Traveled cashless in Russia for 2 weeks & got free upgrade to Business class.

25th Jul 2019

I always prefer to travel cashless as its much more convenient, easy and keeps your wallet light. I use HDFC Forex card which is a great card to use in any foreign country as there is no conversion fee and no extra charges applicable. Plus when we take out cash from the atm, the atm bank charges the fee plus our bank charges a fee plus the conversion rates are pretty bad if you are carrying $. In my whole trip i paid through my card even in metro and in bus. And specially in Moscow you can tap your card on bus and it was 7 rubles cheaper than buying the bus ticket by cash. You have to tap your card where the locals tap their bus cards. I initially thought that you need buy a bus pass to do that but then the bus driver told me that all cards work on it. So i literally didnt use any cash anywhere.

Usually people take a flight directly to Moscow as there are many direct flights from Delhi to Moscow, but i took a flight from Delhi to St Petersburg which was a connecting flight from Moscow and because of this I got lucky. My flight reached Moscow late by 1.5 hours and due to which my next flight got missed. But as the airline was same which is Aeroflot, they actually upgraded me to Business Class flight which was after 4 hours, and they also gave me 1000 Rubles coupon which i could use anywhere inside the airport to eat, which was great. So my trip had a great start. I was so happy.

Photo of Traveled cashless in Russia for 2 weeks & got free upgrade to Business class. 1/1 by Jaya Singh
Business Class Meal
Day 1

I was travelling for 2 weeks so i was staying in St Petersburg for 5 days. All the places are nearby here so you really dont need to take any Metro or bus. I went to all the places by foot, I used to take bus or metro in the evening when i got really tired from all the walking, otherwise its very bugdet friendly to explore in St Petersburg. There are many places to visit in St Petersburg specially cathedral, but everyone has an entry fee so its better if you visit 1 or 2. Places i visited were 1. State Hermitage Musuem - It's so big that you cant see this place on a single day! 2. St. Isaac's Cathedral 3. Museum of Russian Vodka 4. New Holland Island 5. Palkin 6. Palace Square 7. The Palace Bridge (Night View) 8. Savior on the Spilled Blood 9. Mosaic Yard 10. Cruiser Aurora 11. Nelson's Courtyard 12. Peterhof. I cant share all the picture but i will put some pictures of the places that i went to. I visited all these places on 5 days.

Photo of St. Isaac's Cathedral, Saint Isaac's Square, Saint Petersburg, Russia by Jaya Singh
Photo of Palace Square, Saint Petersburg, Russia by Jaya Singh
Photo of The Palace Bridge, Saint Petersburg, Russia by Jaya Singh
Photo of Mosaic Yard, Ulitsa Chaykovskogo, St Petersburg, Russia by Jaya Singh
Day 6

Next i took a train from St Petersburg to Moscow. It was a night train so i could sleep on the train and then i could roam from the next morning. Make sure to book your long train rides in advance as the tickets sell out. I made my booking 3 weeks prior to my trip and almost all the tickets had been sold out. Moscow has much more connectivity than any other place in Russia being the Capital and due to that its more crowded. The places to visit in Russia is also a bit further so you will have to take metro rides or bus rides from one place to another. I spent 6 days here and the places 1. Moskvarium 2. VDNKh 3. Izmailovsky Market 4. Restaurant Bunker 42 5. Luzhkov Most 6. St. Basil's Cathedral 7. The Moscow Kremlin 8. Red Square 9. Military Tour 10. Ostankino Tower

Photo of Ostankino Television Tower (Ostankinskaia Televizionnaia Bashnia), Akademika Koroleva Street, Moscow, Russia by Jaya Singh
Photo of St. Basil's Cathedral, Red Square, Moscow, Russia by Jaya Singh
Photo of Luzhkov Most, Moscow, Russia by Jaya Singh
Day 13
Photo of Bauman Street, Kazan, Russia by Jaya Singh
Photo of Kul Sharif Mosque, Ulitsa Sheynkmana, Kazan, Russia by Jaya Singh
Photo of Kazan Kremlin, Kazan, Russia by Jaya Singh
Day 12

On 11th night i had a train journey from Moscow to Kazan. I was spending 3 days in Kazan and from there i had a connecting flight back to Delhi. Kazan is less explored as compared to Moscow and St Petersburg. When i reached there, i didn't find many tourist around, so it was very peaceful and quiet and also very windy because in Kazan there are no big building, so its much colder out there. And the winds are very strong. There is not much places to visit there so you can literally go there to chill and walk around. 1.Temple of all Religions 2. Bauman Street 3. musuem of illusions 4. Kul Sharif Mosque 5. Kazan Kremlin 6. Kazan Wedding Palace