The Russian postal service is more reliable than it once was, and many travelers report letters, postcards, and even packages arriving safe and sound abroad within a reasonable time. Post offices, or pochta, are open approximately from 8:30 am to 7 pm and mailboxes are painted blue. WestPost in St. Petersburg, which whisks mail off to Finland and sends it from there using European postal services, is another option if you don't want to risk it with the Russian post. There are also DHL and Federal Express offices in Moscow and St. Petersburg.
You can buy international envelopes and postcards at post offices and in hotel-lobby kiosks.
Sending mail from Russia to the United States, Europe, or Australia starts at 20R for a postcard or letter and is priced according to weight.
Mail from outside Russia takes approximately four weeks to arrive, sometimes longer, and sometimes it never arrives at all. The postal service will often open large packages and envelopes to inspect them, and sometimes things go missing.
DHL. 11 ul. 1st Tverskaya-Yamskaya ul., Mayakovskaya, Moscow, Moscow, 127018. 495/933–1001; www.dhl.ru.
Federal Express. 22/24 nab. Ovchinnikovskaya, str. 1, Novokuznetskaya, Moscow, Moscow, 115035. 495/788–8881; www.fedex.com/ru.
WestPost. 86 Nevsky pr., City Center, St. Petersburg, St.-Petersburg, 191025. 812/336–63-52; www.westpost.ru.
Stores don't offer shipping, so you should use DHL, Federal Express, or another mailing service. Don't attempt to send a work of art without the correct accompanying documents from the store where you bought it, proving that you’re allowed to take it out of the country.