Getting Around Russia

What If I Don’t Speak Russian?

Getting Around Russia When You Don’t Speak Russian: Mobile Resources

Visiting a foreign country with little or no knowledge of the language can be daunting, but if you’re willing to make some mistakes and try something new, it can be a rewarding experience. As someone currently living in Russia, I’ve had several encounters already, both productive and somewhat embarrassing, where knowing a little Russian has helped. However, I am not close to conversational, with just a handful of words and phrases in my repertoire, and I am still able to get around and do what I need to do. The best advice I have is to use the resources available and get ready to possibly ask for help from strangers, so here are mobile resources to consider if you’re traveling with a smartphone:

Yandex Maps

This is a free app that allows you to download a map of several of the main cities in Russia. The map can give you routes for public transportation, car, walking, biking, or taxi, and you can save your favorite locations to find again. You can also access the websites of just about anywhere you want to go. The routes give directions, street names, and metro stations in English. This app is a lifesaver!


Another free app that, if you have the time to put in, can help you start to read a bit and know a few useful phrases, like “Hello, how are you?” and “Where is the metro?” among other phrases. This will be more helpful if you start using the app every day for a couple weeks before your trip, though it won’t be as helpful in the moment you need to talk to someone.

Google Translate

While Google Translate has a reputation of being unreliable, that really only applies to paragraphs of text. With words and short phrases, Google Translate is quite useful. One of the most helpful features is the instant text translation option. This is nice to have in restaurants, museums, and grocery stores. You can also download an offline translation file in the app to use if you don’t have a WiFi connection or reception. This is the app to use in the moment you need to communicate because it will play the phrase you want to use.

Your App Store!

This one isn’t an app I expected to be so helpful. Just browsing through the travel app category has helped me to find apps that know where I want to visit, want to eat, and can afford to stay when the websites themselves sometimes don’t have an English option.

Be Brave & Talk to Strangers

Sorry, this one is not a mobile application, but something you’ll have to come up with on your own. While traveling, t’s more likely than not that you’ll be presented with a situation that technology can’t solve for you. I have found that most Russians on the street are willing to help you if you’re polite.

Living in a world practically run by technology can be one of your greatest assets when visiting Russia. What are some of your favorite apps and resources when traveling abroad?

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email



I've traveled to Russia on and off since 2005. I knew that it is important to find an agency to smooth out the process of getting a Russian visa invitation and visa. After doing some research, I chose Let's Russia, and I was not disappointed. The service was prompt, attentive, knowledgeable, and up-to-date about how to receive the most appropriate Russian visa. The prices are fair. I will definitely use Let's Russia again and recommend the agency to anyone embarking on a trip to Russia for any purpose.


They were not only responsive throughout the application, but they were helpful and very accommodating. Quick replies. Very fair price compared to everywhere else. Smooth transaction all the way through. It almost makes me want to go back to Russia (just so I can use them again!) Actually, Moscow was a most memorable trip and highly recommended


We used Let's Russia multiple times to bring our family to Russia to visit us over a two-year period. The services were excellent and very helpful. All documents were processed in a timely manner. The staff members went the extra mile and delivered documents to us. We highly recommend Let's Russia and will use them when we visit Russia again. We can't say enough good about their services!


This company was so very easy to work with - fast, efficient, organized, and always kept me in the loop with everything. I highly recommend them if you need a Russian Visa!


I have used other services and obtained Russian Visas in the past from other sites but Let's Go Russia was far superior to work with. Fast, Easy, personable staff and no worries.


Fast and thorough communication. Patience with all of my questions. Took all of the stress out of the visa process. Great service.


Great company with incredible service. We were able to receive updates via email almost immediately after we sent them. Thank you for being so prompt and helping us with something that could have been a lot more complicated than it ended up being!


Very professional and helpful company. I needed a Russian Visa quickly and Marcus explained to me all my options. I received the Visa when promised with no hassles. I will use Let's Russia again and even reccomend them to a friend who took my advice and used them as well. Thank you Let's Russia for all your help. A+++++


Let's Russia are very professional and their service is very quick and less expensive than other companies. They kept me updated on the status of our visa's to Russia and our documents arrived well in advance of our departure. We travel regularly and I highly recommend you consider Let's Russia for your Visa needs.


Copyright Let's Russia 2020