#1 – Smile
In general, Russians are rather reserved. Smile is not a common sight. It is rather a sign of special attention, though in offices of international companies it is also a sign of politeness and friendly attitude.
#2 – Attitude towards others
Russians are perceived as sociable people. But when they meet strangers in the street or in an elevator, they avoid eye contact and small talk. These are the remnants of their past, when it was risky to be open and sociable.
#3 – Knowledge of English
Not many people speak foreign languages, even English. Why? One of the reasons is that few Russians travel abroad, and not many foreigners from the West come to Russia. Maybe the World Cup will change that.
#4 – Shopping and restaurants
Shops are open till 10 p.m., restaurants and pubs even until the wee hours, food delivery is available 24/7. Tourists appreciate that.
#5 – Eating out
There are 2 standard options to book a table. The first – on the restaurant’s website. The second – having Russian-speaking friends who can call the restaurant and book a table. What’s interesting, on weekends some restaurants only work on first-come-first-served basis. Tips, as a rule, are not included in the bill, but are most welcome – in the customary amount of 5-10% of the bill.
#6 – Taxi
In Russia, many people use mobile apps of taxi and passenger transportation companies. It is simply cheaper this way. There are both global and local services: Uber, Gett, Yandex, Citymobil. Drivers are happy when one rounds up, say, RUB 40 to RUB 100, but paying just what the taximeter or the app says is understandable and 100% acceptable.
#7 – Which floor?
In Russia, ground floor is called first floor (pérvyj etáž). You will not find a “G” or “0” button in the elevator.
#8 – Public transport
On the bus, tram, trolleybus or the subway it is common to see men giving their places to elderly people, children and women. Not every time and everywhere... but it is expected from them.
#9 – Ladies and Gentlemen
In Russia, men open the door for women, give them their jackets and coats and pay for their coffee – even if they are just friends. True gentlemen.
#10 – Women in Russia
Women make an effort to look attractive. They often wear high heels and beautiful and eye-catching dresses, even to work.
#11 – Fast and Furious
It feels like home. Traffic jams are common in Russian cities, and you can encounter impatient drivers breaking the law and driving too fast on nearly every intersection.
What should you know when travelling to Russia with a Citi Handlowy card?
Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov on Don, Samara, Volgograd and Yekaterinburg. Clients of Citi Handlowy can easily withdraw cash, exchange currency and quickly get help of an English speaking Citi banker at Citi branches located in as many as 7 out of 13 host cities.
You can also seek assistance via a special CitiPhone line dedicated to servicing foreign, English-speaking Citi Clients. Account managers are available 24/7 at the phone number: +7 495 589 29 20.
Another important benefit available to Citi Handlowy clients are discounts up to 30% at many restaurants and shops located in cities hosting the world’s best football players.
It is worth linking your payment card to a free FX account (EUR, USD or GBP). It only takes a second if you do it via electronic banking or the mobile app. What can you gain? Card payments and withdrawals of currencies that are free of conversion costs, as well as commission-free withdrawal of cash from all ATMs.