ManGo Travel

Travels to St. Petersburg and all Russia

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Facts and things to know about Russia

Key facts     Customs     Money     Telephone      Medical Treatment

Water          Crime        Taxi         Tipping

Key facts:

  • Country full name - Russian Federation
  • Capital - Moscow
  • Total area - 17,075,200.00 sq. km
  • Population - 146 mln people (as of 2009)
  • Native language - Russian
  • Religions - Russian Orthodox, Muslim, other
  • Government Type - Federation
  • Currency - 1 rouble (R) = 100 kopeks
  • Labor Force (by occupation) - agriculture 15%, industry 30%, services 55%
  • Exports - petroleum and petroleum products, natural gas, wood and wood products, metals, chemicals, and a wide variety of civilian and military manufactures
  • Imports - machinery and equipment, consumer goods, medicines, meat, grain, sugar, semifinished metal products
  • Natural resources - wide natural resource base including major deposits of oil, natural gas, coal, and many strategic minerals, timber


  • When entering Russia, one should fill in the customs declaration (to be kept until leaving Russia) mentioning the imported sums of foreign currencies as well as list of antiques, works of art, and musical instruments imported.
  • When leaving the country, one should fill in the customs declaration if exporting from Russia foreign currency amounts exceeding USD 3,000. It is not allowed to export from Russia any items of cultural value, including pieces of art produced more than 100 years ago, and items of special cultural importance irrelevant to the date of manufacturing. To export an item of cultural value, including contemporary artworks, the authorized certificate issued by the Local Management Body at Russian Federation Ministry of Culture on Preserving Items of Cultural Value in St.Petersburg, is necessary, while souvenirs and cultural items of mass production, need no permission to be taken out of Russia.


  • - national Russian currency is rouble, equal to 100 kopecks
  • - roubles are made of metal and paper
  • - paper banknotes are of the value of 10, 50, 100, 500, 1000, 5000
  • - metal coins are of the value of 1, 2, 5, 10 Roubles
  • - kopecks are made only of metal
  • - coins are of the value of 1, 5, 10, 50 kopecks
  • - all prices are generally quoted in rubles.
  • - payment for all goods and services is to be made by national currency, or by credit cards
  • - travelers checks can be cashed at banks, but they are not as a rule accepted in shops, restaurants, etc.
  • - a wide range of international and domestic banks operate in Russia, including global brands like Citibank, Barclays, HSBC, Reiffeisen, etc.
  • - most of the banks are open to clients from at least 10.00 to 17.00 (with lunch break 13.00 to 14.00)
  • - currency exchange offices are usually open from 10.00 to 20.00 Note, that money is exchanged only upon presentation of a passport when changing sums bigger than the equivalent of RUB 15 000 (around USD 500)
  • - currency exchange transactions with private persons are illegal and prohibited
  • - large hotels provide 24-hours banking services


  • - to call somebody within the city, simply dial the number of the telephone subscriber
  • - to make a long-distance phone call, first dial «8»; then dial «10»; dial the code of the country, the code of the city and the number required
  • - for pay phones either tokens are required or IP telephone cards
  • - the cards can be bought at Metro stations, news stands and departments of the Sberbank of Russia (Savings Bank of Russia - СБЕРБАНК in Russian).
  • - tokens can be purchased at subway station, news stands, in some stores, and many kiosks

Telephone codes of some Russian cities:

  • Moscow 495 / 499
  • St. Petersburg 812
  • Kaliningrad 0112
  • Arkhangelsk 818
  • Murmansk 8152
  • Pskov 8112
  • Novgorod 816
  • Vyborg 278
  • Petrozavodsk 814


Medical Treatment

  • If you urgently need a medical assistance, you are to dial the 03 phone number (24 hours a day). Any medical institution must help you or call for the ambulance with a medical team fit in your case. When delivered to a hospital, you have to show your medical insurance policy.
  • And, as long as not many medical institutions in Russia speak English, we provide all our guests with an emergency number they can call in case of medical or any other problems occured.

Water quality varies widely in Russia. Your best bet is to drink and brush your teeth only with bottled water. However we should admit that locals didn't die yet when brushing their teeth with a tap water.

Be careful to avoid ice and raw foods and vegetables, especially during hot summer season.

Russia is generally quite safe and crime level is nearly the same as in big European cities. Precautions include not flaunting valuables, or walking alone at night through the unlit city streets or parks.

In Russia, taxi fees are usually negotiated with the driver ahead of time. We highly recommend you to order taxi from your hotel or the restaurant. Do not use gypsy cabs or accept rides in cabs that already have a rider.

Tipping is expected at restaurants. Tip 10-15% depending on service.