Country Guide: Tips For Solo Travel In Russia

While solo travel in Russia may initially seem intimidating, with proper planning and a sense of adventure, you can unlock a world of captivating experiences
A view of Moscow
A view of MoscowShutterstock

Russia, the largest country in the world, is a land of diverse landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture. From the imperial opulence of St. Petersburg to the bustling streets of Moscow and the serene beauty of the Siberian wilderness, Russia offers solo travellers a unique and captivating experience. However, travelling solo in such a vast and culturally distinct country requires careful planning and consideration. Here are some essential tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable solo journey through Russia.

Travel Slow

Explore small cities and villages by hopping on and off trains to discover hidden gems. Move and make friends at a relaxed pace. Use public transportation, especially trains booked through the railway app, for a cost-effective and safe way to uncover Russia's lesser-known areas and connect with locals.

Wooden table with dishes of Russian cuisine
Wooden table with dishes of Russian cuisineShutterstock

What To Eat And Drink

The largest country in the world boasts a variety of traditional and delicious local dishes, though many aren't vegan or vegetarian. Some essential Russian foods, however, contain healthy and vegan ingredients like rye and whole grain flour, potatoes, berries, cabbage, seeds, and raw grains.

As you journey through this vast land, you'll always find staples like buckwheat, mashed potatoes, oatmeal, and fresh salads in local cafes, offering home-cooked-style food at reasonable prices. Among hot beverages, tea is said to be the primary drink in Russia, while coffee is widespread, but mainly outside of homes.

Things To Carry

Be prepared for changing weather by packing for different seasons as the climate shifts swiftly. Summers are brief but scorching in the South and cool in the North. Travel light for the convenience of hopping on and off trains quickly. Consider bringing a tent for camping for a solo adventure. With trains connecting everywhere, find a spot, pitch your tent, and embrace nature.

RepresentationalCat Us / Shutterstock

Getting Around

Hitchhiking is a popular and safe option in Russia. Taxis are affordable, and drivers are friendly and trustworthy. Even at night, moving around is safe for women; stay alert to your surroundings. Don't forget to explore Saint Petersburg—it's vibrant, artistic, and bustling all year round, making it an ideal destination for solo digital nomads and travellers.

Pro Tips

Stay patient and familiarize yourself with visa regulations. Understanding Russia's history will be beneficial, as locals appreciate travellers' interest in their country, especially if you know the language. While English is common among youth in big cities, it's not widely used, so start by learning some basic vocabulary and the Cyrillic alphabet.

Getting a local SIM card is simple and inexpensive—you can pick one up at the airport or various carrier shops across towns; bring your passport and immigration card. Remember to bring your utensils, containers, and a water bottle for convenience.

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