1) What is a Russian visa?
A visa to the Russian Federation is a document, permitting you to stay in Russia for a concrete period of time. A visa contains your entry/exit dates, your travel information, passport details and some information about the inviting party (organization). Please note, that your Russian visa is not only your entry permit, but also is your exit permit If you lose it or stay over your planned departure date, leaving the country will be more troublesome and problematic than entering it. So, our main advice to you is to keep carefully all your documents and be aware of your visa departure date.
2) What is the difference between single entry visa and double entry tourist visa?
– Single entry tourist visa: This visa type should be obtained if you are going to visit only Russia (just arrive to Russia, thetn stay in Russia, and finally return to your country) and there is no need to visiting any neighboring country or any other con.
– Double entry tourist visa: This visa type is required in case when during your stay in Russia you need to visit any neighboring country (such as Finland or Estonia, for example). So, if you plan to arrive to Russia, stay in Russia, then travel to one neighboring country (by train or by bus) or to travel to any other country (by plane), then return to Russia to stay for a while and finally return back to your country, in this case you need a double entry tourist visa.
3) If I booked a hotel in Russia, do I need an invitation for Russian visa?
Hotel booking confirmation and visa support documents (invitation) are not the same thing. Confirmation paper sent you by the hotel (after making a hotel booking) is valid only for your check-in to this very hotel. A visa support (that should contain a tourist voucher and confirmation of your accommodation in Russia) is a different document. Actually a hotel can provide you with a tourist invitation (visa support documentation), but it should be specially asked and can be issued by the hotel staff only upon your request. But if you are going to visit different cities and stay in different hotels, in this case it s better purchase a visa support at a tourist company.
We (as an authorized tourist company) will be glad to issue a tourist invitation letter for a foreign citizens they send us their hotel confirmation messages. An invitation will be processed in the same or next working day in accordance with your urgency.
4) How long can I stay in Russia?
If you arrive to Russia with a visa you can stay in Russia only for the certain period of time that is indicated in your visa. If you have a right to enter Russia without visa (in accordance with a special agreement between Russia and your country), the time period possible for your legal stay in Russia can be from 30 days up to 90 days (depending on the conditions of the told international agreement). You cannot enter earlier the entrance date or depart later than the departure date of your visa; but you can enter later than the initial date and depart earlier than the final date than it was originally planned in your visa.
5) I want to pay by a bank transfer. Please, advise the best way.
If you’d like to pay by bank transfer please contact us and we will send you an invoice with our bank details. All bank transfers should be made at least 10 days before your arrival date. All other possibilities to realize the payment for our services you can find on our special web-site page – Payment Options
6) What is the difference between 1st class and 2nd class train tickets?
– In Russian overnight trains: the 1st class is a 2-berth compartment (mostly with 2 lower beds) and the 2nd class is a 4-berth compartment (with 2 lower beds and 2 upper beds).
– In case of high speed trains such as SAPSAN (that goes between St. Petersburg and Moscow) and ALLEGRO (that goes between Helsinki and St. Petersburg): the 1 class is has more comfortable and wide chairs (than it is in the 2 class) and provide meals and some other other services.
7) Does the train ticket price include meals?
Tickets with meals are available on almost all comfortable trains. But tickets with and without meals have different prices. If you require meals, you need to specify this in your booking request – and we will arrange for your the train trip with breakfast / or lunch / or dinner – upon the time of your train travel.
8) We are 3 persons and we want to have a 2nd class cabin. We want to have a private cabin just for us. Is that possible?
According to the Russian Railways policy, if you want to travel in 2nd class cabin privately, you should buy the tickets for all 4 places (berths) in this compartment. As to say, you should buy out the whole compartment for your company а 3 persons.
9) Is there any discount for children on Russian trains?
– The children up to 5 years old can travel free of charge if they do not occupy any seat.
– The children from 5 till 10 years old can have a 30% – 50% discount for a train ticket (depending on the train and the route).
10) Is Wi-Fi available on a train in Russia?
Free Wi-Fi is available, on some Russian high speed day trains that go between Moscow and St. Petersburg, Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod St. Petersburg and Helsinki – such as SAPSAN and ALLEGRO. And also the possibility to use free Wi-Fi is on some comfortable overnigt trains that go between Moscow and St. Petersburg – such as RED ARROW, EXPRESS, MEGAPOLIS, GRAND EXPRESS.
11) Can tours and excursions be paid in cash on the tour start date?
Unfortunately, it is not possible. All our tours and excursions need to be pre-paid in advance, since we have to pre-book museum tickets, guides and drivers and we pay penalties in case of late cancellations and etc. So to reserve the tours with us you have to pay us at least 50% in advance (by credit card or via a bank transfer). The resting amount can be paid us on the tour start date in cash.
12) What is included into the price of a city excursion?
We offer different types of excursions. Some of them are walking tours and here we include guide service (which comprise a guide speaking your language) and entrance fee to the museums if there is meant any visit to a museums. If you choose excursions with transport, a private car/bus with a driver service is included as well as guide service and entrance fee.
13) What is included into the price of a package tour?
The Tour package price includes hotel accommodation with breakfasts, arrival and departure transfers, excursions according to the tour programme, train tickets (if necessary / according to the programme). However you should check what is included in the price of each individual tour package by referring to the specific tour page or by asking your personal manager, because sometimes some special extras are included in packages such as lunches, early check in, additional breakfast, theater tickets and etc.
14) How I can travel between Moscow and St. Petersburg?
There are 3 most popular options:
– By and overnight train in the 1st class compartment (2-berth cabin) or 2nd class compartment (4-berth cabin). Most of such trains leave at 23.00-24.00 and arrive at 6.30 – 8.30 next morning.
– By daily high speed trains (that go from one city to another for about 4 hours). These express trains are called “SAPSAN”, they have comfortable seats.
– By plane, it takes only 1-1,5 hours to fly from Moscow to St. Petersburg, but another 2 hours you need to get to the airport in Moscow and another hour to get to the city center from the airport in St. Petersburg. As for the ticket cost, it varies from 40EUR to 100 EUR. And also in case of the plane trip you should take into account the payment for the transportation – taxi or transfer by a private car (from the hotel to the airport in one city; from the airport to the hotel in another city).
15) How many days would you suggest to stay in St. Petersburg as a tourist?
Of course, each person has his/her individual peculiarities in travelling and visiting interesting places. But, having in mind a number of historical monuments, museums, interesting sights and many cultural events that there are in St. Petersburg and nearby, we would advise you to spend here at least 5-7 days to see and enjoy them calmly, without any rush. If you can stay only 2-4 days and want to see the maximum, the best is reserve an individual tour-programme with a priva guide and transport in St. Petersburg, that will help you to see more things and visit more places in minimal time period.
16) When is the best time to come to Russia – in summer or in winter?
Russia basically has just two seasons – summer and winter! The spring and autumn pass by rather quickly that it is best to talk mainly just of these two seasons.
– Summer generally lasts from late May until the end of August. But sometimes September can also be quite nice and full with pleasant sunny days.
– Winter is also a great time to visit the country. Russia turns into a wonderland of sparkling ice and snow. If you are dressed correctly (warm coat or jacket, fur-lined boots, wool or fur hat, etc.), the cold weather should not be a problem. One of main advantage of travelling in winter is that there are no queues in the museums and only a few tourists in the streets. Thus the winter is truly the best time to visit museums calmly and comfortably or see the ballet or opera performance, as ticket prices is usually cheaper.
17) How is the weather in Russia?
The climate really depends on the region because Russia is very large and one place is often completely different from another. Although you may not believe it, summers can actually be quite hot because much of Russia is landlocked – generating a hot continental climate in the summer (Siberia, for example). In the areas where you will most likely be visiting, the typical summer temperature is in the upper 20°C and low 30°C. In winter, the temperature usually varies from -10°C to -20°C in Moscow and St. Petersburg, for example. Sometimes it cpould be colder and the temperature might reach -35°C, but it’s rare and not rather typical for Moscow and St. Petersburg.
18) What to pack for the trip to Russia?
Top of your list to pack is your visa (if it is necessary for the representative of your native country)! Make sure that you have obtained it (and it is in your passport) and that all your personal data is correct before your trip to Russia.
As for the clothes it all depends on when you are coming to Russia. If you come during the late spring and summer, it is better to take light clothes, but we recommend you also to carry with you any summer or spring jacket that will be useful in rainy or windy weather. The umbrella is one of ‘musthave’ things to go with if you plan visit Russia in spring or summer or autumn.
In winter – take warm sweaters, a winter jacket and a warm hat (wool or fur) and warm comfortable shoes.
1) What is a Russian visa?