Do you know any gay travel agencies that offer tours to Russia?
The following travel agents feature gay and lesbian tours to Russia:
You may also contact the Russia-based GayTours agency:
Can you recommend any gay-friendly hotels in Moscow? Are there any gay B&Bs?
There are no openly gay-owned or gay-operated hotels in Moscow or elsewhere in Russia. The general trend is the more expensive the hotel, the less they care whom you bring with you. For prices check All Russian Hotels or Hotels in Russia, Ukraine, etc. (gay-owned online booking service). Please note that in older Soviet-style hotels prices for foreigners are higher than for Russian citizens, but these bad discriminatory practices are going away. The once famous Intourist hotel on Tverskaya Street has been torn down and is about to be replaced by a five-star Hilton. A helpful resource for locating the "right" hotel are Fodor's rants and raves about hotels in Moscow. A word of caution: if you decide to stay at the Hotel Rossiya (whose only advantage is the prime location close to the Red Square), the security regulation won't allow you to bring anyone after 11 pm.
I am coming to Moscow with my partner. Can we rent an apartment or stay with a Russian family?
As a legacy of the Soviet regime, the real estate market in Russia is bifurcated. Apartments available for rent are either "Soviet," i.e. shabby and substandard, or "Western" which means a recent renovation according to Western standards. There is no or very little middle ground in between these two options. Besides, quite a few agencies offer apartments on a daily or even weekly basis.
If you need a long-term rental, we'd suggest making contact with one of the foreign-owned and operated real estate agencies in Moscow. You can find their contact details in the Classifieds section of The Moscow Times newspaper. For prices and an overview of the upper-scale apartment market, go to Blackwood Real Estate.
We would like to hire a guide while in Moscow. Do you know any gay guides? How do I find somebody to show me the gay scene in Moscow?
There are no agencies in Russia specializing in gay guides. We created a special page where you can browse offers from individual Russian gay guides and check their references.
Can you suggest any sites for further reading on Russian life?
Three sources of information indispensable for anyone coming to Russia are:
1. The Moscow Times' Guide to Russia. It is an extremely helpful guide to all things Russia and is compiled by the English-language newpaper The Moscow Times and based on their publications over the last decade.
2. The Expat Survival Guide. Expat.Ru, a site by and for expatriates (foreigners) living in Russia, brings you an insider's view on how to make life in Moscow more enjoyable.
We are very thankful to Andrew who proof-read the text.