Russia Trip March 2016 – Russia

russia1603.jpgWe visited Russia for the first time in March 2016.

Join us on our tour to Kazan (Tatarstan), the Golden Ring – Vladimir, Suzdal, Kostroma, Yaroslavl, Pereslavl-Zalessky, Rostov and Sergiev Posad – as well as St. Petersburg and of course Moscow plus a few places in around Moscow. We visited some relatives of my husband as well. Originally, we planned to visit Karelia, but have decided to save that for a future summer trip, as it can be combined nicely with Northern Europe.

Total budget for this 35-day trip/2 pax was 2000€, which includes ~600€ in accomodation plus train tickets, food and entrance fees as well as plane tickets from Berlin/to Warsaw. Daily budget was about 20€ per person (excl. plane tickets), which turned out to be doable, taking the rouble exchange rate at that time into account. We were there just in time for Maslenitsa and Lent, which made make finding vegan food somewhat easier, as orthodox fasting rules require foregoing most animal products.

Getting a visa was really simple, all it took was 85€ and a rather inquisitive application document. -Have you ever held a USSR passport? Do you have relatives in Russia? But at least they don’t ask you about your mental health like when applying for a China visa…

I hade just started studying Russian, my husband “used to be a native speaker”, but admits to having forgotten quite a bit. We actually fared quite well, I could understand the gist of almost everything, though I might have been taken for a mute as I rarely managed to reply. My husband had some trouble with set expressions and food names (like distiguishing various types of berries…), but that is to be expected.

Afterwards, we flew Moscow-Warsaw, and added a few days in Poland’s capital before taking the train home, taking the express train instead of 13hrs on local trains with 5 changes.

Full itinerary

Mar 01-07        St. Petersburg 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Mar 08-13        Moscow

Mar 14-16         Kazan

Mar 17-21         day trips from Moscow, family visit

Mar 22-30        Golden Ring, departure to Warsaw

Mar 31-Apr 02  Warsaw

Apr 03-05         Kraków