In about a year, my father, brother and myself will be traveling to Russia, and I have a few questions.
So I've done a little looking around, been briefly in contact with the website visatorussia.com
, but still have a few questions.
The first is the most important, really. What exactly are the visa issues that I should be aware of?
While we haven't really planned out the whole trip by any means, I'm pretty sure that we will be in Russia for less than a month, which falls within the limits of a tourist visa. We plan to fly into Vladivostok, take the Trans-Siberian rail to Saint Petersburg, then go out through Finland, to Stockholm, etc.
Now, we would like to make multiple stops along the way. Lake Baikal, Irkutsk, Yekaterinburg, and perhaps a few others along the way. Once we have our visa, can we just do this willy-nilly? Can we just get on and off the train at will, or do we really need to have exact dates for all of these stops determined in advance (as well as our tickets, I suppose)?
Also, the visatorussia people suggested that if we wanted to stay for longer that a business visa would be the way to do it. Are there problems with doing so, considering that we would be going to Russia as tourists?
Lastly, is it a good idea to rely on organizations such as these, or is it possible (and worthwhile) to get a visa and invitation on our own?
Ok, technical questions aside.
Where else should we look at going? Irkutsk, Yekaterinburg have been suggested to me, As well as Murmansk up in the north. What other stops along that rail route, as well as off that route are worthwhile to visit? Where have you had good times, what are some beautiful sights to see in Russia?