Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Regional Forums > Europe

Europe Topics specific to Western and Eastern Europe, from UK to the Russian border, and south-east to Turkey.
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 7 Aug 2010
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: almere,holland
Posts: 52
border russia-estonia

we will be crossing the Russian-Estonian border at Narva in 2 weeks,
does anyone have any recent information about the time needed crossing from Russia into Estonia.
I have heard that it could take up to 10 hours, or is this just for cars and can you pass the line on a bike?
Reply With Quote
Old 7 Aug 2010
Contributing Vendor
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Tallinn, Estonia
Posts: 973
I now live in Tallinn, but have yet to cross that border. The only foreign person I personally know to have done it is Hubert Kriegel, after he left us and headed East last July. He said it was a breeze!!

Thetimelessride - Hubert Kriegel

He too said that it was quick by bike. I think the queues are likely to be long for freight traffic, but I can't imagine it would take 10 hours for private individuals.

Otherwise there are other points to cross at.
Possibly less well equipped than the Narva favourite, but more picturesque to reach, such as the crossing at Petsori, east of the Estonian town of Võru.

I have not heard of any experiences of this crossing but the Setomaa county landscape is far nicer and intersting to travel through than the Narva highway... unless you don't like gravel roads... the more minor roads there will be gravel.

I don't know your itinerary but despite being small, Estonia doesn't deserve to be rushed through outright: it has some very pleasant, if not grand, gems to see and experience. So if you haven't planned to, but can spare a few days, take a little detour through Eestimaa!
Adventure: it's an experience, not a style!
(so ride what you like, but ride it somewhere new!)
Reply With Quote
Old 7 Aug 2010
Pumbaa's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: On our bicycles, probably pushing up a hill!
Posts: 431
We crossed there in December 2008. It took us about 45 min in total, and that included waiting around for the insurance lady for about 10 min. It was easy and straight forward. The EU customs did a quick check of the car and that was it.

The insurance they sell on the Estonian side of the border is only valid for Estonia, ie not green card (at the time we went through) You might be able to get the green card insurance on the Russian side
Jacques & Mandy with Pumbaa II
Reply With Quote
Old 7 Aug 2010
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Moscow
Posts: 1,121
Estonia- Russia Border procedure

As an EU Passport holder on an EU registered bike-

Narva - Ivangorod
Took me about an hour on a bike. I had already bought RUS insurance in Narva. The Tourist Office directed me to one of a list of Agencies they had.
EST exit control. Looked at my EU passport and EU vehicle Registration document.
RUS Passport control - fill in Migration card and show with Passport. Passport and Card stamped and given back to you. Keep both with you at all times. Give card back on exit from RUS.
RUS Customs - fill Customs Declaration form in duplicate (English version available). They then they took a brief look into bike panniers. Them they gave me a vehicle Temporary Import Certificate with one Customs Declaration suitably stamped. You need this at all times for Roads Police checks and to give back on exit from RUS.
RUS police/military check point - inspect Passport stamp, Migration Card and Vehicle Certificate.
Then you are free to go as far as the Pacific! Cheap fuel within 100 metres.

Ivangorod - Narva
Took about 20 minutes.
RUS Passport control - they take back the Migration card and stamp your passport.
RUS Customs - they take back the Customs Declaration. They checked this to the bike registration number.
EST Customs - asked what had I bought and they looked at EU Vehicle Registration document.
EST Passport control - look at Passport.
Then you are free to go as far as the Atlantic!

Always go (slowly) to head of queues on bikes. I have never been challenged in 10 road border crossings between Russia and Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. Sometimes drivers have waved me forward.
Someone I know was once stopped by a car driver - he said "Geneva Convention grants exemption from queuing for Diplomats, Mail Services and 2 wheelers". Total bunkum, but sounded good and the driver apologised!!!

This is the best EU/RUS border for time and queues as there is little freight traffic. The Latvia border on the Riga/Moscow road sometimes has 10 kilometers of queuing trucks and a kilometer of cars. Even riding to the top of queues it has always taken me at least 4 hours to enter RUS. Coming out is far quicker.
Reply With Quote
Old 8 Aug 2010
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: almere,holland
Posts: 52

hello guys,
thank you for your quick replies.
I guess the 10 hour waiting stories were more "bears on the road" than true.
so the Narva border it will be,
Reply With Quote
Old 4 Sep 2010
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Moscow
Posts: 1,121
Border Procedure Update

Since posting above, I have again crossed into Russia from Narva and noted two new changes in procedure -

1. In July the town of Narva introduced a compulsory Queue/Line Ticket system (and charge!) before getting to the border. On entering the town follow the signed route, turning right just after a filling station (the straight on direct route is no good as you miss the Ticket issuing place). 300m after turning right there is a concrete fenced compound on the left - just inside an office sells the Queue Ticket. They copy the Vehicle Registration Document and your Passport and give you a Ticket. 30EEK plus a photocopy charge of 5EEK. Then follow the signed route to the border where you present the Ticket at the first barrier, queueing on the right beforehand if necessary.

2. Russian Customs no longer issue Temporary Import Certificates (the small pink form with a green border). Instead they just stamp one of the Customs Declartion forms, affix a sticker printed with vehicle details and a bar-code.
That is all. You keep this Declaration Form with the vehicle at all times and surrender it to Russian Customs on exiting Russia.
They assured me the Declaration Form is acceptable to the ДПС (Roads Police) although I have not had to put it to the test. YET!!

Insurance can be easily bought once inside Russia from several shops in the first few 100metres - look for 'Страхоьая' on signs. Cars cost is based on HP - for 3 months my 1798cc Ford cost 2,850 rouble about GBP50. Any driver covered who has my written permission.

Last Thursday, late on a miserable wet and windy afternoon the whole process took under an hour.
Reply With Quote
Old 8 Sep 2010
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Moscow
Posts: 1,121

Originally Posted by Tony P View Post
They assured me the Declaration Form is acceptable to the ДПС (Roads Police) although I have not had to put it to the test. YET!!

It's fine with them!

Routine documents stop. A very brief look, and he said 'Good Luck'. In English.
That seemed a strange wish, as I was only going home from shopping at the local supermarket!
But to him I was a foreigner in foreign registered car with an unusually short 'personal' registration number. So he was just being curious and polite.
It's good to note last years edict to ДПС to stop harassing foreigners has finally reached street level.
Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Tashanta Border Russia to Mongolia danielsprague Northern Asia 30 23 Jun 2014 11:47
Russia - Georgia Border colebatch Europe 47 15 Sep 2012 20:09
Border crossing to Russia dorongs Route Planning 17 14 Jun 2012 19:17
Russia Kazakhstan border (Altay Region) Tom Horovitch Route Planning 4 9 Jan 2006 21:40
Russia - Finland Border Crossing 4wheels Europe 3 20 Apr 2005 15:14


HU DVD Summer Special!

Now that summer is here, get On the Road! Take 30% off the Achievable Dream - On the Road! 2-DVD set until August 31 only. Get On the Road! Learn the tips to staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure!

Our veteran travellers share their tips (and great stories) for staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure.

"A fantastic, informative and inspirational DVD."

"It's brilliant - thank you very much!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'ONTHEROAD' on your order when you checkout.

Renedian Adventures

Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!

What turns you on to motorcycle travel?

Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!

New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.

Books & DVDs


All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.

Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 17:37.