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.
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
RUSSIAN TRAVEL RESOURCES IN
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
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
concept. A related list is that of travel
resources in Russian. Everything I deem worthy
sites that are informative and
unique are accepted.
& TRAVELLER SUPPORT
See the accommodation section
of my "new" site >>
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.
Run by the same people as Basilica. Beds
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....
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
I regularly get carbon-copy descriptions
that always contain "great", "best", and
"cozy". Please don't bother sending these.
Send your stories. Anything that stands apart at the bland and
uniform Russian travel and accommodation scene is especially welcomed.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
enthusiasts please also note the Russian Cycling Club -
and the Bicycle Transportation Union
GUIDES TO MOSCOW
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
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.
- Trans-Siberian, wilderness, homestay accommodation.
where I've been taking computers for years
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"
Chernobyl zone on a motorbike. Lots of stories and photos.
Nostalgic musing on the USSR times. Inspected December 22 2011.
Last changes dated with 2010. Enjoyed "Mr. Gorbachev
Please Rebuild the Wall" song.
Stories with a slant towards "crazy Russians". A good example is
TRAVEL, RUSSIA-WIDE AND BEYOND TO FSU STATES
www.ecotravel.ru/eng/ - Wilderness tours. Nature reserve
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
Travel around Lake Baikal. A hostel in Irkutsk. Run by famous Jack
Sheremetoff, whom I know personally and recommend greatly.
Moldova. Accommodation in Chisinau. Rural travel. Budget. An
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.
An active forum for Russian bride seekers.
Travellers to Russia answer each other's questions. Mostly
Moscow. A few new posts per week.
Russian language and culture. A unique subforum on immigrating
A simple-to-use moderately active forum. Checked December 22 2011.
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.
History, notable authors, alphabet, travel phrases. Clear basic
presentation 101 style. Recommended.
Introduction to Russian. Russian lessons online.
Russian lessons. Everyday spoken style.
Russian Language Courses in the Voronezh State University.
Freshly updated and easy to understand.
Checked April 19 2011.
Russian language and communication for the corporate world.
More online Russian.
Another Russian learning site.
A big and serious Russian study site. The forum has a unique section
on **immigrating** to Russia!
A translation company that's been recommended to me by one of my
Going to Russia to teach English? Start here!
A collection of original Europe travel notes. Lots on Easter Europe
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
"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.
"Russia in Global Affairs". News and analytical articles in
English. A project by several "respectable" Russian papers.
A collection of analytical articles on Russian history and politics.
Checked January 2012. Up and active. A newspaper type site with emphasis
on travel around Russia.
http://dyingrussia.wordpress.com/ - Two brutally
realistic resources on current Russian state of affairs.
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".
The whole industry
seems to have collapsed 2-4 years ago. This is an old
list. Not checked for 2-4 years.
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
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
Another company with good reputation. Dec. 15 2011 – This one may
very well be around. Personally known to me.
A collection of articles on Russian brides, written/compiled by Elena Petrova of
A book of advice for Russian bride seekers.
Flower and gift delivery in FSU.
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
www.russian-scam.org – Russian scam, mostly “Russian brides”.
Russian women and much more, from culture and history to street art and
cooking. Yes, "cooking". There is no such thing as "Russian cuisine".
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.
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:
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
http://english.ruvr.ru/2010/08/18/16201351.html Since I seem
to have a dromomania developing I'm personally highly supportive of the
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
An old folks home in
Kolionovo, near Yegoryevsk, east of Moscow Oblast. Their site
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:
TRAVEL WITH A CAUSE
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.
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
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.
http://www.sovietcity.com/blog/ - Lots of photos