and time zones:
Russia is the largest state, which occupies most of
Eastern Europe and north Asia, stretching from the Baltic Sea in the west to the
Pacific Ocean in the east, and from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Black
Sea and the Caucasus in the south, neighboring 16 countries and having world's
longest land border about 60,000 km (over 37,000 miles). A quarter of world's
forests are concentrated in Russia, which is more than in any other country;
their wide tracts stretch continuously from the western borders till the Pacific
Ocean. Russia's coasts are bathed by the waters of 12 seas; the country has
dozens of thousands of rivers and about 2 million lakes, among which are the
Caspian Sea, the biggest lake in the world, and Baikal, world's deepest
From west to east, Russia stretches for about 9,000 km
(almost 6,000 miles), so that the country's territory is divided into 11 time
zones. When people get up in the Fat East, others are going to sleep in Moscow
and St Petersburg. The most western and eastern time zones in Russia are +2 and
+12 hours GMT respectively (from the city of Kaliningrad to Kamchatka and
The time in Moscow and St Petersburg is +3 hours GMT.
Daylight-saving time in the whole territory of Russia starts on the last Sunday
of March (at 2:00 AM) and ends on the last Sunday of October (at 3:00 AM).
Important phone numbers:
Fire Protection: 01
Emergency (First Aid): 03
phone code: +007
Making any international calls from Russia:
8 + 10 + country code + city (area) code + local phone
Making any intercity calls within Russia:
8 + city
(area) code + local phone number
Moscow city code: 495
Petersburg city code: 812
currency is rouble (= 100 kopecks).
Foreign currencies (mainly US
dollars and euros) can be exchanged in any banks or small exchange points on the
streets, as well as in hotels, malls, airports and railway stations.
Official exchange rates are determined by the Central Bank of Russia
every business day. Exchange points function almost in all cities, a majority of
them stay open 24 hours in Moscow and other large cities.
cards are accepted mainly in large cities and tourist centers.
Official public holidays in Russia are:
31st – January 9th - New Year and Christmas holidays
January 7th - Russian
February 23rd - Motherland Defender's Day
March 8th -
International Women's Day
May 1st - International Labor Solidarity Day
9th - Victory Day
June 12th - Independence Day
November 4th – People’s (or
National) Unity Day
If any of these days falls on Saturday or Sunday, the
closest business day is officially announced a day off.
many people celebrate both main Russian Orthodox holidays (such as Epiphany,
Easter, Holy Mother's Nativity) and some pagan holidays that Europeans preserved
until today (such as Christmas-tide, Maslenitsa, Summer Solstice Day, etc).
The most favorite holiday in Russia is New Year's Day: it combines some
features of paganism (Grandpa Frost and his granddaughter Snow Maiden, decorated
fir-trees, etc), as well as those of Russian Orthodox Christmas and of today.
The Christmas-tide is known with sauntering, clothes shifting and
fortune-telling. During the Easter, it is accustomed to exclaim "Christ is
risen!", kiss each other thrice, treat each other with Easter cakes specially
baked and blessed in church, and exchange painted eggs with each other.