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View Full Version : Rostov-on-Don - worth a visit?



sbktm
21-02-2012, 05:37
Hi All, I've read the forums now for a few days and decided to post.

Currently I am in in Melbourne Australia but will be an expat soon. Someone suggested I visit Rostov-on-Don, I understand it's different to Rostov (North of Moscow) - I'd appreciate anyone's feedback - positive or otherwise on Rostov-on-don as an expat.

The person who referred me is Russian himself and while I trust him, he's from there so he may be naturally biased ;)

Thanks,

Sam.

*** I should note, I know there's a sub forum called 'Rostov' but I am unsure if that is referring to the city north of Moscow or Rostov on don in Southern Russia :) Just wanted to avoid the flames ;)

DavidB
21-02-2012, 06:29
Rostov on Don is a nice city, but I wouldn't make any plans sight-unseen. I lived in Milan, Bratislava and Kiev, then travelled extensively through Russia and other Slavic countries before I decided that I liked St. Petersburg.

Expats who don't travel around before settling are usually the ones who end up hating the place after a year. I didn't like St. Petersburg at all on my first visit, but after a few more visits, I found my place here.

Rostov on Don is a provincial city, so in general it will feel like other provincial cities with 1mil+ population. That isn't to say that can't be a lot of fun though.

Moscow and St. Petersburg are capitals and they each have their own specific feel. They're worlds apart from all other Russian cities.

Uncle Pasha
21-02-2012, 09:29
My associations with Rostov-on-Don (900km south-east from Moscow?) are all negative. Here is a random assortment. Hope it helps you decide.

** One of the things that come to mind is an American who got arrested for using a GPS device. I was on the plane with a bunch of journalists going there in connection with this incident. I think it was around 1997-1998. BTW, does anyone remember how this story ended?

** Around 2005 I had to go there to poke my nose into a highly unpleasant but typically Russian situation when a Russian relative of an American was put in jail before the court because of her intention to leave Russia. I guess that was the job when I lost my last illusions about the nature of this country.

**I recall staying in a hotel - that presented itself as one of the best ones in town - where prostitution trade was happening right under my door. In a very noisy manner. Complaints to hotel administration would not help. Calls to the police would not help.

** Speaking of noise. A scene where we walk into an empty café and they immediately turn up what passes for music. Rostov people have an obsession with noise.

** Rostov is one of the centers of the Russian brides scam.

**A story of two jerks tying a goat to a parachute with a motor and sending it flying across the Don comes to mind.

** Oh, my very first impression of Rostov was what most stray dogs have three legs. Driving style in Russia is bad but the worse I've ever seen here was in Rostov. They just don’t brake. I got pushed aside into a pile of dirty snow buy a trolley bus.

I'd never voluntarily visit this place. Unless I was looking for the quintessence of Russia.

tvadim133
21-02-2012, 09:52
Well, Uncle Pacha probably is right in many points (as for THE hotel (ex Intourist), it is true), but I can say my visits to Rostov-on-Don was not so negative, may be because it is the city of my grand mother's husband relatives ( :) ) and for me the city is connected somehow with my family.

From the point of view of tourism, unfortunately Rostov-on-Don cannot be in the list of destination (quite few attractions, if none).

If you have friends who can entertain you there, then it can be nicer:

1. a river trip (like a disco, a river trip, a bar at the same time);
2. quite good restaurants all with typical but mix (southern Russian/Caucasian) cuisin;
3. there is a great recreation area on the other side of Don with plenty places for BBQ and swimming;
4. quite good drama theatre and music theatre (smth between operetta and opera theatre)



Rostov was destroyed (not competely) in WW2, so it is not S.Peterburg and even Moscow. :)

FatAndy
21-02-2012, 10:33
Rostov is a very nice place, especially because of girls :)
Cuisine is very good too.
LevBerDon (left bank of Don river) is very funny entertainment place.

Uncle Pasha
21-02-2012, 10:48
Yes, thanks for the reminder. Turns out I was there three times. And the picture was the same every trip. it was Intourist where I got a call from a prostitute in the middle of the night. The whole hotel was also saturated with cigarette fumes which was even worse. Yuk. And Stary Gorod (?) is where they were trading prostitutes right in the corridor in front of my door. All night long!

But yes, if you are into noise and easy women, that's the place for you. As I said, Rostov is one of the places that can be considered a quintessence of Russia. Just the right place for a certain category of foreign traveller.

Why my main association with Rostov is unjust imprisonment (before the court) of a woman with a 14 year old child while others see this hellhole as full of girls and "cuisine"?!

molly picon
21-02-2012, 12:04
I've been to Rostov, as I am closely related to someone from there. Nice little city. It's pleasant in summer to walk along the river. Somewhat different restaurant chains from Moscow. A provincial air, some pleasant crumbling old architecture. Definitely a town of desperate and easy women, and probably a lot of prostitutes. That aspect is not my cup of tea but to some it suits.

FatAndy
21-02-2012, 12:52
Why my main association with Rostov is unjust imprisonment (before the court) of a woman with a 14 year old child while others see this hellhole as full of girls and "cuisine"?!
Because you're too impressionable, IMHO. And mostly by negative side of life.;)


Well, Uncle Pacha probably is right in many points (as for THE hotel (ex Intourist), it is true),
Now it is called Don Plaza, but if you say "Intourist" to taxi driver, then NP.;)
I've stayed in this hotel once in 2008 (usually I stay in "Rostov" or "Amaks", former "Tourist"), nobody of girls called me unfortunately :D

Sparafucile
21-02-2012, 15:36
I've been several times. It's miserable in winter, but fun in summer.

BabyFirefly
21-02-2012, 17:59
My associations with Rostov-on-Don (900km south-east from Moscow?) are all negative. Here is a random assortment. Hope it helps you decide.

** One of the things that come to mind is an American who got arrested for using a GPS device. I was on the plane with a bunch of journalists going there in connection with this incident. I think it was around 1997-1998. BTW, does anyone remember how this story ended?

** Around 2005 I had to go there to poke my nose into a highly unpleasant but typically Russian situation when a Russian relative of an American was put in jail before the court because of her intention to leave Russia. I guess that was the job when I lost my last illusions about the nature of this country.

**I recall staying in a hotel - that presented itself as one of the best ones in town - where prostitution trade was happening right under my door. In a very noisy manner. Complaints to hotel administration would not help. Calls to the police would not help.

** Speaking of noise. A scene where we walk into an empty café and they immediately turn up what passes for music. Rostov people have an obsession with noise.

** Rostov is one of the centers of the Russian brides scam.

**A story of two jerks tying a goat to a parachute with a motor and sending it flying across the Don comes to mind.

** Oh, my very first impression of Rostov was what most stray dogs have three legs. Driving style in Russia is bad but the worse I've ever seen here was in Rostov. They just don’t brake. I got pushed aside into a pile of dirty snow buy a trolley bus.

I'd never voluntarily visit this place. Unless I was looking for the quintessence of Russia.

Wow, and I thought Smolensk was a craphole.

robertmf
21-02-2012, 18:09
** One of the things that come to mind is an American who got arrested for using a GPS device. I was on the plane with a bunch of journalists going there in connection with this incident. I think it was around 1997-1998. BTW, does anyone remember how this story ended?


Apparently a 10 day arrest (http://books.google.com/books?id=dLnhH1ImoaMC&pg=PA283&lpg=PA283&dq=Rostov-na-Donu+GPS+arrest&source=bl&ots=RMlyEfln53&sig=aADyRue-nIErHkot3-7S7S9Tho0&hl=en&sa=X&ei=JaVDT5D2I4Hb0QGJjemvCw&ved=0CDYQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=Rostov-na-Donu%20GPS%20arrest&f=false)

:10518:

Swordfish90293
21-02-2012, 22:30
Hi All, I've read the forums now for a few days and decided to post.

Currently I am in in Melbourne Australia but will be an expat soon. Someone suggested I visit Rostov-on-Don, I understand it's different to Rostov (North of Moscow) - I'd appreciate anyone's feedback - positive or otherwise on Rostov-on-don as an expat.

The person who referred me is Russian himself and while I trust him, he's from there so he may be naturally biased ;)

Thanks,

Sam.

*** I should note, I know there's a sub forum called 'Rostov' but I am unsure if that is referring to the city north of Moscow or Rostov on don in Southern Russia :) Just wanted to avoid the flames ;)

Now that Chikatilo is out of the picture, Rostov should be a safer place...girls in Odessa this February 14 celebrated his execution instead of Valentine's Day. They sang Die Chikatillo! gesturing a bullet to the head while toasting with champagne...

Rhubard Geoff
21-02-2012, 22:44
I lived there for about a month late last summer and thoroughly enjoyed it.

I didnt notice any more or less prostitutes than the rest of Russia and was always well served in hotels and restaurants.

As already stated the walk by the river is nice as is the long pedestrian street Pushkinskaya.

I could think of worse places to end up in.

meri
21-02-2012, 22:55
Currently I am in in Melbourne Australia but will be an expat soon. Someone suggested I visit Rostov-on-Don, I understand it's different to Rostov (North of Moscow) -

Dear Sam,

We are an expat family (one of the few) and have been living here for 3.5 years now.

It is a small and modest but easy-to-live city with lots of restaurants and sightseeings. Don River, Central Churh and Gorki Park is the main attraction of the centre of the city .
That are historical places quite nearby worthseeing where battles versus Turks took place .
Since Rostov is the capital of the South region, there are rich people around who travel abroad frequently and therefore people wear more fancy, bright clothes here with long articial nails and colorful nail polishes matching the bright colors of the eyeshadows.
People from all walks of life have fur and women enjoy going out. Friends call it "prostitution" but once you get to know , I have started to call " girls looking for solid sponsors" so they are giving a shot to get a rich husband to get out of this place as soon as possible. They don't expose it, they do it in quite a naive way.
Are you planning to consider being an expat here or just visit here when you come to move to Moscow? In other words, what did your friend tell you that made you want to come here?
It is definitely worth seeing as it is not same as St. Peter. or Moscow but it really depends on what you want to do here.
You can post me privately and ask all detailed questions and I am ready to post some pictures if you like.

Swordfish90293
21-02-2012, 23:52
I had a girlfriend from there and she was (is) very special...

meri
21-02-2012, 23:55
I had a girlfriend from there and she was (is) very special...

Swordfish, I believe concept of " family" is still valid here, maybe getting worse but still lives. That's why girls never disturb my eyesight.

sbktm
22-02-2012, 05:30
Thank you for the detailed information from all. I could be living there for upwards of a year - still working for my company here in Australia, attending meetings around Europe. Why Rostov? Well I've visited Moscow & Nizhny before and rather than going where I've been, I'd like to go somewhere new - and it's another name that came up when my friend was suggesting it.

Girls looking for 'solid' sponsorship (Thank you Merri) is fine by me however I'll be working strange hours most likely and it's certainly not my primary reason for visit (though an added bonus maybe)

Thanks again and I'll keep reading the posts & provide updates if I get to move there.

meri
22-02-2012, 13:47
Then you'll defiitely like it here. You don't have the hectic life of Moscow ( traffic during the rush hours still exist) but all the social life is here.
There are flights to Graz (Austrian Airlines) and Istanbul (Turkish Airlines) so you can fly any destionation via these cities (much better than flying via Moscow).

In case you need a Russian teacher , I can recommend you a very good one with years of experience with foreigners. You can send me a personal message for the info.

FatAndy
22-02-2012, 14:00
There are flights to Graz (Austrian Airlines) and Istanbul (Turkish Airlines) so you can fly any destionation via these cities (much better than flying via Moscow).
Donavia, based there, flies also to Muenchen, Istanbul, Tel Aviv and Dubai.

meri
22-02-2012, 15:21
Thanks Fat Andy,
Yet ,I've heard that if there is no showoffs they cancel/postpone the last minute and some flights are via Moscow.

FatAndy
22-02-2012, 15:32
No, I mean their direct flights from RnD.
I flew from Moscow (VKO, SVO) to Rostov and back several times with them (with Aeroflot tickets though - they're daughter company), irregularely, in 2005-2011 timeframe, and only once there was 4 h delay because of hard fog. Dunno about other directions.
http://www.aeroflot-don.ru/timetable.aspx#a708_1311 - here is their timetable for regulars (scroll up/down to see all of their destinations). Pls note they have united order system with big Aeroflot and connections in SVO-D to them and other companies.

sbktm
26-02-2012, 05:35
Thank you all for the great information. Can anyone advise me on the rental process for a non Russian resident? Do they care or are they just concerned with the colour of your money?

I see agents advertising, "Pay us a fist load and we'll look after everything" - while their prices seem inflated (maybe), is it worth it to take care of all?

How long does the rental process take? Here in Australia, you can be looking for a month +!

Also, should the unfortunate happen and I cannot renew my visa to return, I know I'll lose what ever is in my apartment at the time (not planning on keeping much there) would I end up with a loyal Russian landlord tracking me down for the rest of the rent for the year? ;)

The process here is 1 month rent in advance + 1 month rent paid as bond. Is it the same there?

Thanks again for all your help.

Sam.

Rhubard Geoff
26-02-2012, 10:34
Thank you all for the great information. Can anyone advise me on the rental process for a non Russian resident? Do they care or are they just concerned with the colour of your money?

I see agents advertising, "Pay us a fist load and we'll look after everything" - while their prices seem inflated (maybe), is it worth it to take care of all?

How long does the rental process take? Here in Australia, you can be looking for a month +!

Also, should the unfortunate happen and I cannot renew my visa to return, I know I'll lose what ever is in my apartment at the time (not planning on keeping much there) would I end up with a loyal Russian landlord tracking me down for the rest of the rent for the year? ;)

The process here is 1 month rent in advance + 1 month rent paid as bond. Is it the same there?

Thanks again for all your help.

Sam.

Yes, one months rent plus one as a deposit. They might ask you to sign a one year contract though with a penalty(one month?) if you quit early, but with the same on your side if they want you out.

Process shouldn't take long and once you find a place you could be in the next day.

Don't use an agent, they are all sharks. Start by looking for apartments on Yandex.

http://realty.yandex.ru/?type=RENT&category=APARTMENT&exceptNewFlat=YES&priceType=PER_OFFER&rentTime=LARGE&selectedRegionId=39

Good luck