Question by Danielle: How safe is it to travel to Russia?
I am interested in traveling to Russia and was wondering how safe it is and if there is anything to know before planning a trip. Thanks!
Answers and Views:
Answer by Jesus Jones
Extremely safe, as long as you are not an idiot (like me). I have been to Russia three times. Last year I started in Siberia and spent 6 weeks traveling westward.
Just expect that things will be a lot different. For instance, last year I got in two fist-fights with Russian soldiers in Ekaterinburg. They were celebrating a military holiday, they were horribly, horribly drunk and I put myself in that situation. One of them demanded that I was insulting all of Russia by refusing to drink vodka and celebrate with them. I explained that I did not drink but I would still celebrate with them. After that, I was held down and told that I would be force-fed an entire bottle of vodka. Nothing against Russians, there were thousands of drunk soldiers in the plaza and I put myself in that situation (because I am an idiot). I got in another fight later that day when some drunks, who could barely stand-up straight, tried to seize me commando-style.
Be aware that the cops may try to shake you down. Instead of offering a bribe, ask if there is anything you can do. If the cop is unreasonable, tell him you would like to call your country’s embassy.
Learn some basic words: thank you, please, where is…, etc.
Before you go, look on the internet for walking tours of whichever cities you plan to visit (www.peterswalk.com is an excellent walking tour of St. Pete). The tour guides are usually local students and they can give you the inside scoop on anything you want to know.
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