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'St. Petersburg ... take euro's or use credit cards for food, small items

thanks for all the replys ... my topic somehow disappeared ... would appreciate any feedback on rubles
it would seem I should take rubles for everyday meals, gift buying ..

Posted by
21733 posts

In theory in Russia it is illegal to use anything other than rubles. How rigidly that is enforced, I have no idea. We spent two days in St. Petersburg and the US dollar was eagerly accept by street merchants. We simply bargained in dollars.

Posted by
6632 posts

Things are in my experience a lot more expensive in dollars. We could have paid in either for an apartment but with the current exchange rubles were much cheaper. It is easy to get them from ATMs. The shops at the airport seemed to be interested only in dollars or Euros however.

Posted by
2474 posts

When we went the stores we shopped in took any currency we had, dollars, euros, etc. we didn't change any money

Posted by
6632 posts

They will 'take' your dollars but it will be a hose job. We bought a fairly expensive amber necklace and the credit card would not work (could not get approval from their system). They offered to do it in dollar cash. A quick check showed that it would cost LOTS more that way. I went out and found an ATM and got the thousands of rubles I needed for the purchase. I love the necklace but I love it a lot more knowing I didn't pay double for it by using Euros or dollars. We had no trouble with the credit card for other purchases including a Russian fur hat for my daughter and paying in rubes while no fabulous bargain at least was fair value.

Posted by
22 posts

Janet, I appreciate your further comments. I generally do my Christmas gift buying when traveling.

I would love a fur hat!!! Are they easy to find? Mind telling me what you paid?

Any other ideas gratefully appreciated!!!

Cheers,
Carolyn

Posted by
6632 posts

I got a pretty dyed fox hat (or so they said -- I have no confidence in that) for my daughter. I took pictures of the hats and she picked it out and I went back and bought it. We went to a fur shop on the second floor of the mall on Nevsky Prospekt -- there were several shops in a row with large selections. I think I paid about $75 for the hat which was beautifully made and had a soft leather crown and lush fur front edges and flaps. No great bargain, but great hat and my daughter lives in Chicago where she can wear it in winter and loves it. I found a really gorgeous mink hat -- all mink that formed a sort of helmet with the flaps down -- but it was $300 (in rubles) and dressier looking than my usual gear in winter and so didn't buy it -- I am sure there are cheaper places and people who bargain better but the quality was really good. All the stuff was fair value but no bargain. The street souvenir sellers will bargain hard and greatly inflate the price of souvenirs so for that sort of thing, shop around and know what things cost in stores so you can bargain hard at kiosks.

Posted by
22 posts

Thanks Janet!!!
I think it would be great fun to have one of those hats. Except in Seattle I would melt!! However am going to look for one!
Cheers,
Carolyn

Posted by
5786 posts

...a Russian fur hat....

Banned in West Hollywood unless taken by a Russian with a legal California trapping liscense:
https://www.apparelnews.net/news/2015/aug/20/change-wehos-fur-ban/

The city of West Hollywood, Calif., approved America’s only municipal
fur ban in 2013, and the ban survived a challenge in federal court in
2014. However, the final word has not been said on the law. The West Hollywood City Council unanimously passed an amendment to the ban on
Aug. 17.

West Hollywood’s municipal code continues to prohibit the sales,
import, export or trade of fur products within the city limits of the
1.89-square-mile municipality. But the City Council amended the law. It changed some language in the law and also added an exemption.

And don't wear your fur hat in view of PETA advocates.