Russia & Siberia Travel
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Russia and Siberia Travel information

russia travel- Belgian embassy in Moskow : phone number 709-5-9378040 en 49

- Russian language : Russian websites and pieces of text written in Russian can be translated into English at and

- climate in Russia : the best site for information about climate and the weather in Russia is

- Russian Music : the traditional Russian folklore music (ask for "Narodanaya music") and the Red Army choir music is as good as unfindable outside the big cities in Russia.

- restaurants : finding a place to eat ready made food is not always easy in Russia. Russians like to invite their friends to eat at home and do it all the time. It's a lot more common than going out to eat in a restaurant. With "restoran" the Russians mainly mean a kind of upmarket restaurant with high prices and live music where people like to go in the evening. If you are rather looking for a lunch place ask for a "cafe"; a small restaurant/snackbar with a number of smaller dishes for example Pelmeni and delicious soup or "Shashlik"; a little stall that sells grilled meat and vegetables on a stick with a few tables and chairs standing around for the custumers to sit down.

- travelling by train in Russia and travelling on the Trans Siberian Railway : a 24 hour train ride in kupe - compartiment (second class) costs approximately 20 Dollar, in platskartna (third class) it's about 25% cheaper. In July and August the trains a often full so you better buy your ticket a few days in advance, certainly if you wan't to go to Moscow. The trains are quite safe, in the kupes there are baggage boxes under the beds where you can keep all your stuff so it doesn't have to lie around. In the platskartna there is a lot of social control due to the passengers coming from and going to different time zones which they normally stick to during their whole travel. There is therefore always somebody awake, 24 hous a day, which makes it difficult for thieves. More information about travel by train in Russia and the Trans Siberian Railway you find on and

- medicine : in Russia you can find a number of cheap local medicines such as; Mukaltin, coffing pills, 2 Rubel / 10, Pectusin, Eucalyptus and Menthol pills, 1 Roebel (!) voor a pack of 10.

- Le Petit Fute travel guide book : Le Petite Fute travel guide book company is focusing on independent travellers and has made only for Russia at least 10 different guide book on various parts of the country. What I find interesting about these book is that they cover parts of Russia that you simply don't find much information about elsewhere, such as the Krasnoyarsk-regio, Khanty-Mansiysk en Tuva. You can find the Le Petit Fute books for sale in Moscow, Yekaterinburg and Novosibirskvan. The whole series can only be found in Moscow and by the way exists only in Russian language version.

- cheap hotels, accomodation in Russia : in every trainstation there is a hotel with simple rooms for about 100-150 Rubel per night, which is usually the cheapest place to stay in the whole town.

- money and budget : The currency is Rubel. The exchange rate is : 1$=30.70 Rubel, 1 Euro =28.85 Rubel. Exchange offices are very rare in Russia but give a better rate than the banks. The Russian banks exchange money without problems but are closed on saturday and sunday.

- leaving Russia via overland border : if you are planning to leave Russia via one of the overland borders (not by plane) there is a risk that the border guards ask you for a customs declaration form that you should have received when entering the country. Often you have to ask for it yourself and make sure that it gets stamped after you have filled in how much money you are bringing in to the country. Officially it's not necessary anymore and probably if you are flying out of Russia you will have no problems without the form, but this doesn't stop the land border controls from demanding it. When leaving the country simply fill in that you have less money than what you wrote that you had when you entered.

- more information about getting a Russan Visa can be found in my Visa Preparations. I bought my Russian Visa in Georgia, more information about that in my Travel guide Georgia.