Travelling to Russia? Need Vaccinations?
Just thinking of a visit to Russia conjures up images of vast expanses of frozen tundra, the Ural mountains, scenes from Dr. Zhivago, the gleaming onion domes of St. Basil’s, the Kremlin, and romantic St. Petersburg. Of course no visitor to Russia would want to miss strolling through the unsurpassed Hermitage Museum, or getting to know lovely St. Petersburg with its restored palaces and architectural wonders. Learn more about the people and history of Russia’s heartland with a visit to the Volga region, where along the banks of the Volga, Europe’s longest river, you will find a lush natural environment for boating, bathing and hiking. And, take in the lighter side of Moscow at famous Gorky Park, which runs 3km along the Moscow River, offering an escape from the rush of the city, and has an old carousel and amusement park. Witness the beauty of fabled Russian icons and pre-revolutionary art at the Tretyakov Museum. Remember that your first stop on your way to Russia should be a visit to our Travel Health Clinic, four to eight weeks before departure, so that you will be completely safe and up-to-date with the Vaccinations you need for Russia.
Vaccines required for Russia
The following travel vaccines are necessary for travel to Russia:
Tetanus Vaccine (Combined TDP Vaccine)
Diphtheria Vaccine (Combined TDP Vaccine)
Polio Vaccine (Combined TDP Vaccine)
Depending upon the condition of your health, demands of your planned itinerary, lifestyle and any adventures which may carry some risk, you might also need the following Vaccinations before departing for Russia.
For further information on vaccines for life in the UK, see the British National Vaccination Schedule. Please book an appointment at our Travel Clinic well in advance of your departure, for more information, and advice on the Vaccinations and precautions we recommend for travel to Russia.
Further Travel Health Advice for Russia
Heat and Humidity
Heat is not a factor in Russia, except in summer at the Black Sea and in some areas of the Steppes, where you should use sun block, even if the sun doesn’t feel that hot. Always carry water with you wherever you go, and replenish fluids throughout the day, whether on walking tours through metropolitan areas, or on nature hikes.
The tap water across Russia, and even in large cities, is not safe to drink. However, bottled water is widely available and should be used to brush your teeth. Your hotel clerk or concierge might advise you on the best brands.
Food and Drink
Apart from the vast cultural experience, and the enormity of Russia’s history, the best part of your visit could well be the food. Because of the cold climate and harsh winters, the normal Russian diet consists largely of high protein ingredients, such as fish, eggs, beef, with potatoes being a main staple. But this is also the land that gave us Beef Stroganov, Goulash, Veal Orlov, Caviar with Blinis and sour cream, and Coulibiac, which is a melt-in-the-mouth salmon or sturgeon loaf with rice, hard-boiled eggs, mushrooms and dill. And never under-estimate the importance of a Russian dessert. Fanciful pastries, filled with cheese or sour cream, pancakes baked with jam, and cakes layered with Latvian rye bread are just a few of the delights that are prepared for the daily tea service. And of course Russia produces some of the world’s very best vodka, a natural accompaniment to your caviar or other hors d’oeuvres.
Seeking Treatment Abroad
Should you require health care in Russia, there are hospitals, both public and private, in Moscow and St. Petersburg, but outside these cities, the quality and availability of medical care can be limited. There is a reciprocal agreement in place for U.K. citizens, however services might be limited, so it is important that you arrange in advance to have enough money with you to pay for any health care you might need.
Travel and Health Insurance
Protect yourself, and your family, with comprehensive travel health insurance which will cover your intended itinerary and any potentially risky activities.
If you are with a tour guide, and travelling in a group, there should be no concerns, as long as you are not carrying large amounts of money, especially in Moscow or parts of St. Petersburg. Russian people are generally very friendly, but avoid talking to strange people, and do not walk alone at night.