Russia Tourist Visa Guide for Motorcycle Travellers

A mini update guide on the Russia Tourist Visa for motorcycle travellers and overlanders with current border info.

Siberia motorcycle adventure route

Contents

By Remy Dezelus

By Remy Dezelus

Frenchman travelling the world on a T7

How to get a Russia visa for motorcycle travellers

Travelling through Russia on your motorcycle trip can be tricky and time consuming. You have two options: a transit visa or a tourist visa. This guide explains what you need to know about getting a multi-entry tourist visa.

Recommendations

I suggest getting a tourist multi-entry six-month visa. This will cost you are EUR 250-300 and take around three weeks to be delivered.

You will need to do this in your home or resident country. It is impossible to do on the road. You can do this yourself, but it’s far easier to do through an agency. There are Russia specific agencies in most countries. As I’m from France, I used Alpha Visa in Paris. But if you’re from Germany for example, you will have to find an agency in Germany. 

You can get a single or double entry visa and this will cost you around EUR 200, but for the price difference it’s far better to just get a multi-entry as we live in uncertain times and you never know if you’ll need/want or have to dip into and out of another country.

Our experience

It’s not a difficult visa to obtain, but you absolutely must apply for it from your home country. I tried in four different countries and found it impossible.

In the end, I had to send my passport from Georgia to France by DHL. You can get it back in 10 working days, but expect to pay extra.

Border crossings

During the Russia-Ukraine war, July, September and October 2022, we crossed four borders in three months.

The borders were:

Georgia to Russia – Verkhnii Lars Верхний Ларс. Expect a very long queue and it’s unorganised. But you won’t have any problems as it’s a friendly border. It will take around eight hours to cross.

Russia to Kazakhstan – They checked our visas for quite a while, but were friendly. It will take around two hours to cross.

Kazakhstan to Russia – Pogranichnyy Post Rk. This is a very smooth border with no queue and friendly police and FSB. There were a few questions for around 10 minutes but very safe. It will take around one hour to cross.

Russia to Mongolia – App Tashanta border. This is a high-level border. The police are friendly but expect intense interrogation by the FSB (around one hour). It will take around four hours to cross.

Mongolia to Russia – Altanbulag border. Very friendly border and smooth process. The police are mostly Russian but with Mongolian blood, so there’s a totally different behaviour. No FSB. It will take around two hours to cross.

Russia to Estonia – Friendly border with no questions asked. It will take around two hours to cross.

Russia Transit Visa

I don’t think it’s possible, or if it is, then not easy to get a Russia transit visa on the road nowadays, the only exception being Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. I would recommend a double entry visa or a multi-entry three-month visa instead. Especially considering Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan are closed.

For when it is easier again, check the Russia Transit guide. 

READ MORE: Russia Transit Visa for Motorcycle Travellers

About the author

Rémy Dezelus is 35-year-old Frenchman riding his Yamaha Tenere 700 round the world. You can follow his awesome adventures here:  

Read more on motorcycle travel in Russia

Thanks for checking out the Russia Tourist Visa Guide. We hope you enjoyed it! Here’s a few more articles on riding in Russia that we recommend you read next. 

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Are you planning a motorcycle trip in Russia? Let us know in the comments below. 

4 thoughts on “Russia Tourist Visa Guide for Motorcycle Travellers”

  1. hello

    Yes, Maaka the from the Mekong is planning on riding from Vladivostok to Mongolia and back into Russia, and on to Kazakstan, thru to the English Channel, and back to the Mekong via Pakistan, India and Myanmar..Doing abit of Remy’s trip in reverse, well at this stage anyway..Siam Shipping say they can get my bike from Bangkok to Vlad, and I have been in contact with the famous Yuri in Vladivostok. Might give Tatiana an email just to touch base. The weather is against me at the moment, so have afew months up my sleeve, to change what seems like a black and white picture at the moment of my plans, into a colored one. Anyway, you asked , and well I have time on my hands..hahaha

    Reply
    • Hi Maaka,
      Sounds like a good route! But don’t forget Central Asia, so from Kazakhstan head down to Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan! They were our favourite places. You’ll find guides on all those places in our Destinations section.
      Good to hear you’ve got in touch with Yuri.
      If your Thailand shipping company doesn’t come through for you – we do have some great companies that we recommend – you can find them here on this page of our website: “Recommended Thailand Shipping Companies
      Good luck with the planning Maaka!
      Cheers,
      Andy

      Reply
  2. Hey Team! Looking at the section between Georgia and Kazakhstan – does anyone have any experience on the safety of travelling through Russia at the moment? My Ukrainian and Kazakhstani friends tell me it’s best avoided but with Azerbaijan closing their land border a boat from Baku to Aktau seems out of the question.

    Reply
    • Hi Richard,
      Unfortunately we have no recent information on crossing this area. However, I believe Remy did ride this route at the beginning of the year. He recently wrote an article about the Trans Siberia Railway with a bike. You can find his contact details in his article and ask.
      I would suggest checking in overlanding facebook groups for the caucasus and russia and see if others are trying to get through that way. I think people are still moving that way.
      Best of luck with your planning and please do let us know how you get on by reporting back here,
      Cheers
      Andy

      Reply

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