Where to stay. The answer depends on the personal preferences of course, we just planning to give a few advice based on our personal experience.

Russia has many nice hotels and now, because of the exchange rate “ruble-dollar”, “ruble-euro”, “ruble-pound” and etc. to spend a night in the hotels in Russia is not so expansive. For example a 3 stars hotel near the center of Moscow, close to the most popular sightseeing is possible to take for 70-80 EUR per a night which is actually not so bad for one of the most expansive cities in the world. As for the hotels in the regions, including such ancient and deserving to be seen cities like Rostov Velikiy, Suzdal, Vladimir, a price per a night in the hotels goes for 20-25 EUR, and this is really wonderful!

Hotels prices are going down in Russia. The cost of staying for 8 nights in Rostov Velikiy, Russia, October 2016.
Hotels prices are going down in Russia. The cost of staying for 8 nights in Rostov Velikiy, Russia, October 2016.

For finding the best price and the best location we regularly use Hotelscombined. This service lets to compare the prices for the hotels from the most popular travel web-sites, like Expedia, Booking.com, Hotels.com and others. After making a such on this web-site and finding a good deal you will be transferred to the page of the hotel service which offers this particular price and this conditions.  Try yourself and see how it works.

As for the popular nowadays rental apartment services such as AirBnb, Romorama and etc. probably Russia is not the country where it`s worth it to rent an apartment. The deal is that the expectations of what you have from the rental property and the ability to fulfill these expectations form the Russian owners could easily not fit.

There are just a couple of examples what could go wrong:

  1. Most of Russians, including the Russians who rent their properties don`t speak English or speak a very poor English and it could be not easy to communicate.
  2. Most of the apartment buildings in Russia are quite ugly inside, so to walk inside of the building and walking out could be unpleasant.
  3. The rental properties are situated in the downtowns of the cities you are going to visit (and it`s actually most of the tourists are interested in stay in) were build many, and we mean many years ago, so don`t be surprised to find some issues with the apartment you are renting, such as a bad smell from the sewerage, it could be cold during the autumn-winter-spring time and  hot during the summer time, the walk sides and the roads around the building could be destroyed, hot or cold water could not work or work from time to time…
Sant-Peterburg apartment AirBnb review.
Sant-Peterburg apartment AirBnb review.

This list could be continued and continued.

Like we said above, a stay in one of the hotels could be more predictable, at the same time if you like adventures and risk, may be this is the way to go for you: to stay with the locals and to get a feeling of a real Russia:)

Moscow apartment Airbnb review.
Moscow apartment Airbnb review.

How to move. If you are in one of the cities in Russia where is a metro, this is the best way to get from one place to another, And if you are in Moscow or Sant-Peterburg, metro is highly recommended for you. It`s easy to find. Like almost everywhere in the world metro has a big  outside “M” sign.  Two of the most popular tourist destinations in Russia: Moscow and Sant-Peterburg have special web-sites with interactive map of metro. And it`s available in English too! Just follow the links to find more information: Sant-Peterburg metroMoscow metro.

A Metro sign in Russia.
A Metro sign in Russia.

The main benefit of using a metro in Russia that it`s fact and on time. The downside is that the names of the stations even in the capital, Moscow, are in Russian.  We personally met people who spent hours in the Moscow metro train, running around the circles and trying to figure out the name of the station they need to get out. Fortunately now you can avoid it simply using Google Translator from your phone (the internet works underground in Moscow and Sant-Peterburg). Or you can download the Moscow metro map with the name of the stations in English and in Russian and to save it in your phone or laptop here.

For moving the Russian cities we would recommend to use a train. There is pretty much just one train company in Russia, named RZD (Russian Railways). The RZD company transports people to almost every city, town and even village in Russia. The official web-site of RZD has a well done English version and lets to choose the destination and to buy train tickets online.