Russia is a vast and diverse nation that continues to evolve politically, economically, and socially. Most Americans find their stay in Russia both exciting and rewarding, but travel and living conditions in Russia contrast sharply with those in the United States. Major urban centers show tremendous differences in economic development compared to rural areas. While good tourist facilities exist in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and some other large cities, they are not developed in most of Russia, and some of the goods and services taken for granted in other countries are not yet available. Russian visa requirements are highly complex, and U.S. citizens must take care that they do not unintentionally violate entry and exit regulations. Travel to the Caucasus region of Russia is dangerous; the Department of State recommends Americans not travel to Chechnya and the North Caucasus region, including Mt. Elbrus.
Read the Department of State’s Background Notes on Russia for additional information.