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6 Numbers You Need To Know in Russia Posted by on Sep 24, 2018 in advice for first-time travelers, Culture, General reference article

Perhaps you are planning a short visit or even a longer stay in Russia. If you want to be successful in your new environment, here are certain numbers you should know. Some of these will be familiar to our readers who live in places that use the metric system.

mechanical scale

Image via Pixabay

1. Your weight in kilograms

You will probably want to know your weight (вес) in kilograms (килогра́ммы, abbreviated to кг). You may need it if you ever receive medical attention in Russia or need to figure out the proper weight category for certain sports. One kilogram is roughly 2.2 pounds (фу́нты).

2. Your height in meters

Your height (рост) will normally be given in meters (1,70 м, read “метр се́мьдесят“) or centimeters (170 см, read “сто се́мьдесят сантиме́тров“). You will need this number for buying clothes (оде́жда) or seeing if you can go on certain rides (аттракцио́ны).


Image via Pixabay

3. Your shoe size

You shoe size (разме́р о́буви) is another number that’s important for shopping, but not always straightforward. The women’s sizes are pretty close to the European system. Typical sizes run in the 35-42 range. A conversion table is available here.

4. Your clothing size

Clothing size (разме́р оде́жды) is also important to know if you go shopping for clothes. A lot of times, you will see clothes that use the small-medium-large markings that you may be familiar with. Note that these sizes may be smaller than what you expect from the equivalent size in the US.

Typical Russian sizes run between 40 and 55. The size is supposed to be half of your chest circumference in centimeters. For women, a good rule of thumb is to add 40 to your American size. Here is a conversion table.


Image via Pixabay

5. Temperature ranges in Celsius

Again, for many people around the world, this section won’t be new. However, if you are used to temperatures (температу́ра) in Fahrenheit (по Фаренге́йту), you should get acquainted with their equivalents in Celsius (по Це́льсию). Here is a converter you can use, but there are also reference points to help you get an idea:

  • 0°—freezing temperature
  • 10°—cool outside; you need a coat
  • 20°—warm, comfortable weather; room temperature on the cooler side
  • 30°—hot summer day

6. Speed limits in kilometers per hour

If you plan to drive in Russia, it’s good to understand distances in kilometers (киломе́тры). A US mile is 1.6 kilometers. Normally, the speed limit (ограниче́ние ско́рости) in cities is 60 км/ч (kilometers per hour, pronounced “киломе́тров в час“); outside the city, 90 км/ч; and on the highway, 110 or 130 км/ч.

Have you had a chance to use any of these in Russia or in your home country?

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About the Author: Maria

Maria is a Russian-born translator from Western New York. She is excited to share her fascination with all things Russian on this blog. Maria's professional updates are available on her translation site and on Twitter at @intorussian.


  1. David Rex-Taylor:

    I was the first manager-interpreter of British European Airways in Moscow in the late 1950s.
    Arriving at my destination by taxi the driver requested the few roubles taxi fare.
    Having no change I gave him a 100 rouble note and told him to keep the change. He was overcome with emotion and wept. 100 roubles was a month’s wage for many Russians.

    • Maria:

      @David Rex-Taylor What a story! I did not include any exchange rate information in the post because it would probably be outdated by the end of the week. 🙂