What You Need To Know
Rostov-on-Don is a port city and the administrative center of Rostov Oblast and the Southern Federal District of Russia. It lies in the southeastern part of the East European Plain on the Don River, 32 kilometers from the Sea of Azov. The southwestern suburbs of the city abut the Don River delta.
It is a major administrative, cultural, scientific, educational, and industrial center and a major transport hub of southern Russia. Informally, Rostov-on-Don is called the “Gate of the Caucasus” and the southern capital of Russia.
Population: 1.1 million (2012)
Area: 136.7 mi²
The currency of Russia is ruble (also spelled rouble). The ruble was also the currency of Russian Empire and Soviet Union. One ruble consists of 100 kopeikas. The ISO 4217 code of Russian currency is RUB.
Rostov-on-Don lies in a humid continental climate. The winter is moderately cold, with an average February temperature of −3.1 °C (26.4 °F). The lowest recorded temperature of −31.9 °C (−25.4 °F) occurred in January 1940. The summers are warm and sunny. July temperatures average +23.3 °C (73.9 °F). The city’s highest recorded temperature of +40.1 °C (104.2 °F) was reported on 1 August 2010. The mean annual precipitation is 643 millimeters (25.3 in), the average wind speed is 2.7 m/s, and the average air humidity is 72%.
Russian is the only official language in Rostov on don
Rostov’s favorable geographical position at trading crossroads promotes economic development. The Don River is a major shipping lane connecting southwestern Russia with the north. Rostov-on-Don is a trading port for Russian, Italian, Greek and Turkish merchants selling, for example, wool, wheat and oil. It is also an important river port for passengers. The Rostov-on-Don agricultural region produces one-third of Russia’s vegetable oil from sunflowers.
Rostov-on-Don hosts higher educational establishments, including universities, academies, secondary schools of vocational training including colleges, technical schools, specialized schools, and elementary schools of vocational training including lyceums, professional colleges and schools of general education.
There is no metro system in Rostov, and the tram (light rail) system is limited. The bus system can be hard to understand, but is VERY efficient and reliable. However, any public transport can be used to some degree if you have a GPS-capable phone, or an application such as YandexMaps to find routes. Alternatively, route maps are posted on many bus stops; just show up to the bus stop, determine the bus number, and wait. Buses come very often in Rostov, so you won’t have to wait long. If you are unsure of what bus you need, most buses have their entire route listed on the side (in Russian only).
Buses in Rostov are often very crowded, but are inexpensive.
If you are issued a small ticket on either the bus or the tram, keep it, as the conductor may ask to see it. SkyExpress taxi offers service in English, and Leader taxi can be booked online, probably with Google translate. A word of warning: Rostov is home to several unlicensed taxi “companies” which may attempt to scam foreigners. ALWAYS determine the fare to your destination before sitting in the taxi.