So the first leg of our journey to Germany began with a week in Moscow, Russia. We would then be travelling by overnight train to Minsk, Belarus. This was a followed by a train to Vilnius, Lithuania.
Australians need visas for both Russia and Belarus. The Russian process is relatively easy and the embassy is located in Sydney, no appointment needed and the visa takes 10 business days. We found this website and it is fantastic – Russiau
Australians also need a visa for Belarus – it is a little more difficult as you need to deposit money into a Commonwealth Bank of Australia account – which took a number of hours. The actual form is easy to fill in and you mail your passport and the form to the consulate in Canberra (ACT). Click here for the embassy site.
On arrival in Moscow, the immigration process worked smoothly and you are given a printed piece of paper with your passport. This must be presented when you leave Russia (or Belarus). There is no border control between the two countries so on the overnight train no one checked our passport, it was checked at the border between Belarus and Lithuania. At this border your bags are checked twice, once by the Russians as you leave the country and once by the Lithuanians (EU) as you enter the European Union. They are checking for Cigarettes and Alcohol. They also take the little slip of paper you received on arrival to Russia.