Travelling to Russia soon? Here's a few things you need to know
Photo by CC user designerpoint on Pixabay

These days, when travelling, it is important to assess whether the locale is friendly for tourism. That being said, it is best to assess what being tourist friendly actually means and then comparing it to different locales around the globe. In determining whether a city is tourist friendly, it is best to consider whether the locals treat tourists well, whether there are robberies or street gangs, and whether there is a high level of international languages spoken.

Upon analyzing this information, it will be easy to see which cities are friendly for tourists and which are not. One place that has received a great deal of criticism for being not very tourist friendly is Russia. Consider the discussion below and try to ascertain whether you would feel comfortable travelling to Russia as a tourist or not?

Common Complaints of Tourists in Russia

  • Rude to Tourists: Even though Paris usually wins the prize for treating tourists with rudeness, Russia has gained a reputation to become a close second. Russians are not known for enjoying tourists in their capital cities. Additionally, they have been criticized for not wanting to assist tourists with simple translation tasks or asking for directions. There is one argument that states that Russians are misinterpreted by tourists; however, the common consensus is that they are closer to the rude side than the polite side when tourists come to their cities.
  • Unstable currency: Although the Ruble is very low at the moment, it may climb higher in a very short period of time, as volatile currencies are. Economic factors have crushed it in the past 2 years, but after Trump’s election a lot of people are betting on it to rise. If you plan a trip to Russia now for 2 or 3 months down the road, it may end up a lot more expensive than you envisioned.
  • Pickpockets: Pickpocketing is a major issue in Russia, which is another reason that it is not as tourist friendly as other parts of the world. Near major tourist attractions and subway stations have more pickpockets than average. Tourists travelling to Russia have to be extra careful with their belongings so that they do not experience the unfortunate consequences of being pickpocketed and losing important documents or significant amounts of money.
  • Street Gangs: Within some of Russia’s major cities, there are gorgeous parks with forests. While this is pleasant to look at during the day, there are several parks that should be avoided at night. In fact, in certain parts of major cities, there are street gangs that tend to take on groups of two or one that are walking in abandoned areas. For a tourist that gets lost in one of these abandoned areas, it is recommended to be quite careful and get to a more populated area as soon as possible.
  • Signs in Only Russian: Having the signs only in Russian is another common complaint of tourists. Since there are very little similarities between Russian and other popular world languages, Russia could improve on their tourist signs. This is particularly true in their smaller cities. For tourists that want to explore beyond Moscow and St. Petersburg, there is very little guidance available for tourists to gain relevant advice about where they would like to visit.
  • Low English Level: In comparison to other European countries, Russia does have a very low level of English. Given that English is one of the most widely spoken global languages, it is essential for Russia to have more English speakers in their tourist cities. In doing so, Russia would become a more appealing place for tourists to explore.
  • Difficult Visa: Russia has a very difficult visa process. This process is particularly true for Americans that would like to travel to Russia. What is complicated about the Russian visa for many nationalities is that the tourist has to have a local hotel or family sponsor their trip in order to be granted the visa. This can be frustrating for a tourist that has no knowledge of Russia and merely wants to visit for four days. In fact, Russia loses many prospective tourists to their country due to how difficult they make it for tourists to travel there. It is wise that Russia reevaluates this in order to attract the tourism that their country truly deserves.
  • Poor Reservation Sites: A great example of a difficult reservation site to deal with in Russia relates to acquiring a ticket on the Trans Siberian Railroad. Russia makes their sites very unfriendly to tourists, which loses their country many tourists that would be elated to see the unique sites that Russia has to offer. Upon investing in their tourism industry, Russia has the potential to see many more tourists in future years.

Concluding Remarks on the Subject

Russia is one of the most fascinating countries to visit when one is contemplating history. It is highly recommended to consider visiting Russia to see the diverse landscape that it has to offer. Tourists should be aware of Russia’s flaws when deciding whether visiting there as a tourist who does not speak Russian is the ideal decision for them. Once one gets past the initial cultural shock, Russia has a great deal to offer tourists for exploration.