Want to spend some time in Mother Russia?

Want to spend some time in Mother Russia?

Straddling both the geographical and cultural divide between Europe and Asia is a country seemingly bleak in outlook and cold in climate, but Russia is so much more, including one of the greatest contributors to classical music and literature and a smorgasbord of different cultures.   Travel to Russia used to be rare and only available by special invitation, but with the fall of the Soviet Union and the growth of Democratic practices, the country has grown far more hospitable to travelers from the West.   Getting into Russia   Visiting Russia, even as a tourist on vacation, is a bit of a complex procedure. Fortunately, though, it has become easier recently. Before an agreement between the US and the Russian Federation in 2012, you had to have an invitation from a Russian citizen before your entry in the country could even be considered.   Since the agreement, you don’t need this if you are traveling as a tourist, but you still have to apply for a visa with a stated purpose for your visit. If you apply for a tourist visa, you will need to include your reservations for lodging, so it’s best to plan your trip in advance before applying for the visa.   The biggest thing to remember about traveling to Russia is that you cannot stay past the allotted time listed for your tourist visa without big problems. Even if you stay a minute past this time, you may have to stay in the country for up to twenty additional days while an exit visa is processed. Furthermore, staying in Russia with an expired visa makes it tough to find lodging.   In addition to your tourist visa, you will also need a passport that will remain valid for the duration of your entry visa. You will also need a letter of sponsorship, which you can get from the place where you will be lodging, which is another reason why planning your accommodations in advance is necessary.   Two important things to consider when reviewing your tourist visa are the Russian use of the Cyrillic alphabet and their use of the European convention of dating rather than the US convention. The Cyrillic alphabet is the alphabet of Russian and will be primarily the only text you see when you are in Russia. Since some of the letters in Cyrillic look exactly like they do in...

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