Russia – Discover the Unknown

Practical advice – travel to Russia in 2023

The recent conflict has affected lives of many people and we are very sorry for the latest developments. However, people are still travelling to Russia and require assistance and advice. Our company is happy to help all those who need to go to Russia either as tourists or for any other personal or business reasons. We can assist our UK-based customers with visas, accommodation, transfers, train and flight tickets. If you need our help or just practical advice about travelling to Russia from the UK, please do not hesitate to contact us by phone or send us an email.

Please find below some useful information.

How to get the Russian visa in the UK

It is not difficult to get a Russian visa in the United Kingdom. The process is very straightforward:

  1. Visa type. Decide which type of visa you require: tourist (best for short term visitors, including multiple entries), business (if you intend to visit Russia multiple times during a year, maximum period of stay in Russia – 90 days in each 180 day period), private (for close relatives of Russian nationals, you can stay up to 1 year in Russia without any time constraints).
  2. Period of validity and number of entries. You can apply for a single, double, multiple entry. If you need more flexibility and you know you will be travelling to Russia on multiple occasions in the near future, choose double or multiple entry visa. Double / multiple entry visas are more expensive, but they will pay off if you travel to Russia several times.
  3. Prepare visa support documents
    1. Tourist visatourist voucher, you can order it from a travel agency / from our company.
    2. Business visa – business invitation from a Russian entity. We can assist you with a business invitation.
    3. Private visa – an invitation from your close relative, prove of your relationship (marriage certificate, birth certificate, etc.)
    4. Travel insurance – if you are an EU national residing in the UK, you need to provide a valid travel insurance covering the whole period of validity of your visa. Note, at the moment most UK insurers are reluctant to provide cover for Russia. Our company can provide insurance cover for Russia valid for your visa application. This is not required for UK citizens.
  4. Complete the visa form online on the Russian consulate website, You can complete the visa application in English.
  5. Submit the documents to the Russian visa application centre in person.

Are Russian visas issued in the UK?

All types of Russian visa are being issued in the UK. There are no any issues with visa applications. Please do not worry you will get your visa unless you have had any problems with the Russian immigration authorities.

How long does it take to get a Russian visa in the UK?

The Russian visas are processed using standard (average processing time 15-20 working days) or express procedure (4 working days).

Are there electronic visas (e-visas)?

The Russian consulate does not issue e-visas any longer. These have been stopped with covid pandemics and the process has not been resumed.

How to get to Russia from the UK?

There are plenty of travel options from the UK to Russia now. You can go by plane or bus.

  • There are no direct flights from the UK to Russia. Available connections are via Turkey (Turkish Airlines), Serbia (Air Serbia), Azerbaijan, Armenia, Gulf States and some other countries. Please be prepared to pay on average £600-£800 for a return flight, prices depend on flights availability and season.
  • There is a regular bus connection from Gdansk (Poland) to Kaliningrad (travel time 4 hours), Tallinn (Estonia) to St. Petersburg (travel time 8 hours), Helsinki (Finland) to St. Petersburg (travel time 8 hours). Prices vary from 40 to 70 euros one way.
  • You can also take a taxi from Poland or Finland, average price from 250 euros one way.

Is it safe to travel to Russia now?

We are very sorry for the ongoing conflict and we hope that finally a peaceful resolution will be found.

It is safe to travel to Russia if you stay far from the conflict zone and avoid regions close to the Ukrainian border. We get positive reports from tourists who are in Russia as far as safety is concerned. As usual, you need to have common sense while travelling. We also advise to read the information on the Foreign Ministry website concerning travel to Russia.

Can I use credit cards while in Russia?

No, all international credit cards are blocked. You cannot use your UK credit / debit card in Russia.

How can I pay in Russia now?

The only option is to take cash and exchange while in Russia. There are no restrictions on money exchange and you can take and exchange all major currencies (EUR, USD, GBP, CHF). To avoid any unnecessary risk we advise to prepay all major expenses such as accommodation, train / flight tickets, meals where possible. We can help with any travel related services in Russia.

Practical help – flights, train tickets, hotels

If you need assistance with flights within Russia, accommodation, train or flight tickets, please send us an email confirming your destination, dates of travel and number of people. We will send you our offer within 24 hours.

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