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Tips to visit Yoshkar-Ola, Russia and find a real Russian lady !
    Many people wonder what is needed when visiting Russia. Hopefully, this page will answer some very commonly asked questions. If you can't find the answer to your question here, please e-mail us.

   If you don't have time to read this page or you have an urgent question please make a call or e-mail us :

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    1. Where am I going to stay in Yoshkar-Ola city?
    2. What should I bring for everyday use to live in Yoshkar-Ola city?
    3. I have an electronic device (computer, laptop, digital camera or cell phone charger, etc). Can I use these?
    4. How will I get Internet access in Yoshkar-Ola city?
    5. I want to ship some items I buy in Russia. Do I have to pay an import tax?
    6. What would be expensive to buy in Russia?
    7. Can I buy gold or anything else cheaper in Russia?
    8. Are there a lot of American companies that have offices in Yoshkar-Ola, Mari-El?
    9. How can I call to US (other foreign country) from Russia?
    10. What does it cost me to be introduced to ladies there?
    11. What does it cost to go out to a club in Yoshkar-ola, Mari-El?
    12. How much money do I need to have to live in Yoshkar-Ola, Mari-El for a month?
    13. Do they have American or other Ethnic food or just Russian?
    14. Where can I find an Yoshkar-ola map or Mari-El map?
    15. Where can I find a Moscow subway map?
    16. Where can I find the bank cash machine, ATM bank machine in Yoshkar-Ola city?

    1. Where am I going to stay in Yoshkar-Ola city?

    Many visitors to Russia prefer to stay in an apartment. They are usually safer than a hotel room and also offer more privacy for your visit. For more details, please visit the Yoshkar-Ola apartments page.

    2. What should I bring for everyday use in Yoshkar-Ola city?

    Of all the items recommended, American toilet paper is recommended. Most Russian toilet paper is equivalent to using newspaper. But, due to the western influence, "softer" toilet paper is becoming more common. Don't expect to find it at most locations. Also, some public restrooms don't have any toilet paper. You should be prepared for that.

    3. I have an electronic device (computer, laptop, digital camera or cell phone charger, etc). Can I use these?

    This question can be answered in one of two ways. First, is the device rated for 110-240 volts? If it is NOT, then you will need a converter that will take the 220 volts used in Russia and reduce it to 110 volts. Second, if your device can handle dual voltage (by either automatically or flipping a switch), then all you will need is a "blade" to "pole" adapter to convert the flat plugs to the rounded plugs. Most of the newer electronics are dual voltage. Check the label on the device or your owner's manual to see if it is supported. Do not plug a 110 volt device into a 220 volt outlet. You could cause electrocution or fire!!

    4. How will I get Internet access in Yoshkar-Ola city?

    There are several ways to get Internet access when you are in Yoshkar-Ola: Public access points (Internet Cafes, Business Centers, Wi-Fi access points), Dial-Up or ADSL connection (if you have a land phone line at your place), GPRS/EDGE connection from your GSM phone or GSM/GPRS modem, Satellite Internet connection (if you have satellite equipment installed).

    First, if you don't, there is a number of internet cafes which are mainly concentrated in the center of the city. They will offer you a computer with internet-connection from 8 a.m. till 7 p.m. (some of them close at 11 p.m.). They charge for the time you 'rent' a computer and for incoming and outgoing traffic. 10 minutes of checking your e-mail may cost approx 7-13 rubles which is 20-35 US cents and more if you send or receive big files, e.g. photos. You may also use the DSL connection which is available in Alina's office.

    Second, if you plan to bring your laptop or have any other arrangements to have it at your apartment, you may always rent a modem and use services of the local ISPs (Internet Service Providers). The most popular ones are VolgaTelecom and Nata-Info.

    Dial-up connection through VolgaTelecom ISP will cost approx 24 rubles (1 USD) per hour. Cost of the internet-services will be included in the phone bill by the middle of the next month. You may also purchase VolgaTelecom's internet cards which do not require any expenses to your host. Or alternatively, you may purchase unlimited monthly access to the Internet: 2200 rubles (approx 91 USD) for 24 hours access and 1000 rubles (approx 41 USD) for access from 00.00 to 8.00 a.m. (Prices are verified as of March 1st, 2008).

    Nata-Info is another popular ISP. It provides its services mainly through internet-cards. After buying a card, the user is provided with a login and a password. Prices vary depending on the type of card. Cards may be for night and 24 hour surfing, per minute / per second tariff:

Units
Tariff
Time-limits
Price*
100000 sec sec 24 hours 27 USD
50000 sec sec 24 hours 14 USD
2000 min min 24 hours 30 USD
1000 min min 24 hours 15 USD
500 min min 24 hours 7.5 USD
100000 sec sec 8.00 p.m. - 8.00 a.m.; 24 hours on weekends 15 USD
50000 sec sec 8.00 p.m. - 8.00 a.m.; 24 hours on weekends 7.5 USD
2000 min min 8.00 p.m. - 8.00 a.m.; 24 hours on weekends 16.7 USD
1000 min min 8.00 p.m. - 8.00 a.m.; 24 hours on weekends 8.4 USD
500 min min 8.00 p.m. - 8.00 a.m.; 24 hours on weekends 4.2 USD
    * June 14, 2004

    5. I want to ship some items I buy in Russia. Do I have to pay an import tax?

    This depends. Most items you return to the U.S. with are exempt from duty (up to €400 value). Food items are rarely allowed on the return. Alcohol and tobacco has some limitations. There are various websites that explain what is allowed back in the U.S.

    6. What would be expensive to buy in Russia?

    Cell-phones and other electronic devices are much more expensive here, for they are mainly imported to the country. Imported alcoholic drinks go at a higher price also.

    7. Can I buy gold or anything else cheaper in Russia?

    There are some items cheaper in Russia, like jewelry. Gold, silver and other precious stones and ores are mined in the country and distinguished not only by low price but also the highest quality. High quality Russian alcohol, food and especially cigarettes, Russian as well as imported, are significantly cheaper in comparison with similar products in Europe or US.

    8. Are there a lot of American companies that have offices in Yoshkar-Ola, Mari-El?

    Due to a small size of the city and quite distant location of Yoshkar-Ola from business-centers - Moscow and Saint-Petersburg - there are no foreign companies here. However, Alina is always open for co-operation and you are welcome to become our foreign partner and a pioneer of the foreign business in the Mari land!

    9. How can I call to US (other foreign country) from Russia?

    International calls are more expensive from Russia than from US. VolgaTelecom - local phone company - charges per minute depending on when and where you call: 30-40 rubles per minute to European countries (which is approx 1-1.2 USD) and 22-26 rubles to US (which is approx 0.8 USD). You may make a call from your apartment if international calls are not blocked by your host. Night calls from 8.00 p.m. till 8.00 a.m. as well as calls on the weekend are almost twice cheaper. If the phone at your apartment is blocked for international calls you may use a phone card (same as VolgaTelecom Internet Card). Prices are same in both cases.

    Besides, Skype phone is available in the office of our company. It is significantly cheaper than regular phone connection (from 0.021 USD per minute, see Skype call rates here).

    10. What does it cost me to be introduced to ladies there?

    In case you have not established strong relations with any lady from the agency, Alina is able to introduce you to a number of ladies when you are in the city. Usual price of matchmaking is €150 including translator's help. Note: €150 is the price of organizing your meetings with the ladies for 3 days, €50 per day (refundable in case you will not use all 3 days). Each day over those 3 is to be paid additionally (€50 each). In order to make your search faster and more efficient, please, visit the matchmaking service page. You will have free access to our database when coming here. Another step is to fill in the registration form. Your ad and photos will be introduced to the ladies before your meeting.

    11. What does it cost to go out to a club in Yoshkar-Ola, Mari-El?

    Again, your potential expenses will depend on your individual habits. Depending on the day of the week and the club, entrance will cost you €2-3 or more. Usually and most likely this price does not include drinks. Drinks and entertainments cost twice or even three times more than in the city. Taxi to and back from the club will cost you depending on the time and destination, from 1-2 in the morning to 3-4 at night.

    12. How much money do I need to have to live in Yoshkar-Ola, Mari-El for a month?

    Your estimated expenditures fully depend on your habits and necessities. But here is the list of the most common goods and prices (except rent for your apartment):
Meals
Price per kg/lt/pcs (RUB)
Price per kg/lt/pcs (USD)
beef 140-180 5.8-7.5
pork 180-200 7.5-8.3
poultry 80 3.3
milk 30 1.25
juice 40 1.6
beer (bottle, 0.5 ltr) 20 0.8
graham bread 10 0.4
rye bread 10 0.4
eggs (10 pcs) 35 1.45
fruits depends on the season  
bananas 40 1.6
vegetables depends on the season
potatoes 15 0.6
tomatoes 70 2.9
cucumbers 60 2.5
one lunch in a local cafe, restaurant 200-500 8.3-20.8
One Bus/Trolleybus ride ticket 8 0.33
One Minibus ride ticket 10 0.42
One Taxi ride (depends on time and destination) 60-100 2.5-4.2

    Approx €150 USD per week.

    13. Do they have American or other Ethnic food or just Russian?

    Meals at the local restaurants offered in Yoshkar-Ola are not exactly from Russian cuisine but the mixture of cuisine of different European countries. People here eat much meat and vegetables cooked in different ways. However, there are some places you may try Georgian and Armenian food. Popular Diet Pepsi, French fries and local interpretation of pizza are perhaps the only representatives of the "American food" in Yoshkar-Ola. The nearest McDonald's restaurant is in 200 km in the city of Kazan and Cheboksary.

    14. Where can I find an Yoshkar-Ola map or Mari-El map?

    You can find Yoshkar-Ola map here.

    15. Where can I find a Moscow subway map?

    You can find Moscow Subway Map here.

    16. Where can I find the bank cash machine, ATM bank machine in Yoshkar-Ola city?

    All Bank Cash Machines (ATMs) in Yoshkar-Ola accept VISA, VISA Electron, VISA Plus, Eurocard/MasterCard, Maestro, Cirrus, AmericanExpress, "PLUS" credit/debit cards. The most of bank ATMs give you cash in Russian Rubles (RUB) according to bank's exchange rate.

Bank name and address in Yoshkar-Ola, Russia
The working hours
"Sberbank", Antsiferova str., 1a 24 hours
"Sberbank", Pushkina str., 16 Working hours of the bank
"Sberbank", Pushkina str., 30 24 hours
"Sberbank", Sverdlova str., 54 Working hours of the bank
"MDM" Bank, Pervomaiskaya str., 176 24 hours
"BIN" Bank, Proletarskaya str., 14 24 hours
"Vneshtorgbank (VTB)", Palantaya str., 112b (central market) Working hours of the bank
"VTB24", Vashskaja str., 8 24 hours
"VTB24", 19 Kommunisticheskaya str., shopping centre "21 Century" 9.00-20.00
"VTB", 5 Yanalova str., Vneshtorgbank office 24 hours
"TRUST" Bank, 122 Komsomolskaya str., TRUST Bank office 24 hours
"AKBARS" Bank, 109 Pervomayskaya str. 24 hours
"AKBARS" Bank, 111 Krasnoarmeiskaya str. 9.00-22.00
"AKBARS" Bank, 43 Krasnoarmeiskaya str., "Dom Byta" 9.00-19.00
"AKBARS" Bank, 11 Uspenskaya str. 24 hours
Bank "Pushkino", 6 Eshkinina str., Bank "Pushkino" office 9.00-18.00

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