Russia: Travel Health Information

Russia has the largest landmass in the world, and offers a wide range of sights such as the famous St. Basil’s Cathedral, the Barguzin Valley, and Kola Peninsula. A popular way to tour the country is to ride the Trans-Siberian Railway from Moscow to Vladivostok.


The standards for patient care and medical services in Russia may differ from your home country. Russia has a public healthcare sector and a few private sector clinics and hospitals. Healthcare generally meets international standards in major cities but can be inadequate throughout the rest of the country. There is a shortage of doctors and nurses and wait times for care can be long.

In the event of a medical emergency, contact your travel health insurance company immediately. Hospitals in Russia typically require upfront payment in cash or credit card, regardless if you have travel health insurance. Evacuation to Western Europe may be required for serious health emergencies. Ensure that you have accessible funds to cover upfront fees and adequate travel health insurance, including evacuation. Before you depart, check with your insurer about the extent of their coverage in Russia.

Pharmacies are widely available in many cities but may be limited in rural regions. The majority of pharmacies are privately owned and medicine prices are not always regulated, so costs can vary. Medicines that typically require a prescription in your home country can sometimes be purchased over-the-counter in Russia, but you should consult a physician before taking a new medication. Pharmacists are generally well-trained.

If you are travelling with medication, check with Russia’s embassy, consulate, or Ministry of Health for details on medication allowances and restrictions. If your medication is a psychotropic or narcotic, you can review Russia’s regulations on the International Narcotics Control Board. Note that these sources may provide incomplete or out-of-date information.

Road safety

Road conditions in Russia are generally good, but may vary by region. Seat belts are required by law for drivers and all passengers in a vehicle at all times. Motorcycle drivers and passengers must wear a helmet.

Travelling to Russia?

Before you go, check the list of vaccines and relevant health risks for Russia. For personalized advice, check out our Travel Health Planner to get health information that’s tailored to all the destinations on your itinerary:

Travel health planner

Need a doctor?

IAMAT-affiliated doctors are available in Russia.

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Russia At A Glance

Capital: Moscow

Population: 144.5 million

Official language: Russian

Time zone: Varies by region

Emergency #: 112

Vaccinations required: No

Risk of malaria: No

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