We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Russian visa, invitation

Level Contributor
38 posts
Save Topic
Russian visa, invitation

We planning a trip to Russia for five days over Easter 18-22 of April. I'm going to use a visa agency to do my visa for me, I want to know do I need to book any hotels or flights first or could I just wait till the visa has come back?

Will the visa company's do the letter of invitation for me?

As it's only for 5 days I won't need to registrar myself will I?

Also we plan to rent out a car and drive to st Petersburg from Moscow any info on uk driving licence driving out in russia

Moscow, Russia
Level Contributor
11,191 posts
204 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Russian visa, invitation

> do I need to book any hotels or flights first or could I just wait till the visa has come back?

If your visa agency provides your visa support you don't have to book anything in advance. On the other hand, the longer you wait, the more expensive everything becomes.

> Will the visa company's do the letter of invitation for me?

Why not ask them? Why call themselves a "visa company" if they won't?

> As it's only for 5 days I won't need to registrar myself will I?

You can't "register yourself" in any case. Your hotel will do that for you.

> we plan to rent out a car and drive to st Petersburg from Moscow

Don't do that.

Level Contributor
38 posts
Save Reply
2. Re: Russian visa, invitation

Thanks for the advice. Any reason why you wouldn't recommend driving?

Moscow, Russia
Level Contributor
11,191 posts
204 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Russian visa, invitation

It is simply not fun. 700 kilometers of not fun. Bad roads, lots of traffic, reckless and aggressive predominant driving style. It is doable, but do you really want it? I think not, unless you are a real driving addict.

I drive in Moscow every day, but the idea of driving to St.Pete has never even crossed my mind. It is nothing like driving in the UK (which I enjoy, with a notable exception of London).

Besides, five days is barely enough to only see the must-sees in any one city, let alone both. Do you really want to waste a whole day out of five driving 700 km?

new york city
Level Contributor
4 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Russian visa, invitation

You definitly need to make reservations FIRST. The hotel confirmation is needed to the visa.

NE Victoria...
Level Contributor
2,673 posts
18 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Russian visa, invitation

>>You definitly need to make reservations FIRST. The hotel confirmation is needed to the visa.<<

Only if you are obtaining your visa support documents directly from your hotel. If you're getting them as part of a "we'll organise your visa for you" deal from a third party agency, they can take care of all of this for you.

(You can also buy visa support online via an agency and don't have to make hotel reservations beforehand to do so - but obviously you will need to obtain visa support docs before applying for your visa.)

lanjderrick, the train is great - and, if you go by Sapsan, fast. :)

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g298484-c179997/Mosco…

Edited: 27 February 2014, 22:15
Moscow, Russia
Level Contributor
11,191 posts
204 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Russian visa, invitation

> You definitly need to make reservations FIRST

You definitely know better than the people who have actually travelled to Russia, don't you?

Bethesda MD
Level Contributor
1,719 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Russian visa, invitation

Well-done New York Times photoessay on driving Petersburg-Moscow: nytimes.com/newsgraphics/2013/10/13/russia/

Moscow, Russia
Level Contributor
11,191 posts
204 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Russian visa, invitation

> Well-done New York Times photoessay on driving Petersburg-Moscow

What a disgusting piece of propaganda. The author set out to dig out all the dirt he could possibly find and exceeded himself.

Bethesda MD
Level Contributor
1,719 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Russian visa, invitation

Well, I have no way of weighing its truth, so I'll take your word for it. By "well done" I meant it was engaging.

Moscow, Russia
Level Contributor
11,191 posts
204 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Russian visa, invitation

> I have no way of weighing its truth

Funnily it's all truth, but selected and presented in a very special way. Just imagine a Russain reporter travelling across the US and only reporting on:

- Detroit ruins

- a couple of semi-deserted and run-down small towns

- a reservation full of drunk Indians

- a couple of high school mass shooting sites

and spicing all this up with some rumours about the US President's private life.

Is this all true? Yes it is. Is this all specific to the US? I guess it is. Does this give a balanced view of what the US really is? You be the judge.