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- Visiting Europe
Before you set off for Russia
Russia is the largest and one of the most magnificent countries of the world. Plan out everything before you set off for Russia to utilise your time and money effectively.
The best time to go
July and August are the hottest months in Russia when temperature can be as high as 35 or 38 Degrees. Autumn season from September to October is the best time to explore the charm of amazing Russia. The trees look stunning with exceptionally beautiful leaves due to their changed colour. Russians collectively go to the forests to gather mushrooms and berries. Don’t miss a chance to go mushrooms picking if you’re offered one by your friend.
Try to arrange a trip out of Moscow and St. Petersburg too. If you truly want to have a taste of real Russia, you’ll find it in the villages and cities other than Moscow and St. Petersburg. Plan for the historic cities or the Golden ring (that includes Vladimir, Suzdal and other places like Kizhi Island, small towns with beautiful cathedrals, churches), Siberian region where you’ll find stunning Kamchatka Volcanoes, Lake Baikal, Russian flora and fauna.
Things you need
Due to unexpected rains and chills in autumn and spring it is recommended to carry an umbrella, a hat and a thin overcoat. If you plan to go to the churches too then ladies do not forget your headscarves otherwise babushka or grannies in the church will give you stern looks. Also wear modest clothes in the church. Short skirts or shorts and (too) revealing clothes must be avoided.
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Rouble is the basic monetary unit used in Russia. You can get your Dollars, Euros, GBPs exchanged for Roubles at the banks and other exchange centres. But always make sure that you exchange at an authorised bank only instead of exchanging at the private exchanges.
Travellers cheques are easy to encash in big cities. Western Union local and International money transfers and International bank transfers are also available in large and mid sized cities.
Some museums, churches and galleries restrict photography. Don’t take photos if it is mentioned. Should you’ve any questions regarding photography, please don’t hesitate to ask the person in authority. Some official and military establishments ban taking photos. If you’re caught doing so, you’ll face troubles. Better ask before than to feel sorry later.
There are some closed areas in Russia where foreigners are not allowed for example Kola Peninsula and far Eastern areas, if you’re determined to go there then acquire legal written permission for the same.
What you can take out with you
Custom authorities are quite strict regarding the things you’re taking out of the country. If you buy anything from a legitimate store then keep the receipt of that purchase safely with you. Antiques, coins, paintings from commercial galleries are required to be evaluated by the concerned authorities for assessing the tax. You’ll be issued a receipt after tax payment. Such things along with the receipts need to be declared to the customs at the Airport.