Russia is one of the most desirable destinations to visit. However, travel to Russia could be so costly that many think they can not afford it. It could be very expensive if you don’t plan your trip to Russia right. There are couple things you should consider.
First of all, before you even land in Russia, you will need to get a Russian visa. A tourist visa to Russia will cost about $200. There are plenty of companies offering visa processing services online. Just make sure that when you purchase a Russian visa, the price will include visa invitation, visa itself and arrival registration.
Secondly, you should consider the best time to fly to Russia. Generally speaking, prices on flights to Russia range from $550 to $1250 depending on a season.
Third, you should book your hotel in advance. Don’t hope to just come in to a hotel in Moscow and say that you need a room. You might be in for a big surprise. Moscow hotels are so overbooked that you may have to pay for a suite which will run you $500 and up per night! You can book a nice 3 or 4 star hotel in advance for $150 or dollars. There is plenty of agencies offering this service, but I would recommend using the same one that is getting your visa. It will make things easier for you.
Fourth and very important, arrange your airport transfers before you leave, unless you are willing to pay $200 or so for a 20 minute trip from Moscow airport to your hotel. When you book your taxi in advance, you will pay a standard fee of about $50. Ask your travel agent to arrange this for you.
One last advice, one of the best ways to see Russia is on a cruise liner going from Moscow to St. Petersburg. You will spend half of the cruise exploring Moscow and St. Petersburg, while living on a cruise liner, and you will get to see the ancient cities in between. One day on a cruise liner will cost you about $150 (accommodation, visa, meals, transfers and guides included). This is a really good deal compared to staying on-land when you will pay at least as much just for hotel. However, most of people on a cruise will be above the age of 50, so if you are looking for a party, then go with your friends.