While in the city, try to explore other places, museums, churches and theaters. It is worth your time and a little of your money! You will be talking about experiences you had in Moscow to your friends for a long time. Numerous travel agencies offer tours to suit all tastes, to include a visit to Moscow, visiting Moscow museums, galleries, theaters and concert halls.
We all know that Moscow is rated among the most expensive cities in the world, on that the rising airline taxes and fuel surcharges every now and then make budget backpackers think twice before planning a trip to this picturesque city which is heaven on earth in autumn and spring seasons. Bring a lots of Cash!
The beauty of Russia that for money you can do anything. When visiting museums and churches (that are museums today) for little money you will be permitted to take pictures inside. By putting a little of your time and doing research and chatting with locals through social networks, such as vk.com (V Kontakte) you will be able to make new friends that at no cost (for social reasons) will guide you through Moscow and even translate for you. It is always a good advice to know locals so you are “protected” from unexpected and unfortunate circumstances (robbery, rippery, police, etc.). Make sure to reward your new friends with dinner or some treat. They love it.
Here are some tips to remember while visiting Russia:
- Make sure you have all necessary equipment with you before your trip to Russia. Even though it is not very hard to find things you need in Russia, but prices are too high for me to pay;
- Learn common Russian language phrases (dont ask me what those are, just Google them);
- Ask questions in a very large number of people. If more than half the answers match, the probability that it is true, is very high;
- Always carry a map with you. Your map may have important numbers to call and will guide you where you need to be and even to the places where you don’t want to be;
- Always bring some cash with you (green bills, euro, or Russian rubles). If you brought money in your currency you should not have any problems to exchange them. The exchange currency locations can be seen on every step;
- There are no manners while traveling by public transportation, expect to be pushed, yelled at, and stared at.
- Don’t even think on renting the car. Moscow drivers are crazy. Most likely you will be either in accident or stuck in a long traffic line because of your politeness. People are mean there, especially drivers. Don’t do it! I saw 4 accidents in two days while visiting Moscow.
- Remember, when eating out you will be asked to pay for everything, including water. BTW, when asking for water, ask for ice at the same time. Water that is typically offered is most likely with gas. Ask for “Negazirovanya voda”; Don’t even dare to ask for Tap water, it may cause your hair to fall. Remember, Russia is not far from Chernobyl! Watch “Chernobyl diaries” if you want to know what it is. The Russians’ stomachs are used to the water but tourists coming from America where we are blessed to have as clean of water as you want, might not be able to handle it. I’ve had friends get parasites because they weren’t careful. Who knows what else will start growing in your stomach!
- Because you are foreigner, no one has the right to overcharge you for their services. Make sure you call for taxi to the agency and ask in advance how much it would cost to get from point A to point B. If you don’t know in advance, you can always bargain with the driver. If he says 200 rubles, you say 150 rubles and we will go, otherwise you will find someone else who will drive you. Believe me, there are many willing drivers to make extra cash;
- Make sure you try a lot of Traditional Russian dishes. They are yummy! Vodka is cheap of course. Try something you have not tried before;
- People like to stare at you, just because you are a foreigner and maybe dressed differently. Just ignore the eye contact at all times. Some of the drunken people may find something wrong with you and will start yelling and swearing, in Russian of course. Just ignore them;
- If you really need to pee, there are small bathrooms located on the street and you will see a “Babushka” sitting by them. She is not a beauty queen, she is there to collect your money for using her stinky bathrooms.
- If you want to buy some cheap gifts, don’t buy them at the heart of Moscow. Go somewhere outside the city and buy them on the market, unless, of course, you are really rich. Then you should tell me and we will have another conversation about visiting Russia.
- As I mentioned, it is a very good idea to know someone local who speaks English. Remember, Men may approach you wanting to take you out to the clubs and introduce you to women or have women they can set up for you. Some want to rob you or use you for money while others just want to provide…Get to know a person in advance rather than meeting someone spontaneously;
- When crossing the streets, even if you have right way, always make sure that the road is clear on both sides. Cars drive on full speeds on turns and at pedestrian crossings. No one even cares what may happen to you while you are crossing the street. If an accident happens, the driver may even get out of the car and kick you and yell at you for crossing the street. I’ve seen it with my own eyes.
- Russia uses 220 volt electricity (America uses 110 volts). Most electrical devices support both. You can look at the back of the power adapter to discover its supported voltage. If you see “110-240 volts,” you can bring your device with you. If it says “110 volts,” you will not be able to use it in Russia. Russia uses 2 round European outlets. (Google it!)
- And last one, try to explore Russia during the Summer. It is always beautiful and not as grey as I saw it in November.
- Keep following my updates, I will keep adding a few more tips on here from my previous experiences when I visited Russia.