Russia Travel Essentials


In order to travel to Russia you must have a valid individual passport. Most foreign nationals are required to have within the passport an Entry Visa to Russia issued by Russian consulate in your home country before departure. According to current laws, minors must be in possession of an individual passport. Passport expiration date should be at least six months after your return date from Russia. We recommend application for the Russian visa at least 20 days before the departure date, to avoid higher charges due to urgency procedure.



Russian visas can be obtained at local Russian Embassy or Consulate or by application to local authorized visa centers. To obtain a visa it is necessary to fill in and sign the appropriate application form. In addition to the duly completed form, a recent passport photo (maximum 3 months) in color, with a white background, 35x45 mm, is required, along with a passport with an expiration date of at least six months after your return date from Russia. The passport must be in excellent condition and have two free pages for affixing the visa. An official invitation processed by Russian governmental authorities or a standard «tourist voucher» issued by the authorized Russian host travel agency is required. Incoming Russia tour operator is officially authorized by Russian Federal Agency for Tourism to issue «tourist vouchers» for Visa application. 

→  Foreigners: For foreign citizens in the county of application, the cost of the visa may be subject to additional increases and additional documents may be required. In general, a valid residence permit for non-local citizens is required in addition tothe identity document.

→  Minors: According to current laws, minors must be in possession of an individual passport. Therefore it will no longer be possible for the parent to enroll the minor child in their passport. So for the minor with their own passport the visa application procedure will take place as for the adult. If the minor travels with both parents, it is mandatory to present a family status certificate (on plain paper) issued by the Municipality of residence. If the minor travels with only one of the parents, in addition to the family status, it will also be mandatory to present a notarized certificate, i.e. a declaration of agreement to the exit of the minor, bearing both signatures of the parents and endorsed at the municipality of residence.

→  Important: In the event of substantial changes (such as: date change, location, passport number) communicated late, i.e. upon presentation or during the processing of the visa, it will be necessary to complete a new visa request (form, photos, etc.) and pay for a new one. The verification of the validity of the passport as well as a check of the corresponding personal data on the visa application form is the responsibility of the traveler. We will not be held responsible for any visa failure (regardless of the cause) as well as the possible failure to board by the airport bodies or refusal to entry to the Russian Federation due to anomalies or inconsistencies or wear of the personal documents presented.



Vaccinations are not required. In Moscow and St. Petersburg there are many well-stocked pharmacies, but the brands of drugs may be different from those that are marketed in your home country. It is advisable to provide yourself with medicines for personal use. Anti-flu and pain relievers can be purchased on site.



The official language is Russian and the alphabet used is Cyrillic. In recent years, in the cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg, Latin indications are beginning to appear. English is only spoken in international hotels and restaurants.



In Moscow the typical continental climate provides for a hot summer and a cold winter, quite harsh, with minimum temperatures that can reach -25 ° C. It follows that warm and practical clothing is essential in the winter season. In St. Petersburg the climate is more humid, thunderstorms are frequent and sudden, and it is recommended to bring: umbrella, raincoat and rain shoes in every season. From mid-June, for a period of about a month, the phenomenon of White Nights is more evident in St. Petersburg, where the sun hardly ever sets.



We remind you that in Russia, given the geographical location and the climate, it may be difficult to find varieties of fruit and vegetables available in our latitude, if not rare or at higher costs due to import products. We also inform you that the main condiments are based on smetana (sour cream) and butter, olive oil is not used, broad-leaved salads are rare. It is important to note that the Russians tend to have abundant breakfasts - as the hotel buffets provide - lunches consist of an appetizer (mainly a plate of vegetables available such as cucumbers, potatoes, red turnips, sauerkraut), a first course (usually beetroot or cabbage soup / meat or chicken broth) and a second course with meat or fish with a side dish, while dinners are generally less than 2 courses.




The national currency is the ruble (divided into 100 kopecks). The currency rates are regularly updated. At present the import limit is the equivalent of 10000 USD; if you travel with less there is no obligation to declare the amount of currency. Russian customs have set up green corridors without green customs controls for those entering Russia with amounts less than 10000 USD. For imports of higher amounts it is necessary to fill in the appropriate form available at the arrival airports (and in any case at the border), indicating exactly the currency, as well as the goods and valuables (jewelry, professional photo-video equipment etc.) following. The form must be delivered to be stamped by Russian customs officials within the "red channel", a space reserved for the declaration of goods subject to customs checks. The currency form, duly stamped, must be carefully preserved and presented to the Russian border authorities upon leaving the country, on specific request. Visitors who leave Russia with sums greater than those declared on arrival are required to provide documented evidence of the origin of the excess amounts. We recommend bringing euros, commonly convertible, or small denomination USD dollars. USD 50 and USD 100 denominations must be after 1991, otherwise they will not be accepted. In large hotels it is possible to pay with the main credit cards; however this is not always guaranteed in hotels in small towns and in shops that are not internationally managed. Currency exchange can be done at banks or authorized offices. International ATMs are also exchanging, where it is possible to withdraw in rubles, dollars or euros. Recall that the import and export of rubles is illegal.



Typical, easily available everywhere, are the artisan products such as the Matrioshka, the Gzhel porcelains with the typical blue-white decorations and the lacquered papier-mache boxes of the Palech school - authentic masterpieces of artistic miniatures. There are handmade fabrics of linen, wool and cotton, shawls, tablecloths, lace and laces of elegant workmanship and at a good price; amber jewels are very expensive but very beautiful. For gourmets there is excellent caviar, tea and especially vodka. The purchase of valuable items (including caviar) gives rise to the issue of a receipt, to be kept and exhibited when leaving the country. The export of valuables (icons or other) is subject to prior compulsory authorization by the Ministry of Culture; without the required authorization, the asset is susceptible to seizure, and further consequences may be incurred (fine, arrest, detention, trial). Some goods are therefore subject to a limited export including: art and antiques (except with permission of the Ministry of Culture and upon payment of a tax); precious metals and furs (unless said items, declared on arrival, are owned by the visitor); caviar (you can bring up to 250 gr of caviar with relative invoice). Shops are generally open from 10:00 to 20:00. While not guaranteed, they have now become common in hotels - as well as guides, porters and drivers. For group travel, it is recommended to follow the instructions of your guide or companion at all times.




The voltage is 120/220 Volt with common European power outlets (mainly of the German type Shuko) and they are always two-holed.



The official classification of hotel facilities is assigned by the Russian authorities on the basis of judgment parameters that may be different from those in your home country. Therefore not all Russian hotels of the same official classification have the same quality or service standards as those of other countries. It may even happen that hotels of the same category in the same city offer completely different services and qualities (sometimes due to the year of construction of the building, its location, etc.). The operator is not responsible for any unavailability of services in the accommodation facilities.



People occupying rooms and / or apartments with cots and additional beds, can never exceed the number of beds provided; in addition, apartments and rooms cannot be occupied by a number of people greater than that indicated at the time of booking, including children and infants. These conditions are mandatory; their non-compliance can prejudice the entry into possession of the apartment or room and lead to additional charges.

→  Double rooms / Cabins: These are almost always with two separate beds. Upon request, if a double bed is desired, a request can be made at the time of booking. This request acts as a customer’s preference, but does not ensure the allocation of the double bed which is in any case always subject to availability by the hotelier when the customer arrives at the hotel. The double bed may be smaller than that of your home country.

→  Single rooms: These are always equipped with 1 small single bed. On specific request it is possible to request and confirm a single room which has 2 separate beds or a double bed, additional costs may apply. The single room may be smaller than the double room.

→  Triple and quadruple rooms: The third and / or fourth bed in all hotels are, if available, smaller than the 2 main beds, depending on the living space of the room; only recommended for children up to 12 years of age. We prefer to call these types of rooms "double with 1 extra bed" or "double with 2 extra beds”.



The specific conditions for each tour are always indicated. Half board in the hotels includes breakfast and dinner. Unless expressly indicated, drinks with meals are always excluded and to be paid at the time of consumption. The meals provided especially in group trips are often "buffet" and almost never "a la carte"; any requests for dishes other than those offered may need to be paid separately. It is however important to know the local culinary habits of the chosen destination so as not to be disappointed. Russian meals, while quite tasty, likely differ from those of your home  country.



Children who are under 2 years of age without a seat on the plane, may enjoy a discounted rate by paying only for flight insurance. In hotels the infant is often free of charge if he/she shares a bed with the parents. In the event that a cradle is requested for the baby, hoteliers can request a supplement to be paid at the time of booking or directly on site. The incorrect communication of the age of the infant can impede check-out, since the infant, even if he has completed the 2nd year of age on the same day of departure, will be considered a child or adult by the hoteliers and the airline, therefore the related services will be subject to the payment of the child or adult fee and the availability of the relative seat on the plane.



Children between 2 and 12 years of age (unless otherwise indicated) may benefit from reductions if they share a room with 2 adults, that is if they occupy a third bed.




→  Scheduled flights: The airfares communicated are always subject to cancellation, which depend exclusively on the airline, once the ticket has been issued. The airfares that we communicate are always subject to availability; reservations through our systems (Amadeus, Saber, Galileo) generally lasts 24 hours. We can issue the air ticket only once we have received the pre-payment. The reported airfares include checked baggage (usually 20 kg) and airport taxes.

→  Baggage: On scheduled flights, luggage is allowed up to a maximum weight of 20 kg per person occupying a seat. In the case of excess baggage, an additional payment may be requested at the time of embarkation. In addition to the transport of checked baggage, it is allowed to carry on board hand baggage at a max of 5 kg. Special baggage such as: skis, bicycles, diving equipment, animals in the cabin etc, must be communicated at the time of booking and boarding is always subject to acceptance by the airline, with the final authorization is up to the captain. The cost of this transport is defined by the individual carriers and is payable only at the airport at the time of check-in unless otherwise specified by the airline. The captain reserves the right not to check in special baggage in the event of problems with baggage storage. B2B Time Rus is not responsible for the theft, loss or damage of baggage, nor for personal effects damaged on-board or by airport or hotel staff, therefore we advise the customer to make the report of loss, damage or theft directly at the LOST & FOUND office of the airport where this is detected or at the police station of the city. In some cases, it is possible that baggage is delayed or even not delivered to its destination. B2B Time Rus is not responsible in any way for these events and advises its customers to make the necessary complaints at the offices of the airline concerned at the time of occurrence of the incidence.



The rates communicated are always subject to penalties in case of cancellation, which depend exclusively on Russian railways, once the ticket has been issued. The train fares that we communicate are always subject to limited availability. We can proceed to issue the ticket only once we have received pre-payment.



A toilet or air conditioning is not always provided inside coach seating. Seats cannot be pre-assigned or reserved.



The operator is not liable for any services / transfers / excursions purchased outside his organization (i.e. without the help of his representatives or correspondents) as regards disservices or damage to people / things, not being able to guarantee the quality.



Where expressly indicated, our tours are accompanied by local guides / English speakers. The type of assistance is however expressly indicated in each individual tour.



In the travel documentation you will find the address and the telephone number of our office that can offer you assistance in case you need it. Our English 24-hour telephone support service is available for all our customers. We ask all customers not to use the telephone number for calls that do not concern assistance or emergency situations, especially at night. 



This term means the sale by the air carrier of seats higher than their real availability, as well as by hoteliers of rooms above the availability of the hotel, to make up for any cancellations or changes to reservations made. This practice was considered an obligatory choice by the authorities which allows carriers and hoteliers to optimize costs and occupancy ratios. This is an unforeseeable inconvenience. In these cases, the carriers are required to re-route the passenger for the intended destination with their next flight through priority waiting list or with another carrier, and in any case to pay any transfer and / or overnight costs. The hotelier is required to book the customer in a room of the same or higher category. It is therefore possible that for technical or overbooking reasons, visits may vary from what is published, without altering the content and the hotels may be different from those foreseen in the program without altering the quality.



If disservices or discrepancies arise, there is an obligation "upon their occurrence", under penalty of forfeiture of any claim, to act as follows: submit a written complaint in the form of a complaint to the service provider involved and / or submit the same complaint to us. We remind you that problems, if addressed promptly on site, can be solved; once the visit is over, it is no longer possible to intervene.

→  Not subject of compliant: If you choose to spend your holiday in rural or natural settings, you may come across animals such as insects of all kinds, squirrels, birds etc. Take due consideration of the natural environment in which you spend your holiday.