There's nothing like Russia. The Russian people are tough and smart. The countryside is breath-taking, and cities like Moscow and St. Petersburg have some of the most interesting, historic pasts in Europe. The largest country by land mass in the world (by a huge margin), Russia sits as an isolated giant that few ever get to see, but everyone should.
Saint Basil's Cathedral
Valley of Geysers
The Russian itinerary is fairly simple, as there are really two main points of interest connected by railway - St. Petersburg and Moscow. However, you can easily include Scandinavia on any Russian itinerary very easily and conveniently, which we recommend doing.
Depending on the length of your trip, and taking geographic proximity into account, the following are our recommended priorities:
3 days: Moscow (possible day trip to Nizhny Novgorod)
6 days, add: St. Petersburg (via rail, allow one day for travel)
8 days, add: Helsinki (Finland)
10 - 12 days, add: Tallin (Estonia, via ferry from Helsinki)
More: You can very easily save St. Petersburg for last, after Tallin, or return for extra time after finishing your time in Estonia. Also consider ferry to Stockholm (Sweden) from Tallin.
Language: Russian. Everything in Russia is very, very Russian. It's a beautiful language, and difficult, but you should learn a few key phrases to show interest in the culture. Know how to say "please", "thank you", and the like. Most of the major cities will know English.
Currency: Russian Ruble (RUB). RUB is currently 56 for 1 USD.
Power Adapter: In Russia the power sockets are of type C and F. The standard voltage is 220 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz.
Emergency Number: 102 for Police, 103 for Ambulance.
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