Traveling by plane
According to top-medical-schools, airplanes are the most important means of transport in domestic traffic. The hub of the national flight network are the Moscow airports. There are a variety of airlines, such as UTAir (UT), Smartavia (5N), Ural Airlines (U6) and Aeroflot (SU), that offer flights to cities across the country. The airline Yamal Airlines (YC) is particularly active in Siberia and serves the airports of Nadym and Novy Urengoy, among others.
Skyteam’s Go Russia Pass allows passengers of Skyteam airlines whose flights depart from outside the Russian Federation to book three to a maximum of 16 domestic Aeroflot (SU) flights in Russia. The same conditions also apply to passengers with Skyteam’s round-the-world ticket.
Traveling by car/bus
The road network around Moscow is well developed, but its quality and density decreases towards the east of the country. There is a continuous connection from the Baltic Sea to the Pacific. The most important trunk road is the European route 30, which ends in Siberia. Gas stations are only available in large cities across the board. Outside, every opportunity to fill up should be used. Credit cards are partially accepted in Moscow, otherwise only cash payment is possible. Toll: There are no toll roads in the Russian Federation.
Right-hand traffic/left-hand traffic
Condition of the roads
The quality of the road network varies greatly in Russia; the further one drives from Moscow to the east of the country, the more the road conditions deteriorate. Only about two-thirds of the motorway and trunk road network is paved. Long-distance roads are usually not developed as motorways or expressways outside of metropolitan areas.
There are three types of roads, marked with letters and numbers, as well as secondary roads: – M – Magistralen: Motorways connecting metropolises that are far away from each other; – A – Federal roads: supra-regional trunk roads (close to the city some four lanes, otherwise mostly two lanes); – P – Territoriale: regional trunk roads (almost always dual carriageway, not always in good condition); – Secondary roads (often unpaved). It is not advisable to drive on these roads, especially at night.
Drivers of a rental car must be at least 21 years old (may vary depending on vehicle category) and have held a driver’s license for at least one year. Drivers under the age of 25 often pay a young driver fee on site. Car rentals are available at Domodedovo and Sheremetyevo airports in Moscow and in St. Petersburg. Travelers should make sure that the rental company is located directly at the airport so that they don’t have to wait long for a shuttle to take them to their rental car. The itinerary must be approved by a tour operator. Visitors are not allowed to leave the routes intended for car travel. The places to stay, the type of accommodation and the number of overnight stays must be specified.
There are taxi ranks in larger cities and at airports. Yandex taxis can also be booked via an app.
Long-distance buses are not normally allowed to be used by visitors.
Speed limits: in built-up areas: 60 km/h (in residential areas: 20 km/h), on country roads: 90 km/h, on motorways 110: km/h. Anyone who has not had their driver’s license for more than 2 years is generally not allowed to drive faster than 70 km/h. Traffic regulations: – Visitors are not allowed to hitchhike. – Alcohol limit: 0.3 ‰. – Dipped headlights are mandatory all year round, including during the day. – Telephoning at the wheel is only permitted with a hands-free system. – Each vehicle must be equipped with a first aid kit, fire extinguisher and warning triangle. – In the event of an accident, the traffic police or travel agency must be notified and the militia called in. Important numbers: accident rescue: 03, police emergency number (militia): 02, fire: 01.
The ADAC foreign emergency call offers ADAC members and holders of ADAC foreign health and accident insurance comprehensive assistance in the event of vehicle breakdowns, traffic accidents, loss of documents and money, and medical emergencies. The emergency number is available around the clock; for vehicle damage: Tel. +49 (89) 22 22 22, for illnesses: +49 (89) 76 76 76. The local ADAC partner club is the Russian Automobile Association (RAS), Tel. +7 (495) 629 7540.
International driving license (recommended) or national driving license with translation. The international insurance card for motor transport must always be carried with you. In addition, you should always have your passport with a valid visa at hand, as well as the documents with the approved itinerary and the places to stay.
Traveling in the city
Public transport is good and cheap. Most cities have subways, trams and trolleybuses. Moscow has an extensive subway network (Metro). Standard fares apply in the various traffic zones. Tram line A starts at Chistye Prudy metro station and runs along the main sights. Tickets are available on board. In St. Petersburg there is an extensive subway network and an elevated railway in the south of the city. Taxis can be hailed on the street, ordered by phone or found at taxi ranks. Payment in foreign currency is often required. Beware of unregistered taxis; Assaults on travelers can occur.
Locally on the way by train
The Russian railway network covers around 87,000 kilometers; almost half of it is electrified. The operator is the state railway company Rossijskije schelesnyje dorogi (RZhD). For long distances there are night trains with sleeping car compartments, each with two beds in 1st and four in 2nd class; the 3rd class offers open berths. Tickets for the Russian State Railways can be purchased online. Seat reservations can also be made online on most trains. The Trans-Siberian Railway is the best way to get to know the interior of the country. The Orient Express also runs from Moscow to Beijing. The Sapsan high-speed train runs several times a day between Moscow and St. Petersburg (journey time: approx. 3 hrs.
Traveling by ship
The Russian Federation has ports on the Baltic Sea, the Black Sea (Sochi and Novorossiysk) and the Pacific. The main port cities in the east are Vladivostok, Magadan, Nakhodka and Petropavlovsk, in the west St. Petersburg and Kaliningrad. The only connection to the Atlantic is the year-round ice-free port of Murmansk on the Kola Peninsula. There are river cruises and excursions on the Volga, Lena, Irtysh, Ob, Don and Amur. Various cruises are offered, for example from St. Petersburg to Moscow, across Lake Ladoga and Lake Onega and across the Karelian Lakes. More information from Viking River Cruises and Phoenix Reisen.