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Does anyone take Rubles to Russia?

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Should we take a few rubles to St Petersburg or do you think we’ll get by on euros, dollars and credit card. Thanks in advance! 

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1 hour ago, Alohaaloha said:

Should we take a few rubles to St Petersburg or do you think we’ll get by on euros, dollars and credit card. Thanks in advance! 

You really do not need to get rubles in advance - there are ATMs in the city if you feel the need to get some local cash. Credit cards are accepted almost everywhere - Visa, Mastercard (AMEX, not so much). Many of the vendors in the tourist areas will also accept USD and Euro.

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For buying souvenirs in corner shops you may want to have some rubles with you. For everything else, you can use your credit cards.

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Did SPB without any Rubles although got some to bring home as souvenirs.  CC , $ or € will work fine.

Edited by wheezedr
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We did tours with TJ Tours last summer and did not need Rubles for anything except the toilets at The Hermitage.  They also took Euro coins and our guide provided for anyone who did not have the coins.  We brought back lots of souveniers using a card only.

 

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We did the 2 day deluxe tour with Alla last summer & also did not need rubles. we paid for the tour at the end of day 1 with credit card. In addition, if your cruise also stops in Tallin, souvenirs were plentiful and far less costly than in SPG.

Edited by dabear

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What currency do you use to tip the guide and driver in SPB?  I saw something that said customary tip is 10% to the guide and 5% to the driver.  I usually tip in cash.  

 

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54 minutes ago, cruisinginmay said:

What currency do you use to tip the guide and driver in SPB?  I saw something that said customary tip is 10% to the guide and 5% to the driver.  I usually tip in cash.  

 

Our tour company gave instructions that tips were accepted in Rubles, US Dollars and Euros.  We used $$$ and had envelopes made up for tips ahead of time.  

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Tips should be for above and beyond normal. This is not a tip but a mandatory payment, why not pay this upfront?

How can you have tip envelopes sorted out in advance, if the service is weak the tip should not exist, or at best be a simple rounding up. This is what is so wrong with the tipping culture

7 hours ago, Jezabel2924 said:

Our tour company gave instructions that tips were accepted in Rubles, US Dollars and Euros.  We used $$$ and had envelopes made up for tips ahead of time.  

 

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I did but that was because we traveled in 2014 when there were the russian military intervention in the ukraine.  When I called my credit card company to put a travel notice on my card, they told me they were worried if things got bad politically, they'd need to put a freeze on credit card transactions in Russia and suggested getting some rubles.  We didn't really need them, but given the political mess it was good to have dollars and rubles on hand as a backup.

Edited by kitkat343

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You'll want some rubles while you are there. You can get them in advance, or when you get there from an ATM, but if you want something from a souvenir stand, you will need to have some. Most things you can use a credit card for, so you won't need a lot.

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37 minutes ago, angie7911922 said:

You'll want some rubles while you are there. You can get them in advance, or when you get there from an ATM, but if you want something from a souvenir stand, you will need to have some. Most things you can use a credit card for, so you won't need a lot.

The souvenir shops will accept credit cards - most will also accept USD and Euro (although at a poor exchange rate).

The souvenir kiosks in the tourist areas will accept both USD and Euro (also poor exchange rate).

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I always take the equivalent of 50$ in local currency -- for an ice cream or a bottle of mineral water.

I don't want to spend precious vacation time looking for ATMs /the nearest bank.

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On 4/8/2019 at 5:11 PM, Jezabel2924 said:

Our tour company gave instructions that tips were accepted in Rubles, US Dollars and Euros.  We used $$$ and had envelopes made up for tips ahead of time.  

And you got scammed.

 

NO TIPPING IN EUROPE! And that includes Russia.

Leave your ridiculous tipping habits in the US

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2 hours ago, Despegue said:

And you got scammed.

 

NO TIPPING IN EUROPE! And that includes Russia.

Leave your ridiculous tipping habits in the US

I am Russian and tipping is appreciated but not required, it was wide spread before USSR and came back with Russian Federation. In Russia it is not called tipping it is called "tea money"

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2 hours ago, Despegue said:

And you got scammed.

 

NO TIPPING IN EUROPE! And that includes Russia.

Leave your ridiculous tipping habits in the US

How can you have tipping envelopes made up in advance? Tipping should only be for above and beyond the normal, you do not tip in Europe on mediocre or poor service. It is not necessary to tip..

 

2 hours ago, Despegue said:

.

 

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There is no need to be rude here because you disagree about tipping.  I realize other countries look at it in a different manner but the OP was asking about Rubles.  Some have to get snippy about tipping, which was not the original question.  Lighten up, personally I get tired of people from various places complaining about the tipping when I'm traveling.

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Try not to purchase Roubles on board your ship. The rates I have seen imply a margin of at least 20% for the operator.

Even Airport currency dealers are much better.

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I was happy to see this thread as we are preparing for our Baltic cruise and assuming that we would need rubles to tip our guide and driver.  We are touring with Alla and I will contact them to see what options we have.  This will be an interesting cruise with at least four different currencies.

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Your guide and driver will be happy to receive US dollars, Euros, or GB£.   They are all fungible.  

The only time you might need a rouble coin is for the toilets. In that case, your guide will provide the necessary coin.   Credit cards for everything else.  

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We had a two day tour with SPB.  We brought about $20 in rubles with us and used them to buy a nesting doll.  Other than that, we had no expenses that required rubles.

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On 4/6/2019 at 9:45 PM, Alohaaloha said:

Should we take a few rubles to St Petersburg or do you think we’ll get by on euros, dollars and credit card. Thanks in advance! 

I’ve bee to Russia a couple of times and had zero need for rubles.  USD and Euros and CC will get you through nicely.  As for washrooms and the like, if you are on a ship or arranged tour (SPB for example) they will be taking you to places where facilities will be available w/o charge.

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