Railay is an incredible Thai beach paradise! This beach that is cut-off from the mainland by soaring cliffs boasts pristine beaches, a jungled-laden mountain coastline, laidback vibes and many things to do. It’s what Thailand dreams are made of. With so many things to do in Railay Beach, you may […]
Roaming Around the World is in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
16 hours ago
We've made it. After a 2-night ferry voyage from Stockholm, we're now roaming around Russia! 🇷🇺
💡 And here's a tip on how to slip into the country without the required visa!
To enter Russia, most nationalities must obtain a Russian visa, which is a fairly cumbersome, costly, and lengthy visa process. It usually takes 4-6 weeks to complete and costs a few hundred dollars.
Meanwhile, we just avoided paying any fees, nor did we have to complete a single form. Here's the loophole. Cruise passengers are allowed to enter St Petersburg, visa-free, for up to 72 hours as long as they're on an organized excursion group. But we're not on a cruise and there’s a further loophole to roam around Russia on your own, just as we are.
The St Peter Line ferry we took here is permitted under Russia's visa-free legislation since it meets the requirements of departing using the same ship within 72-hours.
Upon disembarking the ferry, we went right through immigration, didn’t even have to fill out an immigration card, and got our passports stamped into Russia, no questions asked. For visa-free travelers like us, the ferry includes a “city tour” from the ship to satisfy the excursion criteria.
The “city tour” consisted of an un-narrated, 10-minute shuttle bus from the ship to a central point in St Petersburg. From there, we were dropped off with all of our luggage and free to roam around St Petersburg, unescorted and on our own.
It wasn't a city tour at all. It's simply done to tick off the bureaucratic boxes of this visa-free program. And it works.
A further requirement for this 72-hour visa-free loophole is to stay at a hotel that can register undocumented guests like us. Even when embarking the ferry in Stockholm, our hotel reservations were checked, scrutinized, and recorded.
When we checked-in to our hotel here in St Petersburg, the girl at the front desk even commented that it was very unusual that we didn't have a visa. But she accepted us and performed the required government registration process, without incident.
Next thing you know, we’re off exploring St Petersburg independently! It all worked.
And we’re in complete awe of this city. We've now become totally inspired to one day go through the full visa process so we can explore Russia further. But this visa-free ferry method is proving to be an excellent way to get a quick, easy, and affordable intro to this intriguing country.
Much more about St Petersburg to come! 😀 ... See MoreSee Less
The level of your research knows no bounds! Wonderful way to get a sampling of Russia without all the costs and hassles. Good job!
I entered Russia the same way!! Love St. Petersburg and pretty sure you will too. Not sure if you have been following the news but poor Japan is being slammed by a typhoon and one area an earthquake as well. So sad for all the people there and the country. Looks like you left at the right time. 😪
Make sure and use the subway there. Deepest in the world, the escalators go down forever, and you won't have any idea what train you are getting on unless you ask someone and trust!
That’s invaluable information!
More great info! It worked!!!
St. Petersburg is fascinating!
I looked at that when we were in Helsinki and it seemed bad value for money along with a mediocre ferry experience so we skipped it. Yours seems ok? Any downsides?
See here you go again with the best travel tips. This is why you guys have the best travel blog of them all!🥂🍾💪🏼🌺
💜St Pete one of my top 5 faves! That hack saved you around $700 USD.....so much to see the obvious tourist sites and churches & museums. But don't miss the less common ones like the subway & magnificent train stations, canal-river tour, a trip to a supermarket & Peterhof Grand Palace.
Wow!! You are so smart! Hope you get out alive and safely!
Great tip! thanks! definitely on my bucket list but not always able to do the cruise ship route :-)
I heard you could do this. Enjoy I can't wait to see your photos 😍
I’m glad it worked for you but I think saving money by not buying a visa is not a wise tourist choice especially in today’s political climate.
Loved St Petersburg! Don’t miss the Hermitage!
u 2 r so informative, great writers, and we appreciate all the effort
Blimey. Make sure Rosa Klebb doesn’t get to hear about this!! 😂😂
Tip to remember