I have lived, traveled, visited, roamed Russia every year for 26...27 years, coming every year, and promise- you have nothing to worry about.
I have an obvious "foreign" accent with my attempts at Russian. EDIT[If anyone had wanted to target a foreigner, I was a red sheep in a white herd]. Back in the...
Best answer: I have lived, traveled, visited, roamed Russia every year for 26...27 years, coming every year, and promise- you have nothing to worry about.
I have an obvious "foreign" accent with my attempts at Russian. EDIT[If anyone had wanted to target a foreigner, I was a red sheep in a white herd]. Back in the USSR I had "star" status. Not so much lately, I'm just another person. Last year we sent our son (13 y.o.) alone to summer camp in Russia. [He flew to Moscow, then Izhevsk, back to Moscow and on to Simferopol.] We went to say "thanks" to our local post office for Post of Russian choosing him for the camp. One lady was impressed to meet an American and asked to shake my hand. Deja vu... to 1992. OK With my accent, I have often in various cities gone late nights to stores for food or drink. I paid with a debit card when that was a rarity, spoke in my own brand of language around crowds buying their own food and drink, never to be bothered. Sure, sometimes I am asked from where I am, little more. Americans, foreigners, are not hated in Russia. The camp my son attended is an internationally known and visited place. Artek. He had British, Swiss and a few other nationalities there with his group.
To be aware of... no more than anywhere, be obviously careful with wallets, handbags, etc. Pickpocketing is not a "problem" but can happen. I have read warnings about NOT changing money in smaller change offices, but to use banks. First, I use a credit union and never get ATM fees on my debit card. But if you do change money at a small office- don't worry. It is very expensive to change at the airport, so ATM fees may be cheaper. "Bankomat" will give the current rate. Right now, 62 rubles=$.
Places to avoid- In Moscow you may find dangerous night clubs, especially if you are drunk, loud, and act obnoxiously. But as far as N___ street or S____ blvd, no. If it is night you will see people all over walking. Main thing is don't bring attention to yourself. Russians are quiet, low key people.
If you don't know any Russian, the World Cup venues will have signs in other languages. The Metros do (subway). If you ask a student 16-20 if they speak English, that would be the most likely group to do so. Older than 30 was the German group. East Germany being the reason. My small town of 110,000 has many English speakers with whom I can converse. Some parents learn it with their schoolchildren. This is not to say English is widespread, it is not, but it IS there. Thank the internet.
Russia is a wonderful country. If not, I wouldn't keep returning. It can be wildly different than USA. Avoid KFC and McDonalds. You have them at home. Learn new tastes and places! Russia is to enjoy.
It is estimated 2 million foreigners will visit during the World Cup; 1.5 million will be fans...
EDIT: [What to avoid- Gypsies. Nowadays, they are a rare breed in Russia, but used to were often seen, even outside Moscow. They are typically harmless, but just swindle you out of money. I was always told by my now wife to just not talk or interact with them. I only had one threatening incident with Gypsies and that was in Italy. Her "baby's" feet were feeling for a breast pocket while we rode a bus so I grabbed at the "feet" and she went away, exiting the bus at the next stop.]
4 weeks ago