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Russia- A Trip to Remember from India

Posted on By Blog Admin

Russia is a large country with rich history with abundant natural beauty. You will fall in love with the country’s spectacular lakes that turn into gigantic ice rinks in winter, beautiful mountains and architecturally rich cities.

Russia is all about grandeur – be it in nature or in heritage, history and culture. It has produced world-famous literature, music and ballet and is home to the famous State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, the second-largest art museum in the world, founded in 1764.

So plan your tailormade Russia tour package with us and enjoy an experience like never before!

How much does it cost to visit Russia from India?

Russia is an affordable destination. The cost depends on various factors like local transportation, the type of hotels you choose, the number of days you spend and the number of local attractions you wish to experience. We will customize your Russia holiday package according to your choice and preferences.

What is the best time to visit Russia?

Summer is a great time to visit Russia,especially between June to August. During these months the country is not covered by snow and the true beauty of the landscape stands out.

Is it safe to travel Russia?

Contrary to popular notion, Russia, especially the cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg are perfectly safe for tourists. The police are helpful and most places, cafes and restaurants are child-friendly.

Which is the coldest month in Russia?

January is the coldest month in Russia and the best time to experience snow.

Is Russia visa free for Indians?

No, Russia, isn’t among the visa free countries for Indians. Indian nationals will be required to apply for an e-visa to enter Russia. Visa can be applied through Embassy of Russian Federation in cities like New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai. The cost to apply for the visa will cost around 64 Euros.

Russia is great and famous for its vibrant nightlife, comprehensive public transport system and delicious food. Russia tour is a must for architecture and history enthusiasts, party lovers and nature lovers.

There’s a direct flight from Delhi to Moscow and there are connecting flights from different metropolitan cities in India to Moscow.

Visa can be applied through the Embassy of the Russian Federation in cities like New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai. There’s also a way to apply through e-Visa but it restricts entries to some cities in Russia. The cost to apply for the visa will cost around 64 Euros.

Russia is considered to be at its peak during the summer months between June to August when the areas are not covered by snow and the true beauty of the landscape stands out.

1. Moscow

Russia’s capital city Moscow, is a modern metropolis and also a power centre that houses the Kremlin. The city celebrates great architecture with its luxurious baroque structures.

Moscow has a huge number of museums as well. If you are traveling with kids, you will love the splendid gardens and parks here. Travelers to Russia will have a great time as city’s nightlife is also famous and so is its shopping.

How to commute?

You can take a direct flight from Delhi and connecting flights from other cities in India to reach Moscow.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Moscow in March and April. The autumn months of September and October are also a good time to visit the city.

Attractions in Moscow

  • Red Square– This open square adjoining the Kremlin has been a very important part of Russia’s social and political history, as well as that of the former soviet Union. Along with the Kremlin it was added to Unesco’s World Heritage List in 1990. Walk down the Red Square before you take a tour of the historic Kremlin.
  • St. Basil’s Cathedral– Admire the architecture. The cathedral was built around the 16th century to mark the defeat of the Tatars (Mongols) of Kazan and Astrakhan by Ivan the Terrible.
  • Moscow Kremlin– Explore the various attractions within this historical complex, Russia’s seat of power that houses the office of the President.
  • State Tretyakov Gallery– It is a National treasury of Russian fine art and one of the greatest museums in the world.
  • Bolshoi Theatre– It is a historic theatre originally designed by architect Joseph Bove. Visit this theatre if you enjoy the opera and ballet performances.

Hotel Recommendations

  • Azimut Hotel Smolenskaya Moscow- starting from INR 4,000 per night.
  • Vega Izmailovo Hotel- starting from INR 3,000 per night.
  • Hotel Metropol Moscow- starting from INR 12,500 per night.
  • Novotel Moscow City- starting from INR 5,000 per night.
  • Radisson Collection Hotel- starting from INR 9,000 per night.

Restaurants and local food in Moscow

In Moscow, you can easily find cuisines from all over the world. As far as local cuisine is concerned, Russians love their pancakes or crepes, cheese, bread, and dumplings and meat wrapped in cabbage. Dishes to try to include Borscht (beef and cabbage soup), Blinis (Russian pancakes) and famous Chicken Stroganoff.

2. St. Petersburg

The second most important city in Russia is St. Petersburg, the city of the Czars, loved by tourists for its buzzing energy and great social vibes. It was once the home of the Romanovs and the richness of the dynasty is reflected in the larger-than-life museums, gardens and the stunning summer palaces and homes that once belongs to the aristocracy.

There are also several stunning Russian orthodox cathedrals in the city. The White Nights Festival is celebrated every year in July when the city bids goodbye tothe cold dark winter months and celebrates a brief return of wonderful round-the-clock daylight.

St. Petersburg enjoys the near- midnight sun phenomena due to its location near the Arctic Circle.

How to commute locally?

You can travel to St. Petersburg from Moscow by a flight, take a daytime TGV or make the journey by night train.

Best time to visit

June-August is the best time to visit St. Petersburg.

Attractions in St. Petersburg

  • The Winter Palace and the Hermitage Museum- The Winter Palacewas the official residence of the Russian Emperors from 1732 to 1917 and now the palace houses the world-famous Hermitage Museum that exhibits world-famous artworks, paintings and sculpture. These treasures are part of the collections of Catherine the Great, an outstanding political figure, a passionate art collector and one of the greatest figures in world history. You will find here Michelangelo’s Crouching Boy, Raphael’s Madonna Conestabile and many other precious works of artists from around the world.
  • Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood- This church was built in the memory of Alexander II who was assassinated in 1881. The church stands in the very place where a bomb was thrown into his carriage by a young man who opposed the Tsar’s reforms. The Cathedral attracts people with its five onion domes decorated and covered with jeweler’s enamel. The highlight of both the interior and exterior of the Cathedral are its mosaic collection based on the paintings of Vasnetsov, Nesterov and Vrubel.
  • Isaac’s Cathedral- Built between 1818 and 1858, this Cathedral is one of the most impressive landmarks of the Russian Imperial Capital. The interior of the cathedral is adorned with incredibly detailed mosaic icons, paintings and columns made of malachite and lapis lazuli.
  • Palace Square- Situated in the heart of St. Petersburg, Palace Square is the main square and one of the most beautiful architectural ensembles of the city. Being the centre of all public events and concerts, it is the most popular place among the tourists. The square is surrounded by cultural and historical monuments like Winter Palace, Guard Headquarters Building, General Staff Building and the Triumph Arch.

Hotel Recommendations

  • Solo Sokos Hotel Palace Bridge- starting from INR 5,500 per night.
  • Akyan St. Petersburg- starting from INR 2,900 per night.
  • Solo Sokos Hotel Vasilievsky- starting from INR 3,000 per night.
  • Pushka Inn Hotel- starting from INR 6,000 per night.
  • Belmond Grand Hotel Europe- starting from INR 12,000 per night.

Restaurants and local food in St. Petersburg

The few popular local dishes you must try here are Borsch, Blini, the thick, spicy and sour Solyanka soup,Beef Stroganoff, and of course, Pelmeni, a famous dish with minced meat wrapped in dough.

3. Sochi

Sochi, also called the Black Sea Pearl, is an idyllic seaside retreat that attracts hundreds of people to it each year. It is the most quaint and most charming city in the country. It has something on offer for everyone- parks for nature lovers, museums and other sites for history lovers and some beautiful beaches.

How to commute?

You can reach Sochi by Air, train, bus or by car.

Best time to visit

September through the end of October is the best time to visit Sochi.

Attractions in Sochi

Attractions in Sochi

  • Park Riviera- It is a thrilling amusement park for adults and childrens alike. With rides for sheer enjoyment and a big adrenaline rush and cafes to step into to unwind, this place is a must visit.
  • Lake Ritsa- It’s a breathtaking lake surrounded by lush hills carpeted with green. You will pass trickling waterfalls and gorges as you drive upto the lake. You can walk along the banks for some fresh air or merely sit down and enjoy the peace.
  • Park Arboretum- It boasts of the rare collection of flora and fauna belonging to the Russian subtropics. Visit the park by taking the cable car which offers you a stunning view of the surrounding mountains as well as the sea.
  • 33 Waterfalls- This area is of great pride for the residents of Sochi. A collection of 33 waterfalls, all varying in their height, gush down the mountains, makes for a beautiful picture. Treak up from Bolshoy Kichmay to view this stupendous site.

Hotel Recommendations

  • Marina Yacht Hotel Sochi- starting from INR 2,000 per night.
  • Ecodom Adler- starting from INR 1,900 per night.
  • Radisson Collection Paradise Resort & Spa Sochi- starting from INR 7,000 per night.
  • Park Inn by Radisson- starting from INR 3,000 per night.
  • Hotel Grace Imperial- starting from INR 3,000 per night.

Restaurants and local food in Sochi

Restaurants give you many options like Cafe Sochi, White Nights Cafe, Genatsvale restaurant, etc. These places serve veg stews, soup, baked dishes and more.

4. Kazan

Kazan is a glorious city that represents Russia’s Tsarist past. With complex palaces, towering churches, and a thriving cultural scene, Kazan is a pure Russian city with incredible beauty and heart.

Visitors can enjoy long walks down the streets of the city, as each of them offers a new arrangement of colours and historic buildings. Kazan is also one of the largest economic, political, scientific and cultural centers of the country.

How to commute?

You can reach Kazan by flight, train or bus from Moscow.

Best time to visit

Best time of the year to visit Kazan for warm-weather activities is from mid-June to mid-August.

Attractions in Kazan

  • Kazan Kremlin- With numerous museums located in its territory, it hosts many architectural and cultural attractions. Some of its famous museums are Museums of Natural History and History of Statewood of Tatarstan, the Museum of Islamic Culture and State Hermitage which was first opened in Kazan in 2005.
  • Chak-Chak Museum- This museum is dedicated to the main Tatar delicacy. Interactive exposition tells visitors the history of national dish, plunge into the history and life of the Tatar people and learn a lot of interesting things about its traditions and customs.
  • Soviet Lifestyle Museum- It is a unique museum where visitors make a trip to the already partially forgotten 70s-80s of the 20th The most important thing is their history associated with each item and the emotions it can recall.
  • Kul Sharif Mosque- Located on the territory of Kazan Kremlin, this mosque is a great symbol of Kazan and the republic of Tatarstan. It is the largest Muslim place of worship in Europe, serving as home to a rich collection of ancient books. It was named after a legendary Kul Sharif, the Imam of Khanate of Kazan and the hero of the Tatars who lived in the 16th century. 
  • Annunciation Cathedral- It is the largest building within the Kremlin complex. The Cathedral is a classic cross domed temple with five domes and two annexes. The majestic Cathedral has been honoured by various famous figures like Russia’s emperor’s Peter I, Paul I, Nicholas I and Catherine II among many others.

Hotel Recommendations

  • Doubletree by Hilton- starting from INR 4,000 per night.
  • Park Inn by Radisson Kazan- starting from INR 3,500 per night.
  • Courtyard by Marriott- starting from INR 4,000 per night.
  • Riviera- starting from INR 5,000 per night.
  • Nogai- starting from INR 2,500 per night.

Restaurants and local food in Kazan

Kazan is a cosmopolitan city, with a wide range of international dishes, plus very good Russian and local Tatar food. For the latter, look for mains featuring traditional meats such as mutton and horse, plus lots of sweet and savoury pastries.

Here’s a sample itinerary of Russia tour packages from India:

Day 1: Arrival at Moscow airport. Transfer to the hotel. Overnight stay in Moscow.

Day 2: Moscow city tour includes Red Square, Kremlin tour etc. Overnight stay in Moscow.

Day 3: Proceed for Arbat street tour and panoramic Moscow river cruise. Overnight stay in Moscow.

Day 4: Arrival at St Petersburg by “Sapsan” train. Transfer to hotel. The evening is free at leisure. Overnight stay in St Petersburg.

Day 5: Proceed for the city tour of St Petersburg and also visit the famous Peter and Paul’s Fortress. Overnight stay in St Petersburg.

Day 6: Visit the world-famous Hermitage Museum. Overnight stay in St Petersburg.

Day 7: Breakfast and check out from the hotel to depart to the airport to fly back home.

Russian nightlife is considered to be quite lively. One can experience the best kind of nightlife at St Petersburg and Moscow. Bars, dance clubs, theatre nights and other festive events are what you can expect here. Night clubs bring in a lot of DJs, many of them having an international reputation. There are also discotheques, casinos, and places offering musical nights and opera shows.

  • Currency- Russian Ruble is the national currency. 1 Russian ruble can roughly be bought for 1.12 rupees. US Dollars and Euros are both accepted in the country. Make sure to carry enough cash with you.
  • Weather- In general, the climate of Russia can be described as highly continental influenced climate with warm to hot dry summers and very cold winters with temperatures of -30°C and lower and sometimes heavy snowfall. The winter is mostly dry, snow covers the ground from end October to mid-march in some years.
  • Safety- Despite the strain in relations with the West, Russia is generally a safe country to travel.
  • Etiquettes- You must not be disrespectful in the Church, Don’t take photos of the government buildings and you must dress up well especially when you are in Moscow.
  • Mobile network and sim card- The best mobile service providers are BeeLine or MTS. You can buy a sim card at Moscow airport itself.
  • Power Plugs- You need power plugs and sockets of C and F type.

The Indian Embassies address in Russia is:

Main Building of the Embassy
6-8, Vorontsovo Polye
Telephone No: (7495)-783-7535

  • Travel Documents- Passport, Visa, Travel insurance, tickets, medical documents and relevant ID cards.
  • Money- Local currency, US Dollars.
  • Clothes- High heels are recommended to carry for women, comfortable walking shoes, sunglasses.
  • Electronics- Mobile phone, camera and travel adapter.
  • Health and hygiene- Medications that you are on, basic medical kit, women hygiene items, toiletries.

1. How are the local people like?

Russians are friendly and love tourists. Locals might not speak English, but they are usually helpful.

2. How expensive is travel to Russia?
Moscow and St Petersburg are the most expensive cities in Russia. Moscow is more expensive than St Petersburg in terms of restaurants and services, but don’t expect the difference to be that huge. For example, you can stay at a 5* hotel in Moscow for $200-300 per night at an average. However, the cost of travelling is low in Moscow and St Petersburg.

3. What are the tipping expectations of our guides and drivers?

Russia is one of the finest vacation destinations that offer various places for the tourists. The other famous places are Lake Baikal, Mt Elbrus,Valley of Geysers, Kizhi Island, Volga river and more.

4. What are the other famous attractions in Russia?

Russia is one of the finest vacation destinations that offer various places for the tourists. The other famous places are Lake Baikal, Mt Elbrus,Valley of Geysers, Kizhi Island, Volga river and more

5. Tips for guides and drivers?

The decision to tip or not is always up to you and it does not matter if you tip daily or at the end of the trip. You should tip only if you are satisfied with the service. We would say that a 10-20 USD per day for the guide and 5-10 USD per day for the driver is appropriate.

6. How safe is Russia for Indian tourists?
Contrary to popular notion, Russia, especially the cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg are perfectly safe for tourists. Much like anywhere else in the world, if you don’t bother anyone, no will bother you in Russia too.

7. What should I wear in Russia?
Women should wear a scarf to cover and men would not be allowed to enter in shorts. If you are in Russia on business, pack a conservative skirt-suit with tights or stockings and smart shoes. On these occasions, men are expected to wear a dark, well-tailored suit and tie, with smart shoes.

8. What do Russians drink in the morning?
In Russia, black tea is the most common traditional breakfast drink, although some people do drink coffee.

9. What should I buy in Russia?
You must definitely buy Porcelain coffee set, Russian shawls, Faberge eggs in Moscow airport, Russian chocolates and Palekh miniatures.

10. What should you not wear in Russia?
Some museums and churches might refuse admission if the shoulders and knees are uncovered. It would also be advised to avoid cutoffs jeans and tank tops. Women should wear a scarf to cover and men would not be allowed to enter in shorts.

11. Is Russia cheap for shopping?
There are all types of shops in Russia – from expensive luxury shopping centres to cheaper markets. Shopping streets, especially the ones with expensive shops, are usually situated in city centres. There are no totally cheap shopping streets: expensive and low priced shops are often located one after another.

12. Is food expensive in Russia?
Russians estimate their monthly meal expenses to fall between 8,000 and 20,000 roubles. An average lunch in Moscow cafes and restaurants range between 700 to 2,000 roubles. Fast food prices are even lower.

Russia- a must-visit place for the travellers

Rich in natural landscapes and enormous tracts of land, rivers and forests encompassing amazing flora and fauna, sun-kissed beaches, colourful cultural heritage, remarkable historical monuments and inimitable cities are what adorn this country and make Russia a beckoning place to explore. Book your Russia holiday package from India to experience the magical beauty and endless attractions.

So plan your trip to Russia with Flying Squirrel Holidays to indulge in the most exquisite experiences in this scenic land of history, culture and soothing vibes!

All that you need to do is get in touch with us at connect@flyingsquirrelholidays.com or call us at +91 3340525777.

We help you get the best Russia tour packages and customize it according to your budget and preferences.