Safety in Russia

Although there can be different opinions and statistics data, in fact Russia is as safe as any other country in Europe. However, here are some basic travel safety rules that can be useful while planning a trip to Russia as the country has its peculiarities which can be slightly different from other countries.

You may find it difficult to communicate with Russians if you are not a Russian speaker, since the majority of the population does not speak English which may suddenly disorient you.

Still nowadays you can buy most of your entrance tickets to museums, cinema or any other sights through online platforms or book at your travel agency in advance. Restaurants of European cuisine can offer menu in English but mostly in large cities. Taxi drivers, unfortunately, are not able to communicate in English, so you are likely to book a transfer in advance or ask for the taxi service at a hotel reception desk. Guidebooks and city maps can be bought or dowloaded from the internet to help you navigate the itineraries.

As for the safety outside, you may notice police officers patrolling the centre of the city. However, as in any other country we recommend you to take care about your belongings, such as documents, money, jewellry, phones, cameras and other gadgets as pickpockets act fast and street crime has the right to exist. The most precious things can be stored at a hotel’s safety box while the copy of your passport should be always with you for any case of emergency.

Due to enormous traffic jams in large cities you can choose alternative transport means, such as city metro lines. Still if you drive, the following link can be useful for you as it helps check the current situation of the streets and rates the traffic jams throughout the city - https://yandex.ru/maps/probki

Since the climate of Russian regions is diverse, you should check the weather forecast in advance to be well prepared for icy streets, falling icicles, cold winds and severe cold in winter, and hot summer temperatures in some of the regions that can provoke heavy sunstrokes.

When in Russia:

Drink bottled water or filtered tap boiled water to be sure it is safe.

Do not risk swimming in a reservoir (lakes, ponds, rivers) where no one swims as its water quality should be verified by the relevant authorities.

Respect the traffic rules as the drivers are frequently fined for any violation due to the cameras controlling the roads systematically.

Do not buy food and drinks from people in the streets to avoid any falsification, use supermarkets and food stores. Check carefully expiration dates before buying.

Respect the rules of the relevant religious community while visiting orthodox churches and monasteries, catholic cathedrals, islamic mosques, etc.

Once you are friendly and polite you will definitely find friends among the Russian people who are considered to be easy going and hospitable, so take the opportunity to feel the genuine atmosphere of Russian “wide soul” being safe and enjoying your trip in full.