How safe is rural Russia for tourists

Notes and tips

When traveling abroad, the contact details for emergencies should be readily available.

Emergency calls can be done quickly in Saint Petersburg using the following numbers:

For help from the fire brigade, dial "01".
For the police, dial “02”.
For the ambulance you choose "03".

Address and telephone number of two recommended, also English-speaking Hospitals with Western European standards and close to the center:

American Medical Clinic & Hospital
78 Moika embankment
190000 St. Petersburg
Tel .: +7 812 740 20 90

Medem International Clinic
ul.Marata 6
190000 St. Petersburg
Tel .: +7 812 336 33 33

There are many in Saint Petersburg Pharmacies.

Medicines that normally require a prescription are also available there without a prescription. In terms of price, the drugs are cheaper there than in Germany.

Unfortunately the staff is not always English speaking. It is therefore recommended to use the medicine cabinet that you have brought with you.

January 1stNew Year
January 07Orthodox Christmas
On this day, Russia, which determines the holidays according to the Julian calendar, celebrates Christmas. For the devout residents of the country, Easter is the most important religious festival. After some religious festivals were not allowed to be celebrated for years, Christmas was made an official holiday in 1991.
February 23Defender of the Fatherland Day
This day has been a day off since 2002. It serves to commemorate the Russian armed forces who fought against German armies in the war. The Russians also celebrate this day as Man's Day. The men are honored and received attentions from the women.
March 8thInternational Women's Day
Great importance is attached to this day in Russia. All women are complimented with flowers, love and attention from men.
May 1stSpring and Labor Day
May 09day of the victory
On this day, military parades commemorating the victory over the National Socialists in 1945 are held in a total of 26 cities in Russia. In Saint Petersburg, this happens on the famous Nevsky Prospect.
June 12National holiday
In 1990 the "Declaration of State Sovereignty of the Russian Federation" was signed.
November 4thPeople's Unity Day
Concerts and exhibitions emphasize the importance of bringing together ethnic and religious groups and the unity of the people.
12th of DecemberConstitution Day of the Russian Federation

Russian cuisine is simple and rural.

She doesn't know any elaborate or sophisticated recipes. Rather, it brings the products to their best advantage in an unadulterated way.

When pickling cucumbers, aubergines, fish or sweet and sour apricots, however, she shows extraordinary inventiveness.

The Russians like to eat a lot. The oversized preserving jars for jam or sauerkraut are evidence of this.

Breakfast already fills the stomach abundantly with kascha (porridge), which can be buckwheat groats, millet or semolina porridge.

In winter, fried potatoes, fried eggs, omelettes or sausages are served with it.

Lunch is usually started with a soup. The borscht, a beetroot soup with tomatoes, peppers and cabbage, which is enriched with fatty sour cream, became world famous.

A rare delicacy is the botwinja, a cold soup made from kvass (lightly fermented lemonade made from dried black bread with yeast and honey), cucumber, radish and smoked fish.

In addition to soups, starters also include sakuski, a series of little things that are eaten with vodka. These can include salmon, sturgeon or caviar, herring “under the fur” prepared from beetroot, pickles, sauerkraut, pickled garlic, eggplant puree.

The famous blinis are another delicacy. These are thin buckwheat pancakes that are served with caviar or sweet jam.

The piroschki are also highly recommended. These are yeast dough pockets filled with sauerkraut, minced meat or potatoes, which are often offered on the street.

The main course usually consists of meat, fish or chicken.

For dessert, you can choose from ice cream, kissel (thickened fruit juice), compote or pastries.

In the big world metropolises there are always warnings about crime. So also in Saint Petersburg. Theft of handbags, purses, jewelry and other valuables should be expected, especially in hectic and crowded places, such as in the subway or busy streets and sights.

It is recommended to pay attention to valuables or even to lock them in the hotel safe and only take the bare essentials with you on the day tours.

Money and valuables should then be carried close to the body.

In order to additionally improve the security of the city and to make the stay even more attractive for foreigners, Saint Petersburg has introduced a police number for tourists, a reliable and quick help.

The phone number is as follows: 764-9787

As in Germany and other European countries, the voltage is 220 volts alternating current. Adapters are not required in hotels. These are geared towards foreign tourists. However, if you are staying privately with someone, for example, you should get an adapter.

Calling with your own mobile phone contract in Saint Petersburg is possible, but very expensive. Around 4 euros per minute have to be paid easily here, even if someone calls you.

It is also recommended to deactivate data roaming on the mobile phone, since the smartphones also update apps etc. independently and this can result in unwanted or unexpected costs.

Most hotels now offer free Wi-Fi, so calling and writing via Skype or Whatsapp is possible without incurring costs.

In addition, a Russian SIM card for the mobile phone can be purchased in the mobile phone shops. All the user needs for this is their passport. Converted to one minute costs only 15-20 cents (instead of 4 euros).

Tips are not compulsory, but are quite common and are gladly accepted. The award is a purely voluntary service by the traveler.

A tip of 10 percent is customary in restaurants.

The staff in the cloakrooms in restaurants and theaters are also happy to receive a small donation.

To enter Russia, all foreign nationals need a valid passport, most of which have a tourist visa for Russia stuck on them.

Foreign health insurance is also compulsory for the duration of your stay in Russia. Otherwise it is not possible to obtain a visa.

Visa agencies make visa application easy for those who like to travel.

For this purpose, a current, colored, biometric passport photo, a visa application filled out online, the above-mentioned confirmation from the international health insurance and the original passport, which must be valid for at least 6 months after your return, are required.

The documents can be sent to the respective agency by registered mail. The post has proven to be very safe. The normal processing time of the Russian consulate for the visa is around three to four weeks and the costs for this are around 90 to 100 €.

A shorter processing time, express visa, can also be requested for an additional charge. This can result in a total of up to € 250.

In Russia, the traveler must register with the visa and the immigration card received upon entry. For this he must either appear personally at the authority or commission an agency. Hotels do this for their guests automatically for a fee of around 300 rubles. (approx. 5 EUR). If you stay in Russia for less than seven days, e.g. in an apartment, you do not need to register.

From October 1, 2019, you can enter St. Petersburg and Kaliningrad with a free e-Visa. You can find more information here.

The Russian currency is the ruble. 1 ruble is equal to 100 kopecks.

There are a total of 7 banknotes in denominations of 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000, 2000 and 5000 rubles.

Famous Russian cities are depicted on each of these banknotes.

The 50-ruble note shows St. Petersburg with the figure of the Rostra Column on the Neva and the Peter and Paul Fortress in the background.

Smaller monetary values ​​are expressed in coins. So there are a total of 9 different coins: 1, 5, 10 and 50 kopecks and 1, 2, 5, 10 and 25 rubles.

The only and official currency in Saint Petersburg is the ruble!

There are exceptions in street sales, where you can also pay with dollars or euros.

There are enough cash machines in Saint Petersburg. All known credit cards (Visa, Master ...) are ideal, except for American Express.

EC cards are not accepted at all machines!

Up to 10,000 rubles can be withdrawn at one time. The fees for the bank cards per withdrawal are the equivalent of approx. 5 euros. There are also enough exchange offices in the city.

Without a declaration, you can easily import up to $ 10,000.

Run - no more than $ 3,000 per person.

If more is to be exported, it is recommended to fill out a declaration at the time of import and to have it stamped so that it can be proven at export that more has been imported.

The Russians do not change their clock from summer to winter time or vice versa, but have permanently switched to the so-called winter time in 2014.

Therefore, the time difference between Germany and Saint Petersburg is one hour in summer and two hours in winter, with the time in Saint Petersburg preceding the German time.

The customs conditions (EU regulations) at the airport should always be observed.

Gels, perfumes, sprays, shampoos, creams, pastes, oils, drinks and other liquids can only be carried in hand luggage in designated and transparent plastic bags and only up to 100 ml / container.

Items that must be taken on board, such as certain medication or food for babies, must be shown at the security checkpoint.

These utensils can be transported without a plastic bag.

You can import and export duty-free (only from 18 years):

  • 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars (1 carton)
  • 1 liter of spirits over 22% or 2 liters under 22% alcohol.
  • 250g black caviar. Tea, coffee and other goods up to a total value of € 50.00.
  • Perfume for personal use

On the return flight from Russia to Germany you also have to take off your shoes at the Russian security checkpoint. These are also scanned!

Most sights and museums are open continuously from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. / 6:00 p.m., with the exception of a weekly day off. This day of rest takes place at each museum individually once a week.

The opening times of shops and department stores vary from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. in the morning and 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. in the evening.

Smaller shops tend to have their doors open to their customers until 7:00 p.m. and the large department stores until 9:00 p.m. / 10:00 p.m.

Especially in the summer, during the “White Nights”, it is also possible to buy drinks and essentials at night, for example at 1:00 am. There are numerous small shops that are open 24 hours.

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