Spanning 9 time zones and 2 continents, Russia remains an elusive and enigmatic place for many UK travellers. But with low-fare airlines now touching down in St Petersburg and Moscow, the country is opening up to a wide range of holidaymakers.
In the country’s cities, architecture from the Soviet era bumps up against medieval buildings from the earliest days of the Russian empire. Once you leave the cities, the unimaginably vast wilderness stretches across Siberia all the way to Asia. Getting across is made easy by the iconic Trans-Siberian Railway.
Cut down on costs by staying at a self-catered hostel. Supermarket food is cheaper than the UK, so you can cook your own meals on a budget. In Russia’s vast rural areas, you’ll generally find much lower living costs. Daily spend: £20-30
Staying in a comfortable city hotel and dining out for lunch and dinner will set you back about £40 a day. Entry to Moscow and St Petersburg’s main attractions will add a few more rubles to your daily spend. Daily spend: £50-60
Moscow can be one of the most expensive cities in the world if you stay in one of the more upmarket hotels and eat out nightly at the best restaurants. You’ll find though that the Moscow metro is faster than taking taxis. Daily spend: £200-225
Prices are approximate and subject to change.
Money saving tips for Russia
Agree on taxi fares. Get your destination written down in Russian to avoid any confusion and settle on a price before driving off.
Know the day’s exchange rate. Some hotels will quote you a price in US dollars, but charge you in rubles at an unfavourable exchange rate.
Use the Moscow metro. It’s both easier and cheaper than getting a taxi.
The smart way to travel
Keep track of your holiday spending and instantly convert local prices into pounds with our free smartphone apps. There are three handy apps to download for iOS and Android, including Travel Essentials, Travel Money Card Plus & Currency Converter. You can also download an instant currency converter for your Apple Watch.
Russia’s currency – the basics
The currency of Russia is the Russian Ruble.
The ruble is more stable now than it was in the 1990s – 1 pound will get you around 77 rubles.
Notes come in denominations of 10, 50, 100, 500, 1,000 and 5,000.
One ruble is subdivided into 100 kopeks.
It’s hard to exchange pounds for rubles once you’re in Russia – either bring US dollars or buy your rubles before you leave.
Some upmarket places will show their prices as US dollars, so beware of deals that look too good to be true.
Get your Russian currency from us
We make it easy to get rubles before your trip:
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