Tap Water Safety in Russia

Can you drink the tap water in Russia?

In general, no.

The US Center for Disease Control's travel advisory recommends avoiding tap water and drinking bottled or disinfected water in Russia (source).

Like all countries though, water accessibility, sanitation, and treatment vary widely from location to location, so we encourage looking for specific city information.

What do people in Russia think about the tap water?

While brushing your teeth with tap water is OK, assume that it isn’t safe to drink. Stick to bottled water, boil water for 10 minutes, or use water purification tablets or a filter.


It is better not to drink the tap water in Russia and to avoid using ice in drinks, however bottled water and also Kvass are available everywhere food is served.
Mixed alcoholic beverages as well as beers at nightclubs and bars are extremely expensive and are served without ice, with the mix (for example, coke) and alcohol charged for separately. Bringing your own is neither encouraged nor allowed, and some (usually dance-all-night venues oriented to the young crowd) places in Moscow even can take some measures to prevent customers from drinking outside (like a face-control who may refuse an entry on return, or the need to pay entry fee again after going out), or even from drinking the tap water instead of overpriced soft drinks by leaving only hot water available in the lavatories. Any illegal drugs, even marijuana, are best avoided: Russian anti-drug laws are extremely tough, the Federal Drug Control Service is well-trained, and it really doesn't worth the risk here.
Quality of tap water varies around the country, and may even be variable within cities. In old buildings tap water can be non-potable. In the big cities of European Russia, the water is clean of biological contaminants. If you can't buy bottled water, boil water before drinking, or better yet use a special filter for tap water, which you could buy in any supermarket.

The most commonly searched cities in Russia are:

For a full list of cities in Russia, scroll to the bottom of this post or click here.

World Health Organization Russia Water Summary

The World Health Organization estimates that 97 percent of Russia have access to drinkable tap water.

In 2000, 75% of the population had access to drinkable, tap water on site, and 95% within an accessible distance, including both rural and urban areas.

World Health Organization's 2017 Russia Water Data

The World Health Organization data on water quality and availability throughout Russia includes the national average, averages for urban population centers, and averages for rural areas.

Safely ManagedA location that safe, drinkable water that is free of biological or chemical contaminants available on premise.
At Least BasicSafe drinkable water is available within 30 minutes from the location
LimitedIt would take more than 30 minutes from the location to access safe, drinkable water.
YearPopulation in 1000sSafely managedAt Least BasicLimited

What Do People In Russia Think About The Tap Water?

Travelers and residents of Russia have rated the water quality and pollution as follows, according to subjective survey data.

A score of 100% is considered very high, and a score of 0% is very low. Please be cautious that "moderate to very high" water pollution is bad and the higher the rate of water quality the better.

Drinking Water Pollution and Inaccessibility45%Moderate
Water Pollution53%Moderate
Drinking Water Quality and Accessibility55%Moderate
Water Quality47%Moderate

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View our tap water report on all cities in Russia

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