A Flight To Moscow

The times they are a-changin’.

This post seems to be older than 12 years—a long time on the internet. It might be outdated.

I’ve talked to the Russian Consular in Seattle, United Airlines, and a Russian man in Moscow with decent English.

I have a confirmed (but not booked) flight from Seattle to Dulles (UA916) to Moscow (UA964) leaving at 7:30am on June 2nd and arriving at 10:45am on June 3rd…15 travel hours later.

I also have the return leg booked (a la “Open Jaw” magic) from Frankfurt to Chicago (UA945) to Seattle (UA929) leaving at 8:25am August 3rd and arriving at 2:24pm August 3rd…13.5 travel hours later.

All for the low, low cost of $95.00 plus 105k airline miles 🙂

As for actually getting into Russia, the process goes something like this:

  1. Figure out dates to be in Russia
  2. Find hostel that will issue you a tourist voucher and confirmation
  3. Book hostel and acquire tourist voucher
  4. Fill out Russian Visa application form
  5. Turn in original passport, a xerox-copy of it’s vital pages, the original tourist invitation voucher, one passport size picture of applicant (that would be me), a cover letter explaining who is going, where to, when, and with what purpose
  6. Pay $131.00 for 6 day processing (cheapest)

I currently still think it’s worth it to go to Russia. But there sure are a lot of hoops to jump through. I currently have an email into the HM Hostel Moscow (US$36.05/night) in Moscow and I may end up contacting the Olimpia Hostel (US$17.35/night).


3 thoughts on “A Flight To Moscow”

  1. Visa fees are reciprocal, it used to be $100, but since US State Dept increased it to $131 in order to offset fluctuations in USD/ruble exchange rate (it was back in good ol’ “130-bucks-per-barrel-times”), Russians did the same thing.

    1. I know that it’s a reciprocal system; it’s just that when you can go to the UK, Italy, Switzerland, etc without needed to pay anything, it makes $131 look kind of expensive.

      Any suggestions on where to go while I’m in Moscow and St. Petersburg?

      1. Well, like I said, it’s all bilateral, so if Uncle Sam will ever decide to include Russia into VWP – Visa Waiver Program (I hope he won’t), you’ll surely enjoy the sights of Moscow without nasty visa fees.

        Regarding places to go in Moscow – it really depends on what you’re up to.

        If it’s museums (like you mentioned in your previous post) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Museums_in_Moscow (Diamond Fund, don’t forget the Diamond Fund!)

        If you’re inclined towards VIP class nightclubs – that would be “Ra?” (Paradise), “???????” (Solyanka), but I don’t think the fun is worth the money you spend there. Moscow is among the most expensive cities in the world after all.

        If you’d like just cruise the city, then your POIs should be Krasnaya Ploshchad’ (Red Square), Tverskaya, Vorobyovy Gory, Patriarshi Prudy, Neskuchny Sad, Manezh, Poklonnaya Gora etc.

        If you’re into theater in any way, then Bolshoy ( http://www.bolshoi.ru/en/ ).

        Technical exhibits – VVC center ( http://www.vvcentre.ru/eng/calendar/ )

        I’ve never been in St. Petersburg (fool me twice… er… shame on me!), so all I know is Tretyakovka museum, Peterhof, Kunstkamera, Dolphinarium, Divo-ostrov, moveable bridges and white nights.

        Hope that helps.

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