Rostov-na-Donu Travel Answers

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Tourist

by Karel77 Online Now Aug 6, 2011 at 10:41 AM

Hi. I want to visit Rostov-na-Donu from South Africa as a tourist. It will be my first time traveling to Russia and would like to know if I need any other documents other than my passport? I would also like to know if speaking only english would be a problem to comunicate?

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  • leics's Profile Photo

    Re: Tourist

    by leics Online Now Aug 6, 2011 at 10:56 AM

    You certainly do need more documents than just your passport.

    You will need a visa. Assuming you are a SA citizen, details of how to get one, and how long it will take, are on the Russian Embassy in SA's website here:

    russianembassy.org.za/consul...

    You will note that you either need to be part of an organised tour group (a hotel booking is not sufficient) or to have been invited by a Russian citizen...there is substantial paperwork associated with the latter.

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  • yumyum's Profile Photo

    Re: Tourist

    by yumyum Online Now Aug 6, 2011 at 11:19 AM

    You certainly need an invitation and voucher etc. Like leics said, start reading what the embassy says and then for further reading I recommend waytorussia.com which has a good forum for specific visa questions etc.

    Younger people in Russia tend to speak some English but not all of them. I recommend that you at least learn to read the cyrillic alphabet otherwise you will have a tough time since Rostov is not as touristy as Moscow or St. Petersburg.

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  • Re: Tourist

    by Karel77 Online Now Aug 6, 2011 at 9:57 PM

    Thanx guys. Seems like I have some homework to do. I'm new to this tourist thing and need all the help that I can get. What happend to just being a tourist enjoying the city? Talk about red tape!

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  • leics's Profile Photo

    Re: Tourist

    by leics Online Now Aug 7, 2011 at 1:08 AM

    I'm not so sure that 'being a tourist and just going to a city' has ever been possible...at least, not for a very seriously long time (certainly not in my lifetime).

    Visa requirements for lots of countries have been in place for decades and decades and decades, varying according to your citizenship. And Russia is now much easier to visit than it was when part of the USSR.

    If you think about it, it makes perfect sense for countries to be careful about who they let in. Just because someone says they are a tourist doesn't mean they actually are! :-)

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  • yumyum's Profile Photo

    Re: Tourist

    by yumyum Online Now Aug 7, 2011 at 1:25 AM

    Yes, it's important to follow the instructions carefully. We don't know what nationality you are but for instance US citicens need one additional form. BTW, no need to prebook any accomodation but buy the voucher/invitation as outlined elsewhere. Although sometimes it makes sense to actually prebook as you will only stay a short while or because there are not to many hotel options or you could book an appartment. Sometimes it's also more convenient to use an agency for doing all the paperwork because the embassy wants you to either show up in person or use an agency. Not in all countries can you do it just by registered mail.

    Well, happy homework doing!

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  • hawkhead's Profile Photo

    Re: Tourist

    by hawkhead Online Now Aug 7, 2011 at 2:34 AM

    You can book your hotel and then apply for your visa. You should do this through an agency - it saves all sorts of hassle. The agency will then deal with the invitation for you, through your hotel.

    Once you arrive in Russia, you need to register with the local authorities. Your hotel/agency will do this for you and will save, again, all sorts of hassle. It may be that the agency you use will not have a representative or agent in Rostov and the registration will be done at arm's length, which is far simpler.

    Note that you only need to book the hotel for one night, to give you an address. When applying for a Russian visa, just do what it asks and do not try to circumvent any points. If you jump through the hoops as requested, it is all reasonably simple.

    Btw, my grandmother travelled on the continent (Europe) and in the Middle East in the 1870's/1880's and she needed a 'passport' which at that time was a laissez-passe document, about two feet square, with the flowery-est language, written in elegant copperplate on thick parchment-like paper ...."Her Britannic Majesty demands that you allow...... to pass unhindered and unimpeded...." and so on!! Even in the days of the Grand Tours, permission was needed to travel through countries.

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  • GyuriFT's Profile Photo

    Re: Tourist

    by GyuriFT Online Now Aug 7, 2011 at 8:14 AM

    >>>I'm not so sure that 'being a tourist and just going to a city' has ever been possible...
    >>>at least, not for a very seriously long time (certainly not in my lifetime).

    It is certainly possible - for citizens of Israel, most countries of South America and few countries of ex-Yugoslavia. You can just go on the short notice with passport only.

    Others need visa. So the citizenship is very important thing to know. But it depends on the passport how easy it is to obtain. For instance soon the tourists from the States will need only one visa every three years, once it is there in the passport it will work like visa-free regime. But tourists from Australia will have it more difficult.

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