Due to the great cultural diversity of this vast country, our description applies to the more Siberian part of Russia.
Taking into account the vast area of lands, the aircraft is undoubtedly the best mean of transport, because it is safe and do not differ from world standards.
It is very comfortable to travel by train and you cannot complain about its punctuality.
It is worse with buses, because they are often crowded and the information board at the bus stop with the timetable seems unnecessary as more accurate information we can get from the people at the bus stop.
Taxi is the best way of urban transport, although we need to be prepared for a great injection of adrenaline.
Of course you can travel by your own car, which does not seem to be entirely reasonable, because driving car in this country requires great skill, courage and patience for what you will encounter on the road.
And on Russian roads there is everything that should not be here!
The condition of the roads is dramatic, especially in cities, and it seems like Siberia was affected by the damage caused by the Second World War, which has not yet been removed. Only federal roads have some sections of good surface which can suddenly end without any signs or marking.
Traffic information is usually described both in Cyrillic and Latin alphabets, which is a good convenience for foreigners, but it does not mean that it is legible! Signs are often dirty, destroyed, or meaningless located creating road traps used by the police who do not know the word “mercy” especially for Russians.
In Russia, you are often forced to break traffic regulations, even for safety reasons, and such a situation is immediately caught by the “guardians of the law”.
In this country, the distances are enormous and you travel for days and even weeks but the Russian roads have the advantage that you will not fall asleep behind the wheel because of:
holes and cavities, open wells, traffic jams, accidents, repairs, detours, police checks, non-cultural drivers and crazy trolleys.
OK! Maybe I exaggerated a bit, but tens of thousands of kilometers driven across Russia created such a picture in my mind.
It is best to stick to the rule that Russian roads are for Russians not for you!
The biggest country in the world but probably the least produces something. Chinese rubbish dominates in the shops, only a little Russian products and they are not the best quality. Goods imported from America or Europe (made anyway by Chinese hands) have cosmic prices.
The price of branded products can be tempting, but do not forget that the Russians are masters in counterfeiting.
When doing shopping, remember that in Russia consumer rights are far from European standards, jokingly you can say that the warranty of the purchased product often applies as long as you are in the store. When you close the door from the outside you may have trouble with a complaint about the purchased good.
Beautiful handicrafts are undoubtedly something that tempts everyone, various kinds of souvenirs and practical things made in wood, stone, bones or very popular products made of birch bark, which often amaze with their appearance.
In Europe, Russians are negatively presented, but most often negative words are spoken by people who have never been in Russia and who do not know their culture or language. Negative image is also created by politicized TV news.
Often the bad picture is also created by Russians living in Europe or the USA or by rich Russian tourists who have a specific kind of rest while staying in world relaxation centres, but this group of people has little to do with the common Russian citizen.
Undoubtedly the most reliable information about this country and its inhabitants can be found on the internet in descriptions of people who travelled Russia.
What are the Russians really like?……….. Those in Russia, of course.
Russians are a nation with simple laws – black is black and white is white and as a tourist you should know that if you are friendly you are guaranteed a great hospitality and pleasant rest, but if you show intolerance you will be treated the same in 100%.
You are able to meet the famous Russian hospitality at every step. Russians are very eager to invite you home and offer everything they have. They love feasts and long discussions which sound like a nest of bees in the ears of foreigners who do not know the language.
They constantly eat something, sniff, raise toasts, and they constantly persuade me to drink and eat, as if they didn’t understand the word “I can’t do it anymore”.
The food is usually very simple and not always appetizingly served but it is always fresh and delicious but also calorific so be prepared for some extra kilograms to your weight. Russians like political topics, so talks about the European Union or NATO guarantee us a feast till dawn.
I advise you not to go into the historical details of eg. the 2nd World War, the Russians perceive history differently, so conversations can be tiring.
They love humour and can tell it all the time, but unfortunately most often these can be understood only in Russian and translating it into other languages usually doesn’t make any sense.
Russian citizens are mostly fervent patriots, but they are a form of Russian patriotism that can not be understood by Europeans.
Russians are proud to be Russians and at the same time they are ashamed of it.
They love their country and often complain and criticize it.
They are reluctant to help their compatriots, but strangers can always count on their help.
Russians and especially Siberians are masters of the so-called makeshift, they are able to create almost anything from nothing by twisting and tying all kinds of bottles, sticks, plugs, cords, screws, etc. creating various practical things.
In general, Russians are a happy nation, maybe apart from various uniformed services. It is very difficult to see the policeman’s smile on his face.
Lack of a sense of humour and a dangerous expression of the face in all service brigades are probably the last remnants of the communist system.
Although Russia has unlimited tourist potential, it does not belong to typical tourist countries.
It is difficult to travel, especially without knowledge of Russian.
Russian policy does not notice the huge income from tourism and does not do much to attract millions of tourists. Poor infrastructure, low standards, visas, obligation to register in places of stay, all this does not encourage tourists to visit, which is just what pleases us because we all know what the tourist business and millions of tourists can do with the last on earth impeccable nature.