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  • Cultivating Connections Travel Planners

Are you ready to travel to Russia?

Updated: Oct 18, 2021

Russia St Petersburg Moscow food lovers foodies culinary travel culinary focused wine lovers distillery trail brewery tours travel planning Erin Smith ~ Affinity Group Travel Advisor
Russia: Are you ready?

As a U.S citizen, you might want to travel to Russia for fun or business. There are things you need to consider.


Though getting a Russian visa is not that difficult, the application process is quite technical and can be confusing to the inexperienced. It is better you save yourself the stress by hiring a visa service to ensure a flawless process. If you are going for a Russian cruise, you may need a Russian Shore Visa.

Currency Exchange

You can exchange your US dollars at the airport or a local bank, but it is better to withdraw local currency from a local cash machine. You cannot exchange USD to local currency at hotel receptions, but you will get the best possible exchange rate withdrawing from a cash machine using your US Debit Card. Most hotels have an ATM in their lobby or close by.

You should also notify your bank of when and where you are traveling before leaving the country. Credit cards (mainly Visa/Mastercard) are widely accepted. You can also check whether your card has any foreign transaction fees associated with it. You should also take a small amount of local currency for little transactions or in case of an emergency.

When to go to Russia

The choice of timing of when to go to Russia depends on your priorities. You have to decide if the weather and humidity are more important or avoiding crowds. If you prioritize weather and temperature, then the summer months are the right time to visit. If avoiding crowds is more important, you should consider going there late September through April when you can have the museums to yourself and enjoy the very best of ballet, opera, and symphony.

Group Travel

Group itineraries are often able to include experiences that would otherwise be out of reach for individual travelers. Russia is a perfect destination for all kinds of group travel such as multi-generational family travel, girl’s trips, and men’s trips.

Connecting with the Russians

No doubt, the Russian people are very friendly with foreigners, contrary to many popular misconceptions about Russia and its people. You should not judge them by their government or the rumors you heard about them. Many Russians are eager to engage, very sociable, and ever-ready to learn from American guests.

The crime rate in Russia is relatively low and incidents of crime to guests is almost nonexistent. 

Location is very important. Although most centrally-placed hotels are often expensive, you will save money on transportation when going to dinner or to a theater performance in the evening. You might also need to learn a bit of the Russian language, at least to communicate with the drivers as many of them speak very little English.

Private Guide

You might need to hire a private guide, who is fluent in English, and highly knowledgeable about the city to ensure a stress-free experience. You may learn from the sites and museums you are visiting but a guide will help you get a deeper knowledge about Russia.


You will also be pleasantly surprised by the culinary scene that has become known in Russia in the past 5 years. There are now many renowned restaurants in Moscow and St. Petersburg, which have received international awards for their cuisine and exceptional gastronomic experience. Some of these are the cultural Georgian and Azeri restaurants that specialize in food from the former Soviet Republics.

Palaces to Visit

There are so many churches and palaces in Russia especially in and around St. Petersburg. You don’t have to visit them all. You can take a look at the picturesque designs of these buildings and enjoy the spectacular views.

Without any doubt, Russia is a beautiful country. You can go to Russia for your next vacation with your family and loved ones while saving yourselves the stress of planning. Contact me for your next Russian holiday with clean, luxurious accommodations, unique, and memorable culinary options.

food lovers foodies culinary travel culinary focused wine lovers distillery trail brewery tours travel planningErin Smith ~ Affinity Group Travel Advisor


What cruise should you or your group take next? Take this quick quiz and get inspired for your next adventure!

If you are yearning for travel inspiration, this is just for you.

food lovers foodies culinary travel culinary focused wine lovers distillery trail brewery tours travel planningErin Smith ~ Affinity Group Travel Advisor


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