Is Russia safe for travellers?
In brief: YES. Russia is a safe place for travellers.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE on its website divides all countries into 4 groups according to their safety level:
Level 1— Exercise Normal Precautions (Switzerland, Qatar, Thailand, Hong Kong, South Korea, Finland, Australia, Canada etc.)
Level 2 — Exercise increased caution (Germany, UK, France etc…and at the same time South Africa (!), Mexico(!), Ukraine, Colombia(!) etc.)
Level 3 — Reconsider Travel (Pakistan, Chad, Lebanon, Honduras, Nigeria etc. )
Level 4 — Do not travel (Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia, Mali etc.)
Can you guess the safety level of Russia according to this gradation??? Level 3!!! Seriously??? We are in the same row as Pakistan and Chad? It is so unfair and untrue! Obviously it is more a political decision rather than a common sense one.
And South Africa (of course an amazing and beautiful country) with its HIV epidemic and a rape every 83 (according to statistics) is in the same row as UK and Germany?!
For sure there are some reasons for this rating but let’s clarify how Russia is in fact safe for travellers.
Russia is safe for travellers if you travel with me and my team! LOL)
Russia is the same way safe for travellers as UK or Germany, New York or Bangkok! There are dangerous districts in any country. We have certain level of crime (pickpockets, swindlers, homeless ppl etc) but not worse than anywhere else in Europe or USA. And if you explore tourist attractions and do not insult locals you are safe in Russia. Exercise normal precautions and you will be fine! Be polite and act like locals (don’t smile too much J). And hire a guide). We are not as safe as Iceland but we are for sure not as dangerous as Chad. Lol.
Russia is not only a country of bears, mafia, vodka, nuclear weapon and Siberian frost. It is also country of beautiful nation (and girlsJ) and open-hearted people.
We have several peculiarities which u should know:
- Russians don’t really care about other people’s personal space. You will notice that in a metro or in bus for example.
- I would not recommend you self-driving in Russia. Because the Russian style of driving a car is very similar to GTA or Carmageddon games style.
- Quite a few people speak English in Russia. Mostly the younger generation.
- If you wanna use a taxi don’t try to catch it on the road (especially at night). Ask hotel receptionist to call a taxi for you.
- After sunset, it gets more dangerous to walk outside. Time for “vampires” and “ghouls”. Lol. Stay in your hotel please.
- Nuns and priests in some churches can be slightly aggressive. Don’t ask me why! Just don’t pay too much attention and enjoy beautiful architecture!
- Zebra crossing is not always a guarantee of a safe road crossing. Use it for sure but first check if there are any cars around and go!
Russia is a very welcoming country. And we love travellers and people who are interested in our culture. Hire a local guide, follow common sense and enjoy your trip to Russia!