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Travel to Russia

Flying to Russia

Russia's main airline, Aeroflot (www.aeroflot.com), flies from the UK and the USA to Russia. Another airline operating direct flights from the UK is British Airways (www.ba.com). Flights tend to be pricier in the summer and around Orthodox Christmas in early January.

Major airports are: Moscow Sheremetyevo International Airport, Moscow Vnukovo International Airport, Moscow Domodedovo International Airport, St Petersburg Pulkovo Airport, Strigino Nizhny Novogorod International Airport, Samara Kurumoch International Airport, Sochi International Airport, Vladivostok Airport, Ekaterinburg Airport and Irkutsk Airport.

Airport Guides

Moscow Domodedovo International Airport

Code

DME

Location

Moscow Domodedovo International Airport is located 42km (26 miles) south of central Moscow.

Tel

+7 495 933 6666.

Address

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Moscow Sheremetyevo International Airport

Code

SVO

Location

Moscow Sheremetyevo International Airport is located 29km (18 miles) northwest of Moscow.

Tel

+7 495 578 6565.

Address

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St Petersburg Pulkovo Airport

Code

LED

Location

St Petersburg Pulkovo Airport is located 14km (9 miles) south of St Petersburg.

Tel

+7 812 337 3822

Address

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Ekaterinburg Koltsovo Airport

Code

SVX

Location

Ekaterinburg Koltsovo Airport is situated 23km (14 miles) southeast of Ekaterinburg city centre.

Tel

+7 343 226 8582

Address

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Irkutsk Airport

Code

IKT

Location

Irkutsk International Airport is situated 8km (5 miles) from the city centre. Irkutsk is in southeastern Siberia, 60km (37 miles) east of Lake Baikal in the Russian Federation.

Tel

+7 3952 266 277

Address

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Moscow Vnukovo International Airport

Code

VKO

Location

Moscow Vnukovo International Airport is situated 30km (18.5 miles) southwest of central Moscow.

Tel

+7 495 937 5555

Address

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Flight times

To Moscow: from London - 3 hours 45 minutes; New York - 9 hours.

To St Petersburg: from London - 3 hours 20 minutes; New York - 10 hours 50 minutes (including stopover).

Departure tax

None.

Travelling to Russia by Rail

There are various connections from London. The main route is: London-Brussels-Cologne-Warsaw-Moscow/St Petersburg. The journey from London to Brussels can be made by a variety of train and ferry services (including via Eurostar), or via the Channel Tunnel. There is a sleeper service from Cologne to Warsaw and another from Warsaw to Moscow.

The Allegro high-speed train connects St. Petersburg and Helsinki and takes 3 hours 30 minutes. There are through trains or coaches from other Western and nearly all Eastern European capitals, from CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) countries, and from China, Mongolia and Turkey

There is also a rail connection to Moscow from Paris, which travels via Germany, Poland and Belarus, for which you need a transit visa.

Driving to Russia

There are several routes into the country by road. From Estonia it is possible to cross the border at Narva. From Finland there are crossings at Nujamaa and Vaalimaa, although travellers should be aware that there have been numerous reports of bandits active on this road. From Georgia in the south it is possible to follow the Georgian Military Highway, but this route is often closed to foreigners. In the Ukraine the M3 auto route runs from Kiev to Moscow.

Driving note

A visa is required to enter Russia and visas will not be issued at the border. Thus, it’s sensible to assume that entry will be denied if you don’t have one. It is also worth bearing in mind that even with the appropriate documentation, crossing Russian borders by car can be a frustrating and time-consuming experience. When travelling by car from Estonia to Russia, a prior online registration of your car on www.estonianborder.eu will reduce your waiting time at the border.

Once across the border, driving in Russia is not for the faint-hearted: among other numerous frustrations, roads are poorly maintained, petrol is low quality and traffic police are particularly enthusiastic.

Getting to Russia by boat

The St Peter Line Ferries (www.stpeterline.com) have regular voyages to St Petersburg between March and December, from Stockholm, Tallinn and Helsinki. It is also possible to catch a ferry from Trabzon in Turkey to Sochi and Novorossiysk. In the Far East, DBS Cruise Ferry (www.dbsferry.com) runs ferries from Vladivostok to Sakaiminato, Japan via Dongae, South Korea.

Water note

A lot of sea routes are closed in winter (January to March).