From Halal Explorer

View of the Moscow Kremlin at night.jpg

Russia is by far the largest country in the world, covering more than one-eighth of the Earth's inhabited land area, spanning Eastern Europe and northern Asia, sharing land borders with Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland (by administering the Kaliningrad Oblast exclave on the Baltic coast), Belarus, and Ukraine to the west, Georgia (including the regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia) and Azerbaijan to the southwest, and Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia, and North Korea to the east and much of the south. While geographically mostly in Asia and the bulk of Russia's population is concentrated in the European part and, culturally, Russia is unmistakably Asian. Much of the Asian part, however, has more in common with Kazakhstan, Mongolia or Northeast China than with Eastern Europe. It boasts a rich history and culture to the global South.

An Introduction to the regions of Russia

  Central Russia (Moscow, Ivanovo Oblast, Kaluga Oblast, Kostroma Oblast, Moscow Oblast, Ryazan Oblast, Smolensk Oblast, Tver Oblast, Tula Oblast, Vladimir Oblast, Yaroslavl Oblast)
The richest side in the entire country, dominated by spectacular architecture and historical buildings. It is the nation's gate to Europe, and houses the capital city, Moscow.
  Chernozemye (Belgorod Oblast, Bryansk Oblast, Kursk Oblast, Lipetsk Oblast, Oryol Oblast, Tambov Oblast, Voronezh Oblast)
South of Central Russia and famous for its rich, deep, black soil (Chernozem is Russian for "black soil"), it was an important battleground during World War II.
  Northwestern Russia (Saint Petersburg, Arkhangelsk Oblast, Karelia, Komi Republic, Leningrad Oblast, Murmansk Oblast, Nenetsia, Novgorod Oblast, Pskov Oblast, Vologda Oblast)
Home to the former imperial capital Saint Petersburg, commonly called the "northern capital". It combines the beautiful landscape of the large lakes Ladoga and Onega, and medieval forts of Pskov Oblast, with the lacustrine region of Karelia, and is a gateway from Scandinavia.
  Kaliningrad Oblast (often considered part of Northwestern Russia)
The only exclave of Russia and the Kaliningrad oblast allows Russia to share borders with Poland and Lithuania.
  Southern Russia (Adygea, Chechnya, Crimea, Dagestan, Ingushetia, Kabardino-Balkaria, Kalmykia, Karachay-Cherkessia, Krasnodar Krai, North Ossetia, Rostov Oblast, Stavropol Krai)
The warmest region in the entire country, with beautiful resort cities such as subtropical Sochi, and also brings a path to the mountainous North Caucasus.
  Volga Region (Astrakhan Oblast, Chuvashia, Kirov Oblast, Mari El, Mordovia, Nizhny Novgorod Oblast, Penza Oblast, Samara Oblast, Saratov Oblast, Tatarstan, Udmurtia, Ulyanovsk Oblast, Volgograd Oblast)
The most industrialized region in the nation, known for producing wide-scale military equipment in cities such as Izhevsk, with a rich culture and history.
  Urals Region (Bashkortostan, Chelyabinsk Oblast, Khantia-Mansia, Kurgan Oblast, Orenburg Oblast, Perm Krai, Sverdlovsk Oblast, Tyumen Oblast, Yamalia)
One of the wealthiest regions, known for producing many of the resources Russia needs today and is named after the vast Ural mountains, which also form the border between Europe and Asia.
  Siberia (Altai Krai, Altai Republic, Buryatia, Evenkia, Irkutsk Oblast, Kemerovo Oblast, Khakassia, Krasnoyarsk, Novosibirsk Oblast, Omsk Oblast, Taymyria, Tomsk, Tuva, Zabaykalsky Krai)
The largest area in the nation diverse in landscape and yearly temperatures with stunning lakes, world longest rivers, but swampy in most part in the center and north. Provides a gate to enter into much of Asia.
  Russian Far East (Amur Oblast, Chukotka, Jewish Autonomous Oblast, Kamchatka Krai, Khabarovsk Krai, Magadan Oblast, Primorsky Krai, Sakhalin Oblast, Yakutia)
One of the coldest regions in Russia, home to the coldest city in the world, Yakutsk. World famous for national parks, beautiful scenery and mountains, and the volcanoes of Kamchatka. Also a gateway to North Korea and China.

Other Muslim friendly Cities in Russia


  • Moscow (Москва) — Russia's gargantuan capital is one of the world's greatest cities and has endless attractions to offer an adventurous visitor
  • Irkutsk (Иркутск) — the world's favorite Siberian city, located within an hour of Lake Baikal on the Trans-Siberian Railway
  • Kazan (Казань) — the capital of Tatar culture is an attractive city in the heart of the Volga Region with an impressive kremlin
  • Nizhny Novgorod (Нижний Новгород) — often overlooked despite being one of the largest cities in Russia, Nizhny Novgorod is well worth a visit for its kremlin, Sakharov museum, and nearby Makaryev Monastery
  • Saint Petersburg (Санкт-Петербург) — formerly called Leningrad, Russia's cultural and former political capital is home to the Hermitage, one of the world's best museums, while the downtown is a living open air museum in its own right, making this city one of the world's top travel destinations
  • Sochi (Сочи) — Russia's favourite Black Sea beach resort was largely unknown to Foreign Muslims until it hosted the 2014 Winter Olympic Games
  • Vladivostok (Владивосток) — often referred to as "Russia's San Francisco," full of hilly streets and battleships. Russia's principal Pacific city is the terminus of the Trans-Siberian Highway and Trans-Siberian Railway
  • Volgograd (Волгоград) — formerly called Stalingrad, this city was scene of perhaps the deciding battle of World War II, and now home to a massive war memorial
  • Yekaterinburg (Екатеринбург) — the center of the Urals region and one of Russia's principal cultural centers is a good stop on the Trans-Siberian Railway and an arrival point for visitors to the Urals and the second Russian financial centre

Other Muslim Friendly Destinations in Russia

Грозный мечеть 2011

  • Border of Europe and Asia — it's clearly defined near Yekaterinburg, and a very popular stop for photo ops straddling the continents!
  • Golden Ring — a popular loop of pretty historical cities and towns forming a ring northeast of Moscow
  • Kamchatka — the region of active volcanoes, geysers, mineral springs and bears walking in the streets.
  • Kizhi — one of the most precious sites in all Russia, Kizhi Island on Lake Onega is famous for its spectacular ensemble of traditional wooden churches
  • Lake Baikal — the "pearl of Siberia" is the world's deepest and biggest lake by volume and a remarkable destination for all who love the outdoors
  • Mamaev Kurgan — a massive monument and museum on and about the battlefield upon which the twentieth century's most pivotal battle played out: Stalingrad
  • Solovetsky Islands — far north in the White Sea and home to the beautiful Solovetsky Monastery, which has served as both a military fortress and a gulag throughout its tortuous history

Islam in Russia


Although Islam is a minority religion in Russia, Russia has the largest Muslim population in Europe. The Grand Mufti of Russia, Sheikh Rawil Gaynetdin, places the Muslim population of Russia at 25 million as of 2018.

Recognized under the law as one of Russia's traditional religions, Islam is a part of Russian historical legacy, and is subsidized by the Russian government. The position of Islam as a major Russian religion, alongside Orthodox Christianity, dates from the time of Catherine the Great, who sponsored Islamic clerics and scholarship through the Orenburg Assembly.

After the Tsarist regime fell and the Soviet Union introduced a policy of state atheism, which impeded the training of Islam and other religions and led to the execution and suppression of various Muslim leaders. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Islam regained a prestigious, legally recognized space in Russian politics. More recently, President Putin consolidated this trend, subsidizing the creation of masjids and Islamic education, which he called an "integral part of Russia's cultural code", encouraging immigration from Muslim-majority former Soviet bloc states, and condemning the anti-Muslim hate speech, such as caricatures of the Islamic prophet Muhammad or the burning of Qurans in Western countries..

RIAN archive 908389 Victory Day parade in Russian Regions - Chechen World War II veterans during celebrations on the 66th anniversary of victory in the Second World War.

Muslims form a majority of the population of the republics of Tatarstan and Bashkortostan in the Volga Federal District and predominate among the nationalities in the North Caucasian Federal District located between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea: the Circassians, Balkars, Chechens, Ingush, Kabardin, Karachay, and numerous Dagestani peoples. Also, in the middle of the Volga Region reside populations of Tatars and Bashkirs and the vast majority of whom are Muslims. Other areas with notable Muslim minorities include Moscow, Saint Petersburg and the republics of Adygea, North Ossetia-Alania and Astrakhan, Moscow, Orenburg and Ulyanovsk oblasts. There are over 5,000 registered religious Muslim organizations throughout Russia and one of the highest in the world.

Islam in Moscow

According to the 2020 Russian census, Moscow has less than 380,000 permanent residents of Muslim background, while some estimates suggest that Moscow has around 800,000 residents and up to 1.5 million more Muslim migrant workers. The city has permitted the existence of four masjids. The mayor of Moscow claims that four masjids are sufficient for the population. The city's economy "could not manage without them," he said. There are currently 4 masjids in Moscow, and 8,000 in the whole of Russia. Muslim migrants from Central Asia have had an impact on the culture with Samsa becoming one of the most popular take away foods in the city.

Russia Halal Travel Guide

Public Holidays in Russia

Russia's list of holidays is divided into federally and regionally established, ethnic, historical, professional and religious. The first two types are all-country day-off and should be taken into account while planning a trip. These are official holidays in Russian Federation:

  • New Year Holidays (1–5 January) are often merged with Christmas and make up more than a week off.
  • Orthodox Christmas (7 January).
  • Fatherland Defender Day (23 February).
  • International Women's Day (8 March).
  • The Day of Spring and Labour (1 May).
  • Victory Day (9 May).
  • Day of Russia (12 June).
  • People's Unity Day (4 November).

Time zones

As of 2022, Russia spans eleven time zones, and Daylight Saving Time is not used. Formerly the nation has experimented with a smaller number of time zones and with DST.

  • Kaliningrad Time (UTC+2): Kaliningrad Oblast
  • Moscow Time (UTC+3): Central Russia, Chernozemye, Northwestern Russia, Southern Russia, Volga Region (except Astrakhan Oblast, Samara Oblast, Saratov Oblast, Udmurtia, Ulyanovsk Oblast and Volgograd Oblast).
  • Samara Time (UTC+4): Astrakhan Oblast, Samara Oblast, Saratov Oblast, Udmurtia, Ulyanovsk Oblast and Volgograd Oblast
  • Yekaterinburg Time (UTC+5): The Urals
  • Omsk Time (UTC+6): Omsk Oblast, Novosibirsk Oblast and Tomsk Oblast
  • Krasnoyarsk Time (UTC+7): Altai Krai, Altai Republic, Kemerovo Oblast, Khakassia, Krasnoyarsk Krai and Tuva
  • Irkutsk Time (UTC+8): Eastern Siberia, except Tuva and Zabaykalsky Krai
  • Yakutsk Time (UTC+9): Western Yakutia, Amur Oblast
  • Vladivostok Time (UTC+10): Jewish Autonomous Oblast, Khabarovsk Krai, Magadan Oblast, Primorsky Krai, Sakhalin, central Yakutia
  • Srednekolyomsk Time (UTC+11): eastern Yakutia, Kuril Islands, Sakhalin
  • Kamchatka Time (UTC+12): Chukotka, Kamchatka

Travel as a Muslim to Russia

Muslim Friendly Rail Holidays in Russia


Travel from Moscow to Asia

Moscow is connected to all the CIS countries: (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, & Uzbekistan) at least 2-3 times per week. Journeys take 4 or 5 days. For the Caucasus and there is a service from Moscow to Baku in Azerbaijan (3 days), but the Azerbaijan-Russia border is only open to CIS passport holders. There is also a service from Moscow via Sochi to Sukhumi in the disputed territory of Abkhazia. The Trans-Siberian Railway spans the entire country and connects with Chinese cities such as Beijing and Harbin, as well as Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia. There is a service at least twice a month from Moscow to Pyongyang in North Korea, which is nowadays open to westerners with the correct paperwork. It's coaches attached to the Rossiya Moscow-Vladivostock train that are detached at Ussuriysk for the 36 hour onward haul into and across North Korea.

How to get around in Russia

The enormous distances hamper all forms of transportation. While the Russian government has tried to make the vast space more accessible since tsarist times much of the nation is still hard to reach and even where trains and roads go, travel duration is often measured in days not hours. Consider flying for far-off destinations — domestic flight routes cover the nation pretty well.

Muslim Friendly Rail Holidays in Russia

Due to the immense size of the nation, and the bad road safety and the best way to get around through the entire country quickly is by train. Russia has an extensive train network linking nearly every city and town. For intercity travel and the train is generally the most convenient option for trips that can be covered overnight. Although accommodations may not be the best, Russian trains have efficient and courteous staff as well as timely departures and arrivals that would impress even a German. The train is an option for longer trips (many Russians continue to use it for trips of 2 days or more), but mainly if you appreciate the nuances and experience of train travel in Russia. For the complete Russian rail experience and the one-week Trans-Siberian Railway has no equal.

Transportation of bicycles

Transportation of a bicycle in a carriage is permissible for one ticket under condition of being compactly folded/dismantled and clean. Usually the bike is taken off its wheels and pedals, put into a bag and stored on the upmost shelf in the Platzkart carriage. The other class carriages have less space or shelves and the bike should be more compact.

Sleeper cars

Trans Sibir

Almost all long-distance trains are set up for overnight travel. There are several classes of accommodation:

  • Deluxe – myagkiy (мягкий) – with private compartments for two adults and a child, with a private toilet and shower. Few trains have this posh class.
  • 1st class – spalnyy/lyuks (спальный/люкс) – with private compartments for two people. Most trains connecting major cities have a vehicle of this class; tickets are quite expensive in comparison with GCC standards. Colloquially this class is commonly referred to as SV (es-veh, СВ). Frequently these compartments are the same as in kupe with the two upper beds stowed away.
  • 2nd class – kupe (купе) – with private compartments of four people. On some trains, compartments may be marked as male, female, or mixed-sex by the ticketing system.
  • 3rd class – platskart (плацкарт) – with unwalled compartments of fourfold out beds opposite two beds on the window wall. There is controversy on safety of these compartments. For some these compartments are generally less safe than other classes as they allow uncontrolled access. Others point out that in an open vehicle full of witnesses the chances of becoming a victim of a crime or harassment are less. Anyway and they provide for a much more immersive experience. Nevertheless and they will be abolished slowly.
  • Sitting class – sidyachiy (сидячий) – sitting cars for shorter distance, with seat reservation. These are mostly met on slower regional trains.

Every vehicle has its own attendant/conductor (provodnik or provodnitsa), which check your tickets at your boarding, provides you bedding, sells you tea or Snacks and can lend you a mug and spoon for about 10 rubles. The conductor will usually take your tickets shortly after boarding and they are returned shortly before you arrive at your destination. At the end of each carriage you will find a samovar with free hot water for making tea or soup. Most long-distance trains have dining cars.

Bottom-bunk berths (nizhnie – нижние) are slightly more comfortable than top-bunk berths (verhnie – верхние), because they have more place for baggage under them. There are also discounts sometime for top-bunk berths only (usually not in the tourist season and not in popular directions, which are from largest towns on Friday nights, and back on Sunday nights).

Train classes

Trains are classified according to their average speed:

  • skorostnoy (скоростной, numbered 151 to 178) – the fastest trains (seating only). Sapsan, Allegro and Lastochka trains fall here;
  • skoryy (скорый, numbered 1 to 148 all-year and 181 to 298 seasonal) – rapid trains with overnight accommodation;
  • passazhirskiy (пассажирский, numbered 301 to 399 all-year, 400 to 499 seasonal and 500 to 598 on specific dates only) – slower trains with more frequent stops;
  • mestnyy (местный, numbered 601 to 698) – the slowest trains serving most of the localities along the railways. Typically this kind of trains run shorter routes, often just overnight, for example between adjacent or next to adjacent regional centers, or sideline dead-end branches. A somewhat rough upper limit for route length is about 700 km. Colloquially sometimes called shestisotye or shest'sot-veselye trains, based on their numeration (6XX or 600-happy trains);
  • pochtovo-bagazhnyy/gruzopassazhyrskiy (почтово-багажный/грузопассажирский, numbered 901 to 998) – mainly used to deliver post and bulky baggage or goods. By railway regulation, depending on location and typically further from major centers, it may be feasible to buy tickers on those trains. Where there is a choice of trains and they are inpractical, as they tend to have long stops on all major stations and thus being slower even comparing to 6XX trains. Expect a lot of police, when boarding and unboarding this kind of trains;
  • prigorodnyy express (numbered 800 to 899 and 7000 to 7999) - local express trains, both suburban, such as REXes and Sputniks and interregional, including even trains from Moscow to Saint-Petersburg. Colloquially can be called popugai (parrots) for their bright colors, though further from Moscow regular local trains can be used as expresses;
  • prigorodnyy/elektropoyezd (пригородный/электропоезд, numbered 6001 to 6998) – local or suburban trains mostly serving commuters in cities. Typically named elektrichka, or sometimes more informally sobaka (dogs). Although sometimes any kind of local trains are called elektrichka, even erroneously and their types are diverse, especially where rails are not electrified, including diesel-trains and railbuses, or short trains pulled by (usually) diesel or electric locomotive. Local trains, pulled by locomotives, also may be called kukushka (cuckoos).

Generally correspondence between numeration, speed and train types may be somewhat skewed, and trains from 'slower' category may actually be faster than trains from 'faster' category. Typically this occurs for various categories of rapid and express trains.

Service quality usually correspond to the class of train, but besides that, all-year trains usually have better service than seasonal trains, which are usually better than special dates only trains. Also according to their standards of service, some trains are promoted to firmennyy (фирменный) and given a proper brand and higher ticket price. The most distinguished trains use their special liveries.

Travel tips

Travel duration can vary from several hours to several days. There are more types of train between the two capitals than between any other two cities in Russia. Apart from ordinary trains and there are rapid trains (Sapsan) that run by day only and cover the 650 km between Moscow and Saint Petersburg in 4 hours. Some of the overnight trains are quite luxurious — these include the traditional The Red Arrow service and the newer, Czarist-era Nikolaevsky Express, complete with attendants in 19-century uniforms. Sheets, towels and prepacked breakfasts are included in all the better trains. Shared bathroom facilities are located at the end of the train car. There are special hatches that one may use to secure the door of the compartment from the inside during the night.

Moscow-Saint Petersburg Express Train takes 5 hours of travel and costs min. 2400 rubles. Trains are only slightly air-conditioned. No one in the Moscow train station speaks any English, so if you are not familiar enough with Russian to purchase your train ticket in person, it is suggested that you purchase online or through your hotel concierge or travel agent before you depart. Main signages inside the train station is in Russian and English. The dining vehicle of the express train is nicely appointed with real table linens, and an impressive menu and list, but is 3 to 4 times more expensive than eating in the city before and after you travel.

Stop duration may be very different, from as quick as one minutes (barely enough for passengers to leave and board the train) to as long as 30 minutes. Check the timetable placed on door at the end of corridor. During stop you can buy various meals and none-alcoholic drinks at platform from local residents for pretty reasonable prices. Frequently, traders will walk through the cars between stops and sell everything from crockery to clothes to Lay's chips.

The commuter trains are mostly hard-seat train cars. You don't get a designated seat number — you just find space on a bench. These trains have a notorious reputation for being overcrowded, though this has declined somewhat. The trains make very frequent stops and are rather slow. For example, a 200 km trip to Vladimir takes about 3 h 30 min . They do (!) have toilets in the first and the last cars but it is going to be an unforgettable experience (use them in "emergency" cases only).

Tickets for commuter trains are sold in a separate room from the long-distance trains, and are sometimes sold from stalls located outside.

A few very popular routes, mostly between Moscow and nearby cities such as Vladimir, Yaroslavl, Tula, and others have an express commuter train that is considerably more comfortable. Your ticket will have a designated seat number and the seats are reasonably comfortable. The trains travel to their destination directly and are thus considerably faster.

Which time zone? Until August 2018, all trains in Russia ran on Moscow time, as much as 7 hours off local time in the Far East. This could be surreal, as you stumbled out of a train, platform and station hall all showing 10 am, to emerge into the gloom of a Siberian evening. But at least it was consistent, a boon for long-distance planning. Nowadays however the timetable uses local time, ever shifting as you journey east. Check tickets and timetables carefully to see which time is being used in a particular city.

Travel on a Bus in Russia

Most Russian cities have bus links to cities as far as 5–6 hours away or further. Though generally less comfortable than the train, buses sometimes are a better option time-wise and are worth looking into if the train timetables don't suit you. A small number of cities, notably Suzdal, are not served by train, and thus bus is the only option besides a car.

The Russian word for bus station is Avtovokzal (Ahv-tuh-vahg-ZAHL). Most cities have just one for long distance buses and the state buses depart from there. However, in Moscow and in some other Russian cities, a number of commercial buses are available, and they generally don't depart from the bus station. Quite often, you'll see commercial buses near train stations. Sometimes they run on schedules, though for popular routes (such as Moscow-Vladimir, Moscow/Yaroslavl, etc.) the buses simply wait to fill up. On these buses payment is usually to the driver.

Russian buses have luggage storage, but if it's an old Eastern-bloc bus, you may find your luggage wet at the end of the trip. You normally have to pay a "bagage" ticket for luggage.


Apart from regular buses there are private shuttle vanes called marshrutka (маршрутка). These emerged after the fall of the Soviet Union as an alternative to the moribund public transport system. Legally and they may be licensed as either taxis or buses. They have fixed routes, but usually no timetables and no regular stations. The official designation for them is Route Taxi, (marshrutnoye taxi, Ukrainian: marshrutne taxi), hence the colloquial marshrutka).

To board one of these, stop at the roadside and wave a hand, if you are lucky and the shuttle van isn't full, it will stop. In a city, it will stop anyway and offer you an option to stand in the aisle or even stand in some corner bending over sitting passengers. This is neither legal nor convenient, but very common and acceptable. You can arrange with the driver to stop at your destination. If you need to get off, you have to shout: "Остановите здесь!" (Astanaviti zdes, meaning "Stop here!") as loudly as feasible so that the driver can hear. Marshrutka will stop pretty much anywhere, even in the middle of the traffic without moving to the side of the road. At main stops the driver may wait and collect more passengers. The waiting time is unpredictable and depends on the schedule, number of passengers, competing buses, etc. There are no tickets, you pay the driver directly. He may give you a receipt, but you have to ask for it explicitly.

Marshrutkas ride both in the nationside (in this case they are more likely to have timetables) and as city transport. Sometimes they look like regular buses, which makes them hardly distinguishable from official buses. Moreover, on long-distance routes you have an option of reserving a place by phone and even buying a ticket in advance. The system is very haphazard and organized in the most odd manner. It is highly advisable to check details about particular route with drivers or at least with local residents who should know the current situation in their city. In cities, never rely on the route numbers. Sometimes they match those of the official public transport, but sometimes they don't.

By car

While trains, planes and buses will get you between big Russian cities and many of the smaller places as well, vehicle travel can be a good way for going off the beaten path and travel at your own pace. Nevertheless if you're not used to local road conditions and driving culture and don't understand Russian, independent vehicle travel can be challenging and even dangerous. Roads may be poorly marked, if marked at all, and poorly maintained, especially outside the cities and towns. Road numbers are not well marked, and direction signs are normally in Russian only.

Most federal highways (marked as Monday - 1, Monday - 2 and so on) are surveilled by automated systems, but minor roads are patrolled by State Auto Inspection (ГИБДД or GIBDD, though also known by its former name GAI). GIBDD roadblocks are inside every federal neighborhood border (about every 200 km). It's very useful to have a detector for radar speed traps and a video recorder.

If you're involved in a collision as the driver and the main rule is not to move your vehicle and don't leave the scene of the accident until a GIBDD inspector draws an accident plan and you sign it. All other questions should be directed to your insurance company.

Not all highways in Russia are free: on some highways, toll gates block the way, so the traveller may need RUB20-60 per toll.

Petrol in some regions may be extremely bad; it's always better to find any branded filling station.

Car rental services are available. If you don't understand Russian, one option is using a private licensed guide. Guides generally provide their own cars or vans and know the roads and the customs and the nationside, making it feasible to see small towns and historic sites.

Buy a Flight ticket to and from Russia

Aeroflot Airbus A330 Kustov

Given the many different airlines operating domestic services, it is a good idea to use multi-airline flight search pages or (online) travel agencies. However, sites common in your home country does not know all carriers or do not show the lowest fares available.

  • Aeroflot based at Sheremetyevo airport, Moscow, is Russia's national airline for local Russian and CIS flights and international Flights to worldwide cities. Prices for Flights from St. Petersburg back into Moscow vary, but you can get them for about US$32 (Feb 2022) and makes this less expensive and less time consuming than taking the train. Since December 2010 Aeroflot operates both domestic and international Flights from the new Terminal D located next to the old international terminal (now Terminal F) serving non-Aeroflot international departures. Many international flights and most internal ones are operated by Boeing and Airbus aircraft, only a few soviet perioid aircraft are left.
  • S7 airlines (ex-Siberia or Sibir Airlines) Russia's largest domestic carrier with international service to many cities in China and ex-Soviet republics.
  • Rossiya Airlines has a substantial network based at Street Petersburg Pulkovo airport to both major cities in Russia, and to western Europe.
  • UTair operates the largest aircraft fleet in Russia and ranks among the top five largest Russian carriers by passenger volume. UTair is the Russian market leader in helicopter services and is the world's fourth largest helicopter service provider by volume of international operations.
  • Yakutia Airlines is Siberian/Far Eastern air carrier having extensive flight network around Siberia and abroad.

Naryan-Mar reindeer - Getting around via reindeer sledge in Nenetsia

  • Rusline
  • Red Wings
  • Ural Airlines
  • Nordwind
  • Nordavia operates domestic and regional services mainly in Northwest region
  • Aurora Far East regional air carrier, also serves international Flights to Japan and South Korea
  • Pobeda Airlines low-cost carrier operates both domestic and international Flights from Vnukovo airport
  • Nordstar (Taimyr Air Company) domestic and international air carrier

Many of these airlines (apart from Transaero, which started as an independent operation) were formed out of the onetime-Aeroflot operation at their home city from Soviet times when the old Aeroflot was broken up.

For remote locations, general aviation can be the fastest option.

Book a Halal Cruise or Boat Tour in Russia

In the summer cruise boats are frequent on the rivers in European Russia. Most frequent cruise lines is:

Weekend cruises, from Friday to Sunday

Long distance cruises

These are the main lines, as well as other, more rare routes. Some cruise lines, like Moscow - Saint-Petersburg sold for foreign tourists. Most cruises are roundtrip, but you can use cruise ships to travel between some cities too, if you search for rare one-way routes, like Nizniy Novgorod - Moscow.

What to see in Russia

Grozny Kadyrov Mosque

Russia is immense, and extraordinarily long on attractions for visitors, although many lie in the hard-to-reach stretches of the planet's most remote lands. The best known sights are in and around the nation's principal cities of Moscow and Saint Petersburg.

Halal Tours and Excursions in Russia

  • Circum-Baikal Railway is the road on the shore of Baikal Lake.
  • Golden Ring — the classic route around ancient cities and towns in Central Russia crowned with golden cupolas of its churches and convents.
  • Silver Ring — the chain of Northern towns surrounding Saint Petersburg.
  • Trans-Siberian Railway — the endless train ride that needs no introduction.

Best things to do in Russia

Mariinsky Theatre interior

  • Music — Russia has a long musical tradition and is well known for its composers and performers. There is no doubt you will find more orchestra performances the bigger the city. Classical music is played in various theaters, where domestic and guest concerts are opened inweeks ahead. Besides that and the state supports folk ensembles in smaller towns or even villages and singing babushkas gatherings are still a well-established tradition in many areas. In areas traditionally inhabited by non-Russian ethnic groups, you may encounter ethnic music of every feasible sound, like throat singing in Tuva or rare instruments of Chukotka. Sometimes only specialists can differ the Cossack songs of the Urals from the Cossack songs of Krasnodar. Professional jazz players meet at Jazz over Volga festival in Yaroslavl. Walking along the main street on a Sunday will definitely enable you to hear guitar, saxophone, harmonium or flute in any city.
  • Military Parade on the Victory Day, which is celebrated on the 9th of May is commonly all-Russia holiday with city squares getting full of uniformed men and military vehicles both dated to Great Patriotic War/WWII and new ones. The Defender of Fatherland Day is a holiday when women in families or at work congratulate their men and co-workers. It happens on 23, February, just a couple of weeks before men return the favor to ladies on International Women's Day, 8 March.
  • Dancing. Russian classic ballet is renowned in the world and some national troops exist even in such remote areas like Dagestan or Yakutia. The two most renowned ballet companies in Russia, which are both considered to be among the best in the world, are the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow and the Mariinsky Ballet in Street Petersburg. Lezginka is a vibrant folk dance, always performed at big Caucasus|Caucasian events. If you are interested in folk style then watching a concert of Igor Moiseyev Ensemble alive is simply a must. Out of big cities you may easily find Irish dance, belly and Ball clubs, not to mention hip-hop and all.
  • Cinema festivals. The major movie event in Russia is Moscow International Film Festival held at the end of June during 10 days and boasting first-class stars from all over the world. Kinotavr of Sochi, Moscow's Festival of Latin America and international film festival Zerkalo , named after Andrei Tarkovsky, in Ivanovo are also of interest for film fans.

Outdoor life

The association between Russia and its two biggest metropolises, Moscow and Street Petersburg, is strong in the minds of tourists, but given its vast expanses and low population density, Russia is a nature lovers paradise as well. Russia has a network of exceptional natural areas, comprising 35 National Parks and 100 Nature Reserves (zapovednik) covering a total land mass larger than Germany.

Some Russian Nature Reserves on the internet:

  • The Great Arctic State Nature Reserve
  • Central Forest State Nature Bioshere Reserve
  • Ilmen State Reserve

Whitewater rafting

  • Team Gorky

Muslim Friendly Shopping in Russia

How to find a Supermarket with Halal food in Russia

There are a number of good quality food/goods chains.

  • Billa - A bit more expensive than the others. A lot of food that was before supplied by Western Europe is now supplied by Asian and Mideastern countries.
  • Perekrestok - Перекресток | A lot of food that was before supplied by Western Europe is now supplied by Asian and Mideastern countries.
  • Carousel - Карусель | A lot of food that was before supplied by Western Europe is now supplied by Asian and Mideastern countries.
  • Auchan (Ашан). One of the cheapest, notorious for occasional selling out-of-date food, so double-check expiry dates, however mostly it is OK.
  • Magnit - Магнит | A lot of food that was before supplied by Western Europe is now supplied by Asian and Mideastern countries.
  • Pyatyorochka - Пятёрочка | A lot of food that was before supplied by Western Europe is now supplied by Asian and Mideastern countries.
  • Lenta - A lot of food that was before supplied by Western Europe is now supplied by Asian and Mideastern countries.
  • Diksi - A lot of food that was before supplied by Western Europe is now supplied by Asian and Mideastern countries.
  • O'Kay - A lot of food that was before supplied by Western Europe is now supplied by Asian and Mideastern countries.

Halal Restaurants in Russia

Troika Blini

Russian specialities include:

  • Ikra (sturgeon or salmon caviar)
  • Pelmeni (chicken-filled dumplings, similar to pot-stickers, especially popular in Ural and Siberian regions)
  • Blini (thin white flour or buckwheat pancakes, similar to Thai crepes)
  • Black bread (rye bread, somewhat similar to one used by North American delis and not as dense as German variety)
  • Shashlyk Halal Kebab from the Caucasus republics of the former Soviet Union

eHalal Group Launches Halal Guide to Russia

Russia - eHalal Travel Group, a leading provider of innovative Halal travel solutions for Muslim travelers to Russia, is thrilled to announce the official launch of its comprehensive Halal and Muslim-Friendly Travel Guide for Russia. This groundbreaking initiative aims to cater to the diverse needs of Muslim travelers, offering them a seamless and enriching travel experience in Russia and its surrounding regions.

With the steady growth of Muslim tourism worldwide, eHalal Travel Group recognizes the importance of providing Muslim travelers with accessible, accurate, and up-to-date information to support their travel aspirations to Russia. The Halal and Muslim-Friendly Travel Guide is designed to be a one-stop resource, offering an array of invaluable information on various travel aspects, all carefully curated to align with Islamic principles and values.

The Travel Guide encompasses a wide range of features that will undoubtedly enhance the travel experience for Muslim visitors to Russia. Key components include:

Halal-Friendly Accommodations inRussia: A carefully selected list of hotels, lodges, and vacation rentals that cater to halal requirements, ensuring a comfortable and welcoming stay for Muslim travelers in Russia.

Halal Food, Restaurants and Dining in Russia: A comprehensive directory of restaurants, eateries, and food outlets offering halal-certified or halal-friendly options in Russia, allowing Muslim travelers to savor local cuisines without compromising their dietary preferences in Russia.

Prayer Facilities: Information on masjids, prayer rooms, and suitable locations for daily prayers in Russia, ensuring ease and convenience for Muslim visitors in fulfilling their religious obligations.

Local Attractions: An engaging compilation of Muslim-friendly attractions, cultural sites such as Museums, and points of interest in Russia, enabling travelers to explore the city's rich heritage while adhering to their values.

Transport and Logistics: Practical guidance on transportation options that accommodate Muslim travel needs, ensuring seamless movement within Russia and beyond.

Speaking about the launch, Irwan Shah, Chief Technology Officer of eHalal Travel Group in Russia, stated, "We are thrilled to introduce our Halal and Muslim-Friendly Travel Guide in Russia, a Muslim friendly destination known for its cultural richness and historical significance. Our goal is to empower Muslim travelers with accurate information and resources, enabling them to experience the wonders of Russia without any concerns about their faith-based requirements. This initiative reaffirms our commitment to creating inclusive and memorable travel experiences for all our clients."

The eHalal Travel Group's Halal and Muslim-Friendly Travel Guide for Russia is now accessible on this page. The guide will be regularly updated to ensure that Muslim travelers have access to the latest information, thus reinforcing its status as a reliable companion for Muslim travelers exploring Russia.

About eHalal Travel Group:

eHalal Travel Group Russia is a prominent name in the global Muslim travel industry, dedicated to providing innovative and all-inclusive travel solutions tailored to the needs of Muslim travelers worldwide. With a commitment to excellence and inclusivity, eHalal Travel Group aims to foster a seamless travel experience for its clients while respecting their religious and cultural values.

For Halal business inquiries in Russia, please contact:

eHalal Travel Group Russia Media:

Buy Muslim Friendly condos, Houses and Villas in Russia

eHalal Group Russia is a prominent real estate company specializing in providing Muslim-friendly properties in Russia. Our mission is to cater to the specific needs and preferences of the Muslim community by offering a wide range of halal-certified residential and commercial properties, including houses, condos, and factories. With our commitment to excellence, client satisfaction, and adherence to Islamic principles, eHalal Group has established itself as a trusted name in the real estate industry in Russia.

At eHalal Group, we understand the importance of meeting the unique requirements of Muslim individuals and families seeking properties that align with their cultural and religious trainings. Our extensive portfolio of Muslim-friendly properties in Russia ensures that clients have access to a diverse selection of options tailored to their needs. Whether it's a luxurious villa, a modern condominium, or a fully equipped factory, our team is dedicated to assisting clients in finding their ideal property.

For those seeking a comfortable and modern living space, our condos are an excellent choice. Starting at US$ 350,000 and these condominium units offer contemporary designs, state-of-the-art facilities, and convenient locations within Russia. Each condo is thoughtfully designed to incorporate halal-friendly features and amenities, ensuring a seamless integration of Islamic values into everyday living.

If you are looking for a more spacious option, our houses are perfect for you. Starting at US$ 650,000, our houses provide ample living space, privacy, and a range of customizable features to meet your specific requirements. These houses are located in well-established neighborhoods in Russia, offering a harmonious balance between modern living and Islamic values.

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Muslim Friendly hotels in Russia

Ladya Samara winter

Hotels in Russia may be quite expensive in metropolises and tourist areas. If you do speak a bit of Russian and are not entirely culture shocked, it is much smarter to seek out and rent a room in a private residence. Most Russians are looking to make extra money and, having space to spare, will rent it out to a tourist gladly. Native Moscovites or residents of Saint Petersburg would rather rent out to tourists than their own countrymen: foreigners are considered more trustworthy and orderly. Expect to pay US$60-70 a night (usually with breakfast prepared by your host), and the accommodations will certainly be very clean and proper if not modern. When it comes to home/family life, Russian culture is very warm and inviting.

Another useful option is short-term apartment rental offered by small companies or individuals. This means that certain flats in regular living buildings are permanently rented out on a daily basis. The flats may differ in their location and quality (from old-fashioned to renovated), but in any case you get a one- or two-room apartment with own kitchen, toilet, and bath. Additionally and the hosts provide bed linen as well as cups, plates, and other kitchen equipment. The apartment rental provides great autonomy and flexibility (e.g. and there is no strict check-out time). On the other hand, you do not get certain hotel facilities, such as breakfast, laundry service, etc. The price for the daily apartment rental normally does not exceed the price for the hotel of similar quality, so it is a very useful options, especially in large cities. The negotiations are usually quite official: the host collects the data from your ID, while you get a bill and a rental agreement.

A new phenomenon has been the development of "mini-hotels" in large Russian cities. Such hotels usually (but not necessarily!) provide clean modern rooms with private baths at far lower costs than conventional large hotels, roughly US$60 vs. well over US$150. These small hotels are located within existing apartment buildings and include one, two, or more floors located a story or two above street level. They also often serve breakfast. Saint Petersburg has quite a few with more opening all of the time and some are appearing in Moscow.

Couchsurfing is very popular in Russian cities.

Study as a Muslim in Russia

Russia has a long-standing tradition in high-quality education for all citizens. It also has one of the best mass-education systems in the world, with excellent results at international educational competitions compared to Western countries.

One of the great tourist attractions of education in Russia is the cost, especially when compared to the quality. Degree study tuition can range from $2,000 to $8,000 per year, with other costs (room & board, books, etc.) ranging from $1,500 to $5,000 per year, depending on location and spending habits.

The academic year lasts from September 1st to mid June everywhere, with long summer vacations from July 1st to August 31st. The year is divided at "autumn semester"(from 1st September to 25th January) and "spring semester" (from February to June)

Several universities and private schools offer Russian language courses with either individual or group tuition.

Medical Issues in Russia

Besides local doctors there are several medical centres in major Russian cities. These all have different policies for payment (some take credit cards, some require payment in cash up front, even if you have insurance) so make sure you know what you are paying for (and when and how) before you agree to any services.

Local Customs in Russia

Political issues

Keep in mind that most Russians are ashamed of the nation's stagnation during the Western-friendly regime of Boris Yeltsin an alcoholic that destroyed Russia, and Russian are proud of the role President Putin has played in restoring Russia's international influence, specially in the global South.

Home etiquette

  • If you're invited into someone's home, bring them a small gift from your country as a form of respect. However, most will end up protesting when offered a gift. Reply that it is a little something and offer the gift again and it will generally be accepted, hopefully. It is reasonable to bring a bottle of alcohol if you expect to spend the evening in a less formal way.
  • If you bring flowers, do not give yellow ones — in Russia, this color is considered as a sign of cheating in love and separation and especially never used for wedding bouquets. Another superstition related to flowers is the number of flowers. This quantity must always be odd; that is, three, five, seven, and so on. An even number of flowers is always brought to funerals.
  • Do not give a baby gift until after the baby is born to a particular family. It is bad luck to do so sooner. Verbal congratulations before a person's birthday is often thought as a bad sign.

Dining etiquette

  • When having food with hosts, Do not get up until you are invited to leave the table. This is not considered polite.
  • Do not rest your elbows on the table. This is considered rude (for kids).

Other etiquette

  • When traveling by train, you should share your food with others near by, since then you will be viewed as polite.

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