Beyond the fact that it was the protagonist of the political conflict that dominated the second half of the 20th century, Russia is a world power whose art and culture have made it one of the most famous countries in the world. . Despite this and despite its opening which took place twenty-five years ago, it still retains a reputation as a complicated country to visit. In this post, I will show you that this statement is not necessarily true. In other words, you will see that it is possible to organize your trip to Russia yourself .
The visa for Russia, a boring but necessary process
The very first thing you should do when you start planning a trip to Russia is to find out whether or not you need a visa to enter the territory in question. Citizens of some countries, particularly those of Latin America, Central Asia and Eastern Europe, do not need a visa to enter Russian territory. If the country of which you are a national does not appear on this list , you will need to apply for a visa.
To apply for a visa from Spain, you must complete and sign this online form and provide a color photo, in 3×4 format, a passport with at least six months validity, travel insurance and a letter of invitation that you will have to ask at the travel agency (in case there is one), at the hotel or at the accommodation that you have chosen in Russia. Finally, you will need proof of having paid 58 euros.
Traveling to Moscow
Moscow has three airports: Vnukovo, Sheremetyevo and Domodiedovo . The one in Vnukovo receives only domestic flights. The best way to get from Sheremetyevo to the city center is the Aeroexpress Sheremetyev o train . The latter takes you to Moscow Belorussky station, where it connects with the metro, in thirty-five minutes and for 470 rubles (5.90 euros). To get from Domodedovo to Moscow , you can take the Aeroexpress Domodedovo , which connects the airport with the Paveliets railway station (Pavelestky Rail Terminal).
The Moscow Metro is the best way to get around the city. You will see that some stations are real works of art, it is not for nothing that it is called the “underground palace”. With its twelve lines making a total length of 329.2 km, it is the metro that transports the most passengers in the world . This subway is not easy to take. In general, those who come from the West have cards in Latin characters, but once there, everything is in Cyrillic characters. It is therefore advisable to take a map with you in both alphabets in order to be able to identify the stations.
Traveling to St. Petersburg
To get from St. Petersburg’s Pulkovo Airport (LED) to the city center, you can take a taxi — the most expensive choice — or the public bus. There are several buses leaving from the airport (City Bus 39 and City Bus 39A); they take you to Moskovskaya metro station for 25 rubles (0.31 euro). If you want to arrive faster, take a marshrutka instead, a kind of minibus that makes the same route, much faster and at the price of 36 rubles (0.45 euros). If you have large luggage, you will probably have to pay for an extra seat for them.
The Saint Petersburg Metro has five lines and is 113.6 km long. It is unique in that it is one of the deepest in the world and, like that of Moscow, very elegant. A one-way metro ticket costs 31 rubles, or 0.39 euros.
Traveling across Russia by plane
Moscow and Saint Petersburg, although they are the most visited cities, are not the only interesting destinations that can be reached on board a domestic flight. To go to cities like Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg, Kazan, Sochi or Nizhny Novgorod — they are worth the trip — if your visa is still valid, it’s as simple as buying a plane ticket and going to ‘airport. The main modern and reliable airlines operating domestic flights in Russia are: Aeroflot , S7 Airlines , Transaero , Rossiya and VIM-Avia .
If when buying plane tickets to Russia on the Internet you have problems and your transaction is not accepted, go to a point of sale of the company with which you would like to travel.
Traveling through Russia by train: the magic of the Trans-Siberian
All corners of Russia are connected with each other by train, from Baltic Russia to the Pacific coast. It’s a less practical, but more traditional and romantic way to travel. There are many legends surrounding the Trans-Siberian , the railway line that connects European Russia and Asian Russia, to neighboring countries in the Far East. There are no trains with this name, nor particular train lines that cover specific routes.
You can make tailor-made trips on the Trans- Siberian , just like on the Trans- Mongolian : you can choose the place of departure and the place of arrival, in which case you will have to buy a ticket for each trip . You can buy them in advance on the Russian Trains website . That said, they will cost you less if you buy them directly at train stations.