Essential Russia

Trip Code: WBYA

Why we love it

An epic symbol of Russia, Red Square has also long been at the heart of the country's history. Visit the austere mausoleum of Lenin, then there are plenty of places to get your culture fix like checking out the eye-bulging treasure collection in the Kremlin and Armoury Museum., Venture into the countryside to visit Europe's largest art-park, Nikola-Lenivets, and see gigantic art installations, largely made of wood, some that you can climb into and explore., Stroll along the oh-so-pretty streets and canals of St Petersburg and glimpse its imperial past in its baroque and neoclassical palaces, cathedrals and world-class theatres., Moscow's metro stations are an attraction not to be missed. Nicknamed underground palaces, these stations help the Moscovites commute in serious style., Delve deeper into Russia culture with a relaxing soak in a banya (Russian-style sauna).

Is this trip right for me?

We stay in a hostel in Moscow and a Russian style country house in Nikola-Lenivets, which are both multi-share. It's a great chance to meet other like-minded travellers and an authentic Russia "dacha" experience.

This trip is far from hand holding - with a limited number of activities included there is plenty of time to bring out your spirit of adventure. Your tour leader will give you suggestions and directions to help make the most of the time on the trip.

The pub crawl in St Petersburg aims to give you an authentic taste of local culture with one drink included in each pub, but it's not specifically a "drinking tour" and participants will need to drink responsibly.

Just as a heads up before you book: this trip is new to our range this year. And while we have thoroughly researched every detail of the logistics, new destinations can sometimes throw us some unexpected surprises. More often than not, it’ll be a great surprise. But every now and again there might be a hiccup. We like to think that’s what puts the ‘adventure’ in ‘adventure travel’.

Important information

1. A Single Supplement to have your own room is not available on this trip.
2. Please provide your full name exactly as per passport at the time of booking (including any middle names listed on your passport) for train tickets. Fees may apply for amendments to details within 60 days of departure, and in some cases you will be required to cover the cost of issuing new tickets.
The following information are required at the time of booking.
• Passengers full name
• Full Passport Details (number, expiry, issued)
• Date of Birth
• City of Birth
3. We stay in multi-share accommodation with shared facilities in Moscow and Nikola-Lenivets.
4. Pre & post accommodation is not currently available on this trip.

What to bring/pack

What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage, and walk with it for short distances or up or down a flight of stairs. Our travellers usually find the smaller their luggage is, the more they enjoy the trip not having to worry about carrying heavy bags! Aim to keep your main luggage under 15kg.

Many travellers carry their luggage in a compact smaller suitcase or backpack with wheels. We recommend your bag has carry straps or handles so it is easy to lift and carry for the times you are unable to wheel it (ie. on rough surfaces or up steps).

If you are taking overnight trains, or primarily using public transport then the smaller your luggage the easier it will be to store under or above bunks. Large suitcases may not be able to be taken on board. A lockable bag or small padlock for your bag will be useful especially when travelling on public transportation as well.

You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water, camera, and jacket etc. when you’re exploring during the day.

Below we have listed the essentials for this trip:, https://www.intrepidtravel.com/packing-list, WATER BOTTLE
Please bring your own water bottle to refill along the way. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please use the water dispensers which are provided on some of our vehicles and at some of our accommodation. Your leader will advise whether tap water is safe to drink in your destination, if it is you can simply refill with tap water. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day.

Physical rating

 
2

A good level of fitness will be expected and will certainly help increase the enjoyment of the trip. You will be required to carry your own bags through busy train and metro stations (including up and down stairs or escalators) and some accommodation may not have lifts.

You will be expected to carry your own luggage including up and down stairs, in busy public transport hubs, and on and off buses and trains. Although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage, you are expected to be able to walk with and handle your own luggage for up to 30 minutes. And some accommodation may not have lifts. Good general fitness and mobility will play a big part in making your trip more enjoyable.

Joining your group

Hotel Izmailovo Gamma, Izmailovskoye shosse, 71, Moscow, 105613, RUSSIAN FEDERATION, Phone: +7 (499)6537762

Joining instructions

Finishing your trip

Cameo Hotel Отеля Камея, #90/6 Fontanka river embankment Набережная реки Фонтанки, д. 90, кор. 6, St Petersburg, RUSSIAN FEDERATION, Phone: 812 3281515

Meals & dietary information

Breakfasts included: 4

Lunches included: 

Dinners included: 

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. If you have dietary requirements and/or food allergies, please let your booking agent know prior to departure.

RUSSIA
What is food in Russia really like? See our blog here for some must try foods:
https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/5-foods-really-need-try-russia/

Vegetarians in Russia certainly won't go hungry as there are usually plenty of meat-free options on menus including salads, certain soups, and cooked dishes such as mushrooms, potatoes, cabbage, buckwheat, dumplings with vegetable fillings, savoury pancakes etc. Vegans will need to look for options without mayonnaise, sour cream and cheese which are common in Russian dishes. Moscow, St Petersburg and increasingly other towns have an ever growing number of excellent vegetarian and vegan eateries.

Wherever possible we will cater for dietary needs for included meals, but there may be times when those with special requirements may wish to supplement inclusions with their own supplies from markets or supermarkets.

Climate & seasonal information

RUSSIAN PUBLIC HOLIDAYS:
New Year's Day: 1 Jan
New Year Holiday Week: 2-8 Jan
Orthodox Christmas Day: 7 Jan
Defenders of the Fatherland Day: 23 Feb
International Womens Day: 8 Mar
Spring & Labour Day: 1 May
Spring & Labour Day Holiday: 2 May
Victory Day: 9 May
Russia Day: 12 Jun
Russia Day holiday: 13 Jun
Unity Day: 4 Nov

In case of emergency

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time.

For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local office on the number below:

Intrepid’s Local Operator: +7 918 6151572

Accommodations

The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline only and may change. On some occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our preferred accommodation. In these cases, we will use a similar standard of accommodation.

Throughout the trip, we request that our properties prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However, this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination or on some trips, have use of shared day rooms until all rooms are available.

The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in your selected accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.

Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for your arrival, especially if you're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible, which means you won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, you can store your luggage and explore the new destination.

If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.

RUSSIA
REGISTRATION:
According to Russian law, all foreign citizens must be registered with the immigration authorities within 7 business days of arrival into Russia. If you have made your own independent travel plans in Russia for more than 7 days outside of your trip dates with us, please ensure you are registered through your accommodation in order to avoid any issues at passport control when leaving the country.

HOT WATER:
Please note that in many cities in Russia, including Moscow, hot water is turned off for up to one month during summer for routine maintenance. During this time only cold water may be available at some accommodation.

HOMESTAYS & GUESTHOUSES:
Please note that at our homestays and guesthouses rooms may be multishare and open gender. When we stay at people's homes, beds may be sofa beds or mattresses on the floor.

DOUBLE BEDS:
Please note that rooms with double beds are not always available at our accommodation in Russia and two single beds in a twin share room is the default. Wherever possible we will put couples in rooms with double beds if available.

RUSSIA TRAINS:
Trains on this journey are simple but comfortable, with standards and age of the carriages varying from route to route. You’ll travel in 2nd class ("kupe") on this trip. There's a toilet/bathroom at the end of each carriage with a small sink and cold water, but no showers. An attendant is assigned to every carriage to look after your comfort and safety (although service standards can vary greatly!). Each compartment has four bunks with luggage storage space inside. Clean bedding is provided, although some travellers still prefer to bring their own sleeping sheet. There's hot water available for making instant meals, tea and coffee. Sometimes snacks and drinks are available for purchase on board and most trains also have a dining car, although often with a limited menu. Trains are generally heated but do not always offer air conditioning. The train can become very hot even in winter and the train attendants will often not allow the windows to be opened, so please pack clothing appropriate for the warmer conditions on these train journeys.

Transportation


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