Apps to Download before Traveling to Russia
I have spent the past 5 months in Russia, and there are a handful of apps that I use on a regular basis. I thought I would share them with you to make your trip a bit easier!
Yandex Taxi is one of the best ways to order a taxi in Russia. Uber is still an option, but Yandex is more widely available. Pro tip: install and setup the app before arriving in Russia so you can order a taxi from the airport. The price is often cheaper than what the taxi drivers outside the airport offer.
If you have traveled outside the country, you probably have Google Translate on your phone. In general, the app is great, but I have found Yandex Translator to give more accurate Russian translations. The app also offers offline mode and the ability to translate text from a photo.
From personal experience, Google maps works excellent in Russia. You can find public transportation routes, schedules, etc. Pro tip: download the region you will be travelling to so your maps will work offline.
This is really only relevant if you’re going to be in St. Petersburg in the summer, but since that is the most popular time and destination, I thought I would include it. 😊 This app will let you know what time the bridges in St. Petersburg open and close. It is useful for watching the phenomenon, and it is also very helpful if you are going to be travelling from the centre to the outskirts after dark (you don’t want to get stuck in the city centre).
I highly recommend downloading a messaging app (or a few). They all pretty much work the same and are very useful when out of the country. Pro tip: download and set up your account at home so it gets connected to your main phone number. Then when you get a Russian SIM card you can still use your normal number. You will find that these apps are almost more popular than regular calls and messages (they also allow you to get a data-only plan).