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Any US citizens/non Russians been to Russia recently?

Any US citizens/non Russians been to Russia recently?

Old Mar 13, 2024, 3:25 am
  #16  
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Join Date: Mar 2024
Posts: 4
I was there last month to visit my sister. Everything went good but there are so many police on the streets, and they even asked me to show my passport a few times.
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Old Mar 14, 2024, 3:47 pm
  #17  
 
Join Date: Mar 2024
Posts: 1
Originally Posted by costaricageorge
Anyone know how pay for flights into and out of Russia when you can't use western payment systems? Whether it is flying with a Russian Airline or with Turkish Airlines/Emirates/Ethiad/Air Serbia... how can you pay for them without western credit cards? Or if there was some workaround that would be great.
Hi from Singapore, I used airticketsDOTticketonlineDOTru to book my Aeroflot tickets, the website can be navigated with English, they do tend to bias towards Russian carriers but it is still possible to book other airlines as long as they have flights to Russia e.g Emirates, FlyDubai, Turkish and all mainland Chinese carriers. I had no issues paying with my Singapore issued Visa debit card, however do take note that paying with an international card means that the website will charge USD only, which is around 20-30% more expensive than if you were to pay with rubles. Lastly, if youre travelling from the US, I doubt all available flights are shown, as a r/t would cost $2000 w Egypt Air. Sorry about not having the full link, just joined. Hope this helps!
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Old Mar 24, 2024, 2:00 am
  #18  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: LCA/KUL/RGN
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Originally Posted by costaricageorge
Anyone know how pay for flights into and out of Russia when you can't use western payment systems? Whether it is flying with a Russian Airline or with Turkish Airlines/Emirates/Ethiad/Air Serbia... how can you pay for them without western credit cards? Or if there was some workaround that would be great.
Depends on where you originate. Trip.com accepts Alipay/WeChat Pay and so do most of the Chinese OTAs including those that work with Skyscanner (SkyScanner itself would not search for a flight to Russia). In Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar, and South Korea at least you can pay with their local wallets or e-banking. Not sure about the other continents though.

If we are talking about Russian domestic flights/Russsian based airlines international flights, trains, and hotels, it would be quite useful to get an e-wallet such as yoomoney.ru (online, no need to visit a branch or anything) and load it either with cash on arrival or crypto and then pay with their virtual card for all those trips. Alternatively, one can open a bank account with Sber (in branch) or Tiinkoff (with their agent meeting you at your hotel, or anywhere else). You don't need much apart from the passport and the migration card you get on arrival.
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Rami Tamimi is offline  
Old Mar 25, 2024, 11:08 pm
  #19  
 
Join Date: Oct 2023
Posts: 13
How easy is it to exchange currency? Is it better to do US dollars or Euros?

Also, I heard that the cash has to be in perfect condition. Anything else important to know for money exchanges in Russia?
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Old Mar 26, 2024, 2:43 pm
  #20  
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Join Date: Mar 2024
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Fairly easy to exchange, dollars only (mint condition - and I mean mint, no markings, no tears, no nothing). Bring in less than 10ķ or you.will need to declare it.
Exchange at any bank (I've found vtb to offer ok rates, not stellar, but not a ripoff either). Open a Russian bank account plus non-personalized debit card as soon as you get there (takes less than an hour), put the newly received roubles in, install mir pay, set it as default - and it's all a smooth sailing afterwards.
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Old Mar 27, 2024, 10:46 pm
  #21  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: LCA/KUL/RGN
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This website is very popular for finding the best rates: https://www.banki.ru/products/currency/ . It is in Russian, but with a bit of Google Translate it will work. Generally, those small banks such as Kamko offer much better rates than VTB and the rest.
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