There comes a time when you realize, you must travel solo at least once in your life. We are becoming more and more overworked, overwhelmed, overstressed… What else to save us from the doom and gloom of routine than some me-time. Some of the greatest travel writers only travel solo, and it is evident that the number of travellers venturing alone is increasing.
For some, a solo trip still sounds a bit intimidating: top concerns are generally safety and boredom. But the benefits of solo travel can outweigh any concerns. The potential for self-growth is enormous, and getting out of your comfort zone will result in greater self-esteem, confidence and resilience. As the author David Mitchell said, if you “travel far enough, you meet yourself".
Russia offers great experiences for those who prefer travelling on their own and here is why.
I can do it!
There is no greater feeling than the sense of accomplishment. Going solo can be one of the most empowering and liberating experiences anyone can experience. Travelling alone on a Trans-Siberian rail may be seen as this crazy idea that only a seasoned adventurer would do. Nothing could be further from the truth! In reality, anyone can do it regardless of their age or gender. If you are afraid of being stuck in a separate 4 -berth compartment with strangers you may not like, you can always go platzkart, which is cheaper and as not as pressuring if you do not want to socialise too much. If you do though, there are much more fellow passengers to choose from!
Rail travel is safe!
Rail is by far one of the safest ways to travel. If you are looking for a classic solo experience and have a larger budget, we recommend a 2-berth 1st class carriage: you will have your own bed and if you purchase the extra ticket, you can relax and enjoy the passing views in your own company. If you are more of a “alone in a crowd” traveller, the best option will be 3rd class open carriage: it does not offer the privacy of a personal compartment, but how else are you going to meet the locals and learn about their customs!
Have a look at our FAQ section to discover more about the different travel classes.
Russia last minute
Travelling solo often means last minute travel. If you are bored of any typical last-minute destination, pick Russia for your next trip!
Yes, you will need a visa! And yes – it can be done fast! We can organize an invitation letter for the Russian visa in 15 minutes and if you are really short on time, you can use the visa express service, so you can be ready to go in as short as a week’s notice! If you have a Trans-Siberian rail trip on your mind, and you are not bothered by the type of train you will be travelling on, we can book a trip even with a few weeks’ notice, so it can still be done as a last minute idea. If you are worried about spending a fortune on the flights, we can get you there by train from London (with quite a few changes though). But, ultimately, if you woke up one day and decided to travel by train to Russia, we will certainly be able to arrange that!
To go or not go to the Hermitage!
One of the main reasons to travel alone is not be pressured into any excursions and organised programmes. If you are more of a spontaneous traveller and you prefer not to compromise, travelling solo is absolutely the best choice. Russia is full of fascinating museums, like the world-famous Hermitage in St Petersburg or the Armoury Museum in Moscow. But it may not be a must see for some. Maybe you are more of a Kunstkamera person or you avoid museums at any cost… What is great is that you do not need to compromise; you can do whatever you want and if you are really looking for flexibility, you do not need to book in advance. In all museums in Russia these days, you can pay for audio guide and visit at your own pace. Some visits may need to be booked in advance due to the huge interest; for example, it is unlikely you will be able to just pop in to the Armoury museum in Moscow or to the Catherine’s Palace in St Petersburg as all tickets may have been sold out weeks before! It can happen in Spring and Summer seasons. What helps is to do a proper research into opening days/times and ways to get tickets …or simply ask us to do it for you!
Я не говорю по-русски! (I don't speak Russian!)
The last hurdle before travelling solo to Russia seems always to be the language barrier. But this never stopped anyone from going alone to Vietnam, Thailand or any Asian country, high on the list of perfect solo destinations! The English language may not be wide spread in small Russian cities but there is always someone who will understand you in more remote cities in Siberia. And you should not have any problems in Moscow and St Petersburg; you can get around easily by metro (all station are marked in Russian and English as well), the announcements on the metro are also in English. You can book an Uber in Moscow as well! Plenty of restaurants will have English menus or at least one English speaking waiter. You can use one of the many translation apps on your phone as well and carry a phrase book. If you are really worried, we can help you with a list of phrases that are useful to know before you go. And for those still worried, we are just a phone call and WhatsApp away.