Recommendations for tourists in Russia

General information

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Russia, officially Russian Federation, is a state in Eastern Europe and North Asia. The population is 147 million people, the territory is 17,098,246 km ². It occupies the first place in the world in terms of territory and the ninth largest place in terms of population. Moscow is the capital of Russia. National language is Russian. The monetary unit is Russian ruble. Religion is Orthodoxy.


National cuisine

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Russians eat with folk and spoon and use a knife.
The main components Russian dishes consist of are:
Potatoes (fried, boiled, baked, mashed potatoes, as well as an additional ingridient for making soups and salads),
Bread (a huge number of species that is served almost with all the dishes),
Eggs (boiled or fried, as well as an additional ingridient for making various dishes),
Meat (usually beef or pork, used to make soups, steaks, meat chops, cutlets, etc.)
Butter (is added as an ingredient to make some dishes or simply spreaded on the bread).

Russian national cuisine has become famous for its first dishes: cabbage soup, borsch, rassolnik, beetroot borsch, solyanka, okroshka (cold soup), and fish soup (ukha). There are many dairy products in Russia, such as curds, kefir, yogurt.
Pelmeni (Russian dumplings) and blini (Russian pancakes) are popular and available in many Russian cafes.
Despite the fact most people associate caviar with Russia, it is mostly served and eaten on the special occasion and quite expensive in the market.
Pastry industry is very developed in Russia, as a result, you can try a lot of famous cakes, muffins, waffles etc. here.
Russians usually have sweet products (candies, chocolate, jam, cakes) on the table to accompany coffee or teatime.


Russian beverages and alcohol

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Russian national drinks are:
kompot (boiled dried fruits drink),
kissel (fruits and starch drink),
mors (fruits drinks),
kvas (sparkling bread drink),
tea (came to Russia from China that is why sounds similar to Chinese word {chai} and served after every meal).

Any alcohol can be sold to a person who is over 17 years old and no later than 23:00. Popular alcoholic drinks are beer, wine, Russian champagne or vodka (strong drink mostly for men). Russians prefer to drink either bottled or boiled water.


Money

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National currency of Russia is ruble. 1 ruble = 100 kopeeks. If you come to a country with foreign currency, it is better to visit an exchange office (or a bank) immediately, because most shops accept only rubles. Credit cards, by the way, are not accepted everywhere, so you need to have cash with you just in case.


Safety

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It is better to be more careful and not to carry large sums of money with you since you can become a victim of a pocket theft, especially in big cities.


Clothes

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Russian people tend to wear more casual style nowadays (jeans, sneakers). At the same time fashion plays an important role in the life of local people that is why be ready to follow a certain dress-code visiting expensive restaurants, theaters and other special events.
Being in the street clothes indoors is considered to be bad form. Please take your headdress off when you enter a room.


Communication

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Communication: First of all, not many Russians know a foreign language. The more central a place (a city) is, the better people know languages. Despite the fact not many people “wear a smile” on their face, most of them are likely to help and communicate with you and even invite you to their homes.
Try not to talk about your political views, especially if they run against existing political system of Russia or the USSR regime. Russians probably know more about this than you - they lived in the USSR, were proud of their achievements, experienced hard times, as well as, all the advantages and disadvantages of Soviet life.
Be respectful when talking about the Second World War, especially with the older generation. This is a very serious topic for Russians: about thirty million people died in this terrible war and today almost each family has at least one fallen soldier - relative.


Russian women

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Russian women are not similar to European or American women. As a rule, they do not have feminist views and will not be offended if they are helped to open a door or put on a coat. They expect this from their male friends. If you invite a Russian woman to a restaurant, be prepared for the fact that you will have to pay the bill by yourself.
You will be polite to give a hand to help a woman go down stairs or take a heavy bag. All of these are not perceived as courting or condescending, but as for granted.


Manners

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If you are invited to somebody’s home, be sure to bring a gift - a box of chocolate or candies, flowers, a toy for a child.
Take off your shoes when entering a Russian apartment or a house.
Do not sit with your legs apart. Do not put your ankle on the knee of another leg. Never show your shoes’ soles and do not touch any seats with your shoes’ soles because shoes are considered dirty by default.
Do not whistle outside. Whistling outside and indoors causes extreme disapproval.
Offer a seat to an older person or a woman while using a public transportation