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Moscow - Weekend for two departing 28th Feb £376 WizzAir / booking.com
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Moscow - Weekend for two departing 28th Feb £376 WizzAir / booking.com

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Posted 19th Jan

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Was looking up cheap deals for interesting weekend breaks where I don’t have to use up too much holiday from work and came across a deal for Moscow.

Admittedly at first glance, £376 might not sound cheap for a weekend break, but when you actually break down costs, it’s a decent price to visit somewhere that’s a bit different.

The trip includes return flights from London Luton (Departs Friday 28th February and Returns Monday 2nd March) with WizzAir and you’d be staying at the Crossroads Hotel, 1.5miles from the City Centre.

The room is at the Crossroads Hotel in Moscow, which is a deluxe double room which includes free wi-if, an airport shuttle service, and sits next to the Moskva river.

To give an idea of proximity to main attractions:

Metro underground station 0.4m
Kremlin and Red Square 1.4m
Bolshoi Theatre 1.8m

Now the cost of the return flights is just £34 per person, and the cost of the hotel is £77 for 3 nights, but you still have to factor in the various VISA-related fees to allow you to even travel to Russia. This is unfortunately where a bulk of the costs for the trip go to.

The following costs are per-person:

£101.40 for each of the 4 visas (£63 in consular taxes + £38.40 in service charge)
£14 for the letter of invitation for each visa

This works out to be a total of £115.40 per visa, so £230.80 for a couple.

An excellent breakdown of obtaining the visa for Russia can be found here:

russiable.co.uk/get…om/

It takes around 30 days from start to finish to obtain the Visa, so worth getting started with it straight away.

Flights can be booked at WizzAir
wizzair.com

The hotel can be found here:

booking.com/hot…mp;
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Wow, never realised it was such a pain to travel there. Anywhere where the red tape costs nearly twice as much as the flight and hotel obviously don't want to encourage any tourism. Leave them to it.
The hotel will do the tourist invite and voucher (2 separate documents - you need both) for free - which will save you a few bob. Just email the hotel with names,, dates, passport numbers and they'll do it gratis. the Visa is a little bit of a chore, but not as bad as it looks when you first look. You do it here, and you'll need the tourist invite and voucher before you start. You'll also need previous passport details (max 3) which if you haven't got, you can get free from the passport office. They will ask you for details of all foreign trips in the last 10 years, but in practice are only interested in anything with a stamp in your current passport. Most other questions, if you don't know then a best estimate will do. I can really recommend making the effort it is an absolutely fascinating country. Moscow itself has 2 amazing war museums, more a short distance away, as well as the 1812 museum, art galore and the Bolshoi ballet. Get an Uber/Yandex from the airport as the official-looking yellow cabs are an absolute racket.
Edited by: "thehappyhammer" 19th Jan
Whilst it isn't cheap, I certainly appreciate the effort in the breakdown of costs.
38 Comments
Whilst it isn't cheap, I certainly appreciate the effort in the breakdown of costs.
Visited in October. Absolutely amazing place!!!! Most hotels will provide you with an invitation letter free of charge, just ask when you book and they will email it to you (ours took a couple of days).
The hotel will do the tourist invite and voucher (2 separate documents - you need both) for free - which will save you a few bob. Just email the hotel with names,, dates, passport numbers and they'll do it gratis. the Visa is a little bit of a chore, but not as bad as it looks when you first look. You do it here, and you'll need the tourist invite and voucher before you start. You'll also need previous passport details (max 3) which if you haven't got, you can get free from the passport office. They will ask you for details of all foreign trips in the last 10 years, but in practice are only interested in anything with a stamp in your current passport. Most other questions, if you don't know then a best estimate will do. I can really recommend making the effort it is an absolutely fascinating country. Moscow itself has 2 amazing war museums, more a short distance away, as well as the 1812 museum, art galore and the Bolshoi ballet. Get an Uber/Yandex from the airport as the official-looking yellow cabs are an absolute racket.
Edited by: "thehappyhammer" 19th Jan
dark_shadow19/01/2020 16:26

Whilst it isn't cheap, I certainly appreciate the effort in the breakdown …Whilst it isn't cheap, I certainly appreciate the effort in the breakdown of costs.


It's cheap for the location so all relative.
thehappyhammer19/01/2020 16:34

The hotel will do the tourist invite and voucher (2 separate documents - …The hotel will do the tourist invite and voucher (2 separate documents - you need both) for free - which will save you a few bob. Just email the hotel with names,, dates, passport numbers and the'll do it gratis. the Visa is a little bit of a chore, but not as bad as it looks when you first look. You do it here, and you'll need the tourist invite and voucher before you start. You'll also need previous passport details (max 3) which if you haven't got, you can get free from the passport office. They will ask you for details of all foreign trips in the last 10 years, but in practice are only interested in anything with a stamp in your current passport. Most other questions, if you don't know then a best estimate will do. I can really recommend making the effort it is an absolutely fascinating country. Moscow itself has 2 amazing war museums, more a short distance away, as well as the 1812 museum, art galore and the Bolshoi ballet. Get an Ube/Yandex from the airport as the official-looking yellow cabs are an absolute racket.


Thanks! Very informative
Wow, never realised it was such a pain to travel there. Anywhere where the red tape costs nearly twice as much as the flight and hotel obviously don't want to encourage any tourism. Leave them to it.
SimonSpencer19/01/2020 16:52

Wow, never realised it was such a pain to travel there. Anywhere where the …Wow, never realised it was such a pain to travel there. Anywhere where the red tape costs nearly twice as much as the flight and hotel obviously don't want to encourage any tourism. Leave them to it.


I agree to a certain extent, but it’s actually fairly straightforward to visit Russia from other countries, so there’s clearly a political element.... but that shouldn’t stop you exploring and experiencing interesting parts of the world just because it’s a bit more difficult. As others have said, Moscow is a truly fascinating destination if you love travelling and occasionally steer away from the default “sun, sea, sand” destinations.
p-e-t-e19/01/2020 17:02

From 10 December 2014, it is mandatory to visit the Visa application …From 10 December 2014, it is mandatory to visit the Visa application centre in person to apply for Russian Visa, due to the new requirement to collect biometric data (fingerprinting).


May seem a bit over the top at first glance, but more and more countries are now doing it for Visa’s, including the UK:

gov.uk/biometric-residence-permits

Some people will think that there’s a more sinister reason behind collecting this data, but if you’re that paranoid about Russian data collection, it’s probably best not to visit Russia in the first place
Edited by: "Cyberry" 19th Jan
Cyberry19/01/2020 17:07

May seem a bit over the top at first glance, but more and more countries …May seem a bit over the top at first glance, but more and more countries are now doing it for Visa’s, including the UK:gov.uk/biometric-residence-permitsSome people will think that there’s a more sinister reason behind collecting this data, but if you’re that paranoid about Russian data collection, it’s probably best not to visit Russia in the first place


That’s for living in the UK not for visiting it on holiday
Easier to get Into to Iran and cross the border into Russia...
Cyberry19/01/2020 17:07

May seem a bit over the top at first glance, but more and more countries …May seem a bit over the top at first glance, but more and more countries are now doing it for Visa’s, including the UK:gov.uk/biometric-residence-permitsSome people will think that there’s a more sinister reason behind collecting this data, but if you’re that paranoid about Russian data collection, it’s probably best not to visit Russia in the first place


It’s not the fingerprints (Many countries have mine already) that would bother me, just the grief and expense of visiting the Visa centre. Just thought people should be aware as it can add a significant cost if you have to travel some distance!
TiscaliSurvivor19/01/2020 17:15

That’s for living in the UK not for visiting it on holiday


The same for getting a UK tourist visa fingerprints, applications, last 10 years of all travel history + there are very few consulates in Russia so ppl have to travel 1000s of km to apply for a UK visa
Feb is not the month I would aim for moscow - plenty to see and do but much better when warmer.
TiscaliSurvivor19/01/2020 17:17

Easier to get Into to Iran and cross the border into Russia...


There is a flaw in your cunning plan - Russia doesn't have a border with Iran - good lateral thinking though - you should work for Ryanair
How is Russia with same sex partners nowadays?? Would the hotel object?
went for the world cup to russia, like a breath of fresh air to how we have become...no political correctness over there....moscow was superb, just rather do st petersburg next
bigst19/01/2020 19:19

went for the world cup to russia, like a breath of fresh air to how we …went for the world cup to russia, like a breath of fresh air to how we have become...no political correctness over there....moscow was superb, just rather do st petersburg next


you would have swerved all the visa aggro for the world cup - assuming you had a "fan number". Just for info if you go to St Petersburg as part of a baltic cruise I think you can still get a 48 hour Visa without any of the normal grief. If you fly there direct you'll have to jump through the hoops mentioned above - not hard but a bit of a bind. I agree the place is real breath of fresh air.
You should all visit Mother Russia. No ifs not buts, this is an order. It's just beautifull.
thehappyhammer19/01/2020 19:27

you would have swerved all the visa aggro for the world cup - assuming you …you would have swerved all the visa aggro for the world cup - assuming you had a "fan number". Just for info if you go to St Petersburg as part of a baltic cruise I think you can still get a 48 hour Visa without any of the normal grief. If you fly there direct you'll have to jump through the hoops mentioned above - not hard but a bit of a bind. I agree the place is real breath of fresh air.


If england finish second in their euro2020 group theywill play in st peterburg...there will be no need for visas for this game or any euro 2020 match in russia
bigst19/01/2020 20:04

If england finish second in their euro2020 group theywill play in st …If england finish second in their euro2020 group theywill play in st peterburg...there will be no need for visas for this game or any euro 2020 match in russia


with you now - didn't realise you were still on about football - also recognise your username and pic-from-the-vic - bubble blowers forum back in the day?
Chiptivo19/01/2020 18:50

How is Russia with same sex partners nowadays?? Would the hotel object?


Think along the lines of queer bashing in the 80's UK and you would be a step in the same direction. Of course Pride etc are not authorised so when they occur you will have all the military police etc aiming for them and of course a far right march authorised that day to mix it up further and being supported.

To put another way - if part of this community this is not the place to advertise it.
Bertz9919/01/2020 20:30

Think along the lines of queer bashing in the 80's UK and you would be a …Think along the lines of queer bashing in the 80's UK and you would be a step in the same direction. Of course Pride etc are not authorised so when they occur you will have all the military police etc aiming for them and of course a far right march authorised that day to mix it up further and being supported.To put another way - if part of this community this is not the place to advertise it.


It doesn't have to be far right, It (homosexuality) was criminalised and later classed as a mental illness (for which you could be sectioned) during the Communist era. Not advertising it is good advice though.
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Chiptivo19/01/2020 18:50

How is Russia with same sex partners nowadays?? Would the hotel object?


No
thehappyhammer19/01/2020 20:39

It doesn't have to be far right, It (homosexuality) was criminalised and …It doesn't have to be far right, It (homosexuality) was criminalised and later classed as a mental illness (for which you could be sectioned) during the Communist era. Not advertising it is good advice though.



Just recounting the last I recalled attempted which had an ultra orthodox far right group authorised to march the same day with police and several military factions all focused on the one deemed illegal and not formally sanctioned.

Formally in Russia was decriminalised in 1993 and removed as a mental illness in 1999. Here that was 1967 and WHO did not remove sexual orientation as a mental health issue till 1992.

However, we are in agreement on advertising in Moscow - it will draw unwanted attention - the guidelines are "don't ask and don't tell".
Edited by: "Bertz99" 19th Jan
TiscaliSurvivor19/01/2020 17:15

That’s for living in the UK not for visiting it on holiday


A Russian citizen entering the UK on a tourist visa has had their fingerprints taken for years. In the past the visitor's employer was also called to check they worked where stated, although this stopped as it contravened Russian data protection law.

Funnily Russian visas for UK citizens are a more complicated than for other EU nations; this is in reciprocation for the UK making visas more complicated for Russians.

We used to outsource IT work to ex Soviet states, so I've had many business & tourist visas.

Strangely when you are there, any tweets to HUKD must wait for approval (from HUKD) before appearing.
Tashik19/01/2020 17:28

The same for getting a UK tourist visa fingerprints, applications, last …The same for getting a UK tourist visa fingerprints, applications, last 10 years of all travel history + there are very few consulates in Russia so ppl have to travel 1000s of km to apply for a UK visa


It also asks you for the last ten years of visits when applying for a Russian visa, but the space available on the computer to enter details ran out at about my last 5 years of travel.
bigst19/01/2020 19:19

went for the world cup to russia, like a breath of fresh air to how we …went for the world cup to russia, like a breath of fresh air to how we have become...no political correctness over there....moscow was superb, just rather do st petersburg next


If you arrive at SPB on a cruise ship, you don't even need a visa.

A bus or train from Helsinki or Tallinn gives you a chance to see landscapes you miss on flights.

SPB/Moscow is the same distance as Glasgow/London & a return on their HS2 (well slightly wider to accommodate wider tracks & called Sapsan "Kestrel") starts at £50 booked in advance, taking about 3 hours 40 mins centre to center.
thehappyhammer19/01/2020 16:34

The hotel will do the tourist invite and voucher (2 separate documents - …The hotel will do the tourist invite and voucher (2 separate documents - you need both) for free - which will save you a few bob. Just email the hotel with names,, dates, passport numbers and they'll do it gratis. the Visa is a little bit of a chore, but not as bad as it looks when you first look. You do it here, and you'll need the tourist invite and voucher before you start. You'll also need previous passport details (max 3) which if you haven't got, you can get free from the passport office. They will ask you for details of all foreign trips in the last 10 years, but in practice are only interested in anything with a stamp in your current passport. Most other questions, if you don't know then a best estimate will do. I can really recommend making the effort it is an absolutely fascinating country. Moscow itself has 2 amazing war museums, more a short distance away, as well as the 1812 museum, art galore and the Bolshoi ballet. Get an Uber/Yandex from the airport as the official-looking yellow cabs are an absolute racket.


There's an app where you enter your location/destination & it returns the cheapest fare & company who will arrive fastest (standard of car was an option too)

Its on my other phone & I'll put the details up later.
Tashik19/01/2020 17:28

The same for getting a UK tourist visa fingerprints, applications, last …The same for getting a UK tourist visa fingerprints, applications, last 10 years of all travel history + there are very few consulates in Russia so ppl have to travel 1000s of km to apply for a UK visa


Except for salisbury
ibiza19/01/2020 22:00

If you arrive at SPB on a cruise ship, you don't even need a visa.A bus or …If you arrive at SPB on a cruise ship, you don't even need a visa.A bus or train from Helsinki or Tallinn gives you a chance to see landscapes you miss on flights.SPB/Moscow is the same distance as Glasgow/London & a return on their HS2 (well slightly wider to accommodate wider tracks & called Sapsan "Kestrel") starts at £50 booked in advance, taking about 3 hours 40 mins centre to center.


So Helsinki to SPB requires no visa
thehappyhammer19/01/2020 18:37

There is a flaw in your cunning plan - Russia doesn't have a border with …There is a flaw in your cunning plan - Russia doesn't have a border with Iran - good lateral thinking though - you should work for Ryanair


I was thinking about this... en.wikipedia.org/wik…_Me but you’re right... makes up for lack of humour.
TiscaliSurvivor20/01/2020 00:31

So Helsinki to SPB requires no visa


Only if on a cruise. You need a visa on the train or bus. The difference is you remain on the train as you go through immigration, but have to get off the bus to do the same.
ibiza20/01/2020 01:58

Only if on a cruise. You need a visa on the train or bus. The difference …Only if on a cruise. You need a visa on the train or bus. The difference is you remain on the train as you go through immigration, but have to get off the bus to do the same.


That’s a shame - thanks
Easyjet flew to Moscow direct from Manchester for about 2 years. Could get a flight for £40 easily.

Then the sanctions hit and Easyjet cancelled the route citing "low customer numbers". My experience of the several times I flew on the route was that the plane was always packed - not a single spare seat.

Now to get from Manchester to Moscow, I have to change in Amsterdam, Paris or Frankfurt and the tickets are 5 to 10 times the price.
Edited by: "Ypnos" 3rd Feb
TiscaliSurvivor19/01/2020 17:15

That’s for living in the UK not for visiting it on holiday


Incorrect. When we have family visit us from Russia, they have to travel to the British visa centre in Moscow, in person and give their life story, as well as pay £120+ in fees. Even for a 2 week visit.
SimonSpencer19/01/2020 16:52

Wow, never realised it was such a pain to travel there. Anywhere where the …Wow, never realised it was such a pain to travel there. Anywhere where the red tape costs nearly twice as much as the flight and hotel obviously don't want to encourage any tourism. Leave them to it.


Same pain to travel to London from Moscow. It will be my first visit 24th February - 29th Feb. Visa 130$, need to scan and translate even son's birth certificate, despite the fact that he remains in Moscow. Also letter from work, the Bank, a certificate of ownership, marriage & etc.
I’ve been to Moscow recently. It wasn’t worth the effort even at this price.
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