Our People
  • Amy Waters snow biking Our Team

    Steppes Travel is made by the people who work here. Incredible holidays are made possible because of their vast travel experience and the great enthusiasm they bring to their work.

  • William Dalrymple Our Tour Experts

    We carefully select our experts based on their knowledge, companionship and influence, ensuring that you can travel with the most knowledgeable leaders in the field.

  • Liz Bonnin Heroes and Heroines

    The people who lead the way when it comes to those things which matter to us: exploration, the environment, women’s empowerment and education.

The Catherine Palace, Tsarskoye Selo, Pushkin, Saint-Petersburg, Russia

Russia Holidays

A vast country such as Russia deserves more than one visit. Discover icons such as the masterpieces of the Hermitage and the colourful Church on Spilled Blood to the whimsical turrets of St. Basil’s Cathedral and the mighty Kremlin.

There is still a grittiness and unpredictability to Russia that makes every visit a new adventure. The sheer size and variety of locations ensure that one visit is not enough.

While Moscow and St Petersburg have become showcases of western opulence, move even a short distance outside of the cities and you enter a world which has, through force of circumstance, retained its traditional ways.

Experiences

Russia is waiting. Here are some of our favourite experiences to help you explore.

Visit Franz Josef Land

Travel to incredibly remote Franz Josef Land, inhabited only by military personnel, to find Arctic foxes, walruses and bearded seals.

Suggested Holiday Idea

An Aerial View of Kamchatka – the Land of Ice and Fire

Spending a day in a Russian helicopter flying over volcanoes, calderas and into the Valley of the Geysers – a magical experience.

Rostov Veliky

See some fine examples of 17th-century architecture in Rostov Veliky.

Kostroma

Explore Kostroma, considered the cradle of the Romanov Dynasty.

The Golden Ring

Explore ancient Russian towns, where time stands still.

Search for Polar Bears

With one of the highest numbers of polar bears anywhere in the world, go in search of bears on Wrangel and Herald Islands.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Indigenous, Arctic Communities

Visit indigenous groups in their remote villages to experience their culture first hand including Chukchi, Inuit, Yupik and Sami.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Church of the Transfiguration

Visit the Church of the Transfiguration, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, built in 1714.

Sekirnaya Hill

Formally home to one of the cruellest Gulags, visit Sekirnaya Hill with its unique lighthouse church.

Big Solovetsky Island

Travel by boat along the canals of Big Solovetsky Island and see the town from the water.

Grazing Horses, Ukok Plateau, Russia
Russia
Hermitage, St Petersburg, Russia
St Petersburg, Russia
St Basils Cathedral, Moscow, Russia
Moscow, Russia

A country of great diversity

When it comes to things to see and do in Russia, you are truly spoilt for choice. Moscow is a beautiful contrast between old and new influences, St Petersburg is alive with dazzling colour, and then there is the idyllic countryside of the area.

Need Inspiration?
Browse our Russia holiday ideas.

Our Russia experts have created and curated these holiday ideas to get you started. Take the time to search through them and find something to spark ideas for a unique adventure.

Explore Russia

  • Russian Arctic
  • The Golden Ring
  • Moscow
  • Solovki
  • St Petersburg

Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Katie Benden

The excitement of travelling the world has always hugely appealed. Largely cemented from my first solo trip to Egypt and the Middle East. The crazy hustle and bustle of Cairo was a huge assault on the senses, scrambling through the claustrophobic tunnels of the Great pyramid took me out of my comfort zone and I was left humbled by the warm hospitality of the Nubian people in Aswan as we shared dinner together.

Talk with our experts
  • 01285 880 980

Kate Hitchen

My travels were first inspired by my love of the UK, which I take as much pleasure in exploring as countries far and wide. For me, travel is all about the adventure, the people I meet and the food I sample along the way.

Talk with our experts
  • 01285 880 980

Let’s chat


Send us an enquiry

Complete our enquiry form and start your next journey.

Enquire

Really helpful over the visa hurdles. Couldn't have negotiated the Russian questions without the excellent guide sheet.

Russia

Frequently asked questions about Russia

Will my mobile phone work?

Russia has an excellent mobile network, but be warned, it is very expensive to use a foreign mobile phone for calls and data. You will, however, find free Wi-Fi available in many places.

Are taxis safe and okay to use in Russia?

Perfectly so,  but they tend not to bother with a meter and charge extortionate amounts. Better to get one of the smartphone apps such as “Get Taxi” or Uber. Uber is one of the most efficient ways to get around the city and very cheap. Perfect for a visit to the theatre. The average ride costs £2. The cars vary and they can take up to eight minutes to arrive, but it works well.

Are there any Russian customs that I should know?

 

Russia has a rich heritage of traditions, so it can be hard to remember everything. Here is a snapshot of our most favourite:

  • Russians love flowers, so if you are going to dinner in private apartment flowers are a perfect present – always take an odd number of as even numbers are only for funerals! Next best to flowers is chocolates.
  • Never give a gift of soap; it implies the person smells.
  • Never show your back to someone, for example when entering a row of theatre seats, it is appropriate to enter facing the people already seated.
  • Always take your shoes off when you enter someone’s apartment or house, there are usually slippers to wear.
  • Don’t jaywalk, as the police will fine you.

How restrictive is photography when visiting Russia?

In any country you visit, we always advise obtaining permission before photographing the locals out of courtesy. Photography of the Metro, train stations, airports, government and Military buildings and installations is prohibited so be aware.

Can I hire a car in Russia?

Yes,
but driving in Russia is not easy, particularly if you cannot read Cyrillic.
Additionally Russian drivers do not always adhere to rules and driving is thus quite
problematic. It is easier to hire a car and driver.

Can I pay using Euros?

Generally, no. Market traders will probably accept foreign currency, but restaurants and shops will only accept local currency which is the Russian Rouble.

Can I use credit cards?

In the main cities most shops, restaurants and hotels accept credit cards. Additionally, there are ATM machines everywhere. Move out of the cities or main tourist centres and life is very different, and you should ensure you have sufficient roubles.

Do I have to carry my passport with me when I am out and about?

All Russians are always required to carry official identification. The rules also apply to foreigners, so you should, technically, carry your passport when
you are out and about.

I hear the visa process is difficult

There is no denying that the Russian visa process is laborious. A lot of form filling plus a visit to your closest Russian Embassy visa office (London, Dublin or Edinburgh) to have your fingerprints taken. That said we have done this form many times, we keep up to date with changes and have an extensive crib sheet to make the process as simple as possible. Processing times are around 21 days or an urgent service is normally returned to you within the week, or pop back in to collect in person after three business days. The standard visa fee is around £100.

Is Russia safe?

Travelling around Russia is as safe now as it has always been. Like with any destination, we always advise keeping an eye on your belongings, especially when out in busy, crowded areas and it is sensible to leave any valuables at home.

Haven’t found what you’re looking for?


VISIT OUR FAQ PAGE

Why Choose Steppes?

These may be uncertain times but they are, without a doubt, still full of opportunity to discover the extraordinary safely. Through knowledge and expertise, we can connect you to those destinations embracing travellers with the added confidence of flexible booking and decades of insight.

Are you ready to discover extraordinary once again?


Read More