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Useful Information

Official language

The official language of the Russian Federation is Russian. It is spoken all over the country and is studied at all Russian schools as a native language. Russian belongs to the Slavic language family which includes Ukranian, Belorussian, Slovenian, Polish etc. The Russian language uses Cyrillic alphabet, which contains 33 letters.


Since Russia is a huge country it climate varies greatly, from cold arctic in the north of Siberia to sub-tropical in the south, by the Black Sea. The climate of the northern part of European Russia is moderate continental. In the central part it is mostly continental. In the south of Russia the climate is sub-tropical. In the area of the Ural Mountains and Siberia the climate is continental with cold winters and relatively warm summers. In the northern part of Siberia the climate is arctic and sub-arctic.

Power supply

220 volts AC, 50Hz.

Telephone calls

International calls from Russia: you dial 00-7 and the code of the city. The area code for Moscow is 495 or 499.


1 Rouble (RUR) = 100 Kopeks. Cash notes are in denominations of RUR 1000, 500, 100, 50 and 10. Coins are in denominations of RUR 10, 5, 2 and 1. Foreign currencies are not accepted in the shops, restaurants, museums etc.

Currency exchange

Currency exchange must be carried out through official bureaus or authorized banks (working hours: Mon-Fri 9.30 — 17.30). All transactions must be recorded on the currency declaration form which is issued on arrival. It is advisable to keep all exchange receipts. Large shops and hotels offer their own exchange services. Euros and Dollars in perfect condition are the easiest currencies to exchange.

Credit cards

Major credit cards, such as American Express, Visa and Diners Club, are accepted at large hotels and at foreign currency shops and restaurants, but Rubles are preferred. Credit card companies will give details regarding acceptability and other services that might be available.

Travellers’ cheques

Travellers’ cheques are not accepted in Russia

Picture taking

Some monasteries and museums do not allow taking pictures inside of the buildings, some charge extra money (picture permits are not included). Please, consult your guide concerning picture taking. It is prohibited to take pictures of military objects, locks, bridges, tunnels.


Nowadays there’re a lot of taxi operators in all big cities. In the airports it’s easy to find it. In the city it’s better to ask the restaurant or the hotel to call one.


The tipping is not obligatory, upon person’s own decision. The official rate of tipping at cafes and restaurants is 5-10% of the amount. Concerning the taxis if the price is already negotiated, you do not need to leave tips to the driver. Of course, bargaining is possible, but usually with street vendors and taxi drivers.

Working hours

Mon — Fri 9:00 — 18:00 (or 10:00 – 19:00)

Working hours for shops

Mon — Sun 10:00 — 22:00


Street food

Nowadays small food kiosks which sell snacks are widely spread in big Russian cities. They offer sandwiches, salads and drinks. In small cities and villages and also during train stops at small stations one can observe local people selling handmade pies (pirozhki) with different fillings as well as smoked fish and ice-cream. Non-alcoholic drinks can be sometimes purchased in the street as well.

Fast food

Fast food cafes have developed very quickly in modern Russia. Every big city has got a great variety of fast food restaurants. One can find famous world chains such as Mcdonald’s, KFC, PizzaHut, etc, as well as Russian fast food cafes.

Cafes & Restaurants

Nowadays in big cities there are plenty of cafes and restaurants which represent traditional Russian cuisine as well as cuisines of other countries. You can find restaurants, representing almost all the countries of the world, you name it - Australian, Asian, Armenian, American, Belorussian, Hungarian, French, Greek, Italian, Georgian, Jewish, Mexican, European, Chinese, Korean, German, Tatar, Turkish, Japanese, Ukrainian, etc.


While staying in big cities of Russia, like in most other countries, one should be attentive in the streets, in metro, etc. In public places, especially in public transport, you should be careful and alert.

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