Russia is a huge country stretching across two continents. This very statement gives enthusiastic travellers the opportunity to think. Should we visit this country? How much do the stereotypes about Russia and the Russians coincide with the truth? More and more curious tourists are asking themselves these questions. A large part of this group decides to travel to the largest country in the world and get to know its unique culture, art and climate. But how to prepare for such a journey? What documents should I take with me? What you can’t miss while visiting? The answer to these questions, as well as additional information, will be provided by reading the article below!
Tourist visa to Russia – where to apply?
The basic step you have to take before you even leave for your trip to the European Union’s eastern neighbours is to obtain a visa. Without this document, you will unfortunately not be able to travel to Russia. It happens that tourists give up their trips because legends say that only a few people get a Russian visa, because applications are usually rejected. However, it turns out to be a slander. By following the instructions, you will most certainly receive a document entitling you to visit this huge country.
Documents needed to apply for a Russian visa
In order to be allowed to visit Russia, it is necessary to submit appropriate documents, without which the trial will prove unsuccessful. The first one is, of course, a passport, valid for at least 180 days, counted from the date of the end of the stay in Russia. Also important is a copy of the first page of this document, without which the official cannot start the whole procedure. It also turns out that it is necessary to provide a visa application. It should be filled in electronically and printed using a dedicated special website, under the responsibility of the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia. The application must be submitted in person, otherwise it will not be accepted. It is also clear that the data in this document, such as information on accommodation and the like, must match the certificates submitted in this respect.
The invitation to Russia
Another key document without which tourist will not receive a Russian visa is the invitation. It can be purchased through websites that offer this type of service. It is good to know that the invitation is also called a Voucher. This document is received in electronic form very quickly, shortly after the transfer is posted. You should, of course, print them out, preferably in colour, and submit them together with other documents. The prices of invitations depend on the purpose of the trip, i.e. the type of visa issued, its period, the number of entries and exits into the country and so on.
Confirmation of accommodation
Most tourists do not have a family in the country they visit. However, if you know someone who lives in Russia and does not mind giving their personal data when you apply for a visa, you may consider the case closed. However, as you know, we do not all have friends across the eastern border. If you belong to the second group, you will need a visa application receipt from a tourist company registered in the Russian Federal Register of Tour Operators. Some people also use hostel reservations on various websites, such as Booking.
Tourist insurance for travel to Russia
When travelling to Russia, it is also necessary to purchase health insurance. It should be covered by 30.000 EUR and be valid in the Russian Federation. This insurance must also cover the entire period of stay with the eastern neighbours. However, in the case of a multiple-entry visa, the declaration must only cover the period of the first departure. You must bring with you a printed contract that shows the rates at which you are insured. However, before you take out insurance, it is advisable to read the list provided to choose the most advantageous one.
Russian visa – important information
According to the price list on the official website, a 30-day tourist visa, issued in the normal mode, costs about 40 €. As far as the waiting time for this document is concerned, it usually does not exceed 10 working days. Often, however, the interested party receives their visa a little faster. A single-entry and double-entry and exit document, as mentioned above, is issued for a maximum period of 30 days. It is also worth knowing that the date of your departure is completely “rigid”, i.e. unchanging, regardless of whether you leave or stay in another country, the time for a visit will flow relentlessly.
Russian visa photo – Size and requirements
When applying for a visa to travel to Russia, you will need one photo, which must be provided together with other documents. Of course, it has its own specification, and on its basis it is accepted or rejected by the official. The basic requirement for this visa photograph is its dimensions, i.e. 35 mm x 45 mm. The photograph should be taken not earlier than 6 months before the date of application. If the photograph in your identity card, issued for example a year ago, is the same as the one you intend to attach to the application for a Russian visa, you should prepare yourself for its rejection by the official. Additionally, the photo must be colourful and clear. It may be rejected by additional elements that distract attention from the face of the photographed person, as well as a dark, non-uniform background that is not accepted. The photograph should be printed on high quality photographic paper in a suitable position. The photographed person is required to have a straightforward perspective. The photograph must clearly show the face of the person concerned, which should occupy 70-80% of the surface area of the photograph, as well as eyes. It should also be remembered to remove the headgear, close the mouth and remove unruly strands of hair. Due to these requirements, it is best to take a photo for a Russian visa with a professional photographer. Thanks to this you will be sure that it will not be rejected during the application process.
Flights to Russia
The most popular flights to Russia are air trips to St. Petersburg and Moscow Sheremetyev. Less well attended, but equally well served destinations include Rostov, Kazan and Kaliningrad.
Flying to Russia, it’s also worth getting acquainted with the offers to start your journey in Germany. Air tickets from this country cover a much larger number of cities, which can be reached by plane. As you can easily guess, from Germany you can often find cheaper flights from different airlines. Promotions for this type of flights lurk at every step, so you should consider leaving for Russia from Germany.
If you want to name three most important airports in Russia, point to Moscow Sheremetyevo, Moscow Domodedovo and St. Petersburg Pulkovo. As we know, this country has many more airports, but these stand out in comparison with others with their popularity resulting mainly from belonging to the most famous cities in the country. These airports serve both low-cost airlines and traditional carriers.
Important places in Russia
Russia is the largest country in the world. So it is not difficult to guess that there are many contrasts. It is not possible to get to know this country from a distance, so a trip to Russia should be included in the list of countries to visit for every keen traveler. You should also be aware that a single visit to this country may not be enough to get to know it properly. Russia is made up of regions that are often compared to other countries in terms of their uniqueness, size and cultural differences.
Natural beauty of the eastern neighbour
The central part of the country is rich in various unique monuments, unique architecture and many cultural centres. Russia also boasts a city in its north-western part – St. Petersburg, known for its books and one of the iconic places of its eastern neighbors. Although Russia is stereotypically considered a cold country, it also has its warmer areas, i.e. the southern part, which boasts of unusual nature and various resorts. Those who love to admire the picturesque landscapes will also be interested in Trans-Siberian railway, running through 2 continents and 8 time zones. The ride is a popular attraction among tourists. The most cult places are undoubtedly: the intercontinental border, Lake Baikal and Kamchatka, where you can meet active volcanoes and geysers.
Cities and villages in Russia
As far as the built-up area of Russia is concerned, the necessary points on the travel map are some of the cities of this huge country. One of them is undoubtedly Moscow, the capital of Russia. Apart from its main monuments, such as Red Square, tourists are also attracted to less crowded places, such as cafes, clubs and galleries, where you can freely explore Russian culture. Also important is the aforementioned St. Petersburg, considered by many to be one of the most attractive cities for travelers around the world. It is also worth to go to smaller villages, where certainly every tourist will experience the magic of the Russian country. Remember also to try the famous delicacies of Russian cuisine, as well as go to at least one spectacle with the participation of ballet masters – without these elements, the journey cannot be considered completed.
Is it worth travelling to Russia?
For many years, Russia has developed various stereotypes related to the climate and mentality of people. However, not every one of them is true. Despite the ubiquitous discouragement, this country still attracts curious tourists who want to experience a real adventure. No wonder that Russia is gaining popularity. This country is full of contrasts and you should see it for yourself. No book or photograph can capture the unique atmosphere in different corners of the world’s largest country. Russia is a real treat for travel enthusiasts and fanatics of learning about different, very expressive cultures. So it is worth investing in a trip to the east and set off on a journey to a unique country, to which you will certainly want to return.