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Travel Advice on Russia: Don’t Go!

TravelGraphic

The graphic above shows the results of a survey of international cities among tourists who have visited them by TripAdvisor.  It shows the worst-performing cities across a series of eight criteria ranging from friendliness of the locals to quality of shopping.

The Russian capital city of Moscow was the very worst in the world in five of the eight categories, second from worst in a sixth and third from worst in a seventh.  The only one of the eight categories in which Moscow wasn’t among the three most wretched nations on the planet was clean streets.  Moscow’s antithesis is Tokyo, which dominates the list of best-performing cities in same way Moscow dominates the worst.

According to Mastercard, Russia doesn’t have a single one of  the top 20 cities of the world for for either tourist arrivals or receipt of tourist dollars.  According to Euromonitor, Moscow ranks #25 in the world for tourist arrivals with less than 4 million per year, while Russia’s second city of St. Petersburg ranks #47 with 2.5 million arrivals. Compare that with Istanbul’s 8 million and Bangkok’s 11 million to see how totally pathetic Russia’s performance really is.

The United States has not one but three cities ranking in the top 20 for international tourist spending:  New York with $20 billion, Los Angeles with $12 billion and Miami with $9 billion.    Russia doesn’t have a single city that is a member of this group.

There’s a simple explanation for all this miserable failure, of course:  Russians hate foreigners, and don’t want them in their country.  In fact, many Russians don’t really want to be there either. Vastly more Russians leave Russia to spend time in foreign countries than foreign tourists arrive in Russia to spend time there.  Russians reject foreign values and they have built a homogenized society that rejects foreign people.  Russians simply don’t care that vast sums of money are squandered in this way, just as they don’t care that their nation is one of the most corrupt on the planet, wasting untold billions more on this folly.

Russia is plagued by horrendous official corruption, which make the police even more dangerous than Russian’s virulent criminals to tourists.  Russia doesn’t know the meaning of the phrase “customer service” and its cuisine is wretched.  Russia has terrifying risks of airline,  fire and highway disasters, and it is riddled with terrorist activity.  By contrast, Russia offers almost nothing in the way of blockbuster tourist attractions beyond a few museums loaded with looted art and a few unusual churches.

And by visiting Russia, tourists lend support to a venal, anti-democratic KGB regime that is obliterating basic Western values.

So the advice on travel to Russia is simple:  DON’T GO!

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21 responses to “Travel Advice on Russia: Don’t Go!

  1. Beetlejuice ⋅

    “Moscow’s antithesis is Tokyo, which dominates the list of best-performing cities in same way Moscow dominates the worst.”

    The latest research concluded that Moscow was the most expensive city in the world, with more billionaires than any other city. Mobsters, but billionaires nonetheless.

    “Russians hate foreigners, and don’t want them in their country.”

    They’re not alone there. Ukraine, Belarus, pretty much the whole former USSR is rampant with xenophobia. Even the Baltics despite not being a cesspool for organized crime like the rest.

    “Russia is plagued by horrendous official corruption”

    Yep. And countries like Ukraine, Albania, Moldova, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Afghanistan, Iraq and other such “democracies” are promoting Western values and free of any corruption, huh?

    “Russia offers almost nothing in the way of blockbuster tourist attractions beyond a few museums loaded with looted art and a few unusual churches.”

    Like Kim’s home town. The difference: Russia has a big history. She’s really a unique reporter, she works like Sylvester Stallone.

    • MCCUSA ⋅

      beetlejuice, who on earth, would want to go that sh@#$%t hole called moscow????? To enjoy, shi#$%ty toilets, attacks on turists, stealing from innocent visitors, and enjoying ‘russian food’ good for animals not humans…And ‘Russia has a big history’ really, you must be hallucinating dearie – too much afghan heroin I gather – let me think – 300 years under the mongols [happiest time in the russian history – the Mongols raped the russian women for half a milleniium, but they DIDN’T kill the russian subjects], 300 years under the romanvos, 90 years under communism russian style, and at present, russia is simply disintegrating. Throughout the short russian history the ordinary russians were murdered by millions by their own governments – what an achievement indeed. In case you haven’t noticed, dear brainless russian baboon, the world is witnessing the greatest de-colonisation and de-russification process in the history of the human race; 4.5 million russians expelled from the Central Asian ex-soviet republics since the early nineties, russian language eliminated, cyryllic alphabet dropped and replaced by LATIN ALPHABET, and destruction of russian orthodox churches built all over Central Asia, as a symbole of russian domination..A truly ‘success story’… I will strongly recommend this same policy used by Central Asian countries to the Baltic States while dealing with the russian occupiers..

  2. mingthemerciless ⋅

    Usually a capital is a financial center, like Paris for France, London for England, Berlin for Germany…However, in mafia run countries, like Russia or South America, there is no center, just a vast urge to escape themselves and the government thievery…so their main refuge is Miami, which, before Castro
    was a small sleepy winter refuge for dying retirees.

    Now, after the cold war and the communist take over of most of South America, Miami is the mobster capital of the world…banks of Florida have so much money, they dont know what to do with it…building huge number of large luxury dwellings…for twice the number of possible customers…all russian or beaner commie money…so, Popov, if you want to see your treasure, just go to Florida!!!

  3. Kasechka

    Russians (or emigres) spread their vile antisocial behavior traveling in other lands…and then sue when they are called to stop it: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2331362/Spirit-Airlines-throws-passengers-Las-Vegas-flight-speaking-Russian.html

    I’m wondering if the Iron Curtain wasn’t a partially good thing.

    • vlad rutenburg ⋅

      > “These Russians were inconsiderate by talking too loudly in the Russian language – as from my dealings with the average Russian they are so full of their own “self-importance” that they think they are God’s gift to society, and do talk loudly so that bystanders can take notice of their superior Russian nature.”

      Bohdan, what you are describing word for word is the term “ugly Americans” that the French, British, Italians, Russians and all other Europeans use to describe the loud badly-mannered American tourists looking down on Parisians. Londoners, Romans, Moscovites and all other people who were not smart and lucky enough to be born in Alabama or Detroit.

      On the other hand, most Russian tourists are very shy and reserved.

    • vlad rutenburg ⋅

      > http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2331362/Spirit-Airlines-throws-passengers-Las-Vegas-flight-speaking-Russian.html

      “Spirit Airlines forced six passengers off a flight last week because stewardesses were reportedly ‘intimidated’ when they heard the group speaking Russian.”

      I am not surprised. The American government and mass media bring up Americans in the spirit of deep paranoia and xenophobia and to fear anything foreign. Thus hearing a language other than the two main American languages – Spanish and English (not for long though) – the Spirit Airlines employees panicked thinking it was Martian or worse: Arabic or Persian.

      These Americans of Russian descent were lucky that they weren’t sent to Guantanamo Bay for several decades of waterboarding without any trial or legal representation or any habeas corpus hearings.

  4. Vince Scops ⋅

    I just went to the website shown by Kaseccka and also then the San Diego TV station. this sounds like a stupid airline and has nothing to do with being russian. it is bad press for the USA not russians. bad example Kasechka, very bad

    • MCCUSA ⋅

      All ‘so called russian emigres’ are spying for putin. Can you imagine the russians can ’emigrate’ from barbaric russia without being recruted by KGB??? America wake up!!!!!!!!!

      • vlad rutenburg ⋅

        Most Russian émigrés came to America in the 1970 and 1980s as dissidents escaping from the Soviet regime. Most intelligent and freedom-loving Poles did too. But you and your parents were so in love with communism that you stayed in your shithole named “Polish People’s Republic”.

        • MCCUSA ⋅

          Don’t you have any selfrespect vladzio rottenburg, dearie, really you are showing to us how barbaric, primitive, obscene and TOTALLAY INFERIOR you russians are to any nation on this planet…I still remember those ‘russian masters’ marching through the streets of Warsaw, truly the missing links, the smelly baboons walking streets of Poland to the horror and total amusement of Polish population. So you thinks that communism, russian style was a choice of 40 million Polish people??? Poland was a ‘colony’ of the soviet union for 40 years until Polish Solidarity. No wonder when the soviet shithole collapsed, Central Asian ex-republics expulsed almost 5 million russians, dropped russian language and cyryllic alphabet and adopted the LATIN ALPHABET. By the way, 90% of all russian emigres who came to America in the 1970/80s are KGB operatives, in case you didn’t know…

  5. @ Kasechka

    These were Americans of Russian Jewish origins. The company had no right to treat them that way, and it only shows how stupid America has become.

  6. Bohdan ⋅

    Not being present on that plane, I cannot answer in all honesty. But maybe, maybe? These Russians were inconsiderate by talking too loudly in the Russian language – as from my dealings with the average Russian they are so full of their own “self-importance” that they think they are God’s gift to society, and do talk loudly so that bystanders can take notice of their superior Russian nature. In such cases, yes it is sad.

    However if they were the minority type, who were talking amongst themselves in a quiet tone so as not to disturb any of the fellow travelers, then it is sad that some of the other passengers reacted the way they did and more importantly it is very sad that the airline reacted to support “the some i.e. outright minority” the way it dide. In which case it is a classic case of how to “impress and influence people” that backfired on the Airline company.

    • vlad rutenburg ⋅

      > “These Russians were inconsiderate by talking too loudly in the Russian language – as from my dealings with the average Russian they are so full of their own “self-importance” that they think they are God’s gift to society, and do talk loudly so that bystanders can take notice of their superior Russian nature.”

      Bohdan, what you are describing word for word is the term “ugly Americans” that the French, British, Italians, Russians and all other Europeans use to describe the loud badly-mannered American tourists looking down on Parisians. Londoners, Romans, Moscovites and all other people who were not smart and lucky enough to be born in Alabama or Detroit.

      On the other hand, most Russian tourists are very shy and reserved.

  7. Bohdan ⋅

    Oops typo error the word “dide” in the first sentence of the last paragraph should read – did.

  8. mingthemerciless ⋅

    Typical drunken Roozkies…

    Imagine these two on a plane…

    Even the fuzz is plastered in Roozkya…

  9. russianwithmila ⋅

    This article has been written by a person who has never been to Russia… And he has opinion about country just according to Internet information and dirty press, which is of course not true. Before publish such articles: Visit the place you are writing about….

  10. vlad rutenburg ⋅

    I hate Putin with all my heart for his trampling of the freedoms in Russia, but all these “rankings” are nothing more than crude Western propaganda a la “Pravda” circa 1970s or Powell’s “Iraq is full of WMDs” speech the UN in 2001 or Albright’s claim that Serbia is “oppressing” the Albanian Islamic narco-barons in 1999 or the current US media black sabbath over Syria portraying the Islamic Al Qaeda extremists exterminating Christians and Shiites as “freedom fighters”, all aimed at brainwashing the ignorant public, most of whom can’t tell the capital of Spain in 10 tries.

    Just look at this travel ranking. Every visitor and resident of Moscow, except for clueless morons, know that if you need a taxi, you just raise your hand – and dozens of cars will rush to pick you up. There are tens if not hundreds of thousands of private cars circling the streets of Moscow looking for a fair. And a trip from the center to the far outskirts will cost you a maximum of $15, whereas the same length trip in the USA will cost you at least $200.

    if you add the palatial Metro subway system (that makes New York’s subway look like the slums of Madras after a riot) that takes you everywhere, with trains running every 30 seconds in rush hour (in New York – every 10 minutes) and every 2 minutes in normal times (in New York – every 20 minutes) and excellent bus, trolley, tram, train (9 different railroad terminals) and flexible and affordable “march route taxis”, you will understand that Moscow’s public transportation is among the best in that World.

    Lat week my car overheated near the Clear Lake resort within a 3 hours drive from Palo Alto and while it is being repaired (and everything moves at snail’s pace in Lake County), I went home by public transportation. My optimal route was:

    1. a bus to some hole in the wall village of Lakeport.
    2. another bus to some hole in the wall little town of Ukiah.
    3. a third bus to yet another hole in the wall: Martinez
    4. a train to Emeryville
    5. another bus to San Francisco which didn’t go to the SF train station directly but circled the entire city before taking us there.
    6. a train from SF to Palo Alto.
    7. a taxi from Palo Alto station to my home in Palo Alto 3 miles away (5 km) away that cost me $20.

    The total 150 mile (240 km) trip took 15 hours and cost me $80. If this happened near Moscow, the same trip would be:

    1. a short bus to the train station
    2. direct train all the way to Moscow
    3. Metro to my home subway station
    4. a 5 minute walk from the subway station to my home, or a $3 taxi.

    It would have taken at most 5 hours and cost at most $8.

    russianwithmila wrote:
    > This article has been written by a person who has never been to Russia…

    That’s one possibility. Another – that this person did visit Moscow once but didn’t have enough brain cells to ask the concierge how to flag taxis.

    Yet another – that they came to Moscow unprepared for the fact that the native language there is not English, but a totally different language called “Russian”. One American visitor from Alabama was shocked to discover that in many countries people speak languages that are not the same as English and found it an amazing coincidence that the country name – “Russia” – sounds so similar to the name of the language spoken there – “Russian”.

    But in reality, it doesn’t matter whether the editors have been to Moscow or not. They were given a patriotic task of writing some usual Cold War propaganda crap about travel in Moscow – and they delivered, all for the benefit of the brain-dead American and Western consumers of mass media news.

    Are Moscow taxi drivers the friendliest? To me – yes. I speak to them in Russian and we discuss the sports, traffic conditions, music on their CD players, latest political news, etc. However, when a product of the American education system arrives in Moscow or another non-English-language city, they construe the fact that the locals’ English (or, as they view it, THE Human language) isn’t as good as theirs as irrefutable proof that the locals (or, as they call them, “aborigines” are retarded. I once was a witness to a bunch of young American tourists denigrating one of my colleague’s intelligence. He happens to be one of the greatest mathematicians of our time and his IQ is probably at least 190.

    And as far as friendliness goes, I have nothing but good memories about the friendliness of Londoners. However, I treat them with respect, as equals. Unfortunately most American travelers treat all non-Americans – even Brits – as their slow-witted servants, thus forcing them to treat these American travelers as pests.

  11. plezzka ⋅

    I loved living in Russia in 93-94 as a college student, but I have never made it back. I even endured the attempted coup d’état of 93 hearing the bombing activity from my home. This year I bought cheap tickets to take my husband and 3 kids there only to discover the outrageous fees and rigamorole to get visas. I despaired for 1 week and then I cancelled our flights. I got most of my money back and took a great American Disney vacation instead. I wouldn’t recognize the place now, but I can tell you back then, it was AWESOME. I did opera, ballet, classical music concerts weekly on the cheap. There are some awesome buildings and I loved Soviet art. Kremlin, Red Square and tons more….. My Russian friends knew how to have a good time and accepted me as one of themselves with no hesitation. Oh and I’m a Mormon which meant they couldn’t even share with me their precious vodka, but they still kindly befriended me. With that said, there is a lot of corruption and ugliness that made tourism near impossible when I was there and I don’t know how well it has improved if at all.

  12. Awayfromrussia ⋅

    Dear Kim,

    First of all, thank you for your insightful post. There is something you should know about Russia, or maybe your next post is going to be about it.
    Ever since the Russian government decided to make Russia a #1 tourist destination, tons and tons of money were spent on hiring Internet bots to promote Russia. There are special people who work for the government on the following websites: Tripadvisor Russia Forum, Yahoo Answers Russia, Fodor’s Russia. They even infiltrated some expat boards!
    This is what they do: they post trolling questions and answers, trying to promote travelling to Russia. For example, one of their favorite question is, “Is Russia safe to visit for a single female?” Then a bunch of people (that is the same bot that changes his IP address) answers – oh, yeah, absolutely safe. You can walk around at night and it is totally fine. Another one of their favorite questions is, “Is Russia safe for gay people?” And all the answerers post messages like, yes, indeed, Russia is the safest place on earth for gay people. Right now they are promoting Olympics. You can pretty much figure out who are the bots by posting a true but negative report on their sight. It will make them furious. You will get angry responses. The funny thing is, they all work from St.Pete’s, where the labor is cheaper, from a so-called axis of evil. They get paid around 1,500 per day for trolling.

  13. Rui ⋅

    Be careful with Russia. The mafia is in the system and not in the slums. Beware of hotels, restaurants, tourist offices and avoid the police. Make travel insurance to prevent health problems and very careful with alcohol since most of vodka served is pure poison, it is no coincidence that it is in Russia where more people die from consumption. Human education is precarious, saw new hitting old people, hustle and escape to the ground and hurt anyone wondering … Otherwise, enjoy that Russia is undoubtedly a country with very different folks people and good (france and italian) arquitecture.

  14. Yuri Chernousov ⋅

    Stop spreading lies and hate about Russia and its people !!!!!!!!! Would you be happy if the West is treated like that???!!!!!!!!!!!!

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