What I want to do in the summer is fly to Russia at the beginning of August, and be flying back from Amsterdam by the second week of September. I don't want to have too much of a fixed route, which I know is fine in European countries but I'm unsure of visa stuff with Russia and the other countries around there. I only want to spend about a week in Russia, do I need to apply for a visa here (UK) or can it be sorted out whenI get there- some countries give you a free visa for a short amount of time don't they?
Russia is one of those countries where you need to arrange your visa before you enter the country. And usually that involves arranging for accommodation for all of the nights you intend to stay as well.
Travelling back to Amsterdam is visa free, unless you want to visit Belarus as well. Transitvisas are possible, but other visas require some more patience for Belarus
[ Edit: Edited on Jan 9, 2008, at 1:05 PM by Utrecht ]
A visa is essential to get into the Russian Federation. I suggest you contact the Russian Fed embassy in person or online and they will explain how to go about getting and paying for a visa.
I traveled there last Sept/Oct on a Volga River tour for 2 weeks. It took 10 days ($100US) to get a visa from the embassy. The Russian Fed is an adventure to behold notably St. Petersburg and Yaroslavl. I left my heart in Rossiya. I will return for another visit soon. I promise! Schastlivo.
and make sure you get your invitation stamped....i found out the hard way. My American travel agent never said anything about that!!!!
Check out whether there isn't a Russian travel agency who can deal with the visa. I dropped my passport, the visa fee and some photos off in a travel agency in my home town in Germany and 4 weeks later I had my visa. I didn't need to arrange anything - I had no hostels booked at all and the required health insurance and invitation was also glossed over. The agency took care of everything.
If however you cannot find an agency, get your invitation from the HI hostel in St. Petersburg, 3rd Sovetskaya ulica 28. They were very helpful to me with the visa stuff. http://www.ryh.ru/
BTW, from the UK the cheapest way to get to Russia is to fly to Riga or Tallinn and catch the train from there. Riga is IMO the better choice. See http://www.seat61.com
To Amsterdam from Russia fly from Moscow to Cologne with germanwings and then catch the train across the border.