Russia Travel Facts

Got a question regarding travel to Russia? We've got answers. Feel free to contact us with any additional questions you may have.

Do I need a Visa?

Yes. You need to send details of your passport through our online booking form and your flight details to us and our office in Moscow will then processes a letter of invitation which is emailed to you. You then use this voucher to accompany your passport  when you fill in the online application form on the Russian Embassy's website. Following this you then take in person or post the completed applications plus a fee to the nearest Russian Embassy. This process is best done 5 weeks prior to departure and normally takes a week or ten days to process. There is a more detailed description of this process on this website under Practicalities.

Permits and local requirements for entry

You need to have the following documents with you at all times in Russia:
Passport with visa (nowadays the migration card is electronically completed on arrival into Moscow airport)
The tourist voucher supplied by us when you applied for the visa
The OVIR (Visa & Registration Department) registration stamp, which is either put in your passport or on a local permit. This is completed by the tour guide in the nearest OVIR office in Tyrnauz, and is a requirement for any visitor entering Russian for more than three days.
The police can stop visitors at any time and ask to see these papers.

When is the best time of the year to visit Mt Elbrus?

The best time to visit Mt Elbrus is from mid May through to September. May offers a challenging climb with cold weather, more difficult conditions and very few visitors; June is a little warmer but still with few visitors; July and August is the peak season with the most settled and warmer months; September is also a nice time of year with fewer visitors and still warm but slightly more temperamental conditions.

What vaccinations do I need?

No vaccinations are required.

What's the currency in Russia?                                                                                     

The currency is the rouble which can be purchased from some banks before travel. It is often hard to have time to buy rubles on your journey through the airport and the ATMs have limited payout facilities. In the Elbrus area nobody will accept foreign currencies and there are few, if not any, ATMs in the villages and small towns down in the Caucasus. 

What is the Russian character like?

They are generous and warmhearted with quite a cynical sense of humour. They are forthright with each other, often very loud, polite and sometimes suspicious towards strangers and generally difficult to assess to a western mind. They are not overly demonstrative people but they do love literature, music, nature and of course vodka.

What is the time difference and phone code for Russia?

Russian time is GMT/UTC plus 3 hours and the international code for dialing to Russia is +7.

Are there ATM facilities in Russia?

Yes, in the airport and in Terskol however guarantees of them working cannot be made. We suggest you bring cash in roubles.

Are prices set in Russia, or can we expect to haggle?

Generally the price you see is the price you pay, however on occasion it is possible to seek out the best deal particularly when buying souvenirs in the markets in Terskol.