First of all, currency in Russia is Russian Rubles (sounds like [rubl'i] in plural and singular [r'ubl]). The coins called kopejki (1/100 of ruble). It is one of the oldest currency in the World and it dates back to the fifteenth century. Current ruble notes are: 10, 50, 100, 500, 1000 and 5000. Coins: 1, 5, 10 and 50.
What is easy to exchange almost in any city of Russia?
- Rest can be exchanged in big cities
Where to exchange currency?
- in banks
- in special currency exchange offices
- never, exchange money on the streets as most likely it's rogue and you will lose your money.
Good to know
- Banks and exchange offices have different exchange rate per different amounts, more amount the higher exchange rate.
- Banks and exchange offices take commission per exchange. Usually it's only 20-30 rubles (0.8-1USD) and it doesn't depend from amount.
- If you deal with street exchange and you've been cheated. It's almost no sense to apply to cops (Policia) as the would be no prove that you sell something and he bought anything. In such case cops don't take even application. It doesn't mean that they will refuse but most likely they would do nothing due to no evidence, just your words.
Debit/Credit cards – ATM cash machine
In Russia for sure you can take also credit card and not only cash but that is helpful to have.
Where you can find ATM cash machine?
- usually they're located in the banks or near and usually work 24/7
- sometimes in or near big supermarkets
- metro stations (in St. Petersburg and Moscow)
There is modern bank system in Russia so you should not meet any problems to use your credit card (and even may be debit).
American Express Travelers Cheques (AETC)
AETC also can be used but be ready that they're not common in Russia. In order to get cash you should apply to the bank but before that better to check which exactly on their official site via data base.
Also usually before getting any money from the bank they would make request which can take quite a lot of time so keep it in mind.