Accessible Travel in Russia
Russia is a beautiful country with great cultural heritage and unrivaled historic monuments. However, the conditions for disabled travel to Russia are limited, transport not upgraded, most highlights inaccessible and customer service persons untrained. Until recent time there haven’t been any travel packages in the market customized for disabled travelers.
When planning an accessible tour in Russia one meets innumerable challenges, and unless you have a travel professional on your side, the voyage is hard to put in effect. Accommodation, transportation, sightseeing structures are not optimized up to the level you may be used to, and it is with a fair amount of optimism, humor and courage that you should approach this adventure.
Accessible Travel experts
Russian Wonder Travel is the only company in Russia specializing in travel services for tourists with special needs.
Relevant accommodation – we use centrally-located hotels located in the city center with spacious rooms and roll-in showers or accessible baths with grab bars and slide-in bath seats.
Total care approach – we organize every step of your trip from a Fast Track in the airport to personal attendants in museums to make sure there are no surprises whatsoever.
Medical facilities en-route – Russia is known for high quality and not over-priced medical services. We arrange for meeting doctors, visiting health resorts, attending therapy centers etc.
Personal approach – each travel itinerary is customized to meet your personal requirements and budget expectations.
There’s simply no other tour operator in Russia specialized in disabled and senior travel. Here are some of the services we provide:
– Specially tuned tours for travelers with reduced mobility, sight and hearing.
– Accessible hotels in Moscow and St Petersburg: tested and true.
– Meet-and-greet service and assistance with luggage at the airport.
– English-speaking personal assistants throughout the tours and excursions.
– Professional guides to the highlights and museums: all European and a couple of Asian languages available!
– Breakfasts, lunches and dinners in the best restaurants with relevant facilities.
– Accessible minivans and buses with air-conditioning and English-speaking drivers and train tickets throughout Russia.
We are using the best suppliers available because we understand how important it is to make your trip stress-free with no surprises. All tour packages are personally optimized to meet your special needs and make sure that you have the time of your life.
While quite many hotels advertise that they feature specialized facilities, there is certainly a shortage of relevant accommodation options in Moscow.
Below you will find a list of Moscow hotels usually mentioning specially facilities with our comments on the real situation:
Hotel name Special type of room Level-access shower
Holiday Inn Moscow Lesnaya Yes Yes
Holiday Inn Moscow Vinogradovo Yes No, specially equipped bath
Marriott Grand Yes, 1 room per hotel Level access shower + bath
Marriott Tverskaya Yes, 1 room per hotel No
Novotel Moscow Centre Accommodation in Deluxe room No, bathroom
Swissotel Krasnye Holmy Yes Shower + bath
Altay Hotel inaccessible.
Baltschug Kempinski Not yet, though they plan one. They advertise Deluxe room instead – price from 1200 to 3500 euro per night. Level access shower.
Bega Hotel inaccessible
Bitsa Hotel inaccessible
Derzhavnaya Hotel inaccessible
Golden Ring Deluxe room Usual bathroom with hand-rails attached upon request.
Katerina-City Yes Bath with hand-rails.
Kosmos Hotel inaccessible
Kometa Hotel inaccessible
Kuzminki Hotel inaccessible
Mezhdunarodnaya Yes, 1 room per hotel Bath with hand-rails.
Mettallurg Hotel inaccessible
National Hotel inaccessible
Oxana Yes Bath with hand-rails
Orlyonok Yes Bath with hand-rails
Ostankino Hotel inaccessible
Sovetsky Hotel inaccessible
President Hotel inaccessible
Radisson Slavyanskaya No Upon request they can remove door in the room and install hand-rails in the bathroom. Very caring staff.
Savoy Yes Level access shower
Sevastopol Hotel inaccessible
Soyuz Hotel inaccessible
Sport Reabilitation Complex VOS Yes, and not overpriced! Shower.
There’s also a vast choice of health centers and sanatoriums outside Moscow and ni other regions of Russia.
The Kremlin Cathedrals, Mausoleum, Peter and Paul fortress, Kolomenskoy Estate Museum, St. Basil Cathedral, Saviour on the Blood – these and many other highlights have been unavailable for years before we came in service.
Our professional personal attendants will accompany you during your trip providing assistance when necessary. Besides portable suitcase ramp that helps with unavoidable steps there’s always a friendly buddy to help/carry you up and down. Manual wheelchairs and electric scooter rentals are also available. Carefully chosen and tested restaurants make sure you enjoy the best of the national comfort with comfort. We’ve also located accessible bathrooms throughout the cities that travelers can use when shopping and out for the day.
The two most popular destinations in Russia are certainly the two capitals – Moscow and St Petersburg.
St. Petersburg is one of the most miraculous and fascinating cities in the world. Due to its beauty it is often called The Venice of the North, The Northern Palmira or the City of White Nights. St. Petersburg was founded in 1703. The Russian Tzar Peter the Great personally supervised the construction and named the city after his patron saint. It was the capital of the Russian Empire since 1712 till 1918.
The official authorities of St Petersburg have recently launched a new social program “Culture without thresholds”. According to this program people with reduced mobility will finally get access to the museums of the city. This mainly concerns those people who use wheel chairs, as staircases and absence of elevators prevent them from seeing most highlights of the city. There are currently only two museums that can be called accessible – these are the Hermitage and the Russian Museum.
Hermitage Museum – the Hermitage ranks among the world’s major museums. Its collection consists of nearly 3 million art objects (West European art, the Antique world, Primitive culture, Oriental culture and art, the history of Russian Culture and numismatics). Exhibits are displayed in the Winter Palace, as well as the Small, Old and New Hermitages.
State Russian Museum – The Russian Museum today is a unique depository of artistic treasures, a leading restoration center, an authoritative institute of academic research, a major educational center and the nucleus of a network of national museums of art. The Russian Museum collection contains circa 400.000 exhibits. This museum started optimizing the venue and installing special elevators and ramps already back in 1998, when Russian incoming tourism per se merely existed at all.
According to the order of St Petersburg mayor house Anna Akhmatova museum should be made accessible by the end of 2006 by installing elevators and ramps – so that visitors with reduced mobility can view the whole exposition without special assistance.
It is worth taking a boat trip along the canals of St Petersburg (assistant needed to get onto the boat) in summer, and certainly seeing the suburbs of the northern capitals, with their magnificent imperial parks and residences. We suggest you accept assistance from our staff who’d be glad to overcome a few steps here and there so that your impression is not saddened by any inconvenience.
Most of the museums and sightseeing attractions are yet inaccessible and unless you have a professional guide and assistant on your side you won’t be able to visit the masterpieces of the Russian architecture and historical landmarks listed below. Our company provides specialized travel services for people with reduced mobility and our specially trained, caring and motivated staff will be always by your side.
A list of St Petersburg highlights is available at http://www.viaggiareinrussia.com/en_sight_stpete.html
Moscow is better suited for special need travel, featuring Pushkin State Museum, Tretyakovskaya Gallery, Darwin Museum and also a number of exhibition halls and memorial complexes opened recently.
Tretyakov State Gallery – one of the world’s largest museums, a treasure house of old Russian art from the XXI century till our days. The gallery bears the name of its founder, Pavel Tretyakov, a rich Russian manufacturer and patron of art. Now the Tretyakov Gallery holds more than 50000 works of painting, graphic art and sculpure.
Pushkin Fine Arts Museum – Moscow’s equivalent to St. Petersburg’s enormous Hermitage Museum. It houses an extensive collection of ancient art and artifacts from the Ancient times to the New Age, including Egyptian, Assyrian, Ancient Greek and Roman pieces. The museum was established by the father of the famous Russian poet Marina Tsvetaeva.
Other locations in Moscow which you should consider for your travel are certainly the Kremlin and the Red Square. While you might need our assistance to get into St Basil or Mausoleum without our assistance, Kremlin is certainly a must-to-see on your itinerary.
Moscow Kremlin and Kremlin Cathedrals – the Kremlin has always been perceived as a symbol of power and might of the Russian land. Each era of Russian history lefts it’s architectural mark on the Kremlin; within the Kremlin walls there are many architectural monuments, churches, cathedrals, museums, etc.
You will also enjoy our Moscow coach city tour in a specially equipped vehicle and experienced guide: main streets, squares and places of interest: the Tverskaya street the most animated and saucy, the former headquarters of the KGB, Russian White House, the Red Square, the Cathedral of St. Basil the Blessed, the Cathderal of Christ the Saviour, the Bolshoy Theatre, Vorobyevi Hills – the beautiful view of the city from the observation platform, Moscow State University, Novodevichiy Convent, “Diplomatic Village”, Victory Park with its fountains and churches, the Triumphal Arch, Kutuzov prospect, Arbat street, etc. Whenever it is possible we shall go out and enjoy the vast spaces of observation platform and Victory Park.
We also highly recommend you see Kolomenskoye Estate – a Great Princes’ mansion in the XIV-XVII centures. It is the unique art, historical, architectural and nature-landscape museum-reserve, situated in the South region of Moscow. Nowadays it is a remarkable place to enjoy Russian folklore performance such as wedding-game, skomorokhs-buffoons and songs. As it closes early and is quite off from the centre, we recommend you plan it right after lunch so that you can enjoy a long walk with your guide and then end your day with tasting traditional Russian drinks and meals (yes, vodka, bliny and caviar!)
On the Russian railroads there are more than 100 carriages in service that are specially equipped for passengers with special needs. These compartments are designed to provide maximum comfort for disabled travel.
Entrance into the carriage has a special elevator which enables passengers in wheelchairs get into the train both from high and low platform.
Double compartment intended for the disabled traveler and accompanying person is wider than a standard one. There are special auxiliary belts, which helps the passenger take sit in the wheelchair. Berth is easily transformed to take the most comfortable position.
For those with reduced sight all tumblers, plug sockets, switches, call buttons for train attendants are supplied with tables with raised text – for finger reading – and a special audible device providing the necessary information aloud. Computer-based communication system ensures that a train attendant is called for immediately in case of emergency.
Lavatory is also wider and larger, and there are special hand-rail installed. WC is supplied with audible and illuminated call-out – for those with reduced sight and hearing.
All Moscow railway station are equipped with ramps and elevators for disabled travelers.
List of the Moscow trains specially equipped for disabled travel
Departure from Moscow to Train ¹ Carriage ¹ Railway station
Adler 12 7 Kazansky
Adler 102 15 Kazansky
Adler 104 9 Kazansky
Brest 9 15 Belorussky
Bryansk 99 13 Kievsky
Chelyabinsk 14 10 Kazansky
Helsinki 32 5 Leningradsky
Izhevsk 26 10 Kazansky
Kazan 28 9 Kazansky
Klimov 85 11 Kievsky
Krasnoyarsk 56 9 Yaroslavsky
Kurgan 89/90 9 Kazansky
Magnitogorsk 94 9 Kazansky
Nizhnevartovsk 78 9 Yaroslavsky
Nizhny Novgorod 24 7 Kazansky
Nizhny Novgorod 40 9 Kursky
Novorossiysk 102 4 Kazansky
Novy Urengoy 12 9 Yaroslavsky
Omsk 26 7 Yaroslavsky
Penza 52 9 Kazansky
Perm 8 18 Yaroslavsky
Petrozavodsk 18 9 Leningradsky
Rostov 20 8 Kazansky
Samara 10 10 Kazansky
Saransk 42 10 Kazansky
Saratov 9 9 Paveletsky
St Petersburg 24 9 Leningradsky
St Petersburg 26 7 Leningradsky
St Petersburg 38 9 Leningradsky
Sverdlovsk 16 8 Kazansky
Ufa 40 7 Kazansky
Ulyanovsk 22 8 Kazansky
Uzhgorod 15 14 Kievsky
Voronezh 25 8 Paveletsky
About RussiAble Project
Russian Wonder Travel Company
The mission of RussiAble project is to provide you with professional and accessible tourist services in Russia. We work hard to make sure that you enjoy comfort and safety during your travel.
We are not here to pretend that Russian tourist resources are fuly adapted to disabled travelers – because it is not so. There are very few hotels, museums and highlights optimized for disabilities travel. We are here to work wonders – make Russia accessible and let you travel the country you wouldn’t be able to see otherwise.
This social project is widely supported by official persons, governmental offices and cultural authorities. Together with the committees of tourism in Moscow and St Petersburg, the best travel suppliers and specially trained professional and caring personnel we let you explore the country you will never forget.