The more you are prepared for your Russian adventure, the better it will be for you to traverse across the country. It is a vast country with an endless amount of transportation options ranging from Russian Rail to planes to subways and many more. If you are not well versed with the Russian language, be sure to learn a few phrases because it will be difficult for you to find English speakers outside the city. Print out subway maps in English for your own convenience before leaving for the big cities such as Moscow and St. Petersburg.
You will need a visa before entering Russia via planes/trains. The rules are quite rigid, so be sure to carry all the relevant documents before traveling there. The rules are quite different since it mostly depends on the mode of transportation you are availing. However, after reaching your destination, here are some of the ways you can navigate through Russia easily.
Travel by Trains
Russia boasts one of the largest rail networks you can find in the world. Among them, the Trans-Siberian railway is one of the most popular and highly romanticized train trips of all times. It runs from Moscow to Vladivostok while traveling all across the country. There is also an alternate route which connects it to the Chinese Railway system. The travelers can experience a diverse culture while traveling along the way. They can visit places like Irkutsk and the magnificent Lake Baikal. Traveling on a train can also induce less amount of stress as you are always in the presence of beautiful landscapes.
The visitors can choose from an already organized Trans-Siberian trip or make one for themselves. Various websites and blogs can guide independent travelers for planning their itineraries.
Travel Using the Metro
If you are spending a lot of your time in big cities like Moscow and St. Petersburg, the metro is the easiest transport option that you can avail here. Plus, it surely is a great way to experience the architectural splendors that are there in St. Petersburg. But be sure to print out a subway map in English before heading towards the big cities. International credit cards are likely to work at the metro stations, but carrying cash is advisable.
Travel by Cruise Ships and Riverboats
Cruise lines like Holland America, Princess Cruise, et al, have trips that visit St, Petersburg. Most ships are in the dock for two to three days which gives the visitors a chance to visit Russia for a day or two. But it is better if you have booked through agencies licensed by the Russian government, for they will provide you tour tickets and other amenities that are convenient for you.
Russian River cruise companies also include stops at Moscow or St. Petersburg. It stops at unconventional places like Uglich and Yaroslavl. However, you’d need a visa to be on this kind of trip.
Travel by Rental Cars
Driving in Russia can be grueling, but a little research can save you all the troubles. Buy a map that is in English or even better, use google maps. Uber is also available here which makes it easier for you to commute.