Is It Expensive to Travel to Russia?
If you asked this question just a few years ago, the answer would be definite “yes” – it is very expensive to go to Russia. It costed a fortune to travel to Moscow, St. Petersburg and ride the world-famous Trans-Siberian railway.
But there has been a change since then and the Ruble, which is the national currency of Russia, has faced severe devaluation. If you compare the travel costs to cities like London, New York or Tokyo, then the difference would be staggering because visiting Russia has become a lot more affordable for foreigners.
The first order of business would be to get the Russian visa. If you are a European Union citizen, then you can get a visa for a month which will cost you €40. But if you are an American, then getting a Russian visa could be expensive as it costs about $193 and lasts for three years. For other countries, the time and price vary, but it is still not horrible, especially, compared to some other famous places in the world.
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Other expenses such as airline tickets and accommodations depend on your preferences. Flights to Russia (Moscow in particular) from Europe are pretty cheap. For example, you can easily get a round-trip flight from London to Moscow for under $300. From the US to Russia flights are not super expensive as well.
I’ve personally flown between Chicago and Moscow many times for under $800 for a round-trip.
When it comes to food, Russian cuisine is interesting and very different from Western cuisine. The most common and cheapest street food in Russia is a shawarma which cost about $3 or so. If you want to have a traditional Russian meal, then you can go to one of the stolovayas (buffet-style restaurants) where you can buy a whole meal for about $4 with your choice of meat, vegetables and borscht soup. You can also enjoy some fine dining in Moscow or St. Petersburg and get great European cuisine at affordable prices.
If you go to Russia, then going to Moscow is a must even if for just one night. You could find cheap hotels that could cost around $10 a night. By the way, if you are looking for a hotel to stay during the 2018 World Cup, I recommend you to check out this article. The biggest attraction in Moscow is the Red Square. It is one of the most famous historical sites in the world and an important political landmark in Russia. Other main attractions of the city are located near the Red Square and you could take a subway there which would cost around $0.8. Moscow is a huge city and is more expensive than other cities of Russia but still affordable for a foreign tourist.
Other than Moscow, St. Petersburg is another must-see city if you travel to Russia. The city is full of art, history and nightlife that all combines to show the real beauty of Russia. You could stay at a cheap hostel for $10 a night. You can take a cruise ride in one of the city’s canals and see the wonderful city in all its glory. Then you could go to the Hermitage Museum which is one of the biggest museums in the world housing art ranging from the Stone Age to the 20th century, and the admission fee is only $10. After that, you can ride on the underground metro which costs about $0.7 and then go to the nightlife center of the city, the Dumskaya street, for cheap drinks and partying on a budget.
As you can tell, Russia is not that expensive and it is pretty cheap to travel to for the Westerns. It’s a very diverse country where you can find accommodation and activities for all kinds of budget.
Have a great time and enjoy Russia!