Useful tips

Ltd "Karelika"
185 030 Russia, Republic of Karelia,
Lososinskaya nab. 7, Office 1

8142 57-10-89
8142 57-16-71

Useful tips when visiting Russia

  1. Passport and visa. When traveling to Karelia, you will need a valid passport and visa. Visainvitation may be obtained fromour travel agency.
  2. Accommodations. Hotels in Karelia are usually quite modest, but there are recently renovated rooms in some hotels. It is best to make reservations through a travel agency. If you stay in hotel, your passport and visa are kept at the hotel's reception while you stay there. This is the practice in most hotels. The hotel also stamps your passport, so as, to mark your stay there. You should park your car in a guarded area. Safeguard your personal documents and money carefully, don't leave them anywhere in plain sight. Drinking water should be boiled in Karelia. Voltage is 220 V.
  3. Insurance. For coverage of personal injuries, you should have a leisure time accident insurance or travel insurance that also covers luggage. Ingostrakh, owned by the Russian government, sells insurance, that indemnifies foreigners for loss or accidents. Russian travel insurance does not cover personal injuries for your own vehicle, driver of the vehicle or other passengers in the driver's own vehicle.
  4. Currency. The currency of Karelia is the Russia ruble. The value of the ruble declines because of inflation. You should exchange some amount of money at the border in the event of possible allowed in official exchange spots and banks. You will always get a receipt when exchanging money officially. According to Russia law, all payments must be made in rubles, and no individual Russian is allowed to receive foreign money.
  5. Clearance at the border. When you travel to Karelia, you must fill-out a luggage and goods declaration form, where you list all the valuables and currency with you. The baggage and goods declaration form is personal, and it must be kept on your person during the trip. Official money exchanges are recorded on the form. When returning to your own country, you must fill-out a new declaration form at customs and both forms, the one you maintained during your visit and the new one, are presented to customs. If you have a multiple visa, you should have copies of it with you. In the event of loss, it's good to have one copy of your passport in safekeeping. In the zone of the Russia border, there are also passport formalities. The zone distance from the border of a country varies. Town limits also have check points (Gai-stations), where passports and vehicles are spot checked.
  6. Motorist documents. When you travel to Karelia by car, you should have a drivers license and vehicle registration with you. Customs also needs proof that you are taking your car back with you when you leave the country. Customs needs this proof in two pieces, one you will take with you. You will get this form from customs. The return day, noted on the form, should be a few days later than the day you plan to return. This will allow you time in the event of some unforeseen delay. If the auto is not owned by you, then you need written permission from the owner stating that you may use the vehicle in a foreign country. The vehicle must have a national stamp. If the vehicle's tires are studded, you must display a stamp that gives notice of this in the vehicle's rear window.
  7. Getting ready for the journey. The road network in Karelia is more demanding on a vehicle than in western countries. Be observant in regard to road conditions, i.e., bumps, stones, well covers, etc. It is advisable to take along spare tires, a tire repair kit, a hand pump and a towing service telephone number. The common speed limit is 90 km/hour. It is not mandatory to use headlights during daylight hours in Karelia. In the Republic of Karelia, the gasoline octane rating differs from that of western countries, for example, there is no gas without lead. Be prepared to wait in line for gasoline, or for the prospect that fuel supplies have run out at a particular location. It is advisable to carry a reserve fuel canisters with you. You must pay for gasoline in advance in rubles. In some places a credit card may be used. Make certain that the amount of gasoline that you are buying will fit into your vehicle's gas tank or reserve canister.