Advice on the Russian Rubles

10 Rubles ©mattsonster/flickr

10 Rubles ©mattsonster/flickr

100 kopeek makes one Russian rouble, that makes 35 Rubles to 1 Euro if you are to exchange it, or about 30 roubles to 1 US dollar. It might sound strange to you but it is not legal to use the Euros or US dollars when you are in Russia, so you have to get your money change in any case. As it makes the foreign currencies usage like ‘under table’ money since it will not be declared for paying at a cafe, or any service providers.

Initial Expenses in Cash

Bring some cash with you for paying the transport, initial expenses, food and accommodation, bring about 300 Euros along. The other part of the money is best on your credit card. However, if you are planning to visit some small towns and countryside, taking tours or cruises, it is better you bring cash with you. Cashing the cards is not so convenient. Other foreign currencies are not easy to change or usually not in the rate that will be in your favour. So bring none other than the US dollars or Euros if possible. Two places offer better exchange rates for these, they are St. Petersburg and Moscow. Avoid Siberia if you can to change your money from there. Keep your money safe in different places so to ensure you have backup cash in case they are stolen or lost.

Credit Cards

MasterCard, or Visa are accepted in any ATM while Cirrus/Maestro, or even Visa Electron are more rare. Diners Club and AMEX are know to have problems cashing them. So you know which cards to bring along.

Before you leave your city

Rubles ©karlroberts/flickr

Rubles ©karlroberts/flickr

Try to write down the credit card numbers of the cards you are bringing along. This is just in case of emergency when your cards are stolen or lost due to whatsoever reasons. This way you can block it. Then proceed to your country’s embassy where they might be able to offer some help to you.

Average Prices of Basic Services and Accommodation

As a guideline, the price of a three star hotel room is about 65 Euros up to 120 Euros. Four star could cost from 200 Euros onwards. Beers in the club in St. Petersburg is about 0.80 Euros, in Moscow, it will be slightly more. A nice dinner in Moscow for two with wine is about 47 Euros. While a bus trip or metro is about half a Euro.

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