Just wanted to say what an extensive and amazing resource you have created. It has really helped in planning my trip. I am a British citizen (with a British passport) who currently lives in New Zealand. I am planning to go to Russia around March and have been doing immense research. I'm having a lot of issues about timing and have a few questions:
1) FOREIGN COUNTRY. As I am in NZ, I believe I need to go to the Russian embassy in Wellington. After completing everything online, do I just turn up the embassy days or weeks later with the relevant documentation? Like is the case I just buzz them and say "Hey I completed the visa application online and I am here to get my visa" without emailing them beforehand?
2) ORDER COMPLICATIONS. I do not know in what order to do things, do I book my hotel first then my flights? Or do I wait for the visa to come through and then book my flights because I do not want to risk spending hundreds or thousands just to have my visa not come through in time. Also, what if I don't want to risk booking a hotel so early on but then if I don't book a hotel I cannot get a visa because they think I won't be staying anywhere? (I plan to be in St. Petersburg first). When should I start completing things online if I plan to go around 25th of March?
3) MONEY. As the US Dollar is the global reserve currency, would you suggest maybe getting hundreds of US dollars and bringing them into Russia then exchanging them once I arrive?
Sorry for the long list. But I will likely have more questions down the line. I really appreciate any help you can give as I have been wanting to see Russia for so long and really want this to go through.