​can drop substantially – by half or less – during the long Russian winter.

FOOD

It's expensive in every way. The cheapest meals you'll find are in neighborhood restaurants, some with a semi-Soviet atmosphere. They allow for different combinations of ingredients, drinks, desserts etc that the customer always chooses with eye contact as he goes, gathers on a tray and pays. In these types of restaurants, a full meal usually costs between €10 to €15. More sophisticated and famous restaurants represent significantly more expensive meals up to prices so high that only Russian millionaires or visiting wealthy foreigners get used to eating them.

INTERNET

It has spread at great speed since the turn of the century, and today it is abundant throughout Russia and is achieved without great difficulty even in lost cities in remote regions. In larger towns there is Wi-Fi in hostels and hotels, cafes, restaurants and other public spaces. If you really have to browse internet cafes, be prepared to pay well. 

Another solution is prepaid SIM cards with credit for calls and internet, as a rule, accounted for by the minute + GB, for example 600 minutes of calls and 3 or 4 gigabytes of traffic. You can buy these SIMs upon arrival, at airports, or all over the city

PT EN ES FR DE IT