View Full Version : tourist visas

06-05-2004, 18:28
I am trying to find out how flexible a tourist visa is.I would like to travel russia for a month in July,I know that you have to state where you will be staying for the visa but would like to know if we can deviate from that or if we are tied to being in one place for the whole trip.

07-05-2004, 01:20
There are other people in here who can help you more than
I, but....

You cannot travel freely in Russia. You may visit many places but you need an itinerary. You have to file some kind of travel plans (with whom I have no idea) and have accommodations arranged in advance. Hotels are expensive and not over abundant. Deviating from the plan is a no-no. You will be asked for your passport any time you check in to stay somewhere. Russia is a wonderful and beautiful country, but the freedom to travel as you please is not something you can do here.

It's a problem. That's why most tourists come in pre-arranged groups. All the bureaucratic requirements are handled by a tour agency--paperwork, hotels, transportation. For the footloose, this may not be appealing.

They discourage the footloose thing here. This ain't America.

07-05-2004, 15:13
I don't think it's that difficult. When you apply for the visa, fill in some of the places you might want to visit - or just the one you will arrive in first. (No one will force you to visit all the places you have stated.) You register your visa at the first hotel you stay at, and when/if you go to another city and stay at a hotel there, show them your passport if they ask to, maybe they will register it there as well, but I think that the first hotel will register the visa for the whole period of its validity. I know of some guys who started planning their trip around Russia four days before departure from Sweden. They got their visas in the Baltics and they went across the whole country and into other republics as well without any kind of pre-bookings. (OK, they might have had some troubles on the way, but I think they were calculation on that...)

I don't think you should worry too much about it, just make sure you have a voucher to show at the border control when you arrive, and to get your visa registered somewhere.

09-05-2004, 20:15

I did just that very thing on all of my visa apps. I have a business visa, but I am not sure that it matters inthis case. My Visa lists Moscow, Sochi, Samara, and a few others. You of course do not need to go to all the places that you list. Last summer, I took a train to St. Pete and a river trip back to Moscow and stopped at many villages along the way without trouble and St. Pete wasn't even on my visa. I highly recommend the river cruises if you haven't comsidered them yet. I met a number of nice people and saw sights that I am sure that I would never see any other way. I took the cruise as a Russian speaker and went on the Russian tours, but I know that there are some English speaking tours as well.