You should already know that the 2018 World Cup will take place in Russia, right? The country is not a very common destination among us Brazilians, however, this has changed a lot because of the fans who intend to see the games there. Although we basically think of cold when we talk about Russia, the country is much more than that and has numerous attractions to offer us. Paulo and I are planning our trip around the region and researching a lot about the cities – so we already know the basics about the place.
I already tell you that one of the biggest problems to be faced is the language. The Russians have an alphabet different from ours, that is, it is more complicated to understand certain information, such as a menu or some plate. Aside from that, the only problems you may have are normal on any trip, such as transportation and weather. In this list I will tell you some more general tips of the place 🙂
How to get
It is important to know that there are no direct flights from Brazil to Russia. You will have to choose a stopover country to make the connection and then reach the final destination. Brazilians do not need a visa to enter there, just a passport in good condition and valid for six months or more. The visa is only necessary if you intend to stay more than three months or work in the country.
Ah, during immigration, they will give you a form that must be filled in immediately. One way stays with them and the other way with you. Do not miss this role, as it guarantees your departure from Russia and it will also be necessary for the hotel you are staying in!
When to go
Temperatures in Russia are quite low, even in summer. You can’t escape the cold! Those who do not enjoy snow and intense cold should avoid going between January and March. In summer, from June to August, the maximum temperatures reach is around 23º C, so it is a good time to go. In the other months of the year it is very cold, but it is something that is bearable and does not hinder the tours very much.
Driving in Russia can be a stressful task, especially because of traffic in most cities. Public transport, in general, is a super efficient way to get around. In some cases, you can even take a train from one city to another. For example, you can go from St. Petersburg to Moscow by taking the bullet train only!
Buses and electric trams are also great options for getting around. On the subway, get a map that has all the lines. It is essential to have this map so you don’t get lost and better understand how transport works. The only problem is that they only have Russian or English versions, that is, at least the basic English will be necessary to understand the directions.
As a last resort, use the taxi. Just be careful that the driver understands exactly where you want to go and leave the price more or less agreed, because they don’t usually have a meter or anything like that.
Did you know that our beloved stroganoff is a typical Russian food? The Brazilians made some changes, of course, but the essence of the dish is the same. In Russia they prepare meat with mustard and sour cream, and the dish is served with coarse wheat, not rice, as we are used to.
However, stroganoff is not one of the most requested dishes there. They are very accustomed to eating soup, so you will find a huge variety of them. The beet soup, called Borsch, is one of the most popular recipes. In addition to it, you will also find several piroshkis, which are stuffed breads, and also pelmenis – a thin dough filled with meat.
As you may already know, Russia is a huge country and full of beautiful cities. One of the main ones is Moscow, the country’s capital. It, like St. Petersburg, is super busy and cosmopolitan, with several historic buildings, museums and art galleries scattered throughout the streets. As they are bigger cities, you will walk the streets a lot – always wear comfortable clothes for the tours.
Other places worth visiting are Kizhi and Kazan island. This first location is a very small island, only 7km long and inhabited by two small farming villages. Kazan, on the other hand, is a more developed area and will host one of the World Cup games. The buildings in this city are super charming and exciting! Soon I will make more detailed posts about some of the cities 😉
Most Russians do not speak English, which makes communication very difficult. Despite this, they are friendly and try to help you when possible. Taxi drivers, for example, will hardly understand anything if you speak English with them. Go there already knowing some basic words, like СПАСИБО, which is pronounced spásiba and means thanks!
Google Translate is a great app to help you during your trip, because in addition to translating what you need, it also helps you with pronunciation and the formulation of some simpler words and phrases. Depending on the situation, you may have some problems, but it is practically impossible to travel without having a single problem, right?
I’m really looking forward to getting to know a little bit of Russia and exploring this wonderful region. Soon the site will be full of posts about the country! Anyone planning to go there at the World Cup can rest assured, because I will give you several tips 😉