Want to know more about the currency in Russia? They use Russian Ruble (RUB), and here’s more info about ATMs, money and exchange rates before your trip.
I will also answer some of the most frequently asked questions about money and currency in Russia.
Quick facts about the Russian Ruble (RUB)
- Name: Ruble
- Date of introduction: Since the founding of Russia. The latest Ruble was introduced in 1998.
- Coins: 1, 2, 5 and 10 rubel
- Subunit: 1, 5, 10 and 50 kopek
- Banknotes: 5, 10, 50, 100, 500, 1000 and 5000 ruble
- Currency Code: RUB
Can you pay by card in Russia?
Some hotels, restaurants, and stores will accept both credit cards and debit cards. But cash is still widely used in Russia, and you will need cash during your trip for smaller purchases, museum visits, train and bus tickets, taxi, etc.
Should exchange money before your trip?
Russian Ruble is usually not available abroad unless you live in a former soviet country. Anyway, it’s not recommended to exchange money before you travel due to poor exchange rates given by exchange offices.
It’s much better to take out cash from a local ATM or pay by card when possible.
Exchanging currency in Russia
There are several exchange bureaus that can exchange foreign currency in Russia. They are available at airports and in the major cities. However, it’s not recommended to use these because you will get more value for your money by withdrawing cash from a local ATM or pay by card.
Also, remember to never exchange money in Russia with money sellers in the street. It’s a criminal offense and you can end up getting a fine.
Information about ATMs in Russia
There are lots of ATMs in the Russian cities, but if you travel to the countryside or smaller towns, the selection of ATMs will be lower. Both VISA and Mastercard are accepted in the Russian ATMs, and when you use foreign cards, the machine will most of the times display in English.
Always remember to choose without conversion if the ATM asks. You should always be charged in the local currency, otherwise, you will receive a poor exchange rate that will give you the equivalent of €5-15 less per withdrawal.
The local bank is entitled to charge an ATM fee, but most Russian banks don’t charge a fee for withdrawing money. However, your own bank is likely to charge a fee of €5 per withdrawal, which is why should get a travel card to avoid these atm fees in Russia.
Banks in Russia
- Bank of Moscow
- Alfa Bank
- Nomos Bank
More about Russia’s currency (RUB)
The Russian Ruble has been the currency of Russia as long as the country has existed, included the Soviet Union period. It’s the second-oldest currency in the world, after the Sterling pound. However, the Ruble has been remade and re-introduced several times due to hyperinflation.
The Russian currency is given out by the central bank (Банк России) which has its headquarters in Moscow. During the Soviet Union, the currency code SUR was used, but after the fall of the Soviet, the currency code changed into RUR.
After the financial crisis in 1998, the seventh series of the Russian Ruble was introduced, and since then the currency code RUB has been used.
- 1 Rubel = 100 Kopek
How much is 100 Rubel?
- 100 RUB = 1.37 Euro
- 100 RUB = 1.50 USD
- 100 RUB = 2 CAD
Russian Rubles in various denominations
The Russian currency uses both coins and banknotes. The subunit is called kopek and is the equivalent of cents.
- Russian banknotes: 5, 10, 50, 100, 500, 1000 and 5000 rubel
- Russian coins: 1, 2, 5 and 10 rubel as well as 1, 5, 10 and 50 kopek
Frequently asked questions about money in Russia
What is the best currency to use in Russia?
The best currency to use in Russia is Russian Ruble, and the best way to get Rubles is by using a local ATM and a travel card with zero fees.
Do you need cash in Russia?
Yes, cash is needed in Russia in places such as Museums, train stations, small shops, buses and taxis who doesn’t accept cards.
Can you spend US dollars in Russia?
No, you can’t spend US dollars in Russia. However, you can exchange USD to Ruble. But it’s much better to pay by card or withdraw cash upon arrival using a travel card with zero fees.
Is it safe to use credit card in Russia?
Yes, it is safe to use your credit card in Russia. But avoid using it in sketchy places, and keep it in a RFID protected wallet.
Can you use Euros in St Petersburg?
No, you can’t pay with Euros in St Petersburg. However, there are exchange offices where you can trade your Euro to Russian Ruble. But it’s much better to withdraw cash from a local ATM using a travel card that has zero fees.
What type of money does Russia use?
They use Russian Ruble, also spelled Rouble. Both banknotes and coins are used.
What is the best currency to take to Russia?
If you plan to exchange money in Russia, the best currency to take is Euros and US dollars. However, it’s much better to use a travel card like Revolut and pay by card or take out cash from a local ATM upon arrival.
Can I use my debit card in Russia?
Yes, you can use debit cards from Mastercard and VISA in Russia, unless your bank has restrictions on using the cards abroad.
More reading from Russia
Do you have more questions about the currency in Russia? Leave a comment below!