Due to the invasion of Ukraine, the FCDO advises against travel to Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. Flights are currently suspended between Russia and most of the world, including the UK. Moldovan airspace is closed until at least March 4. The FCDO also advises against crossing from any of the bordering countries into Ukraine. For more comprehensive, regularly updated information, please see our Ukraine Travel Advice page.
Travel Insurance Russia
It's hard to settle on a suitable description of Russia, a land of both urban and scenic extremes. Whether you're visiting the spires of St. Petersburg or the centre of a silver birch forest, it's important to make sure that before you head off you're protected. Holiday Extras' comprehensive holiday insurance for Russia allows you to take it all in with the confidence that you, your group and your baggage (whilst in transit) is secure.
Booking your policy
Whether you call or book online the process is quick and easy. Simply fill in a quote form above or call our helpline to choose one of our great value policies.
Children aged under 18 can also get affordable cover as our single trip policies have no upper age limits.**
Guide to visiting Russia
Entry - Everybody needs a visa to enter Russia, and it's important to allow at least a month for your visa to process. A tourist visa, valid for 30 days, can be obtained by showing an invitation (from, for example, a hotel) to the Russian Embassy.
Currency - Exchange your British pounds to the Russian currency, the rouble, at change booths or in advance.
Safety - Be wary of pickpockets, particularly in Moscow and St Petersburg.
Staying safe in the city
Central urban areas like Moscow are mostly safe, with a strong police presence that largely deters criminal activity. As of July 1, 2014, the capital's local authorities have launched the Tourist Police of Moscow, an initiative to provide improved police services for foreign visitors to Russia. Overall, exercising the same level of caution as you would back home should be enough to ensure your safety.
Be sure to always carry your passport, visa and immigration documents - In Russia, it is a legal requirement that all foreign visitors carry originals of their passport, visa and immigration documents at all times. Police make random ID checks on tourists, and it can be more trouble than it's worth if you're caught lacking any of the aforementioned documents.
Road safety - Russia has become infamous for extremely poor road safety, and the numerous video montages online of ridiculous Russian motorway accidents testify to this fact. The poor road safety is generally due to sub-par road conditions and the erratic driving behaviour of many motorists in Russia. As such, travelling by car is not advised when visiting Russia.
What are the traditions of Russia?
Ivan Kupala - Kupalo was the ancient Russian God of summer fertility, and it was around of June that people would hold celebrations, singing songs and dancing in his honour. The Kupalo celebrations were characterised by the ritual act in which young men and women would pair off and attempt to jump over an open bonfire while holding hands. If they succeeded in making the jump while still holding hands, then this was a sign that marriage between the couple would be successful. Today this occasion is celebrated as the summer solstice and combines both pagan and Christian traditions. Although Ivan Kupala is not celebrated as an official public holiday, it is still a day that is remembered by people each year.
Maslenitsa - Traditionally celebrated at the close of winter and the start of spring. Although originally a sombre occasion, a day kept in remembrance of the dead, Maslenitsa eventually became a time for games and festivities, in celebration of the sunlight and spring. Traditional entertainment included fist-fighting, horse-racing and the burning of a giant straw doll. Today, the occasion is merely celebrated by having friends and relatives over to enjoy pancakes served with either honey, fresh cream and butter, or caviar.
Don't spill salt - spilling salt is viewed as a bad omen and means that you are likely to have an argument with someone in your family soon. Perhaps because you spilt some salt.
Don't whistle indoors - This is again viewed as bad luck and believed to result in financial losses to the whistler.
Stepping on dog poop is....good luck! - Unlike in most cultures were getting excrement is generally seen as a nuisance and a rather unpleasant experience, in Russia it is welcomed as a good omen, and signifies great future riches. Likewise, getting bird poop on your head (which is generally seen as the height of bad luck in most other countries) is considered a sign of good luck.
Things to see in Russia
- Gaze awe-struck at St Basil's Cathedral in the iconic Red Square of Moscow.
- Delve into the Tsar palaces of St Petersburg, and visit the fascinating State Hermitage Museum.
- Discover Siberia on the Trans-Siberian Railway, an epic journey of almost 9,000km with unique stops like Irkutsk.
- Keen fishermen can catch gargantuan salmon in the Kola Peninsula.
- Brave the Kremlin, with famous attractions including the Armoury Museum.
Holiday Extras Travel Insurance is sold and administered by Holiday Extras Cover Limited who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority under registration number 828848.
Holiday Extras™ is a Trading Name of Holiday Extras Cover Limited
Holiday Extras Travel Insurance is provided by Taurus Insurance Services, an insurance intermediary licenced and authorised in Gibraltar by the Financial Services Commission under Permission Number 5566 and authorised to passport general insurance intermediary services into the UK and registered with the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK under registration number 444830.
The insurance is underwritten by Great Lakes Insurance UK Limited. Great Lakes Insurance UK Limited is a company incorporated in England and Wales with company number 13436330 and whose registered office address is 10 Fenchurch Avenue, London, United Kingdom, EC3M 5BN. Great Lakes Insurance UK Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Firm Reference Number 955859. You can check this on the Financial Services Register by visiting; register.fca.org.uk or by contacting the Financial Conduct Authority on 0800 111 6768.