your city is big enough I am sure you've seen those tourists flooding
the place. What chance do they have to actually see the town?
Buying a bus tour, visiting some museums... it's a pretty standard program that is informative and boring at the same time.
I bet anyone who has lived in that city long enough could tell a lot more interesting story, but how can you make them share?
This is especially true in the context of Russian culture whose people are famous for their hospitality. (Did I mention lots of Russians under 35-40 speak pretty good English?)
Here's a little secret that will help you
look at Russia at a more personal angle:
Do you have a hobby? Do you like fishing? Do you love
blues? Play harmonica? Fond of Elvis? Have a motor bike or an MTB? Are you a fan of your Subaru
car? Find an internet
community/forum related to your hobby. Ask if there are any Russians in the group and make friends with them!
a hearty welcome and an interesting visit to Russia.
When I was
planning to visit Tucson, AZ, I contacted a local skating community
a couple of weeks before the trip. As a result, someone would pick me up at
the hotel where I lived and bring to the place where a skate would
It was no formal ride in a tourist bus with a guide
wearily telling the tourists the same story for the 2,000th time!
It was real communication with people who were interested in me, and I got a lot more insider information from them
than I would from a tour program. Places to eat, places to visit,
bike routes, the best photo angles, you name it!
When I get to welcome people from Singapore,
U.S., Australia, Great Britain or some other country where they speak some English (it's the only
foreign language I know) here in Russia I am always happy to have things to tell and places to show them.
It's a lot different from a commercial tour. And a lot more personal!
More about getting to know the Russion people around the Web: