January 26 2012

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Accommodation

Transportation

Guides to Moscow

Unusual tours

Computers

"Crazy Russians"

Travel throughout Russia

Active Russian forums

Language & culture

History and politics

Russian brides

Horses

Charity

Accommodation exchange

Travel with a cause

Minorities

Private blogs

A similar list of resources in Russian. Selected because I found them outstanding, highly practical, or just fun >>

 

Request to add links to ORIGINAL and RELEVANT page/site are welcomed.  Note that descriptions that consist of vague general phrasing like "we offer accommodation for any budget" or linguistic atrocities such as "interesting attractions" (the author of one the recent requests hit me with this one) will be rejected. If I feel your site is getting stale I'll remove the link but by all means re-submit it after you do an update.. e-mail paul_voytinsky@yahoo.com

 

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MAIN INDEX
 www.cheap-moscow.com
 www.russian-horse-rides.com
www.moscowdrivers.net
www.staritsa.info
www.oldmanfriday.com

The new site that includes all off the above but readable and clutter-free >>

 

New for possibly adding here:

http://the-big-onion.com/ - Moscow restaurants. A private blog. Also run by the same author is http://russiawines.com/ - Russian wines.  http://www.englishdadinmoscow.com/ - A private blog by a British expat living in Moscow. Conveys a sense what it is like to be here NOT as a tourist. http://wandaandterry.blogspot.com/2010/11/moscow-curry-club.html - Moscow Curry Club. A blog of a member of an oil executives group. Moscow living from a big shot's point of view. A private blog.

 

Uncle Pasha's hand-picked and regularly updated collection of
RUSSIAN TRAVEL RESOURCES IN ENGLISH

I use these myself for both information and services. My aim is to identify worthwhile resrouces among a flood of nearly identical hotel databases. Ironically, the current upgrade of this list (January 2012) is being supported by one of these hotel databases, Moscow Hotels, thanks to which I'm pulling through the season of no travellers, no sunlights, and slush-covered sidewalks at -20C (-4F). Time to re-activate my Russian Misery Travel® concept. A related list is that of travel resources in Russian. Everything I deem worthy goes there >>

Recommendations of sites that are informative and unique are accepted.

ACCOMMODATION & TRAVELLER SUPPORT

See the accommodation section of my "new" site >>

www.sweetmoscow.com 
Basilica Hostel and Hotel. Quiet. Located on church property and was originally setup to accommodate western pilgrims. About 6-8 min. walk from Metro Kitay-Gorod. I'd probably stay there myself if I had to. And could by-pass dealing with Russian front-desk staff. Ask about their free-standing little house and, if available and budget permitting, grab it! Beds $20-25, separate rooms $80-150.

www.suharevkahotel.ru
Run by the same people as Basilica. Beds $15-25, tiny separate one-person rooms no more than $70 last time I checked. The location is on the north part of the Garden Ring, where old Moscow turns into a Stalin-era city.  No charm the way you'd find in the Basilica but a very practical place to stay right by Metro Sukharevskaya. Walking distance the Three Stations Square. Attractions nearby the popped up in my head, in no particular order: Hospital of Emergency Medicine, the Old Circus, Moscow Fat Club, the Bulgakov Museum, the Book Fair, the Sakharov Museum....

www.napoleonhostel.com
One of the very few "recommended" hostels. Maroseyka area, right by Dmitry Sharvin, very close to Basilica. Excellent reputation. The Napoleon was praised, among other things, for its easy accommodating attitude. In particular, they do quick and inexpensive registration even to travellers who are not staying there was never a problem. What's nearby: KGB, Narcotics Committee, and Communist Party headquarters, the Polytechnic Museum, and the gay hangout at the top of the park the name of which escapes me at the moment.

 

Hostel Owners!
I regularly get carbon-copy descriptions that always contain "great", "best", and "cozy". Please don't bother sending these.

Travellers!
Send your stories. Anything that stands apart at the bland and uniform Russian travel and accommodation scene is especially welcomed.

 

www.waytorussia.net
No response to several of my enquiries sent over the course of the last five years or so. But given WaytoRussia's past prominence I'm keeping the link in hope they'll one day come back to life. The site is up (Dec. 2011). 

www.gotorussia.net
Located in Atlanta. Visa support and accommodation. No e-mail to contact. Years ago I had clients who got their Russian visas through gotorussia.net and praised them.

www.CapitalTourist.Com  
Comprehensive traveller support, including babying first-time travellers. Services presented in a clear no-frills manner. Based in Moscow. Respond fast. Of all the vendors of all-around travellers support services in Moscow I'd probably contact them first. If of course I wasn't myself in this silly business. Their site is one of the very few that easily opens even with slow mobile internet. 
 

en.cto-group.ru/ or write to Nikolay Polyushkin
Hotels in Moscow, Saint Petersburg, and Golden Ring cities. Hotels offered by the CTO Group seem to be cheaper than those from many other hotel databases. You will not find anything "different" through them but you can count on the standard set of traveller support services at reasonable rates. Especially recommended for accessing two cheap practical "last chance" type hotels. One is Kosmos (Metro VDNKh, across from the National Exhibition grounds, not far from Alexandra's apartment). The other one is Izmaylovo, right by the Vernissage market.

TRANSPORTATION IN MOSCOW

Offers of taxis and car rental agencies got too be just too numerous and nearly identical so I've deleted all of them. Tell me if you know of anything real special.

www.bikerentalmoscow.com/en.html
Bike rental. Bike tours of Moscow. Inexpensive, no hassle, fluent English. Two locations: Dorogomilovskaya (Metro Kievskaya) and Pyatnitskaya (Metro Novokuznetskaya, right in the center, a few steps from my apartment for rent).

Cycling enthusiasts please also note the Russian Cycling Club - www.rctc.ru/index.html and the Bicycle Transportation Union - http://velotransunion.ru/english

GUIDES TO MOSCOW

www.passportmagazine.ru 
A  compilation of practical resources of use for an English-speaking traveller. Embassies, airports, wi-fi spots, events, metro map etc. etc.
Last inspected January 2012 and found to be even better than before. Opened fast, easy navigation, fresh texts. Was pleased to see an article on Zamoskvorechye where I have my apartment for rent.

UNUSUAL TOURS

http://r-u-t.com/  Stumbled into it Jan. 28 2012. Sounds interesting but customer reviews feel made up and, on second review, the site appeared kind of stale.

http://www.rusrailtravel.com/ - Trans-Siberian, wilderness, homestay accommodation.

COMPUTERS

The outfit where I've been taking computers for years (www.ruki-iz-plech.ru/) and which, to my regret, I've recommended to quite a number of others lowered its standards beyond imaginable. Recommendations of good repair shops or privately working technicians are welcomed.

PS. December 2011 - Good experience with NoteUp, the Savelovsky Market location (Metro Savelovskaya).

"ONLY IN RUSSIA"

www.elenafilatova.com
Chernobyl zone on a motorbike. Lots of stories and photos.

www.sovokoftheweek.com
Nostalgic musing on the USSR times.  Inspected December 22 2011. Last changes dated with 2010. Enjoyed "Mr. Gorbachev Please Rebuild the Wall" song.

www.englishrussia.com/
Stories with a slant towards "crazy Russians". A good example is "Russian Yoga"

TRAVEL, RUSSIA-WIDE AND BEYOND TO FSU STATES

www.ecotravel.ru/eng/  - Wilderness tours. Nature reserve trips.  

www.rctc.ru/index.html 
Russian Cycling Club. Small and struggling but it’s been around since 1990s. Used to answer enquiries and welcome ideas. Recommended.

See more bicycle stuff under Transportation above.

www.geographicbureau.com – Biking, mountain climbing, "cultural tourism", eco-travel etc. in exotic locations of the former Soviet Union

www.baikaler.com/
Travel around Lake Baikal. A hostel in Irkutsk. Run by famous Jack Sheremetoff, whom I know personally and recommend greatly.

www.marisha.net
Moldova. Accommodation in Chisinau. Rural travel. Budget. An ultra-responsible owner.

ACTIVE FORUMS

www.expat.ru 
The most active Moscow forum. A good place to look for information, advice, job, accommodation or anything else a traveller or an exile is likely to need. Focused almost exclusively on Moscow.

www.ruadventures.com/forum/
An active forum for Russian bride seekers.
 

www.virtualtourist.com/f/90a60/ 
Travellers to Russia answer each other's questions.  Mostly Moscow. A few new posts per week. 

www.masterrussian.net/mforum/ 
Russian language and culture. A unique subforum on immigrating to Russia!

http://www.englishrussia.com/forum/ 
A simple-to-use moderately active forum. Checked December 22 2011.

http://russianwomenshome.com/simplemachinesforum/index.php
This forum is focused on Russian women (Russian brides). Low activity when it was checked in January 2012.

LANGUAGE AND CULTURE
These haven’t been verified for years, which means that, if up, they are real old. None are very active. Most will be run by enthusiast.

www.qualityansweringservice.com/helpful-guide-russian-language
History, notable authors, alphabet, travel phrases. Clear basic presentation 101 style. Recommended.
 

www.russian-plus.com
Introduction to Russian. Russian lessons online.
 

http://www.tasteofrussian.com/
Russian lessons. Everyday spoken style.

www.edurussian.com
Russian Language Courses in the Voronezh State University.

www.learningrussian.net
Freshly updated and easy to understand. Checked April 19 2011.

www.communicaid.com/language-courses/russian/index.php
Russian language and communication for the corporate world.

www.russianlessons.net 
More online Russian.

www.langintro.com/rintro/first.htm
Another Russian learning site.

www.masterrussian.com
A big and serious Russian study site. The forum has a unique section on **immigrating** to Russia!

www.language-usa.com
A translation company that's been recommended to me by one of my clients.

www.eslcafe.com
Going to Russia to teach English? Start here!

www.euromost.info
A collection of original Europe travel notes. Lots on Easter Europe including Russia. 

www.kommunalka.colgate.edu
An explication of the "communal apartment" concept. Lots of photos. Seekers of cheap accommodation, especially in towns other than Moscow, may want to explore this site.

HISTORY & POLITICS

http://rbth.ru/ 
"Russia Beyond Headlines". Hot new. Opinion exchange. In my view the site reflects better than many other resources what's actually happening. A slight Russophobic slant is entirely excusable given that the country is basically heading to hell.

http://eng.globalaffairs.ru/
"Russia in Global Affairs". News and analytical articles in English. A project by several "respectable" Russian papers.

www.raga.org/reading.html 
A collection of analytical articles on Russian history and politics.

http://englishrussia.com/
Checked January 2012. Up and active. A newspaper type site with emphasis on travel around Russia.

http://larussophobe.wordpress.com/ & http://dyingrussia.wordpress.com/ - Two brutally realistic resources on current Russian state of affairs.

Added September 13 2012  http://www.comtourist.com/ - Also on the Russophobic side. The line that moved me to pick out this resource went something like "We need to thanks Russia for providing our viewers with a true full-scale dictator in a world that's running out of this commodity".

RUSSIAN BRIDES
The whole industry seems to have collapsed 2-4 years ago.  This is an old list.  Not checked for 2-4 years.

http://happierabroad.com/ 
Famous Winston Wu's guide to international dating, with a lot about Russia and Russian women.  Dec. 15 2011 – An real old and famous project. The owner is an overactive and slightly crazy Chinese American. Dealt with him about 10 years ago and then saw him flash in the news occasionally.

www.tverangels.com
Good reputation, personally known to me. Located in Tver, away from Moscow's rush and greed, yet easy to access.  Dec. 15 2011 – May have gone down. Was very active 7-9 years ago. The owner used to respond fast.

www.elenasmodels.com
Another company with good reputation.  Dec. 15 2011 – This one may very well be around. Personally known to me.

http://womenrussia.com/  
A collection of articles on Russian brides, written/compiled by Elena Petrova of
www.elenasmodels.com  

www.russianwomenbook.com -
A book of advice for Russian bride seekers. 

www.ladagirl.com 

http://www.asap.ru
Flower and gift delivery in FSU.

www.anti-scam.org
A database of scammers.  Checked December 2011.

http://www.russianmeetingplace.com –  An old non-commercial site about Russian brides. Checked Dec. 15 2011.

www.leavingkatya.com  - A book by a guest of mine, 6-7 years ago.

www.russian-scam.org – Russian scam, mostly “Russian brides”. 

www.ruadventures.com

http://russianwomenshome.com/
Russian women and much more, from culture and history to street art and cooking. Yes, "cooking". There is no such thing as "Russian cuisine".

HORSES

I wasted years trying to become a gentleman farmer in Russia. The project quickly degenerated into a simple horse riding operation. A couple of years I've retired from active participation in this village idiocy but the project is still alive. The English version is www.russian-horse-rides.com. There you will find a page with links to resources in English related to horses in Russia.

CHARITY
Listed below are projects/organizations with which I am personally familiar, which I respect and support, and in whose projects I occasionally participate.  If you feel like making a contribution you can do that directly or through me. Those looking for ways to integrate themselves into proper circles of the Russian society can do that by offering their talents to projects like those below. Speaking of charity, do-gooders coming to Russia can count on my support, usually "at cost" but possibly for free, depending on the extend to which I approve what you do and just how crappy my cash-flow situation happens to be at the moment.

Doctor Liza. Moscow homeless is her main focus. Russian sites: doctorliza.ru / doctor-liza.livejournal.com/  Works off a basement near Metro Novokuznetskaya. Donations of clothes welcomed. If needed I am available to deliver. No English translation of her site but you can read about her at http://video.kylekeeton.com/2009/10/russian-video-doctor-liza.html or http://english.ruvr.ru/2010/08/18/16201351.html  Since I seem to have a dromomania developing I'm personally highly supportive of the cause.

www.hospicefund.ru/?/nid=16
A hospice for terminally ill cancer patients. The city of Moscow covers the basics on the level considered appropriate for a non-privileged Russian hospital. The gap between survival on the one hand and comfort and dignity on the other is covered by the Vera Fund located on the hospice premises. Alexandra (see Kandalaksha Nature Reserve) has some joint writing projects with them. My role is much humbler and, in line with rapidly progressing dromomania, is to deliver stuff. I'm particularly popular in this role after I found myself in the possession of a total of 8m3 (over 80ft3) of cargo space.

An old folks home in Kolionovo, near Yegoryevsk, east of Moscow Oblast. Their site  www.kolionovo.parykino.ru/ is Russian only but here are a few stories in English: Talk to me if you are interested in this cause.

Children, orphans, orphanages, not verified:

http://www.murzik.ru/english/index.php?langs=2&secti=!,0%60%60%60&aid=0&PHPSESSID=28b6acfabb0c78b8a0fc07430a5b0953

http://givelifenow.co.uk/

www.russiatravel.org

www.littlemiracles.org

http://www.russianadoption.org/

http://www.orphanadvoc.org/ 

ACCOMMODATION EXCHANGE

......soon

TRAVEL WITH A CAUSE

www.goodwillglobetrotting.org  / www.facebook.com/gwglobetrotting
Goodwill Globetrotting. Participate in worthy projects! Free accommodation and a chance break out of the touristy cage. The database has no more than a couple of offers in Russia but I'm listing Goodwill Globetrotting here in hope that there will be more offers soon. Although as a whole the Russian society is going to hell, one positive counter-current is the fashion for participation and charity.

MINORITIES/SPECIAL INTEREST

www.happycow.net – Any search for vegetarian restaurants in Moscow will take one to happycow.net. Consider advertising on their Russian page.  They may not go for it though. If they don’t  I can promote “vegetarian B&B” though them. Then this page goes up (tried in the past, confirmed) and can use as a platform.

http://www.veganforum.com  -  The travel forum has an occasional message related to Russian travel.

http://home.comset.net/voi/english/indexen.htm - Travel for the disabled.

http://www.moscowanimals.org/advice/moving.html - Travel with pets.

www.gay.ru – Leading or the only Russian gay site. Has a page in English. Every gay traveler will at some point visit this site.

PRIVATE BLOGS

http://www.sovietcity.com/blog/ - Lots of photos