Russia Travel, Backpacking, Gap Year & Tours

Russia is a vast country offering so many different landscapes and experience. Russia has a fascinating history and there are lots of places to visit. By travelling, backpacking or taking a gap year in Russia you will get to enjoy one of the most incredible experiences of your life. 

 
 

Adventure Tours, Backpacking Trips & Gap Year Programs in Russia

Russia Travel Guide

Russia travel guide

Find inspiration for the best things to do if you would like to travel to Russia.

  • Capital - Moscow
  • Currency - Ruble (Pуб.) is the national currency of Russia
  • Population - 143,200,000 (approx)
  • Language - Russian
  • Dailing Code +7
  • Country Size - 17,098,242 km2

 

Top Reasons to Travel to Russia

  • Experience a unique culture and meet friendly people
  • Historic cities with incredible architecture
  • So many different things to see and do - something for all interests 
  • See spectacular sights and world famous places like beautiful St Petersburg
  • Russia is hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2018 - this wil be an incredibly exciting event
  • Get off the beaten track
  • See a different side to Russia which isn't often portrayed in the media
  • Sample the tasty local cuisine

 

History

The name Russia originated from the old Norse term, for "the men who row" (rods-) as rowing was the main method of navigating the rivers of Eastern Europe. Russia became the medieval state of Rus after being ruled by the early Swedes and became independent, began to flourish in the 9th century. The Mongols invaded and split the country into small tributaries until it reunified itself to become the Kievan Russian empire in the 18th century.

The monarchy became established into the tsarist regime until the Russian Revolution overtook it and Russia became the USSR, which some saw as a failed socialist state. In 1991, the soviet state was dissolved and the Russian Federation was established. Today, much  of the Soviet Union is gone and a new democratic government has emerged into the 21st century to maintain Russia's dominance in the world stage.

 

Weather & Best Time to Visit Russia

Russia is a huge country that spans 11 time zones on two continents and its climate is as varied but the dominating humid continental climate persists except in the tundra and the southeast of the country. The rest either have a subarctic climate or polar climate. The majority of the country has only two distinct seasons winter and summer with spring and autumn just managing to act as change for the two seasons. January is the coldest when temperatures are in -10C while July is the warmest when temperatures can reach 25C but extremes happen.

July and August are the  summer months in Russia and many tourist prefer this months as it's a bit preferable to getting frozen in winter. This is also why the term “White Nights” was coined because at these time, the sun doesn't set in the first part of July. Temperatures can climb to 90 degrees F. it is also humid which make it a bit uncomfortable but there's almost always air-conditioning.

 

How to Get to Russia

Getting into Russia is not a problem with over a thousand airports. Almost all major airlines have flights to Moscow where the traveler can continue on to their next destination. 

 

Visa

Visitors to Russia need a visa if they are not citizens of countries listed for visa exemption. A tourist visa is not needed if the tourist comes with a tourist group with a travel agency. 

 

Travelling & Backpacking in Russia

Russia Travel Guide

Russia is a country that will take your breath away, there are modern cities, spectacular mountains, snowcapped mountains, and also off the beaten track exotic destinations like Siberia. Popular sightseeing destinations you must try to visit include St. Basil's Cathedral, St. Petersburg's, the Kremlin, the Bolshoi Ballet, the Imperial palaces and grand museums. Local people will meet you with smiles and interest, this will be the cultural experience like no other.

 

Best Places to Visit in Russia

  • Moscow 
  • St Petersburg
  • Novgorod
  • Pskov and Pechory
  • Yekaterinburg
  • Trans Siberian Railroad
  • Ulanbattar / Beijing (some tours travel overland through Europe and into Mongolia / China)

 

Gap Year in Russia

Russia Gap Year

Looking for a unique experience? Take a gap year in Russia and visit places like Moscow and St Petersberg! There’s much to be said about taking some time out, travelling the world and experiencing new cultures regardless of your age. Consider Russia as your next destination. There are lots of different programs and opportunities available all year round for students, graduates and anyone just looking to do something exciting. If you are looking for the best things to do on a gap year in Russia then our directory will help you book the ultimate experience.

 

Russia Travel Tips

Budget
Russia is quite an expensive destination compared to others in the region, you will need to budget accordingly. Summer is a popular time to visit Russia but this is when accommodation can be most expensive due to local/international tourist numbers. 

Accommodation
Somewhere to stay is likely to be your biggest cost but there are cheap hotels and hostels located throughout the country.

Transport
Local transportation consists of rail, plane, bus or car. Trolleys and trams also run in most cities but only in the daytime. The taxi is the only alternative at night. Bus, tram, trolley all cost the same at $1. Car rentals are also available and could be cheaper than taxis if you're renting to travel around the city which is more than 50% lower than hiring a taxi. Check out our Ukraine travel guide if you would like to see more of the region. 

Food
Russian cuisine is a mix of regional dishes mainly; bread, stews, fish, meat, mushrooms, berries and honey. Tipping is Russia is not required when a service charge is in the receipt but otherwise 10/15% is the norm. You can try to eat at locally run cafes to keep costs down. Learning Russia will come in handly if you are going to markets so you can barter for food.

 

Russia Tours

Russia budget tours

Today, Russia welcomes more visitors than ever before and on a tour you can experience the highlights. When you look at the size of Russia it can be difficult to decide where to go and how to get around. There are so many places you could visit and if you don't know the language or would like a stress free experience consider joining a tour. There are lots of trips available for all budgets and interests including overland tours where you will get guided to the best locations in the country.

On an organised tour you will get to travel in a group seeing places like Moscow, St Petersburg and also places off the beaten track which are difficult to get to independently. You will get to sample Russian cuisine that uses fish, poultry, mushrooms, berries, and honey. Venture into the modern shopping culture of Moscow and find shopping a pleasure from designer labels to souvenirs found in glittering and uber malls. Russian culture and traditions is visually stunning, from its colorful folk costumes to its elaborate religious symbols. Moscow, the city of white nights, the Faberge eggs, and vodka.

Most international and Russian tour companies employ local guides and offer a range of different travel styles and trips. Some of the benefits of joining tours in Russia is you can get airport pick ups, an orientation and walking tour, a Russian/multilingual speaking guide who will be able to take you away from the tourist crowds and provide you with an authentic experience. You will discover more about this fascinating country and learn more about the culture and history of the Land of the Tsars. 

There are so many things you can do on tours to Russia, from wandering the streets of world famous cities, admiring incredible art collections, visiting beautiful churches and cathedrals and seeing famous locations like Red Square and St Basil’s Cathedral. A popular option is to ride on the Trans-Siberian Railway, at 9289 kilometres of track it is the world’s longest continuous rail route! It runs between Moscow and Vladivostok and you can stop off on route. Search our tours in Russia tours.

 

Russia Group Tours 

 

Our tours are perfect if you are travelling solo and would like to meet other people and travel in a group. You will get to meet other international travellers and get taken to the best locations in the country with an experienced guide. Most of our tours specifically cater for the 18-39 age group and are a really popular option due to meeting other people, getting day-to-day activities, hotel check-ins, selected meals, accommodation and also transport/guides included in the price. Don't worry if you are slightly older, most tours accept all ages.

Typical group sizes are around 10-18 travellers with an average of 12 but this can vary between the tour and operator. On most Russia tours you will travel overland in a private small tour van. For day trips and excursions sometimes you will use public transport and sometimes use internal flights to allow you to see the highlights as quick as possible.

 

Russia Budget Tours

We have a selection of tours for all budgets, so whether you are looking to explore on the cheap or you have a bit more money to spend you will be able to find a trip to match your interests. Our website features lots of cheap tours of Russia allowing you to discover the highlights of the country and not break the bank.

 

City Tours

On a local city tour of Russia you can explore places like Moscow, the city of white nights, the Faberge eggs, and vodka or St Petersburg. With a guide you will get to visit some of the best sights, cafes and restraurants where you can sample the tastycuisine like fish, poultry, mushrooms, berries, and honey. Most Russian cities are a contrast between new and old. You can venture into the modern shopping culture of Moscow and find shopping a pleasure from designer labels to souvenirs found in glittering and uber malls. Russian culture and traditions is visually stunning, from its colorful folk costumes to its elaborate religious symbols.