Russia Never Sleeps

A thread about everything Russia. From Moscow, St. Petersburg, Chelyabinsk, Yaroslavl, Ryazan, Siberia etc. The place of Vodka, Putin, Wintersports, rich oligarchs, tall beautiful women, "Face control" in entering clubs, Anna kournikova, Natalia Vodianova, Kremlin, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, babushkas, Museums, Architecture, and the famous chilling russian winter.

Not to mention that it's one of the most expensive cities in the world especially when it comes to Real Estate and housing.

It might not be a popular tourist destination for Filipinos but this country really fascinates me and i've heard amazing reviews from the few who've been there. We're planning to visit next year so hopefully we can have an official Russia thread.

So to those who've been there, feel free to share tips, stories, experiences, photos and anything to us. It will be our pleasure.

To those planning to visit mother Russia, here's a thread for visa, itinerary and anything Russia related.

Thread title is from their World Cup 2018 campaign which is another big event we can talk about here. Also, the Sochi Winter Olympics soon.

Spasiba :)
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Comments

  • LITHIUM478LITHIUM478 Super Sawsaw ✭✭
    Up...


    I wish I can to go to Russia soon.
  • bothwellbothwell Member PExer
    Just returned from our Russia trip 2 days ago.

    I enjoyed Robert Alexander’s The Kitchen Boy, Rasputin’s Daughter and The Romanov Bride. Also finished Massie’s Peter the Great and partially read Catherine the Great recently. These made our trip to Russia even more interesting and insightful.

    Visa Tip:

    For most passport holders, you’ll need a tourist voucher provided by your hotel or you may secure it from a third party provider (for a fee). This is a prerequisite for Russian visa application. Likewise, you need to register your stay within 72 hours upon arrival in each city of your stay. Your hotel can help you do this.

    We were charged RR200/ registration in St P while our hotel in Moscow did this free of charge. Russian police frequently and randomly checks the visitors’ documents and has the penchant to harass those who lacks them. While we didn’t experience this during our visit, we’ve read many negative experiences encountered by other tourists on this.

    We spent 6 days in St P while Moscow only 4, and that includes a day trip to Sergiev Posad.

    Learn to speak a few Russian words to get you by. My wife learned to read and write Cyrillic in a few days, courtesy of youtube. That helped us a lot with our trip.

    Russia is incredibly beautiful. It has some of the most beautiful attractions you’ll find in Europe. It has rich history and the culture is quite unique.

    Definitely worth a visit.
  • beez10beez10 Member PExer
    Hi can you tell me how you applied for your russian visa? Thanks
  • bothwellbothwell Member PExer
    I did not. As I’m visa-free, but wifey did.

    It’s very easy. Here’s how she dit it.

    1. Request tourist voucher from 3rd party provider. She used travel-direct.com, but there are plenty. Just google TOURIST VISA VOUCHER . It costs her around £15.00.
    2. Voucher was emailed to us within 20 minutes. Print it.
    3. Check visa application schedule with the Consular Office (the one in Rada Street)
    4. Go early
    5. Bring your filled up visa application form, tourist voucher, passport, passport photo to the consular office. (wifey did bring some financial dox but they didn’t take a look at all)
    6. You are required to pick up your passport personally upon its release.

    Alternatively, you may ask your hotel to issue you the voucher free of charge. It was too early for us to book the hotel, so for convenience’s sake, we just took the service of provider.

    Hope this helps.
  • MaryRLMaryRL Member PExer
    YES! Your post came out just in time. My brother and I were planning to visit Russia on June. That's the best time to go daw.

    Is it true Russians are rude? Is your 6 days in St Petersburg enough? May I ask where did you stay? Ok ba ang location?

    How did you transfer from St. Petersburg to Moscow?

    I'd appreciate your reply.

    TIA.

    Spasiba.
  • bothwellbothwell Member PExer
    Hi MaryRL,

    You’re lucky to be going in June. You may already know that the summer time between late May to early July is called White Nights because the sun never set during this period.

    On the other hand, you have to deal with the big tourist crowd during this time.

    We did enjoy the winter vacation. It was around -2C to -11C when we visited. Here’s the thing. Unlike many Western European cities we visited, most roads in St P and Moscow were cleared of snow everyday.

    Contrary to what we’ve read, we found most locals to be friendly and helpful. There were exceptions, of course. Like there was a time wifey paused a few seconds while boarding a bus and the babushka behind her gave her a prompt push. Many do look stern and cold but we attribute that to their lack of English communication skill.

    In regard to your accommodation. We always try to look for the ones near the Metro and possibly the train station (if we’ll be using that).

    In St Petersburg, we stayed at Crowne Plaza Ligovsky. It’s perfectly located, just a short walk to the Metro and train station and main avenue of Nevsky Prospeckt. Breakfast is repetitive but passable, we got it for less than US$195.00/night during our stay. We took the Sapsan from St P to Moscow.

    In Moscow, we stayed at the Hilton Leningradskaya. Near the train and 2 Metro stations too. Good breakfast and service, but I had an issue with one of their receptionists (which calls for another story). We got the rooms for less than US$260.00/night. Moscow accommodation are generally more expensive compared to other cities in Russia.

    How long do you plan to stay in Russia? I liked St P more than Moscow.

    Let me know if you need more info.

    Enjoy your trip.
  • superparadise_Xsuperparadise_X shaken n stirred :-) PExer
    parati kong nai-imagine how the Church of the Spilled Blood looks like during winter time with the surrounding area covered in snow..and I saw so many paintings of St Petersburg and the Church of Spilled Blood during winter and methinks were so beautiful....

    :love:
  • MaryRLMaryRL Member PExer
    Hi Bothwell.

    Thanks so much for your reply.

    We plan to spend around 8-10 days in Russia.

    I agree expensive nga ang hotels in Moscow. Nakaka tempt ang Hilton but too expensive for us.

    Can you help us with our itinerary? We don’t know where to start talaga.

    What route did you take? St Petersburg-Moscow-St Petersburg-Mla? Twice kayo nag Sapsan train? Parang there’s only few carriers that go directly from Asia to St Petersburg?

    Russia kasi is both in my and my brother’s bucket list. Kaya we really want to do this while we’re still young and able.

    Spasiba.
  • bothwellbothwell Member PExer
    Hi MaryRL,

    My pleasure.

    We flew from HKG to Moscow then made a connecting to St P via Rossiya Airline.

    I suggest that you do Tallinn first (simply because late research shows this city is amazing and I believe Superparadise X can attest to this) then take the train to St P. and from there, take the Sapsan train to Moscow.

    Right off the bat, here’s what I can suggest:

    In St P.

    1. Hermitage Museum (purchase ticket online to avoid queue and it’s good for 2 days)
    2. Michailovsky Palace (if you really enjoy museums)
    3. Neva Embankment
    4. Church of Our Saviour on Spilled Blood
    5. Palace Square
    6. Peterhof (check operating sched before going. It was closed on our planned visit date)
    7. Mariinsky Theatre
    8. Yusupov Palace
    9. St Isaac’s Cathedral
    10. Peter and Paul Fortress (visit the Cathedral, Museum and Prison)
    11. Tsarskoe Selo. Visit Catherine, Alexander and Pavlovsk Palaces and their parks. (We enjoyed the parks a lot more than the palaces.)
    12. Boat ride (river was frozen when we were there)


    In Moscow:

    1. Red Square
    2. Kremlin
    3. Day trip to Sergiev Possad (optional)
    4. Arbat Street
    5. Sparrow Hills
    6. Gorky Park
    7. Park Pobedy
    8. Novodevichy convent and the cemetery

    I suggest that you do your own research as our interests may not be the same as yours.

    Have you applied for your visa already?

    Have a fun-filled trip.
  • bothwellbothwell Member PExer
    Church of Our Saviour on Spilled Blood -St. Petersburg

    SpilledBlood_zpsb1e532fc.jpg


    St. Basil's Church - Moscow

    StBasil2_zps7edd154a.jpg

    The two looks almost identical. The former was so called because Tsar Alexander II was assassinated right inside this church by the darn communists.
  • wanderer9020wanderer9020 Not all who wander are lost ✭✭✭
    parati kong nai-imagine how the Church of the Spilled Blood looks like during winter time with the surrounding area covered in snow..and I saw so many paintings of St Petersburg and the Church of Spilled Blood during winter and methinks were so beautiful....

    :love:
    which makes me think, is it worth to visit Russia in winter??? The Lonely Planet latest Russia guide looks appealing. At what month should I go to see these place covered with snow everywhere?

    51doS1Lgr5L_BO2204203200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-clickTopRight35-76_SX240_SY320_CR00240320_SH20_OU01__zpsb2b0aab8.jpg
  • MaryRLMaryRL Member PExer
    Hi Bothwell,

    Thank you very much sa mga replies and suggestions.

    We're following your recommendation of visiting Tallinn first. Bale we plan to book London-Tallinn-Moscow-Mnl.

    Super expensive kasi Mnl-Tallin flight. Whereas from LHR, may Baltic, easyjet and Ryanair na cheap flights.

    We plan to apply for visa next week, right after we book our flight and get the tourist voucher.

    Wow. Ganda ng Churches. *** onion dome looks like mosque. So colorful.

    Can you please post more pics?

    Thanks. Wish us luck sa visa?
  • in_com000in_com000 Member PExer
    hi. how much is the tourist visa? chinaairlines offers really cheap fare to moscow. layover is just long
  • wanderer9020wanderer9020 Not all who wander are lost ✭✭✭
    in_com000 wrote: »
    hi. how much is the tourist visa? chinaairlines offers really cheap fare to moscow. layover is just long

    if you can afford an airfare to russia, then visa fee is chicken for you :)
  • in_com000in_com000 Member PExer
    @Wanderer

    thanks for the response but an answer to my question is better appreciated. i have been searching online but i just cant find an answer. i asked rajah travel and they said that if its just the visa alone that i will be availing from them, it would cost me ten thousand.

    btw, its airchina not chinaairlines
  • bothwellbothwell Member PExer
    in_com000 wrote: »
    hi. how much is the tourist visa? chinaairlines offers really cheap fare to moscow. layover is just long

    If I remember correctly, my wife paid P2,400+ for her visa. She's holding a foreign passport though, and if she's not mistaken, visa fee for Philippine passport holders is around P5k. To expedite, that's additional P2K. It's best if you'll check it with the consular office directly.
  • bothwellbothwell Member PExer
    MaryRL, Good luck on your visa.

    Here's more pics:

    Catherine Palace
    P1150429_zpsa74db69b.jpg

    P1150385_zps0b996108.jpg

    Great Hall of Catherine Palace
    catherine1_zps7b488c9b.jpg

    Yusupov Palace where Rasputin was murdered
    Yusupov2_zps86e2a32e.jpg

    Yusupov1_zpsc1be126c.jpg
  • bothwellbothwell Member PExer
    Alexander Palace

    This was where the last Romanov Emperor and his family were staying before they were captured by the Bolshevik.

    P1150502_zpsde4f8d7a.jpg
  • bothwellbothwell Member PExer
    I was amused by these signboards: Can anyone guess what are these brands?

    1.
    400_zps7c9d359d.jpg

    2.
    300_zps933b5074.jpg

    3.
    200_zpsf0c1d801.jpg

    4.
    100_zps460fddfe.jpg
  • ihcahiehihcahieh Polyglot ▪ Skater ▪ Alien ✭✭✭
    [VISA] Russia (Single Entry)
    20170531_163749-1.jpg
    There are two venues for Russian visa applications in Manila. The first one is at the embassy itself inside Dasmari?as Village. Rumor has it that you can apply there ONLY by invitation, and there are a lot of anecdotes on how strict that village is granting entry to outsiders. For us ordinary mortals, we have to go to their office at Rada near Greenbelt. Applications can be lodged MWF from 10 AM to 12 PM. You don?t need to schedule an appointment. Just walk in with your requirements...
    Read More: http://www.ihcahieh.com/2017/06/visa-russia-single-entry.html

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