Money and duty free for Russia
Currency and Money
Rouble (RUB; symbol руб) = 100 kopeks. Notes are in denominations of 5,000, 1,000, 500, 100, 50, 10 and 5. Coins are in denominations of 10, 5, 2 and 1, and 50, 10, 5 and 1 kopeks.
Major European and international credit and debit cards, including Visa and MasterCard, are accepted in the larger hotels and at foreign currency shops and restaurants, but cash (in Roubles) is more reliable. American Express cards are rarely accepted outside Moscow and St Petersburg.
ATMs are widely available throughout Russia, although if you’re venturing into rural areas, they may be less widespread so carry a reserve amount of cash. Most ATMs will offer English as well as Cryllic translations.
Cash is preferred. If carrying traveller's cheques, major currencies are accepted in big cities, but US Dollars and Euros are preferred elsewhere.
The import and export of local currency is prohibited. The import of foreign currency is limited to the equivalent of $10,000, but sums greater than the equivalent of $3,000 must be declared. The export of foreign currency is limited to the amount imported.
Foreign currency should only be exchanged at official bureaux and authorised banks. You will usually need your passport to change money. It is wise to retain all exchange receipts. Bureaux de change are numerous and easy to locate. Large shops and hotels offer their own exchange facilities. All major currencies can be converted in big cities. Outside the main cities, travellers are advised to carry US Dollars or Euros. It is illegal to settle accounts in hard currency and to change money unofficially, although in practice both sometimes happen and are not risky. However, in general everyone will want to be paid in Roubles.
Russia duty free
The following goods may be imported into Russia by persons aged 18 years and older without incurring customs duty:
• 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco.
• 3L of alcohol.
• Goods to the value of €1,500 weighing up to 50kg.
Arms and ammunition, undercover surveillance and intelligence gathering equipment, and narcotics.
Arms and ammunition, undercover surveillance and intelligence gathering equipment, narcotics, objects of cultural value, plants and seeds, vegetables, raw precious metals, minerals, wild plants and animals, and endangered species (unless you have a permit).