A practical currency and money guide to travel, living and doing business in Russia and the Russian ruble (RUB).
What's in this Russia currency guide:
The official currency of Russia (country code: RU) is the Russian ruble, with symbol ₽ and currency code RUB.
Reputedly, the Russian ruble has been in existence in one form or another for nearly 800 years, and as such is one of the world’s oldest national currencies. A single ruble unit is subdivided into 100 kopeks.
Contributing to around 1% of all foreign exchange deals, the ruble is the world’s seventeenth most traded currency.
The value of the ruble is heavily influenced by commodities prices since Russia’s top exports include oil, natural gas and metals.
In recent years, the most significant event to affect the ruble’s valuation came in the second half of 2014 with the introduction of economic sanctions against Russia for its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine. These sanctions, together with a 50% drop in the oil price in the same period, led to a ruble collapse. The ruble lost nearly 60% of its value against the US dollar between July and mid-December 2014.
Since 2000, the ruble’s highest valuation against the dollar occurred in July 2008 when USD/RUB fell to just 23.05. Its lowest value came in January 2016 when USD/RUB reached 85.97.
The ruble is considered riskier to hold than the FX "majors,” which means that it is likely to fall in value against those currencies (especially JPY, USD, CHF, EUR and GBP) during periods of significant economic uncertainty or high market volatility, or when global geopolitical risk is elevated.
Russian food is plentiful, home cooked, and delicious. Soups are very good. The bread is delicious. Food in the supermarkets is plentiful and reasonably priced. There is a wide variety of teas, chocolates, dairy products, produce, candies, and vodka. Carry plenty of cash.
They’ll take Visa or MasterCard in the big shops and stores, but virtually no one, except at the hotel, takes American Express. And be prepared to have to pay cash at the smaller restaurants. Moscow is one of the most expensive cities in the world and St Petersburg is not a cheap destination either; wallet-thinning shock is common at many restaurants and hotels.
ATM machines are very easy to find in Russian cities, so you can easily withdraw Russian Rubles from an ATM machine that usually provides the option to switch the language to English. Many businesses accept only cash and taxis do not take credit cards. If you plan to buy roubles in Russia, you should take US dollars or euros to exchange, and only change money at banks, hotels and airport exchange bureaux. It is an offence to change money from street traders.
Right across Russia, timetables for long-distance trains are written according to Moscow time. The only exceptions are those for suburban services that run on local time – but not always, so double-check. Station clocks in most places are also set to Moscow time. Note that Moscow and St Petersburg share the same time zone. The metro systems of Moscow and St Petersburg are excellent. There are smaller ones in Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Samara and Yekaterinburg.
Long-distance buses tend to complement rather than compete with the rail network. They generally serve areas with no railway or routes on which trains are slow, infrequent or overloaded. Within most cities, marshrutky double up on official bus routes but are more frequent. They will also stop between official bus stops, which can save quite a walk. Services are frequent in city centres but more erratic as you move out toward the edges. They can get jam-packed in the late afternoon or on poorly served routes.
Renting a car is a good option, however almost all signs are only in Russian. Allow lots of time at the airport, even for domestic flights. Security and check in are inefficient and the lines move slowly. Be sure to make time for flights, Russian airports do not seem as tolerant of lateness as most. Be sure your frequent flier numbers are in your reservation; the desk clerk you get may not have a clue on how to enter one, especially for a codeshare flight.
Yes, chances are you need a very for Russia, and it can get compilcated so start the application process at least a month before your trip and consider using a specialist travel agency to arrange visas and make key transport bookings. This is an absolute must for everybody. You can do it at the last moment, but it may cost you a fortune. Every visitor to Russia should have their visa registered within seven days of arrival, excluding weekends and public holidays.
There are no standardized opening and closing times for museums, cathedrals and other attractions in Russia. Lenin’s mausoleum in Moscow’s Red Square, for example, is only open from 10am until 1pm and is closed on Mondays and Fridays.
Even if you don’t normally drink the stuff, if you’re in Russia you should definitely try some of the vodka – just call it cultural research. Vodka is served with meals, and it’s best to drink it as a shot, not sip it.
Russian power outlets take round 2-pin Euro plugs. A flat Euro plug adapter don't usually fit into the socket. Current is 220V.
Managing your money effectively while living and working abroad can be challenging, but there are several steps you can take to ensure that your finances are in order.
By following these tips and managing your money effectively, you can reduce financial stress and enjoy your experience living or doing business in Russia.
There are no taxes when purchasing a property, but owners pay an annual property tax of 0.5% of the property value.
To get tax resident status, you will need to have lived in Russia for at least 183 days over the last 12 months.
If you sell your home within 5 years of purchase (or 3 years if purchased prior to 1 January 2016), there is a 13% tax on profits. Selling after 5 years there is no tax on profit.
Here we list some key points for expats and businesses to consider when managing financial dealings in Russia:
Understand Russian ruble currency exchange rates: Exchange rates can have a big impact on your finances, so it is important to keep an eye on the RUB exchange rate and consider using a currency exchange service or a credit card that does not charge foreign transaction fees to get the best exchange rate.
Use a local Russian ruble bank account: A local RUB bank account can make it easier for you to manage your finances and pay bills while you are in Russia. It may also be more convenient to use a local RUB bank account to make purchases and withdraw cash.
Research local laws and regulations: It is important to understand the local laws and regulations that apply to financial transactions in Russia. This can help you avoid legal issues and ensure that you are complying with local requirements.
Consider the tax implications: It is important to understand the tax implications of living or doing business in Russia. This can help you plan your finances and ensure that you are paying the correct amount of tax.
Seek financial advice: If you are unsure of how to manage your finances in Russia, it is a good idea to seek the advice of a financial professional who is familiar with the local financial system. This can help you make informed decisions and avoid financial pitfalls.
The exchange rate of Russian ruble (RUB), or the amount of RUB that can be exchanged for a foreign currency, can fluctuate rapidly based on a number of factors, including economic conditions, interest rates, and political events. Below you can check the latest USD/RUB rate plus recent trend, chart, forecasts and historic rates.
12 May 2023
|3.6% ▲||2 Week|
25 Feb 2023
|5.4% ▲||3 Month|
26 May 2022
|31.7% ▲||1 Year|
27 May 2018
|28.8% ▲||5 Year|
28 May 2013
|154.6% ▲||10 Year|
31 May 2003
|161.2% ▲||20 Year|
According to recent forecasts from FX analysts, the US dollar's performance against the Russian ruble may be influenced by the changes in the Federal Reserve's interest rate policy. While the Fed hiked rates by 25 basis points in April, the US dollar index is still trading close to a one-year low, and the central bank has changed its guidance to suggest that rate hikes have ended. The Fed remains cautious about the impact of credit tightening and regional banking crises and has not hinted at its next policy move, which may result in further ambiguity in May. The US dollar may continue to trade sideways against the ruble in the short term. Nevertheless, if the US or global economy performs poorly, the US dollar may increase as a haven currency.
Economists expect the US dollar's strength over the past year to eventually reverse in 2023 as the Fed's interest rate cycle comes to an end. Meanwhile, the Russian ruble has already been among the worst-performing currencies in 2022, losing over 7% against the dollar. The recent invasion of Ukraine by Russia has caused a further drop in the ruble towards 90 to the greenback. Over the past three months, the USD to RUB exchange rate has fluctuated widely from 73.05 to 82.24, with the current rate of 76.57 being 1.5% below its three-month average of 77.7.
USD/RUB forecasts USD/RUB rates
The below comparison table makes it easy to find the best exchange rates and lowest fees when you want to make an International Money Transfer to Russia or planning a trip or maybe living there, so will need to exchange and spend Russian ruble.
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It is important to note that the exchange rate of the Russian ruble can change rapidly and that past performance is not necessarily indicative of future performance. It is advisable to carefully consider the risks and factors that may affect RUB exchange rates before making any financial decisions.