I think that these points from the Etiquette section are way obsolete or incorrect:
Correct only in case of special events, like birthdayt or NY seleb: If you are invited to somebody's home, bring them a small gift as a form of respect. However, most will end up protesting when offered a gift. Reply that it is a little something and offer the gift again and it will generally be accepted, hopefully.
Correct: It is reasonable to bring a bottle of alcohol if you expect to spend the evening in a less formal way.
Incorrect: In someone's house , Dress in formal clothes. Dressing well shows respect for your hosts. However, this rule may not work among young people.
Incorrect: When having food with hosts, Do not get up until you are invited to leave the table. This is not considered polite.
Better: When having food with hosts, if you want to be really polite, ask permission if leaving the table first.
"beer (not very good usually, usually old and kept in plastic bottles)"
I wouldn't consider Baltika or Stepan Raisin as bad beer. If you don't want to buy plastic bottles you can buy glass bottles it is usually no problem. I ve never had bad experiences with Russian beer.
intelligenzija (german wiki)
I would consider Russian beer much better as compared (atleast) to Finnish ones... (and many other Europeans also) I think that comment would be more to Soviet beer. Which does not exist anymore. There should be some kind of note that maybe that is not true anymore, if sentence is wanted to be kept on place. Since now it gives wrong information. TeeMa 03:48, 14 April 2007 (EDT)
"For Guides, business contacts, translator, and more information on Russia go to: http://business-link.info"
This text appears virtually verbatum in 3-4 places and is definitely spam. Can we remove it?--Johnsemlak (17 August 2005)
"When buying items, make sure money is folded backwards with small bills on the outside and larger on the inside. Try to get bills in 50-500 ruble amounts to keep the numbers on the bills small.
Also, don't take your money out to pay before the total is told to you. This is considered stupid or odd. It also helps to keep your money from being snatched from you."
I've been living in Russia for over 10 years and both these items seem strange to me. Perhaps we should delete them? I do agree a point should be kept that bills of large amounts (RUR 500 and the upcoming 1000) are sometimes hard to spend. -- Johnsemlak 23 August 2005
Blsck people are routinely beaten up in Russia.
It is DPS, not GAI. ? -- or GIBDD (ГИБДД)
This is just not true: "The further you get from Moscow or St. Petersburg, the worse the water condition gets". Yes, in Moscow even locals have to buy water for drinking and cooking. It may be because of geology of the region, the river regime or pollution, doesn't matter. BTW, I once bravely brushed my teeth with the tap water in Reykjavik (Iceland) and didn't even dare open my mouth after. But in Siberia where I grew up and have been living for more than 25 years the very idea of buying water was and still is ridiculous. Though it is recommended to boil it, I never tried, still alive. wikipedia:ru:User:Neko
I deleted the following as it doesn't correspond to reality, and doesn't help a foreign traveller in any bit:
Would someone vote for keeping it? --DenisYurkin 17:22, 24 November 2006 (EST)
@Bill on the hill: As you said "In the NINETIES"- Mafia activity still exists, no doubt as much as anywhere, but it's misleading to say that it's really a problem for your average traveller going to Russia, and things are certainly not like the were in the nineties in russia these days
police: stems of bribery
I live in Russia for 30 years now, and it's really a new point of view for me that bribery stems from civilians not following common rules. Personally I think that it's inefficient government mechanics, but that's my personal opinion. I delete the piece because it is definitely far from any consensus possible. Let's discuss it here before putting it back to the article. --DenisYurkin 17:51, 24 November 2006 (EST)
We definitely need more practical details following from this:
In the current form I don't see how much can it help a visitor. --DenisYurkin 17:54, 24 November 2006 (EST)
Geographic Hierarchy for Russia
OK, here is my approach to an overarching geographic hierarchy for Russia. The top level categories are based on the newish Russian Federal Districts + one for Kaliningrad. I made a separate category for Kaliningrad because a) this makes the subregions for Northwestern Russia total up to a maximum 9 and b) Kaliningrad is really much more in Northern Europe than in Northwestern Russia, at least from a "getting in" or "getting out" perspective. I don't think we need many smaller subdivisions, at least until a lot more Russia content gets developed.
The two aspects of this hierarchy that I find least satisfying are the sub-regions under Central Russia (Golden Ring, Don-Voronezh Region, and Western Russia) and under Volga Region (West Volga Region and East Volga Region). Of all Russia, I am least familiar with the Central and Volga regions so I had to just improvise to subdivide these regions. It would probably be better if someone could come up with alternative subdivisions for these two top-level regions based on something actually related to differences in culture, geography, history, or politics.
Discussion moved from User talk:Peterfitzgerald
Peter, I see that you are creating loads of great Russian articles and lots of "... Oblast" regions. Does Oblast have a reasonable translation in English? Because if it does we should really be using the english version of the name. -- DanielC 16:20, 12 May 2007 (EDT)
There should be some discussion using cash, foreign money, exchanging foreign money, credit cards, and travelers' cheque. (TCs are very difficult to use.)
Azerbaijan Travel Links
I cannot find information on the Moscow-Baku train link. Also, does anyone know about the boat link from Astrakhan to Baku? Feel free to send me the info and I can post it up. Thanks!! Cupcakecommander 08:31, 1 September 2007 (EDT)
"History" is really weak. Russia was already a political nation in the 16th century. It's consolidation under the rule of Moscow's princes was already a fact by the end of the 15th. It is also quite arguable that Russian Empire did reach it's peak in the 18 th century and try checking Tolstoy's and Dostovskiy's biographies to get to know when they lived. These are only the factual mistakes, the opinions are also somehow questionable. Meanwhile the whole article is good, a funny take on russian everyday life which seems at points weird and overcomplicated due to lack of services. Though it's all only surface
I've rolled back this edit; there's both good and bad in it, but eg. characterizing the Russian economy under Khrushchev as "focusing more resources in prodcution(sic) of consumer goods" and diking out everything about Putin's power grab is more than a little disingenuous. Jpatokal 00:03, 5 June 2008 (EDT)
I have heard that Russians are suspicious to men with shaven heads, because they look like prisoners. Is that true? /Blist 22:44, 11 October 2007 (EDT)
With the recent addition of Volgograd, the cities list is now at a maximum of 9. It might be best to establish a firm consensus around which 9 cities belong on this list now, so that we don't run into endless cavils in the future. As always, the principal considerations are geographic representation (of the various regions) , perceived "fame" of the city, and the quantity of yearly visitors to the city. Here are my thoughts:
I'm very confident that the following five belong:
I'm less certain of which city(cities) should represent the Volga Region:
I haven't actually traveled along the Golden Ring, so I can't say with certainty, but Vladimir seems like a relatively unimportant destination in and of itself. As far as I understand it, the main reason why it gets many visitors is because it is near Sergiev Posad, which is probably too small a destination to be on the cities list.
Novgorod is another great destination and is often visited, but is also fairly small and a visitor can really see everything of interest in just one day.
This all leaves us without a representative for Southern Russia. Rostov-on-the-Don would be the clear choice, but it is not an important travel destination. Sochi would probably be a better choice, but it still is pretty small.
I also do not think that Kaliningrad is an important enough travel destination to be in the cities list, and it is anyway already listed clearly in the regions list.
So, I have bolded the ten cities that I think have a good claim to being on the list. If I were to choose which one to cut (as we may not exceed 9), I would choose to eliminate Novgorod - it is of most importance to visitors to Saint Petersburg and it is already well linked from the Northwestern Russia and Saint Petersburg articles. I would love to hear others' opinions! And if anyone knows of good published data on annual visitors to Russian cities, that would be very helpful. --Peter Talk 02:19, 3 November 2007 (EDT)
Yekaterinburg is in the list already, and I'd definitely oppose replacing Nizhny Novgorod with Novosibirsk (which is a young Soviet industrial city with no history). Nizhny itself offers pretty much just the kremlin, but the nearby Markaryevsky Monastery is supposed to be fabulous. The Golden Ring cities are all very worthy travel destinations, but are pretty small to list for an enormous country with many cities over 1 million residents. The Golden Ring also works better as a unit of travel, as which it should be listed above in the Central Russia description section.
You might be interested to know that we're discussing which cities to include now on the Russian version, and while that might not align perfectly with our purposes here, it's interesting to see which cities our Russian contributors would pick. The emerging consensus compares to our current list:
Sochi and Irkutsk should stay, since they are of especial importance for non-Russian visitors to the country—Irkutsk as a base for exploring Baikal and the main airport for doing only the eastern portion of the Trans-Sib, and Sochi because of the 2014 winter Olympics. We could perhaps replace Nizhny with Krasnoyarsk, but I'm not convinced that the latter city is any more interesting (though it is the gateway to very rarely visited, but fascinating regions in north central Siberia). Velikiy Novgorod is a huge draw for foreign visitors, but it's small (~220,000); Tomsk is perhaps more interesting than Nizhny, but is only (440,000). --Peter Talk 00:11, 5 September 2008 (EDT)
The article had a large span of blank white space next to the country panel, I've moved the Understand section there. The original next bit (regions) includes a map, so that couldn't easily move up into the space as we'd have had nested images side by side. The thing I'm unsure of is whether it is okay to muck about with the order of sections - is it okay to have Understand up at the top of the article like this? Andyfarrell 04:11, 3 November 2007 (EDT)
Russian visa process
I've made what probably seems to be a major update to the Get In section on Russian visas. The whole section was growing and growing and becoming redundant -- and also redundant with some text in the St Petersburg article, which I've pulled in here -- that I thought it was worth a rewrite. I've rearranged several things, added some of my own comments, and only deleted other users' writing when it was redundant. The product is what I've posted, and I welcome discussion and edits. If you REALLY prefer the previous version, I'm open to discussion on that, too. --Andrewsyria 09:04, 18 July 2008 (EDT)
Peter has often said that most of the Respect sections on Wikitravel are terrible, and this one is not an exception — particularly the paragraph about keeping political opinions to yourself. I'm not sure what concrete, useful information I'm supposed to be taking from the paragraph about tipping, either. Gorilla Jones 00:22, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Visa advice out of date
"Obtaining a Russian visa is a costly, time-consuming, and often frustrating process. Most visitors should start the process at least two months in advance, but it can be done in a few weeks if you are willing to spend a little extra. For citizens of EU-Schengen countries, this will cost €35 and take three days (or even the next day), instead of the usual 4-10 days."
this statement is misleading.. I have had very little trouble obtaining russian visas (have done 1 private and 2 tourist), tourist can usually be done within 2 weeks at usual cost, and invitations can be ordered very easily through companies online or next day if you pay extra- That said, it's probably best to allow a month for obtaining a visa as with making any travel arrangements. visa cost for schengen countries are probably out of date- UK citizen visa fees have gone up so there is little doubt that the same has happened elsewhere..... —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 220.127.116.11 (talk • contribs)
The article is mostly of ouf date as of Nov 2011
I am sorry to write this on the top but it is time to rewrite the information according to the actual date. Many points in the article are either not valid or not completely valid anymore. I am a Russian from Saint Petersburg and I don't know about what antipathy towards Georgians is article telling. Also an attitude to Putin's regime has changed a lot as the number of people got the higher education rose. Not all Russians are reserved, those who live south from the Don river are more open than those who live in the north. Georgian and Moldovan wines do not meet (at least in general) Russian quality standards and therefore they are not sold in bigger stores at all. Short-term (like a few days or one week) traveling to the republics Northern Caucasus become more popular year after year even though some violent criminal activities against tourists are often reported there. These are only a few points which should be in the article, but still aren't.
And BTW, the mead which can be bought from the shop contains alcohol 4-6% by volume and not definitely 10 to 16! The different kinds of mead you can drink in Suzdal, or may be offered by someone who makes mead for himself in house conditions, maybe contain more alcohol. I'm not sure about it, all I know you can't find 'more alcoholic' mead from the ordinary food shops.
Regards, - 18.104.22.168 17:58, 5 November 2011 (EDT)
I live in Russia all my life and I think the phrase : The "OK" gesture with finger and thumb is considered rude, and Russians may take it as an insult. The word okay is okay. is weird and not true.
I have abstained from correction of this for half a year because of my inborn Russian reserve *L* but now I feel puzzled what "ok" sign+thumb may stand for. I do understand the meaning if one moves to a fro a finger in a hole that means copulation, however "thumb(s) up" is an international symbol of great quality. So I would like to erase the whole sentence, if no one can tell where this gesture was frowned upon in Russia. Grinski 07:28, 16 November 2011 (EST)
Do police bribe drivers?
Why would police want to bribe drivers? This sounds like bullshit: "If you are pulled over by the GAI (Russian Traffic Police), don't worry — they will simply check your papers. By law, the GAI should not bribe you — if that happens, you are entitled to report it to the nearest police station."
I have reverted the following edit by ScamExtremist (placed above the list of regions)
Note: Most of the regions below are based on the federal districts, which are created when, for political purposes, the government splits the entire country into 8 divisions. This has nothing to do with the actual administrative divisions of Russia (oblasts, republics, krais, autonomous okrugs, federal cities and the Jewish Autonomous Oblast).
Sorry, but I don't see the point of mentioning this here, because each region has a list of sub-regions, which represent the official administrative division of Russia. Moreover, the federal districts are also a kind of administrative subdivision based on economical rather than political reasons. Altogether, I would understand a note saying that Wikitravel regions are similar (although not exactly the same) as federal districts, but I don't see why this note should take precious space at the top of the article. Atsirlin 05:21, 10 June 2012 (EDT)
"Regions of Russia"
The likes of Georgia, Estonia, etc, are not regions of Russia. They are independent nations, so why on earth are folk acting as though these very disparate countries are regions of Russia? --22.214.171.124 12:57, 13 September 2012 (EDT)