The following brief information can be very useful for you while traveling around Karelia:
The «White nights» season is an amazing time for you to enjoy the beauty of Karelia in day and night time. The «whitest» night is on the 22nd of June. The period of three weeks before and after this day is the best time for traveling in Karelia. But you need to know that this most beautiful time is also the most favorite one for mosquitoes. Make just one step out of the city and you already have no idea how to hide from these annoying insects. So we strongly recommend you to get armed to the teeth in the expectation of the unpleasant meeting (use clothes, hat, special cream and etc.)
It is really hard to explain what Karelian climate is and you should always be ready for the rapid changes of the Karelian weather. You never know what it will be in a few hours. The summer is rather short, but sometimes it can be quite warm (up to + 30°C) especially in July when you can even swim in our lakes and rivers. We have beautiful autumn and we are lucky if it does not rain hard. The spring is very bright but fleeting. Of course winter is the longest season. The best days are −10°C, dry, sunny, with the plenty of snow. But sometimes temperature can be lower than 40°C. Though it does not happen often, but it happens. Be ready for it!
Russian is an official language in Karelia. Though there are so many nationalities in the Republic all of them speak very good Russian. But the spoken language in Karelian villages is Karelian. And people from the Vepsian Volost speak the Vepsian language. There are few people who can speak English but you can hardly meet them in the countryside. Nevertheless it will not be a problem for you to find a professional guide who will arrange all sorts of excursions for you in English, Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian, German, French, or Spanish.
Karelia is an ecologically safe and pure region. There are so many clear lakes and rivers there. If you are fond of extreme tourism and planning to spend a few nights in the camp in the open air you need not worry about the quality of our water from natural springs. However try not to use our tap water for drinking and cooking.
The Moscow time scale is accepted everywhere in Karelia. You should add 2 more hours to bring it to conformity with the European time scale and 3 more hours to make it correspond to the London time scale.
If you want to call to Karelia from any foreign country dial + 7, the city code, and then the telephone number required.
If you need to call to any foreign country you can use the phone from your hotel, use your GSM standard mobile or buy
The voltage of 220 V is usually used. But in some hotels you will need a Euro standard socket adapter for your electric devices, because our sockets differ from the European ones.
The most of shops are open from 10.00 till 19.00. There you can find a great variety of traditional Karelian and Russian souvenirs and handmade products. There are some
The state currency is RUB (Russian rubles) The most of banks in Karelia deal only with USD and EURO. In some of them you can exchange NOK (Norwegian crowns), SEK (Swedish crowns) and GBP (GB pounds). The bank time: 9.00 17.00 or 9.00 18.00. Saturday and Sunday are days-off. You can use your Visa or Master Card to implement payments in some shops, restaurants and hotels, but it is not widely spread especially in the countryside.
If you are in a city you will not have any problem to choose a restaurant to cater to your preferences. There are plenty of eating places available to you while on holiday in Karelia. You can taste Karelian, Russian, Scandinavian or International cuisine. The prices are practically equal and dinner with wine will cost you about