is also known as the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic or
the Russian Federation. Russia is the largest country in the world in
size, yet has a population of only 140 million. Due in large part
to its size, Russia has borders with an amazingly large number of
countries, including Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania,
Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China,
Mongolia, and North Korea. More than 90% of the population is
Russian Orthodox. The state of Rus came into existence in the 9th
century, but the height of Russian influence likely occurred with the
formation of the Russian Empire in the 18th century when it was ruled
by csars (tsars). The communist era of Lenin and Stalin came to
an end in 1991 with the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the
formation of the Russian Federation.
Russia’s capital is Moscow, which is famous for the Kremlin overlooking Saint Basil's Cathedral and Red Square.
is the other well known and frequently visited city. With its
northerly location, winters are severe in Russia and tourism is
concentrated on the summer months. Electricity is provided by the standard European plug type.
A tourist visa is a requirement for many nationalities entering Russia. Normally
this is obtained through the company making travel arrangements or by
using a visa service. Express to Russia
advertises visa invitations for $18US and after they issue the
invitation, you are then responsible for submitting your invitation,
original passport, application and passport-size photos to an embassy
or consulate to obtain the actual visa. Our favorite Russian visa
application question is to about whether you know how to detonate a
nuclear device. Also check your specific country at VisaHQ.
For a list of exempt countries, visit Project Visa.
Upon entry to Russia, visitors are supplied with an immigration
document. One copy is retained at immigration and one copy must
be carried with you during your stay. Your copy must be shown in
order to exit the country and to register at hotels, so keep this
document in a safe and easily accessible place.
The currency is the Ruble, but
US dollars are widely accepted. St Petersburg and Moscow now have
ATMs and credit cards are becoming more widely accepted.