Many people think that Russian police guards are grumpy people that do not like any tourist and is ready to put everyone in jail. They cannot be wronger! Police officers usually are aware of tourists, and know many of them do not speak Russian. Many of them even speak some English. It is really no big deal to talk to a policeman: spot checks are common in Russia, and if you are just enjoying your stay in the country without doing anything really outrageous, you’re fine.
We got a couple of tips together in this post with the things that may be different here comparing to some other countries. If you follow there simple rules you will for sure stay out of trouble here in Russia. Check it out!
- No drinking in public areas: This is one important thing to notice. NO DRINKING IN PUBLIC. No. Not only a bottle of beer. If you want booze, get it in restaurants, pubs, cafés, clubs, etc. Do not take your bottle of wine to the park.
- No smoking in public areas: The same rules apply to smoking, despite people being more lenient on smoking than drinking.
- Always have your passport with you: As spot checks are not unheard of, you should always walk with your passport with you. If you do not have this identification, you will have to go to the police station, answer a lot of questions, waste a lot of hours there until someone get your passport and try to explain why you weren’t carrying it. So, always have your passport with you. Utmost importance!
- Keep your inmigration slip: As important as the passport is the paper slip they give you at the border. This is a document as well, and you should always carry it. If you don’t have it in a spot check it will probably be the same problem as if you were not with your passport… If you do lose it (which you should not), you do not need to be worried that this will be a problem when you leave the country. This paper slip is used inside the country. In the border, the police guy will only stamp an exit on your passport and he won’t mind if you don’t have your paper anymore.
- Get registered: Echoes from a soviet past – there is still a lot of paperwork involving people moving around Russia up to today. The person that is receiving you (be it a hostel, a hotel, a friend, anywhere) is supposed to register your stay at their place. They will take a copy of your passport, fill a boring form, get the boring form stamped at a boring office with lots and lots of paper everywhere: pretty much nonsense, but necessary. After the place you are staying gets you registered (you cannot do it yourself, in case you are wondering), they receive yet another paper slip. You have walk around with it as well, as you are supposed to be registered within 7 days of your entrance to Russia.
All that boring stuff apart, Moscow is a great city and this should really be no problem at all when you come here! Safari Hostel is THE place to be accomodated in the city. Really close to everything happening around the city. Come and have a wild stay here with us! 🙂