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Archive for the ‘General Russia News’ Category

We at Go Russia strongly believe that now it is perfect time for your Russian visit. Do not miss this unique opportunity, Save on your everyday spending while in Russia and pay a fraction of the usual cost for usual travel spending.

RUSSIA – A BARGAIN DESTINATION

The recent devaluation of the rouble (caused mainly by fall in oil prices) makes Russia more affordable option for foreign travellers. In fact, it’s no exaggeration to say, that the country is fast becoming a hot new destination for deal seekers. Now is an optimum time for you to book a tour to Russia. There have never been better prices for a Russian visit.

Average decline in rouble rate from 2015 to 2014 is about 50% which means you will be spending much less pounds now as you would have required back in 2014. For example, a decent dinner would cost only £15 (instead of £25), and a metro ride is just 50p. You can even do some shopping in Russia where all major brands are present now. Or for culture vultures – you can get top seats to the famous Bolshoi or Mariinsky ballet for just £50, instead of £100. This really is the best time to go!

Search and book a tour to Russia

See below for some examples and decide yourself!

Roubles Price in GBP
2015 2014
CULTURAL
Ballet ticket 5,000 £53.00 £83.00
Circus ticket 1,500 £16.00 £25.00
Museum ticket 350 £4.00 £6.00
TRANSPORTATION
Metro Moscow 50 £0.53 £0.83
Metro St. Petersburg 31 £0.33 £0.52
Taxi ride in Moscow 1,000 £11.00 £17.00
MEALS & DRINKS
Espresso 100 £1.05 £1.67
Teapot 200 £2.00 £3.00
Dinner (3 course) 1,500 £16.00 £25.00
Lunch 600 £6.00 £10.00
Pint of beer 200 £2.00 £3.00

Prices above are based on average exchange rates and are given as an example only. Actual prices can vary depending on the place where you buy / order your products in Russia.

So just an example if a couple goes to Russia for a week holiday (8 days / 7 nights), they will be saving only on lunches and dinners about £250 in total including drinks. A visit to Bolshoi in Moscow or Mariinsky in St. Petersburg would add additional £80. Order some optional tours – a visit to the Catherine Palace or a Cold War Bunker and save another £100. You will also be getting huge saving when buying souvenirs and making other personal spending. So your savings can easily be in excess of £500 for a couple.

QUICK NOTE ON SAFETY

Russia is a very safe country and people welcome foreign tourists. There are no stricter visa rules and we provide full assistance with the Russian visa. Read more about our assistance with the visas. There is no political turmoil in the country, no protests on the streets, no any military actions of any kind. When travelling with us you will also be accompanied by a guide. You just need to have common sense like in any other big city like London or New York. We provide a 24-hour emergency support and our operators will be able to assist you in any unforeseen circumstances. There is no advice from the FCO in the UK against travel to major tourist destination – https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/russia.

Read recent feedback from our customer on Go Russia guestbook or on our Tripadvisor review page.

Russian Rouble Chart

What does the press say? As featured in major international press (Independent, CNN, Bloomberg, Russia Today.) – “Brits stand to benefit from great travel deals… ”.

Read how you can save up to £1,000 per couple
when travelling to Russia in 2015
Get your exclusive bonus worth £250 per person until 14 April 2015
Get your exclusive bonus now! Expires 14 April 2015

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REd Square Moscow

Red Square, Moscow. Girls

Russia is by no means a dangerous country to visit. On the contrary, the overwhelming majority of visits go without a hitch – assuming that you avoid such flashpoints as Chechnya and the Ukranian border. However, given that the Russian language and culture is somewhat alien to many foreign visitors, and taking into account the vagaries of the Russian landscape and climate, it is just as well to bear a few things in mind which could help to keep you safe, comfortable, and healthy during your trip! Emergency Services In the unlikely event that you should experience an emergency situation while in Russia, knowing the emergency services numbers could be vital. Since 2012, Russia has used ‘112’ as a catch-all emergency phone number – although the system is not quite up and running in remoter regions. In such areas, there is a series of five simple numbers which can be used to access specific services. These are as follows:

  • 01 – Fire service
  • 02 – Police
  • 03 – Ambulance
  • 04 – Gas service
  • 05 – Anti-terrorism squad

Beware The Water Perhaps the health hazard which trips up most foreign visitors is something relatively innocuous: the tap water. Even Russians do not drink Russian water directly from the tap. The pipes in St Petersburg in particular are very old, and poorly maintained. It’s fine to shower in or to boil and make tea from, for example, and it shouldn’t cause you any problems if you ingest a splash or so. However, drinking a mug of the stuff might make you feel a bit sick, which could put a bit of a damper on your vacation for a day! For drinking, and for things like brushing your teeth, use bottled water instead. Luckily, bottled water is not hard to come by in Russian cities. Be Careful Around Traffic If you’re going to be doing a lot of walking, particularly in Moscow, it’s a very good idea to make sure that your travel insurance covers car accidents – even if you’re not planning to drive a car! Russian traffic is notorious for being something of a law unto itself, and driver behavior leaves something to be desired. Driver arrogance is often blamed for Moscow’s chronic traffic jam problem and high number of annual road rage incidents. Pedestrians crossing the road would do well to be aware of the risks with interacting with Russian traffic. Pedestrians do not have right of way in Russia. Unfortunately, if you are hit by a vehicle you may wake up in hospital to find an angry driver demanding your insurance details for damaging their car. The law, furthermore, would support the driver – being injured by a car is generally considered the fault of the pedestrian for being stupid enough to walk out in front of the car in the first place. If you’re going to be walking by traffic, therefore, be very aware of what’s going on around you. It’s not unknown for cars to come up onto the sidewalks if the drivers feel that it may aid their journey! Know Your Vodka Beware of any vodka which doesn’t have a label. Russians are well known for their love of vodka – and some of them aren’t too picky about what they make it with. Bootleg vodka can be cut with anything from shoe polish to medical disinfectant, and causes the deaths of many Russians each year. This doesn’t mean that you have to refuse every shot of vodka offered you. After all, it wouldn’t be a real trip to Russia if you didn’t sink a few vodkas! Just make sure that you know where the vodka has come from before you throw it down your throat. Better still, buy it yourself from a reputable dealer. Russian liquor stores are crammed full of good brands of vodka which will give you the Russian vodka experience without doing more than the usual amount of damage! Communicate Effectively Finally, here are a few phrases which may help you in the event of an emergency:

  • Pomogitye! – Help!
  • Pozar! – Fire!
  • Vor! – Thief!
  • Militziya! – Call the police!
  • Vracha! – Call a doctor!
  • Skorooyo! – Call an ambulance!
  • S Vami vsye normalno? – Are you ok?
  • Mnye noozyen vrach – I need a doctor
  • Mnye plokho – I feel sick
  • Gdye blizayshaya aptyeka? – Where is the nearest pharmacy?
  • Eto srochno! – It is urgent!
  • Zdyes bolt – It hurts here
  • Mozyetye pomoch? Can you help me?

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Helicopter Flights to the Valley of Geysers have been resumed in the Kronotsky Nature Reserve in the south of Kamchatka after over “a month fo silence” when all tours were prohibited in order not to disturb bears’ “private life” and their mating ceremonies. Also this was done for safety reasons as during the mating season the male bears become more aggressive.

Please visit Go Russia website to view tours in Kamchatka.

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Is there anything worse than applying for a new passport or visa? My eyes water and my hands tremble when I see those forms, clearly designed by the torturer-general of the Planet Zog, not a man who needs to visit planet Earth, or who cares for us lowly Earthlings. Anything that makes the visa process easier would make heroes of the brave bureaucrats who helped us citizens. Easier visa rules have been promised.

You know what is coming next.

Russia is going to switch to biometric visa data. In simple terms, this means that your visa will have a bar-coded picture of the insides of your eye. This will doubtless make travel much safer, as all terrorists have shifty, guilty looking eyes, so we can all sleep more easily.

The only problem is that it means, of course, no more visa applications by post, and everyone will have to go to the dedicated application centre in person. The Russian visa section in London has already started installing machines, so they expect the new system to be working next year.

Commentary by Yana.

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Maslenitsa, Russia

Maslenitsa, Russia

“Maslenitsa” is one of the most favourite folk traditions that is celebrated in Russia. Maslenitsa festival dates back to the ancient times. Originally it began as a pagan ritual. However, nowadays it has perfectly blended into the Russian Orthodox religion and is usually celebrated during the last week before Great Lent. Maslenitsa marks the end of cold Russian winter and it is also a way to greet spring that brings liveliness into nature and warmth of the sun. Maslenitsa is the time for feasting and celebrating.

The most important attribute of Maslenitsa is a pancake (Russian: blini) as it is light warm and round and therefore represents the sun that will become brighter and brighter as the spring develops. The name of the festival derives from the Russian word for butter – “maslo” because traditionally pancakes in Russia are topped with a little bit of butter for nutrition purposes. Pancakes are usually given to family and friends during the Maslenitsa week. Depending on personal preferences, they can also be topped with caviar, jam and sour cream.

This year the Maslenitsa week will take place between the 20th and 26th of February with the most entertaining celebrations happening on Sunday the 26th in almost all major Russian cities. The most popular things to do on Maslenitsa – pancake tasting, troika rides, sledding, street performances, singing, dancing and fist fighting. Plus bonfires will be lit and a straw personification of Maslenitsa may be burned during the festivities in order to say goodbye to winter.

If you want to see how Maslenitsa is celebrated in London, you are welcome to the Trafalgar Square on the 26th of February. You are guaranteed good Russian folk music, sampling of traditional Russian cuisine and of course plenty of pancakes. You will also have a chance to shop around the Maslenitsa market for original Russian crafts and souvenirs.

For more information, please contact Go Russia.

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On the 6th of August after large-scale reconstruction works, the memorial museum for the great Soviet cosmonaut Gherman Titov was opened to the public.

Gherman Titov became the second man to orbit the Earth aboard “Vostok 2”.

The museum is situated in the village of Polkovnikova in the Altai Region. It is here where Gherman Titov lived and studied as a young man. The centrepieces of the museum collection are Titov’s spacesuit and a model of the ship “Vostok 2”.

Visitors can also find rare documents concerning space flight, as well as telegrams, photographs and publications from Soviet and foreign magazines and newspapers. There are many interesting facts on Gherman Titov’s life, his working days and friendship with Yuri Gagarin. One of the museum’s collections is dedicated entirely to the Altai Region and space activity that has taken from there, which included the landing in the Altai Region of the first female cosmonaut – Valentina Tereshkova.

 

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St. Peter Line (shipping company, which operates services from Helsinki, St Petersburg and Stockholm) is planning to open a new visa free ferry line “Stockholm – St. Petersburg ” in spring 2011. Passengers from all over the world will be allowed to stay in St-Petersburg within 72 hours without Russian visa.

The recently renovated ferry, which got the name “Princess Anastasia”, meets all the requirements of safety and environment protection. It is a modern passenger ferry with gross tonnage of 38000, accommodation capacity up to 2353 passengers. The cruise ferry features 834 cabins of different types and price categories, the car deck can accommodate up to 580 vehicles.

The journey will take approximately 25 hours. The ferry will operate twice a week. Weekend trips are scheduled to make stops in Tallinn on the way from Stockholm to St. Petersburg.

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