Been to Russia??

Has anybody travelled to Russia recently?
I'm going at the end of the week and currently having a, lets call it a discussion with the breadknife about which currency to take.
Seems obvious to me take Rubles. However she seems to be of the opinion US dollars is the way forward?

Comments

  • UltracatUltracat ✭✭✭
    I would take either Euros or dollars.

    Some shops or stalls let you bargain with these currencies.
  • MuttleyMuttley ✭✭✭
    As Jane says, dollars or euros. Roubles are not convertible, so exchange only what you need.
  • Oook!Oook! ✭✭✭
    Dollars (or even safer Dollar travellers cheques) Some places accept travellers cheques as cash

    There are often two prices, roubles and dollars, take a calculator and compare before paying.

  • not been for a few years, but they had to be "clean, new dollar bills". so don't leave them in your pocket when you put your jeans in the wash.
  • watch out also, some hotels charge by "units". i went in one with a friend where a steak was 50 roubles, and other stuff was comparably cheap. we were being gits, "cook me two steaks, and throw one away". it turned out it wasn't 50 roubles, it was 50 units. and that day a unit was 1.4 dollars. lunch cost me £180, and two very large gentlemen with guns in shoulder holsters appeared to make sure that i paid up before we left.
  • Oook!Oook! ✭✭✭
    Forgeries are commonplace so they like the notes to be new ; so they won't accept anything tatty or dirty.
  • Important: learn the russian symbols for 'Toilet' before you go.
    I got very stuck in the Moscow State Circus on a school exchange there.
    I don't speak much Russian (don't read any) & had to resort to pantomime.
    Having located said amenitites, I then had to work out which was the Ladies.
    the symbol looks a bit like a drunk octopus that's been in a car crash.

    Dad goes there a lot on business - mostly to Saratov (he was about the 5th Westerner there post-communism).
    The less obvious things you might want to take, especially if leaving Moscow, include a dental first aid kit (from Boots - they let you do your own temporary fillings), & water purification tablets. A fairly comprehensive range of medical supplies is a good idea.
    Don't wear an expensive watch etc, & DON'T take out kidnap insurance.

    They have very good chocolate there!
  • stunt men are very cheap, my mate got someone to jump off a building into a river for £50, let me tell you thats a bargain!

    Mt
  • Mt - thanks!

    CO anyway of establishing units or roubles before I get shot.
  • Oook!Oook! ✭✭✭
    The cyrillic alphabet caused us a lot of confusion. In almost any other language (apart from Greek) you can have a go at trying to understand. In cyrillic, it could mean absolutely anything, to cause even more confusion they use the same symbols but for different letters so V=B etc.

    The Rough Guide has the Metro map in Cyrillic and Roman script - a life saver

    Beer's very cheap too, it's government policy to coax people off the demon vodka
  • it says "price in units" on the menu in big letters. my natural assumption was that a unit was a rouble. what else could it be?
  • UltracatUltracat ✭✭✭
    Calf, which part of Russia are you going to?

    Candy we went to a similar type hotel where it was units, thankfully we were only having coffee's and drinks. but then again I try not to worry about the costs of things, leave that to hubby:)))
  • Was In st Petersburg last year and it was fairly civilised. I am sure we were using Euros there with no problem, even credit cards. However outside of St Petersburg and probably Moscow I wouldn't like to say what would be best.
  • I was in St Petersburg in June this year and found that roubles were best - you can buy them before you leave the UK, but have to order them.. We took US Dollars as well, but didn't use them at all. Credit cards seemed pretty much universally accepted, and cash dispensers worked with our debit cards (average charge about £1.50, which I didn't think was too bad in the Hermitage foyer!)
  • Jane, Well we are going thru it via train. So we cross over from Mongolia at irkutsk (sp?) spend some time at lake baikal.
    Back on the train to Moscow few days there and then onto st peterburg.

  • UltracatUltracat ✭✭✭
    Calf, fab holiday but I would imagine alot of travelling.

    We sailed overnight from Tallin to St Petersburgh.
  • ShivaShiva ✭✭✭
    Hi CaK,

    Definately take dollars and roubles. Dollars can be used to haggle for better prices in some markets, but roubles are best for everywhere else.

    Enjoy the trip!
  • Irkutsk - I thought they made that up for the Risk board game :-) OK if you are coming through there then I would be tempted to get some Roubles.

    You can always wave at Ewan McGregor if he is still riding his motorbike around there !
  • If you are sticking to the touristy bits, wouldn't worry too much.

    Don't keep all your money in one place (under soles of shoes is useful for some!)

    Take your own bog roll for the train, & sanitary supplies if you need them.
  • Yes was thinking the same about the money!

    The swas trying to persuade me to buy a money belt.

    Two issues.

    1. I'll look like a bloody yank

    2. Hey look at me, I'm a tourist with all my cash in this easy to steal bag!

    Bog roll - check, Bulky but better than using my copy of RW!

  • > @Calf said:
    > Has anybody travelled to Russia recently?
    > I'm going at the end of the week and currently having a, lets call it a discussion with the breadknife about which currency to take.
    > Seems obvious to me take Rubles. However she seems to be of the opinion US dollars is the way forward?

    I was and I fond of their style of life. The main thing here is connected to the main opportunities that you can find in this great country. For instance, you can visit the historical monuments and other places of sightseeing. Moreover, you can enjoy the Altai or Great Lakes landscapes. This is a large country and you will need more then a week to see even the small part of it. And yes, they have roubles. But they have a lot of currency exchangers.
  • > @ClairyWhite said:
    > > @Calf said:
    > > Has anybody travelled to Russia recently?
    > > I'm going at the end of the week and currently having a, lets call it a discussion with the breadknife about which currency to take.
    > > Seems obvious to me take Rubles. However she seems to be of the opinion US dollars is the way forward?
    >
    > I was and I fond of their style of life. The main thing here is connected to the main opportunities that you can find in this great country. For instance, you can visit the historical monuments and other places of sightseeing with the company like this https://www.russiadiscovery.com/ . Moreover, you can enjoy the Altai or Great Lakes landscapes. This is a large country and you will need more then a week to see even the small part of it. And yes, they have roubles. But they have a lot of currency exchanges.

    When the question is about the traditions and state style of life, it is really better to ask professionals to assist you. But if you are looking for the definite company providing services in Russia traveling, I think you will not find better. This one will answer all your questions, from the currency, up to the cheapest methods or traveling in the country.
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