Russia is a country of a long history, honest people and old traditions. It is a very great country to visit and a new experience for every foreign tourist. Being the biggest country in the world, with more than 140 million people living here, everyone can find his own significant place here.
Russia is a great country to visit and is always ready to show itself. This pocket dictionary and travel guide will show you most useful Russian phrases which you will need during the 2018 Football World Cup. Russian culture, traditions and the famous Russian soul are waiting for you!
First, just ask if a person speaks English, or your native language. You don`t need to ask it in Russian. If a person knows English, he will answer you in English. If not, he will just say no (nyet in Russian). There will be a lot of volunteers who are willing to help you and who speak English. You can find them near the entry to the metro stations. If you don`t see them, try asking people of younger age — English is obligatory in Russian schools.
In case you need an urgent help, you can call 102 from your mobile to call the police, or 103 to call urgent medical help. Tell the operator that you don`t speak Russian, and they will connect you to a person who knows English. You will need to describe the situation, say the address and your name, and the help will come to that address as soon as possible. Also, find a telephone and the address of your Embassy. They will also help you.
Download the 2GIS app on your mobile phone. It has every map of each Russian city, and it is possible to get directions offline. It is absolutely free and it is also translated to English and Spanish. Download maps of the cities which you plan to visit. It also has a voice navigation system, sightseeing places, it can show you the nearest restaurant, hotel, park, chemist`s shop and a lot more.
You can also use Google maps or analog Yandex maps, but you will need to buy a SIM-card.
Buy a SIM-card
The stable and high-speed Wi-Fi internet connection is not usual for Russia. You will need a stable mobile internet connection on your phone, because free Wi-Fi will be working bad. Search for logos of MTS, Beeline, Tele2, Yota or Megaphone. Those companies are the best, and take a monthly-plan with as much gigabytes as your budget allows. Their offices are situated everywhere — at the airports, near the hotels, bus stops and inside shopping malls. One of the best monthly plans is presented by Tele2 Russia, and it is called «My Online». It provides 6 gigabytes of Internet for only 300 rubles per month. Most of the traffic you will be probably spending on translation because most of dictionaries work online only.
The process of buying a SIM-card is the same as everywhere. You will just need to give you passport details, and emphasize, that you will need only for the duration of your stay. Do not forget to close your account in a chosen mobile operator at the end of your stay.
Can I please have a SIM-card with a monthly internet plan — Mozhno kupit sim kartu s tarifom interneta na mesyats
I need as much stable internet traffic as possible — mne nuzhno kak mozhno bolshe internet traffika
It is just for my stay during the Football World Cup — tolko na vremya championata mira po futbolu
How much does it cost? — skolko stoit?
It`s not so cold!
It is actually not cold at all. The average temperature in Moscow in June is +21° and it feels very comfortable. The same temperature is in every host city of World Cup.
Use Uber or its Russian analogs Yandex Taxi, Maxim Taxi. Write down the address of your hotel or stadium and give it to the driver, or just use Uber as usual.
The words hotel, restaurant and stadium are pronounced almost the same as in English: otel, restorun, studyon
Where is the nearest restaurant with the English menu? — gde blizhaishi restoran s menu na angliyski
Can you please drive us to the hotel «Moscow»? — otvezite nas pazhalusta v otel Moskva
Metro station and buses
A subway in Russian language is metro [metro]. It is working the same as everywhere, and there will be officials who can help you in purchasing tickets and getting to the needed stations. Tickets for metro are sold only at the entry to the metro station. There are no zoning at buses or metros in Russia. By purchasing a ticket to the metro, you can from whatever station you want till wherever you need. But: the ticket to the metro does not work on buses. Buses [avtoboos] and mini-buses in Russia sell tickets for cash only and are sold by busman or a driver.
Renting a car is not the best idea
A lot of travelers think about renting a car and travelling through the country. That does not work so well for Russia. This is the biggest country in the World, and the trip between cities is much bigger, than between European cities. The other reason is that all the direction signs are written in Russian. But if you want to travel by car, you have to know, that average maximum allowed speed in the city is 80 km per hour. The rules are international, and you can use your international driving license. Also, remember, that you can`t turn right on red light, so it is contrary to the USA rules.
The Fan ID
The Fan ID provides you with free transport on a train between the cities. To get a Fan ID you need to have a ticket to any game of the Football World Cup 2018, and register on their website. For transportation you should go to their website www.fan-id.ru and book a ticket to a train. Also, look at the Q&A section at this website for further information. Please book tickets and plan your trip in advance. A trip on a train is available 3 days before and 3 days after the game to which you have tickets for. Fan ID substitutes a visa to Russia, and this visa gives you multiple entry to Russia from June 5, 2018, till July 25, 2018, within the condition that you also have your passport.
Other way to get to another city is using special mobile apps, such as Indriver or BlaBlaCar. It is a peer-to-peer type of taxi, where you should negotiate about the price and destination with the driver yourself. Usually it is much more cheaper, but look at the driver ratings and feedbacks to be sure the trip is safe.
Russian drinking culture is unique and stable. It is easier to understand because it is quite simple. There are rules which must be respected. Vodka is a main ingredient in it, and it is never drunk without a reason. Most foreigners believe Russians drink vodka every day, like wine, but that is not true. Because of the higher alcohol content Russians only drink when there`s an occasion, such as wedding, a birth of a child, or a win of your favorite team.
Toasting is very important in drinking culture. The word toast is pronounced the same: [toast]. It usually starts simply — «to our host», «for the win», etc. It is also very important that between the first and the second shot of vodka there should be minimum time. It is pronounced as [mezhdu pervoy i: vtoroy pereryvtschik nebolshoy]. There are many traditional food accompaniments to vodka, sometimes referred to as zakuski, though zakuski can be eaten without vodka. These are, basically, snacks: pickled vegetables and fruits like cucumbers, cabbage, and mushrooms; cold meats like tongue and chicken liver; acidic salads of tomato and cucumber; dried and cured fish; open-faced sandwiches containing all of the above. It is also considered important to always finish an opened bottle of vodka, and not to leave any undrunk. Russians are very superstitious.
If you got seriously ill, you can call 112, and call the urgent medical help. You just need to know your address, and the doctors will come. If your illness is not very strong, you can go to any private clinic. The prices on medical services in Russia are significantly lower than in USA or Europe.
Payment and exchange
Exchange a small amount of money to rubles at your local bank in your home country. You will need it for getting from the airport to your hotel, or to a nearest bank.
You can actually pay with your visa almost everywhere in euro and US dollars. The exchange rate will be quite high though, but it will be the exchange rate of your bank, which you trust.
The best place to exchange money is in a bank. There are a lot of European banks operating in Russia. Their branches can be found everywhere. Try looking at the airport, shopping malls or train stations. The biggest bank in Russia is Sberbank. You can always exchange money in any of its branches throughout Russia. It has a green logo.
Using the 2GIS, yandex maps or google maps, find a branch of your bank near to your hotel. Write down the address to remember it. Some banks have a limit of 7500 rubles per day.
Not every store in Russia accepts credit cards. There are still a lot of places where cash is in need.
Understanding principles of Russian Law
The Russia law is united for every city and province of the country. The basic principle is presumption of innocence. That means that in any case you will need to show proofs of your words. You cannot accuse a person in something if you don`t have any kind of proofs — video, audio, witnesses, etc. If you were robbed or scammed, you need to go the nearest police station or officer, describe the situation, and give as much details as possible. Call 112 or 102 in case of emergency.