Since the late Soviet times, Russia’s tourism has been rapidly growing. Rich culture, great historical heritage, and unique natural sites have made Russia one of the great destinations for tourists.
Russia has 23 UNESCO world heritage sites, diverse regions, and cultures of Russia offer many different foods and souvenirs. In 2013 Russia became the ninth most visited country globally and seventh in Europe with 33 million tourists.
This web page will guide you through the angles of obtaining a Russia tourist visa, the requirements, eligibility criteria, etc.
Russia tourist visa eligibility
A Russia tourist visa is a document that provides foreigners with an allowance to travel and stay in the Russian federation for a specific period. The maximum allowed period is 30 days, and it can not be extended.
A tourist visa is considered the best option for those who have planned precisely where and how long they are going to stay because you need confirmed accommodation every night for your stay in the country.
The purpose of travel should vary from one of the terms below:
- Tourism (sightseeing, attending cultural events, getting to know Russian culture)
- Short time business travels
- Attending galleries and auction
- Medical purposes
There are three different types of tourist visas:
- Single entry valid up to 3 months
- Double-entry valid up to 3 months
- Multiple entries good for up to one year
Russia tourist visa requirements
The mandatory requirements of a Russia visa are as follows:
- A valid passport for more than six months with at least two blank pages and entry/exit stamps
- Two passport-type photographs(3×4 with white background/ not the same as the passport photo)
- Airplane tickets (ENTRY/DEPARTURE)
- Hotel booking confirmation and voucher
- Medical insurance
- A completed form that ensures your return
- A completed form of personal information
- A completed document that obligates you to return to your country
- Completed visa info form
Visa application conditions
A few conditions are applied to the applicant of a Russia tourist visa:
- Your tourist agency must issue your tour info and travel insurance.
- To obtain a visa directly from the Russian consulate, you must have a voucher and booking confirmation. If you already have booked a hotel, contact them and ask for your tourist visa support documents and hotel vouch.
- After entering, you should present your tourist confirmation and return ticket with a fixed departure date from Russia at the border checkpoint.
- Don’t forget to take a copy of your confirmation and return ticket when traveling to Russia.
- Russia visa transfer to another passport costs 28 USD. Required documents: old and new passports, completed new application form with photo the process may take up to 5 days.
Russia tourist visa fees
A Russia tourist visa fees are as follows:
- Single entry:
- 1-3 days 160 USD
- 4-20 days 80 USD
- Double-entry 1-3 days 256USD
- 4-20 days 128 USD
- Multiple entries 1-3 days 480 USD
- 4-20 days 240 USD
Russia tourist visa’s dependent condition
You cannot bring any dependents under this visa, as every individual should apply separately. Therefore, have in mind that even your close family is no exception to the rule.
Transportation in Russia
It is not possible to buy tickets with passports (airplane, train, bus) for security reasons. There are four kinds of transportation in Russia:
A company called Russian railways operates a rail service; high-speed trains are available between most cities. Russia uses a railway that connects Russia to former soviet republics (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan)
Moscow and St Petersburg airports have direct international flights from all over the world. In addition, most of the cities have airports which are used for transporting inside the country.
Major roads are called federal highways; most of them are toll-free. On the other hand usual roads in smaller Russian cities and countryside roads can be wrong. Moreover, during the cold season, using winter tires is crucial.
Subway, bus, tram, trolleybus are common public transfer means; announcements on trains are in Russian and English. Another way is shared taxies or marshrutkas; taxi services like Ueber, Yandex, and Gett are available in major cities.
Russia is the largest country globally; its climate ranges from steppes in the south and humid in European parts, subarctic in Siberia, and tundra in the polar north. Winters vary from cool along the black sea and freezing in Siberia.
Summers are warm on steppes and cool along the Arctic coast. Moscow is freezing in winters and hot and humid in summers which is its tourism season. St Petersburg has humid weather; it has excellent and short summers and very long and cold winters.
Talking about Russian souvenirs and matryoshka dolls pops in your head. It is a set of wooden dolls decreasing sizes, one hidden inside another. Amber is another famous souvenir which is fossilized tree resin. Russian shawls, lacquer boxes, Gzhel are Russian-style ceramics.
Frequently asked questions
- How much money in foreign currency can I bring to Russia?
Legally bringing any amount of money is possible, but you have to inform authorities if it is more than 10.000 USD
- Are there any currency exchange offices in Russia?
Yes, there are. You can exchange foreign currency in Russian banks.
- Is it allowed to bring medical drugs to Russia? Yes, for personal consumption, but it has to be in reasonable quantity.
- Can I change my visa status when I am in Russia (tourist to business or educational)?
No, it is not possible. First, you have to leave Russia and re-enter the country on a different visa.
- What should I do in emergencies?
Please, contact the nearest consular office or embassy of your country or Russian authorities.