Travel to Russia

Flying to Russia

Russia's main airline, Aeroflot (, flies from the UK and the USA to Russia. Another airline operating direct flights from the UK is British Airways ( Flights tend to be pricier in the summer and around Orthodox Christmas in early January.

Major airports are: Moscow Sheremetyevo International Airport, Moscow Vnukovo International Airport, Moscow Domodedovo International Airport, St Petersburg Pulkovo Airport, Strigino Nizhny Novogorod International Airport, Samara Kurumoch International Airport, Sochi International Airport, Vladivostok Airport, Ekaterinburg Koltsovo Airport and Irkutsk Airport.

Flight times:

To Moscow: from London - 3 hours 45 minutes; New York - 9 hours.

To St Petersburg: from London - 3 hours 20 minutes; New York - 10 hours 50 minutes (including stopover).

Departure tax:


Airport guides

Airport Code: DME. Location: Moscow Domodedovo International Airport is located 42km (26 miles) south of central Moscow. Money: There are several operating cash desks, currency exchange offices and ATMs, scattered around the... Read more

Airport Code: SVO. Location: Moscow Sheremetyevo International Airport is located 29km (18 miles) northwest of Moscow. Money: Moscow Sheremetyevo International Airport offers banking and bureaux de change facilities. Currency... Read more

Airport Code: LED. Location: St Petersburg Pulkovo Airport is located 14km (9 miles) south of St Petersburg. Money: ATMs are available in Arrivals and Departures. A fully operational bank, also offering currency... Read more

Airport Code: VVO. Location: Vladivostok International Airport is situated 50km (31 miles) northeast of Vladivostok, in... Money: A bank and a bureau de change are located in the terminal. ATMs are also available throughout. Read more

Airport Code: SVX. Location: Ekaterinburg Koltsovo Airport is situated 23km (14 miles) southeast of Ekaterinburg city centre. Money: There are numerous ATMs, two bureaux de change and a bank at Ekaterinburg Koltsovo Airport. Read more

Airport Code: IKT. Location: Irkutsk International Airport is situated 8km (5 miles) from the city centre. Irkutsk is in... Money: There is a bureau de change, bank and ATM facilities at Irkutsk International Airport. Read more

Airport Code: AER. Location: Sochi International Airport is situated 25km (15 miles) southeast of Sochi in the town of Adler. Money: A bank and a number of bureaux de change are located in the terminal building. Read more

Airport Code: VKO. Location: Moscow Vnukovo International Airport is situated 30km (18.5 miles) southwest of central Moscow. Money: ATMs and currency exchange facilities are available in the terminals. Read more

Airport Code: GOJ. Location: The airport is located about 14km (8.5 miles) southwest of Nizhny Novgorod city centre. Money: A bank offering currency exchange is located on the ground floor, and ATMs are situated on both... Read more

Airport Code: KUF. Location: The airport is located about 35km (21 miles) north of Samara city centre. Money: ATMs are situated on the ground floor of both terminals. Read more

Travel by rail

There are various connections from London. The main route is: London-Brussels-Cologne-Warsaw-Moscow/St Petersburg. The journey from London to Brussels can be made by a variety of train and ferry services (including via Eurostar), or via the Channel Tunnel. There is a sleeper service from Cologne to Warsaw and another from Warsaw to Moscow.

The Allegro high-speed train connects St. Petersburg and Helsinki and takes 3 hours 30 minutes. There are through trains or coaches from other Western and nearly all Eastern European capitals, from CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) countries, and from China, Mongolia and Turkey. 

There is also a rail connection to Moscow from Paris, which travels via Germany, Poland and Belarus, for which you need a transit visa.

Driving to Russia

There are several routes into the country by road. From Estonia, it is possible to cross the border at Narva. From Finland, there are crossings at Nujamaa and Vaalimaa, although travellers should be aware that there have been numerous reports of bandits active on this road. From Georgia in the south, it is possible to follow the Georgian Military Highway, but this route is often closed to foreigners. In Ukraine, the M3 autoroute runs from Kyiv (Kiev) to Moscow.

By road note:

A visa is required to enter Russia and visas will not be issued at the border. Thus, it’s sensible to assume that entry will be denied if you don’t have one. It is also worth bearing in mind that even with the appropriate documentation, crossing Russian borders by car can be a frustrating and time-consuming experience. When travelling by car from Estonia to Russia, a prior online registration of your car on will reduce your waiting time at the border.

Once across the border, driving in Russia is not for the faint-hearted: among other numerous frustrations, roads are poorly maintained, petrol is low quality and traffic police are particularly enthusiastic.

Getting to Russia by boat

The St Peter Line Ferries ( have regular voyages to St Petersburg between March and December, from Stockholm, Tallinn and Helsinki. It is also possible to catch a ferry from Trabzon in Turkey to Sochi and Novorossiysk. In the Far East, DBS Cruise Ferry ( runs ferries from Vladivostok to Sakaiminato, Japan via Dongae, South Korea.

By water note:

A lot of sea routes are closed in winter (January to March).

Cruise ships:

Several cruise companies stop at St Petersburg, offering voyages between seven and 21 days. Companies running these include Princess Cruises (, Costa (, Cunard (, Holland America Cruises ( and Royal Caribbean ( Other ports visited include Sochi and Vladivostok.

Visa and passport information is updated regularly and is correct at the time of publishing. You should verify critical travel information independently with the relevant embassy before you travel.