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6 Russia travel myths BUSTED

As Russia gears up to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup tournament across 11 cities from 14 June to 15 July, we thought now was a good time to bring out our myth buster to dispel some of the common misperceptions about travel to this expansive, awe-inspiring country. 

Myth 1. It’s always freezing in Russia

Sure, Russia’s not balmy but neither is it a polar ice cap 365-days a year. Depending on where you are, temperatures during the Russian summer – when the 2018 FIFA World Cup will be held – average around 23 °C, while cities such as Moscow can experience heat waves with daytime temperatures reaching 30°C. So pack a pair of shorts and some sunscreen alongside that coat. 

Look, sun in St. Petersburg! St Isaac's Cathedral across Moyka river. Photo © romanevgenev

Myth 2. Russians are unfriendly

True, Russians don’t smile or laugh-out-loud a lot in public, but this is cultural rather than a sign of unfriendliness, because it’s considered odd and even a bit rude to be loud or show too much emotion in public. Crack the icy exterior (it's easy) and Russian people are generally warm, friendly and very welcoming. Get ready to be treated to a few welcoming shots of vodka!

From Russia with love. Photo © JackF 

3. It’s hard to travel to Russia

Not if you book through your Sure Travel agency. Our trusted travel partner Travel Vision is a specialist in travel to Russia and can easily help with the documentation neeeded. Though South African citizens do not require a visa for travel to Russia, Russian authorities are making it super easy for other nationalities to travel to Mother Russia for the 2018 FIFA World Cup by waiving the visa requirement for fans with a ticket for the tournament. Once you land, Travel Vision takes care of getting you from the airport to the hotel and back again, plus an English-speaking guide will get you orientated with a city tour. 

You don't need a visa to meet Zabivaka, the 2018 FIFA World Cup mascot.

4. It’s expensive to travel to Russia

Russia’s no more expensive than other European destinations – something that’s getting more affordable for South Africans thanks to the rand strengthening against the euro. And if you buy a package deal it becomes even more affordable. Travel Vision is offering two Russia World Cup Fever options:

A five-night Moscow to St. Petersburg package (22 June to 2 July 2018) from R28,404 per person sharing. It includes five nights hotel accommodation, daily breakfast, return private airport/hotel transfers, a one-way train ticket from Moscow to St. Petersburg (they’ll even drop you off at the station and pick you up on the other side) and an English-speaking city tour of Moscow and St. Petersburg.

A 12-night cruise from St. Petersburg to Moscow, calling at Mandrogi, Kizhi, Goritsy and Uglich along the way. This cruise package is valid for travel from 15-25 June 2018 and is priced from R36,360 per person sharing. It includes 10 nights onboard the MS Anton Chekhov plus all meals, a cocktail reception and a farewell dinner, as well as a lecture and entertainment programme onboard and a full sightseeing programme in each of the ports of call. This is in addition to two nights hotel accommodation in St. Petersburg with daily breakfast, an English-speaking tour around St. Petersburg and return airport to port/hotel transfers. 

It's less expensive to see Russian Orthodox Cathedrals than you think

5. Russia’s not safe

The big cities like Moscow have their fair share of petty crime – just like any major city anywhere in the world – but otherwise it’s generally not dangerous. Plus you can bet that all the stops will be pulled out to make sure the streets of every host Russian city will be safe during the 2018 FIFA World Cup. 

We bet The Red Square will be a safe space during the 2018 FIFA World Cup

6. There’s not much to see or do in Russia

This myth is the easiest to dispel: just Google “Russia attractions”. In Moscow and St. Petersburg you’ll fine world-class symphonies and ballet, modern art museums and galleries, farmer’s markets, bustling culture and plenty of nightlife. And don’t forget the famous tourist attractions like the Kremlin, St Basil’s Cathedral and the Winter Palace. 

The joy of the 2018 FIFA World Cup is that it will also showcase some of the lesser-known Russian cities, from Kazan’s Muslim minarets and archaeological sites to Samara, the aerospace centre of Russia. Prepare to be amazed by this diverse and spellbinding country.

Explore the Russian countryside in summer. Photo © valeryboyarsky

Book it! 

Contact your nearest Sure Travel agency to book one of Travel Vision’s Russia World Cup Fever packages: the five-night Moscow to St. Petersburg packagepriced from R28,404 pps; or the 12-night cruise from St. Petersburg to Moscow priced from R36,360 pps. 


Travel Vision is giving away a delicatessen hamper worth R750 . To enter, simply name one of the six common myths about travel to Russia and tell us which one of Travel Vision's Russia World Cup Fever Package you would choose.

To enter: 

1. Put your answer in the comment section of the Facebook competition post followed by the hashtags #Fifa18  #SureTravel  

2. Share the competition post on your own Facebook page. 

That’s it. Winner will be announced on social media on 1 March 2018. Good luck!

Competition Terms and Conditions 1. Entrants into the Prize Draw shall be deemed to have accepted these Terms and Conditions.  2. The closing date for entries into the competition is 12h00pm on 28 February 2018. Entries received outside this time period will not be considered.  3. Four winners will be chosen by The Promoters (Qatar Airways and Sure Travel) of entries received in accordance with these Terms and Conditions.  4. The winner will receive 1 x R500 Sorbet voucher. 5. The prize will be delivered electronically via email. 6. If the winner does not respond to the promoters by 5 March 2018, then the winner's prize will be forfeited. If a winner rejects their prize or the entry is invalid or in breach of these Terms and Conditions, the winner's prize will be forfeited and the Promoters (Sure Travel and TravCorp) shall be entitled to select another winner.  7. The prize is non-exchangeable, non-transferable, and is not redeemable for cash or other prizes.  8. The Promoters retain the right to substitute the prize with another prize of similar value in the event the original prize offered is not available.  9. The winner consents to the use by the Promoters, both before and after the closing date of the Prize Draw for an unlimited time, of the winner's name for publicity purposes, in any medium, on the internet, including any websites hosted by the Promoters and its related companies and in advertising, marketing or promotional material without additional compensation or prior notice and, in entering the Prize Draw, all entrants consent to the same.  10. The Promoters accept no responsibility for any damage, loss, liabilities, injury or disappointment incurred or suffered by you as a result of entering the Prize Draw or accepting the prize.  11. The Promoters shall not be liable for any failure to comply with its obligations where the failure is caused by something outside its reasonable control.

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