Top style tips for Russia
- Russia is fairly conservative, and if you choose to wear bright colors – particularly in the winter months – you will stand out.
- Jeans are always popular here and, teamed with lighter layers for the summer and warmer ones for the winter, will serve as a versatile base to your wardrobe.
- Add in a smarter outfit for more formal occasions, such as the ballet or opera. Whilst it's not compulsory, the locals do dress up for these events and you'll feel more comfortable if you do the same.
- The attitude towards wearing fur is very different in Russia compared to Western Europe. Fur is very common and relatively cheap, and you will see a lot of people wearing it.
- If you are looking for a highly versatile travel jacket to bring along we recommend the SCOTTeVEST range. Their range of jackets have been specifically designed with traveling in mind and include RFID security (to protect your passport information), 23 secure pockets and personal connectivity integration.
Shoes to pack for Russia
- If you're intending to see as many sites as possible during your trip (and there are a lot to see) you'll be doing a good deal of walking – so be sure to pack some comfortable walking shoes. We love Hotter shoes, for total comfort along with style.
Pack for the weather
- November, December, January, February and March are freezing so be ready to dress warmly. Our advice would be to pack warm layers.
- For extra warmth pack some long thermal underwear – you'll be grateful you did.
- light wool is a good choice to wear against your skin as it naturally helps to regulate your body temperature. It keeps you warm in the cold, wicks away moisture when it's hot, and doesn't retain odours – even after prolonged wear.
- Muscovites wear a lot of fur in the winter – for a reason. Whether your preference is for fake or the real thing, you are well advised to have a very thick warm coat, gloves and scarf. A hat and/or ear muffs are also a very good idea. A furry lining or trim will keep you even cosier.
- Wear really good boots with soft rubber soles. It's important that you get soft rubber soles because even medium soles get really hard in the freezing cold. Make sure too that they have large spaces between the tracks, or the snow will get stuck in them and make them very slippery.
- Dressing in layers will help you with the temperature changes during the day, whatever time of year you visit.
- Be sure to pack your swimwear if you want to join in the winter time ritual bathing in hot and cold pools, steam rooms and saunas.
- We love the Weather+ app – it gives an accurate 6 day forecast for day and night, which when you're planning from home is really helpful. You can keep all the places you've been to too – a nice way to remember your trip 🙂
Clothing tips for women
- Moscow and St Petersburg are very much like any other cosmopolitan city; women love to dress up and are rarely seen without make-up and high heels.
- But, with all the sightseeing to do, we suggest you save your high heels for the evenings.
- A few well chosen pieces of costume jewelry will transform any outfit.
- And a pashmina is a versatile piece too that will dress up any outfit – try it with a simple smart dress.
- If you are planning to visit an Orthodox Church be sure to cover your head with a scarf, and cover up bare arms and legs – your pashmina or wrap can come in handy for this too.
- If you are in Russia on business, pack a conservative skirt-suit with tights or stockings and smart shoes.
Clothing tips for men
- If you are in Russia on business men are expected to wear a dark, well tailored suit and tie, with smart shoes.
Regions of Russia
- No trip would be complete without sight of Moscow's palatial metro (underground) dripping with chandeliers.
- For travel on the Trans-Siberian railway you'll need to dress in layers. The train itself is very warm inside, but for the frequent half-hour stops you'll need to put on boots, warm coat, hat and gloves as it can be freezing outside. There are power outlets for charging your phone etc, but don't leave it unattended and you'll need an adaptor. Take soft drinks with you – it will be much cheaper than buying them on board, and snacks will be useful especially in the winter when there are fewer sellers on the platforms.
Other things to pack
- You'll need a visa for Russia, and arrange it well in advance to avoid paying a premium at the last minute. Remember too that you must carry your passport with you at all times.
- If you don't buy Russian Rubles before you go, take US dollars or Euros as they are far easier to change once in the country.
- To use electrical gadgets you may need a travel adapter plug, and also a step down voltage converter if your devices are not designed for Russian voltage (220V).
- A lightweight day sack or shoulder bag will come in handy to carry your sightseeing essentials.
- If you tend to buy bottled water, consider carrying a LifeStraw Filtration Water Bottle – fill up from any source and get clean, safe drinking water without wasting plastic bottles.
- Avoid paying unexpected baggage fees – use an accurate luggage scale to ensure you keep within the weight allowance. Don't forget to leave room for souvenirs on the way home! The ‘Mastryoshka‘ nesting dolls are famous of course, but look out too for amber jewelry and beautiful lacquer boxes. If you want to stock up on vodka, remember you will need to pack it in checked-in luggage unless you buy at the airport duty-free.
- And a final tip – note that it's considered bad luck to whistle indoors!