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Russia Travel Guide

Russia money and Banks

Russia Currency Russian money after 1992 differs from the previous series by the disappearance of the Lenin portraits. During the devaluation of 1998 the value of the money lost three zeros as a result of the stabilization of the economy and only new money is now valid.

The official currency of Russia is the Rouble, each rouble divided into one hundred kopeks: there are 1, 5, 10 and 50 kopek coins, and notes to the value of 5, 10, 50, 100 and 500 roubles.

Russia uses the Rouble for all currency transactions, all payments on the Russian territory are to be made in roubles. Prices in shops and restaurants in Moscow and St. Petersburg are often given in US dollars and Euros. Because the Rouble is not an international currency, it is better to bring Dollars or Euros into the country.

There are some exchange offices that are open around the clock. ATMs are now found in plenty, and using your credit or debit card to obtain cash from them is the safest way to get money in Russia. Visa, Mastercard and Amex are widely accepted, as are Cirrus cards. Travellers' cheques are time-consuming and expensive to use. Major credit cards are also often accepted as a paying method, but predominantly in the largest Russian cities.

Banks in Russia

Bank of Russia, AMI Bank, Baltica Bank, Bank of Business Assistance, Bank of Moscow, Credit-Moscow Bank, East European Investment Bank, Investment Trade Bank, Kremlin Bank, Lubyanka Commercial Bank, Russian Project Finance Bank, Technobank, Trado-Bank, United Export-Import Bank, Vnyeshtorgbank (Bank of International Trade).

There are many currency exchange offices in the big cities (Moscow, St. Petersburg) working until late night and sometimes 24 hours a day or alternatively at every Hotel. It is also worth mentioning that Travellers Cheques usually carry a 3% commission when they are exchanged. ATM (Cash Points) abounds in every city. Cash withdrawals may be expensive, check the price with your own bank before you arrive in Russia. Do not change money with anyone who offers on the street. Credit cards are accepted in most shops: Amex, Visa, MasterCard, Diners', JCB cards.

  • If you're really provident, avoiding plane trips, taxis, phone calls and decent restaurants, as well as always looking for the very cheapest place to stay, you should be able to get by on $40.00 a day.
  • If you like to stay in comfortable hotels and eat in restaurants two or three times a day, you're looking at more like $100.00 a day.
  • If you want to find a job in Russia, banks are a good option. You must have a high degree in economics, and also previous experience. Write a professional resume and a banking cover letter can improve you opportunities to get the job.
  • If you prefer to spend your day eating in Moscow's finest restaurants and sleeping between their crispest sheets, plan on around US$500.00 a day.

Very few places in Russia expect you to tip. Top-end hotels and restaurants add 5% to 15% to your bill, while porters expect around $1 a bag. Shops have fixed prices, but in markets you'll be expected to agree. For example:

Low Low High Deluxe
$10-45 $45-80 $80-100 $100+
Low Low High Deluxe
110-200 roubles 200-280 roubles 200-280 roubles 600+ roubles
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