Travel Not Recommended

Российская Федерация

  • Rossiyskaya Federatsiya
  • Russian Federation

Capital » Moscow


  • Population » 142.7 million
  • Major language » Russian
  • Major religions » Christianity, Islam
  • Life expectancy » 63 years (men), 75 years (women)


  • Area » 17 million sq km (6.6 million sq miles)
  • Russian is the largest country in the world by total area, encompassing 11 time zones
    • Located in north Asia.
    • The border between Europe and Asia crosses through Russia, making it transcontinental.


  • Canadians must be in possession of a visa to visit Russia.
    • Visa applications must be submitted electronically via the Embassy of the Russian Federation’s website. Visas are normally restricted to 30 or 90 days.
    • If planning to remain in Russia for more than 3 months, you must provide a medical certificate of a negative test for HIV infection.
    • Foreign nationals are expected to apply for a visa in the country of their citizenship unless they have a residence or work permit in a third country for the period more than 90 days. (Email)
      • However, several overlanders appear to have obtained their visas while on the road.
  • Routine police checks are common in public places. Carry your passport, visa and migration card with you at all times. Photocopies aren’t acceptable.
  • Visit the coast south of Vladivostok (recommended by LandCruising Adventure)
  • Visit the east shore of Lake Baikal (Google Maps) (recommended by LandCruising Adventure)
    • Lake Baikal is now overcrowded due to tourism operators taking advantage of this gem


  • It’s mandatory to always drive with your headlights on
  • Russia requires you to have insurance
    • Available at most borders.
  • Outside the big centres there are many dead end roads, making it difficult to do loops
  • Mosquitos are bad in eastern Russia/Siberia until about September.
    • September/October leaves a narrow window to explore such a vast area.
    • Nights are already below zero in October.
    • Headnet, DEET, thick clothing, is required in summer.
    • Ticks are also an issue.
  • April – most dirt roads in eastern Russia are thawing out and quite difficult to travel on.
  • Ports of Entry – Vladivostok
    • Ferry boat crossing to South Korea
    • The starting or ending point of the legendary Trans Siberian Railway
    • Known as the Forbidden City, Vladivostok was closed to westerners until 1993 (NY Times)
  • The main road connecting Vladivostok to Novosibirskvia Khabarovsk, Chita, Ulan Ude, Irkutsk and Krasnoyarsk is asphalted
    • Description of Amur highway from Chita to Vladivostok » “A meditative journey of almost 2,900km that passes through the austere beauty of southern Siberia. The way is utterly peaceful, passing swamps and large swathes of larch, spruce and silver birch trees through which the sinuous road offers panoramas stretching to the horizon. Come after mid-April to avoid icy roads and keep to the speed limit (to evade the keen attention of Russian police). Try for stays in Chita, Khabarovsk and Vladivostok. There are cheap guesthouses in the small settlements of Chernyshevsk, Skovorodino and Belogorsk and substantial meals of borscht with slabs of fresh bread are served at any of the welcoming, if on occasion brusque, roadside restaurants along the route. ” Jonathan Hancock via The Guardian
  • Only local residents may travel overland between Russia and Belarus
  • Some will say to be careful of “the highway police who are always on the lookout for foreign vehicles to penalize them for some traffic violation”.

Russia’s World Ranking

  • World Economic Forum (2018)
    • Innovation capability » 36th
    • Quality of vocational training » 67th
    • Reliability of police services » 88th
    • Judicial independence » 92nd
    • Life expectancy » 99th
    • Roads quality » 104th
    • Property rights » 112th
    • Freedom of the press » 121st


Do not travel to Russia.

Government travel advisories for Russia

Do not travel to Russia due to the security environment and illegal invasion and war with Ukraine.


This page was updated May 18, 2024