Our experts often receive a lot of questions from single Western men who want to visit their girlfriends. How to arrange a trip? What are the travel essentials? What do they need for visa?
To travel to Russia, most foreigners are required to have an Entry Visa to Russia . Russian visas can be received at local Russian Embassy or Consulate. To have a visa granted, an official invitation processed by Russian government or officially authorized companies is required.
As stated on the US Embassy site , it is impossible to obtain an entry visa upon arrival, so travelers must apply for their visas well in advance. U.S. citizens who apply for Russian visas in third countries where they do not have permission to stay more than 90 days may face considerable delays in visa processing. Travelers who arrive in Russia without an entry visa will not be permitted to enter the country, and face immediate return to the point of embarkation at their own expense.
If you want to use your laptop, phone, and other electrical devices, you have to buy a converter. You can buy a converter at any electronics store in the US or online. Russia has 220-volt electricity (In America it is 110 volts). The good news is that most electronic devices support both options. You can check this information on the back of the power adapter. If you see “110-240” volts, your devices are compatible, however, if it says “110” volts, it will not work.
Russia has winter from November to March with average temperatures -20C / -4F. So bring the warmest clothes you have in your closet. If you are traveling during the summer months, bring the same cloths you are wearing at home and don't forget a couple of warm jackets for evenings.
Hot summer season is quite short in Russia and lasts until August. Then it becomes cool.
Before the trip read the guide to hand baggage sizes and weight restrictions of your airline. If you travel within Russia, make sure that your checked baggage doesn’t exceed 23 kg, and your hand luggage is under 10 kg for economy class.
Take only the most important things and leave some space for souvenirs.
There is no problem with ATMs and withdrawing cash in Russia. You can also exchange any currency including USD and EUR anywhere. Make sure that you get some US dollars in cash as well as have a credit card with you. Unlike ten years ago you can use your card anywhere today from food stores to hotels.
If you cannot eat local food, then there are a lot of restaurants with international cuisine. Some of them even have menus in English so that you will not experience any language problems. If you’ve paid for a romance tour and have a translator with you, then you can get some good advice on the menu about what you're eating.
If you are visiting someone, get some small present for your hosts. Whether it is a bunch of flowers or a bottle of wine, a gift is a long-standing tradition in Russia. If there are kids in the house, bring them some sweets of chocolate. In Russia, it is considered rude to come empty-handed.
If you are visiting your sweetheart, then ask her if she is going to introduce you to her parents. In this case, you can also bring some souvenirs for them.