Info for travellers to Russia
The national currency of Russia is the Russian Ruble, the current rate is about 55 rubles (fluctuations 3-5 rubles) per 1 US dollar. Payments in any other currency on the territory of Russia are prohibited by law. The cash exchange routes are possible without any limits in any exchange offices of banks on the all territory of country. At the airport exchange rate is not favorable, and at the reception of hotelsexchange is prohibited. It is recommendly to count the received amount during any exchange. Also, the credit cards are accepted for payment in most of the hotels, restaurants and shops. And in major cities you can withdraw cash rubles from a credit card in ATMs during the 24 clock .
In St. Petersburg, and especially in Moscow lots of large shopping malls with world brands goods are working. It is possible to haggle while buying souvenirs in Russia only on street markets, prices on goods in shopping malls are fixed, self-service system is common.
The official language in Russia is a Russian language, and is studied by all the nations along with their native languages. English and other European languages are not common across the country, but in large cities many residents can speak English.
- Mobile communication in Russia is quite expensive, that’s why buying a local SIM-card does not make sense. To call in Russia on local numbers will be cheaper from the hotel rooms, using Indian mobile phones roaming or by Skype. If staying in Russia is for a long period and a local number is needed, then it needs to provide a passport during purchasing the SIM-card. Activation takes place on the same day, but if it does not happen, it is necessarily to handle personally this problem to the seller.
- The time of Moscow and of St. Petersburg is behind Indian time on 2,5 hours (for example 10 AM in Delhi and on this moment 07-30 AM in Moscow). Russia have total 11 time zones.
- The peculiarity of the geographical position of Russia is the difference between the length of daylight in winter and summer. But no significant changes are occurring in the work schedule and lifestyle of the population. It gets dark early from October to February, and towns are filled with the light of a thousand lamps and advertising signs in the evenings. The shortest light day of the year is 22nd of December, it is only 8 hours (from 8:30 to 16:30). In summer, from March to September nights are reduced, the longest light day is 22nd of June, it is 16 hours (from 5:30 until 21:30). In the Northern cities of Russia and in St. Petersburg the period from 10th of June to 15th of July called as "white nights", as even after sunset, the sky remains bright.
- Russia is a huge country both from West to East and from North to South, so the climate in different regions of the country on the same day can vary greatly. The weather in the Moscow area during the year reminds as a whole the weather in such Indian cities as Manali or Shimla in the Himalayas. The best time to travel to Russia is the summer time from May to September. However, there is lots of snow in winter in Russia, and it is beautiful, like in a fairy tale, so any excursion at this time of the year becomes into a real pleasure. The approximate description of the weather for Moscow and St. Petersburg:
- Summer: May - September. The most warm and pleasant time, the warm days can change to hot. In May and September daytime temperature is +15 °C, it is especially hot from June to August when temperature is +25..+30 °C. During the summer sometimes short rain showers happen, rarely with thunderstorms.
- Autumn: October - November, usual temperature is from 0 to +15 °C. Since mid-September in the Central part of Russia rains are often. In October, the first ground frosts occur, the temperature at night drops to 0 degrees. In November the first snow falls, by the end of the month the permanent snow cover falls, and rivers and lakes are covered with ice.
- Winter: December - March, usual temperature is from +5 °C to -18°C. Usually in Moscow there is permanent snow cover from mid-November to mid-March. A little warmer is in St. Petersburg, but high air humidity gives the subjective perception of the weather as cold.
- Spring: March - May, usual temperature is from +5 °C to +15°C. Spring comes to the European part of Russia at the end of the March, the snow melts actively, the temperature is increasing rapidly, but the nights remain cold until May.
March is the driest month of the year in this part of Russia statistically, May is the sunniest month of the year, and October and November – the most cloudy. The highest rainfall occurs in July, August and October.
- Clothes and footwear should be comfortable and fit the weather and time of a year.
- Summer - any comfortable cotton clothes and open shoes, but for the evening time we recommend to have sneakers and a light jacket. And it won't hurt to take a shawl and an umbrella.
- In the period from March to the first days of May, and also from September to November in addition to light things should be clothes with long sleeves - woolen jumper and jacket with warm lining, hat, closed shoes (sneakers or warm boots), umbrella. At this time of the year in Russia the temperature outdoors is 0+15 °C, but inside the buildings warm is over +22 °C.
- If you are travelling to Russia in winter, you definitely need to have a very warm shoes, a winter jacket with down insulation, warm trousers and woolen clothes (a couple of warm sweaters, socks, scarf, hat, gloves). At this time of the year in Russia the temperature outdoors is -5-10 °C, but inside the buildings it is always warm enough, +22 °C. All warm clothes you can buy in any Mall in Moscow, we recommend sports stores as a convenient and not very expensive option.