We have started our preliminary preparations for the trip to Russia half a year before. We originally were supposed to go to St. Petersburg by coach, but eventually, it turned out that the date of departure did not suit us. Fortunately, after checking the flight connections, it turned out that it was not a problem. Not only were we able to find a flight at the right time, but the cost was comparable to a bus trip, and the time of journey from over 20 hours shortened to 5. We flew out with Belavia from Belarus, with a stopover in Minsk.
Visiting Russia is associated with certain formalities, which are worth approaching with calmness and proper preparation. First of all, remember that a visa is a necessity. This document, of course, you can arrange on your own, but we, after very positive experience in organizing a visa to the US, decided to use the services of wecotravel. Our role was only to send the necessary information and photos to the company, pay the fee and collect visas from the courier. Simple!
In the case of a traditional visa application, it should be done electronically in Russian or English, and then printed via a special website. Visa applications must be submitted in person or through a third party to the Russian Visa Center or to the Consular Department after registering here.
In order to get a tourist visa, you should prepare:
- Passport, valid for at least 180 days, counted from the date of expiration of the validity of the visa to enter Russia
- A visa application filled only electronically in Russian or English and printed by means of a special website of the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia. No questionnaires sent by fax or mail are accepted.
- One photo (specification)
- Confirmation of the admission of a foreign tourist issued by a Russian tourist company, registered in the Russian Federal Register of Tour operators.
- Insurance with a coverage of € 30,000 valid in the territory of the Russian Federation for the period of stay in Russia. In the case of a multiple-entry visa – valid for the period of the first entry.
The cost of a tourist visa with a waiting time of up to 10 working days (ordinary mode) is about EUR 37. There is also the possibility of using the express mode (up to 3 business days), then the cost of the visa increases to EUR 73. In addition, the cost of the invitation (about EUR 20) and insurance (about EUR 7,5) should be added.
Transportation from the airport
After landing at the Petersburg-Pulkovo Airport, we can get to the city centre in several ways. The cheapest is the bus, and that’s the option that we used. You can also take a taxi or Uber, which turned out to be our primary mean of transport around the city. Uber in St. Petersburg at the time we visited was really cheap, and the availability of vehicles left nothing to be desired.
Bus number 39 brought us to Moskovskaya metro station. Metro in St. Petersburg is one of the deepest systems in the world. 5 lines connect 67 stations and are the pride of the city. Without these connections, getting around the city would be very difficult. In addition, this means of transport is extremely beautiful. Most of the stations have been designed with great thought and focus on details. Many people coming to St. Petersburg go on a tour of the most interesting stations. Us at Moskovskaya station met a very positive experience. The intricate network of connections is often a problem for tourists. For us it was similar. We stood by the plan trying to figure out where we should go and how to pay for the ticket. To a great surprise, a woman came to us with one intention – help. Tatiana helped us with the purchase of a ticket, accompanied us to the correct stop and even got in the wagon with us to show us where exactly we should get off! Such a beginning of the Russian adventure definitely gave us wings!
Internet and telephone
Coming to Russia, you should remember that it is a country that is not part of the European Union. Yes, we know it is obvious, but it is easy to forget that in the EU we currently have great conditions when it comes to phone calls and internet use. In the case of Russia, it is completely different. Connection costs are cosmically high, not to mention the cost of the internet. A great solution in such a situation is to buy a sim card on the spot. For a small amount of money, we’ve got a package of free calls and the internet package, which saved us many times from getting lost!
Watch our first vlog from st. Petersburg:
Experience with us!
Brought to you by: Julia & Przemyslaw