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For other places with the same name, see Moscow (disambiguation).

Moscow (Russian: Москва, Moskva) is the 860 year-old capital of the Russian Federation. A truly iconic, global city, Moscow has played a central role in the development of the Russian state and indeed the world. For many, the sight of the Kremlin complex in the centre of the city is still loaded with symbolism and history — Moscow was the capital of the former Soviet Union and signs of its previous life are very visible even now.

Yet, there's more to Russia and its capital than just memories of the USSR. Architectural gems from the time of the Russian Empire are still dotted throughout Moscow, whilst signs of modern Tsars (or at least people with similar levels of wealth) abound.

Today, Moscow is a thriving, exuberant capital city that overflows with life, culture and sometimes traffic. A sprawling metropolis, Moscow is home to numerous museums, Soviet-era monoliths and post-Soviet kitsch, but continues to pave the way forward as Muscovites move into the 21st century.


The central part of Moscow Part located in and around the Garden Ring. The major historical development, a large number of monuments, sites and objects. Most attractive to tourists and travelers. Includes the Moscow Kremlin and Kitay-gorod, the area within the Boulevard Ring, Arbat East (Арбат), Basmanny West (Басманный), Khamovniki North (Хамовники), Krasnoselsky South (Красносельский), Meshchansky South (Мещанский), Presnensky (Пресненский), Tagansky (Таганский), Tverskoy (Тверской), Yakimanka (Якиманка), Zamoskvorechye (Замоскворечье) raions. It has subdistricts: Moscow Central-East, Moscow Central-North, Moscow Central-South & Moscow Central-West.

The Outskirts part of the city include areas from Moscow's Garden Ring to Moscow Ring Road (MKAD)

Consists of City of Zelenograd (Зеленоград), a northwestern satellite settlement, and territory added to Moscow on July 1st, 2012, colloquially called New Moscow, consisting of Novomoskovsky (Новомосковский) & Troitsky (Троицкий) Administrative Okrugs, to the southwest of the "Old" Moscow.


Red Square, painting by Fedor Alekseev, 1802

Moscow is the financial and political centre of Russia and the former Soviet Union, with a population of around 13 million, and covers an area of around 1080 km². One-tenth of all Russian citizens live in the metropolitan area and it is the second most populated European city after Istanbul. Moscow is in UTC+3 time zone (there is no daylight saving time).

For many years since the break up of the Soviet Union, the economy has improved, and the modern era has brought upon a wide variety of construction projects, including the Moscow Monorail, modern architecture and newer transport systems replacing the derelict ones during Soviet times.

Moscow's long time mayor, Yury Luzhkov initiated these changes during his time in office, but was fired in September 2010 for allegedly insulting the president through a scathing letter.

His successor, Sergei Sobyanin, has begun to gradually relax Luzhkov's construction plan, and a majority of Luzhkov's plans have been stopped or abandoned. The new mayor has begun taking steps to fight corruption, solve the traffic problems, and rebuild the already dilapidated pavements.


Moscow is a large metropolis on the Moskva River, which bends its way through the city. The historical center is on the northern bank of the river. The other major waterway is the Yauza River, which flows into the Moskva east of the Kremlin.

 Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Daily highs (°C) −4.0 −3.7 2.6 11.3 18.6 22.0 24.3 21.9 15.7 8.7 0.9 −3.0
Nightly lows (°C) −9.1 −9.8 −4.4 2.2 7.7 12.1 14.4 12.5 7.4 2.7 −3.3 −7.6
Precipitation (mm) 52 41 35 37 50 80 85 82 68 71 55 52

Average of Moscow

Much of Moscow's geography is defined by the numerous 'Ring Roads' that circle the city at various distances from the centre, roughly following the outline of the walls that used to surround Moscow. With Red Square and the Kremlin forming the very centre, the innermost ring road is the Boulevard Ring (Bulvarnoye Koltso), built in the 1820s where the 16th century walls used to be. It runs from the Christ the Savior Cathedral in south-west central Moscow, to the mouth of the Yauza in south-east central Moscow.

The next ring road, the Garden Ring (Sadovoe Koltso), derives its name from the fact that landowners near the road in Tsarist times were obligated to maintain gardens to make the road attractive. In Soviet times, the road was widened, and currently you will find no gardens there.

The recently constructed Third Ring is not much use for tourists but is a heavily used motorway which absorbs a bit of Moscow's traffic. It roughly follows the outline of Kamer-Kollezhsky val, the customs boundary of Moscow in the 18th – early 20th century. The outer edge of Moscow is largely defined by the Moscow Ring Road (widely known by its abbreviation: MKAD-Moskovskaya kolcevaya avto doroga), a motorway which is 108 km long and encircles the entire city (similar to London's M25 and Paris' Périphérique). Finally, a Fourth Ring is due to be built between the Third Ring and the Moscow Ring Road in the next years, using in places the right-of-way of the freight rail loop.

Get in[edit]

See Russia#Get in for visa requirements to Russia.

By plane[edit]

Moscow (IATA: MOW) has three main airports:

  Sheremetyevo International Airport (IATA: SVO),  +7 495 232-65-65. - 32km northwest of the centre of Moscow, in the city of Khimki. There are 6 terminals: A (business charter aviation), B (closed for renovations), C, D, E, and F. Terminals D, E, and F are located to the south of the runway and are connected to each other by walkway, but you have to take a shuttle bus to reach the other terminals, which are located to the north of the runway. Most Aeroflot flights operate to/from Terminal D. Sheremetyevo International Airport serves approximately 33 million passengers per year.

The airport has plenty of ATMs and currency exchange offices, duty free shops, a hairdresser, a pharmacy, and several overpriced cafes and basic restaurants. Unlimited free WiFi is available.

If you have a layover at Sheremetyevo Airport, you may stay at the Hotel Novotel Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport even if you do not have a Russian visa. Go to the 'Transfer/Transit Without Visa' desk upon arrival. You'll be escorted to the hotel in a private bus and stay in a corridor with personal security guard. Rooms are spacious and comfortable. You'll be picked up by Aeroflot staff about one hour prior to departure and the bus will bring you directly to the departure gate. The hotel offers rates for stays during the day as well as overnight rates.

To travel between the airport and the city:

  • Aeroexpress is the only rail link to the airport. Trains operate between the airport and the Belorussky Railway Terminal in the northwest section of the city centre. Trains depart every 30 or 60 minutes from 5:00AM to 12:30AM. The journey takes 35 minutes and costs RUB470 one-way if bought at the airport or RUB420 if you buy your ticket online or via mobile app. Keep your paper or mobile ticket for the entire Aeroexpress journey. From the Belorussky Railway Terminal, the journey to the city center takes an additional 20 minutes by metro.
  • Bus #851 (RUB50 for a 90 minute transfer ticket purchased from the driver) and Bus #949 (RUB75) operate service between the terminals and the Rechnoy Vokzal Metro Station, at the northwest terminus of Metro Line 2 (dark green). If taking the regular bus, the driver hands you a red card, which you scan in order to get past the metal turning gate. The majority of drivers don't speak any English, so don't depend on them for assistance. Once you get off the bus, continue by foot a few steps in the direction the bus was going in, and you'll see the metro station on your right in the first opening between the buildings. When returning to the airport, after leaving the Rechnoy Vokzal metro station, cross the street, go around the fence on the other side of the street and look for the bus under the orange-colored shopping center.
  • Bus #817 (RUB50 for a 90 minute transfer ticket purchased from the driver) or Bus #948 (RUB75) operate service between the terminals and the Planernaya Metro Station, at the northwest terminus of Metro Line 7 (purple). The journey by bus to the metro stations takes approximately 40 minutes and the journey to the city centre by metro takes an additional 40 minutes. Buses operate from approximately 5:30AM to 00:45AM.
  • Night Bus H1 operates every 30 minutes after the other buses have stopped. The bus operates between the airport and the Leninskiy Prospect Metro Station.
  • Uber operates service to the city centre for a fixed rate of RUB1,000 for UberX. Transfers to the other Moscow airports cost a fixed rate of RUB1,500.
  • Taxis are best booked over the phone using reputable companies such as LingoTaxi, RuskoTaxi or one of the official taxi operators from Sheremetyevo Airport. Don't take a taxi from a tout offering you a ride in the airport. Negotiate the price in advance; many taxis charge approximately RUB1,800 to the city centre. Note that there is a toll of RUB100 for taking the highway to/from Sheremetyevo Airport.
  • Driving past the toll bar should be avoided whenever possible as there are fees to do so. In addition to entry charge of RUB100/hour (rounded up to the next hour), after entering the toll bar, there is an extra charge from RUB100/hour to RUB300/hour, depending on the distance from the entrance and the comfort of parking—with an unofficial option of an unlimited-time stay for RUB300. However, there are unofficial parking lots near the airport, with daily rates starting at RUB200.

  Domodedovo International Airport (IATA: DME),  +7 495 933-66-66. - 45km southeast of the centre of Moscow. It carries slightly more passengers than Sheremetyevo International Airport on an annual basis. The airport is the base of international discount carrier S7. Free WiFi is available throughout the airport. There are plenty of cafes, bars, restaurants, and shops in the airport.

To travel between the airport and the city:

  • Aeroexpress trains operate between the airport and the Paveletsky Railway Terminal in the southeast section of the city centre. Trains depart every 30 minutes from 6:00AM to 12:30AM. The journey takes 50 minutes and costs RUB470 one-way if bought at the airport or RUB420 if you buy your ticket online or via mobile app. Keep your paper or mobile ticket for the entire Aeroexpress journey. From the Paveletsky Railway Terminal, the journey to the city center takes an additional 20 minutes by metro.
  • Buses operate around-the-clock between the airport and the Domodedovskaya Metro Station near the southeastern end of Metro Line 2 (dark green). There is plenty of space on the buses for luggage. The buses operate every 15 minutes, but every 40 minutes between midnight and 6:00AM. The trip takes 30 minutes and costs RUB120. From the Domodedovskaya Metro Station, the journey to the center takes by metro another 40 minutes. When headed towards the airport, at Domodedovskaya Metro station, take the exit to the south (downtown side) turn right in the underpass, and follow it to the end, then take the stairs. There are crude stencilled signs of Bus 308 on the pillars to guide you. When you get to street level you will see a tall building across the street with blue words reading "овехово-ворисково северное". The bus stop is next to this building.
  • Uber operates service to the city centre for a fixed rate of RUB1,000 for UberX. Transfers to the other Moscow airports cost a fixed rate of RUB1,500.

  Vnukovo International Airport (IATA: VKO),  +7 495 937-55-55 (Head Office). - 30km southwest from the centre of Moscow. Vnukovo International Airport serves approximately 12 million passengers per year.

To travel between the airport and the city:

  • Aeroexpress trains operate between the airport and the Kievsky Railway Terminal in the southwest section of the city centre. Trains depart every 30 or 60 minutes from 6:00AM to midnight. The journey takes 40 minutes and costs RUB470 one-way if bought at the airport or RUB420 if you buy your ticket online or via mobile app. Keep your paper or mobile ticket for the entire Aeroexpress journey. From the Kievsky Railway Terminal, the journey to the city center takes an additional 20 minutes by metro.
  • Bus #611 operates between the airport and the Yugo-Zapadnaya and Troparyovo Metro Stations, at the southwestern end of Metro Line 1 (Red). The bus journey takes 35-40 minutes and costs RUB30 if a ticket is bought from the ticket office or RUB50 if paid to the driver. From the metro stations, the journey to the city center takes an additional 40 minutes.
  • Uber operates service to the city centre for a fixed rate of RUB1,000 for UberX. Transfers to the other Moscow airports cost a fixed rate of RUB1,500.
  • Taxis are best booked over the phone using reputable companies such as LingoTaxi, RuskoTaxi. Negotiate the price in advance; many taxis charge approximately RUB1,800 to the city centre.

By train[edit]

All aboard the Trans-Siberian!

Moscow is a railway hub, with connections to all parts of Russia and far into Europe and Asia. Due to its hub status, Moscow's train stations are always crowded and are some of the most unsafe places in the city. Despite the relatively cheap price of air travel within Russia, train travel still remains the predominant mode of intercity transportation for the majority of Russians.

All long-distance trains are operated by Russian Railways and its subsidiaries. Tickets can be bought either at stations or online. Some international train operators also serve Moscow. Tickets bought online need to be validated at a counter or a ticket machine. There are often counters with English-speaking personnel at each station. Sometimes the English-speaking counters are marked, and sometimes you will be directed by the first person you speak to another counter with an English speaker.

From Saint Petersburg[edit]

Saint Petersburg can be reached in 4 hours via the high-speed Sapsan trains. There are seven depatures daily from both Saint Petersburg and Moscow at 06:45, 07:00, 13:30, 13:45, 15:00, 19:25, and 19:45, with some trains stopping at Tver, Vyshniy Volochek, Bologoe, and Okulovka. Fares vary and are cheaper if bought well in advance but usually are in the range of RUB3,000-6,000.

There are also 13 overnight trains that take this route and are cheaper than the Sapsan. The most famous is the luxurious Red Arrow (Красная стрела), a train painted in bright red that departs Saint Petersburg daily at 23:55 while the song Hymn to the Great City plays on its loudspeakers.

From Europe[edit]

The Paris-Moscow Express is a weekly train service that makes the 2-night 3,217km journey between Paris and Moscow. The train makes stops in Berlin, Warsaw, and Brest. The train includes 4-bed compartments (€245), 2-bed compartments (€345), and luxury compartments (€798)

The Polonez is a daily direct overnight train to Warsaw (17 hours), via Belarus. The Tolstoy is a daily direct overnight train to Helsinki (13 hours), via Saint Petersburg. There are also weekly trains to Vienna and Prague, via Belarus and a weekly train to Budapest. You will need a Belarussian visa to ride trains that go via Belarus.

From Eastern Russia and Asia[edit]
See also: Trans-Siberian Railway

Tickets for the Trans-Siberian Railway sell out and it is best to buy tickets well in advance. Tickets are sold by the operator as well as via agencies and resellers.

The main line of the Trans-Siberian Railway runs between Moscow and Vladivostok, the principal Russian city along the Pacific Coast. The Rossiya train leaves Moscow every other day at 13:20, while the slower but cheaper trains #44 or #100 leave every day around midnight. Major stops include Yekaterinburg (24-31 hours; RUB2,000-9,000), Omsk (35-48 hours), Novosibirsk (46-54 hours), Krasnoyarsk (54-66 hours), Irkutsk (68-81 hours; RUB4,700-23,000), Ulan Ude (75-89 hours), and Vladivostok (7 days; RUB10,000-34,000).

The other routes of the Trans-Siberian Railway, between Moscow and China, are more popular among tourists. There are two weekly trains to/from Beijing (US$500-1,200), the Trans-Mongolian (Train #4) via Ulaanbaatar and the Trans-Manchurian (Vostok/Train #20) via Manchuria. Both journeys take six nights but the ride via Mongolia offers more scenery.

Train stations in Moscow[edit]

Moscow has 9 train stations, all of which are located near metro stations close to the center of Moscow. Be sure to note the station from which your train is departing, which will be indicated on the ticket, or online. Three stations (Leningradsky, Yaroslavsky, and Kazansky) are located on one huge square, informally known as the "Three Stations' Square". A running joke among Moscow taxi drivers ever since the Soviet times is to be able to pick up a fare from one of them to the other, taking the unwary tourist on an elaborate ride in circles. Be prepared for enormous queues trying to enter or exit the Metro at peak times, as people are getting off or on the commuter trains.

# Train Station Nearby Metro Station(s) Destinations of Interest to Tourists
1 Belorussky (Белорусский вокзал) Belorusskaya Berlin, Warsaw, Prague, Vienna, Budapest,. Smolensk, Minsk (10h), Kaliningrad, Brest, Aeroexpress trains from/to Sheremetyevo International Airport.
2 Kazansky (Каза́нский вокзал) Komsomolskaya Kazakhstan, Ulyanovsk, Uzbekistan, Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan (11h, RUB2500 2nd class), Novorossiysk, Orenburg, Ossetia, Altay, Ufa, Mordovia, Penza, Cheboksary, Mari El, Tumen, Rostov-on-Don, Adler, Kolomna, Ryazan.
3 Kiyevsky (Киевский вокзал) Kiyevskaya Budapest, Ukraine, Aeroexpress trains from/to Vnukovo International Airport.
4 Kursky (Ку́рский вокзал) Kurskaya, Chkalovskaya Vladimir, Nizhny Novgorod, Samara, Tula, Kursk, Ukraine, Sochi, Crimea, the Caucasus.
5 Leningradsky (Ленингра́дский вокзал) Komsomolskaya Pskov, Saint Petersburg, Tver, Veliky Novgorod, Petrozavodsk, Murmansk, Helsinki, Khimki, Klin, Tver.
6 Paveletsky (Павелецкий вокзал) Komsomolskaya Almaty, Astrakhan, Baku, Donetsk, Luhansk, Saratov, Tambov, Volgograd, Aeroexpress trains from/to Domodedovo Airport.
7 Rizhsky (Рижский вокзал) Rizhskaya Riga, Latvia, Krasnogorsk, Istra.
8 Savyolovsky (Савёловский вокзал) Savyolovskaya Local destinations only
9 Yaroslavsky (Яросла́вский вокзал) Komsomolskaya Rostov Veliky (express, twice a day, 3h, RUB450), Sergiev Posad (express, twice a day, 1h, RUB300), Yaroslavl (14 per day, 4h, RUB500), Vologda, Trans-Siberian Railway trains to Siberia, the Russian Far East, Mongolia, and China.

By car[edit]

Many entry points to Moscow over the Ring Road and into the city feature rotating roadblocks, where teams of traffic police may stop a vehicle, especially if it is not featuring Moscow plates. You may be stopped and questioned but you'll be allowed to proceed if you have all the proper documents.

From Europe[edit]

Foreign cars, especially expensive cars, might attract unwelcome attention, and there is cumbersome paperwork involved to enter Russia by car.

The direct way to drive from Germany, Poland, or Belarus is along the E30 road, although it requires having permission to enter Belarus. If you can't enter Belarus, an alternative is to go via Latvia using the E22 from Riga.

The E18 provides easy access from Finland through Saint Petersburg and Novgorod. This route is also known as Russian Federal Highway M-10. Traffic on the M-10 is heavy.

By bus[edit]

It is generally easier to travel to/from Europe or other parts of Russia via plane or train so most visitors to Moscow will not use the intercity buses.

Lux Express operates coach service between Moscow and various cities in Europe. Buses arrive to and depart from the Stantsiya Tushinskaya Bus Station next to the Tushinskaya Metro Station on Metro Line 7 (purple) in the northeastern section of Moscow. Destinations include Tartu (14 hours, €49), Riga (15 hours, €55), Tallinn (16.5 hours, €55), Vilnius (18 hours, €66-73), Warsaw (26 hours, €80-92), Minsk (34 hours, €78), Budapest (36 hours, €95-112), Prague (36 hours, €97), and Berlin (40 hours, €97-109).

Many domestic intercity buses stop at the Moscow Intercity Bus Terminal, next to the Shchelkovskaya Metro Station at the eastern terminus of Metro Line 3 (dark blue). Buses to the popular tourist destination of Suzdal operate from this station.

There are also several small bus stops and stations with buses to/from small towns that are not commonly visited by tourists.

By boat[edit]

There is no scheduled passenger service to Moscow by boat; however, cruise ships do provide service to the Northern River Terminal, on the Moscow Canal near the Khimki Reservoir. The pier is not convenient to the city and it can take over 2 hours to reach the city centre by car.

A system of navigable channels and locks connects the Moskva River with the Volga River, which is further connected to the Baltic Sea, White Sea, the Azov, the Black Sea, and the Caspian Sea. In the Soviet times this allowed the official propaganda to refer to Moscow as "a port on the five seas".

By bicycle[edit]

Moscow is the easternmost destination of the EuroVelo cycling routes. Eurovelo Route 2, the Capitals Route, is a 5,500 km route starting in Galway, Ireland, passing through Dublin, London, Berlin, Warsaw and Minsk before terminating in Moscow.

Get around[edit]

By public transport[edit]

While central Moscow is best explored on foot, it's easiest to use the metro to cover larger distances. The metro is comprehensive, boasts some great architecture, and is relatively cheap.

A plastic Troika reloadable smartcard is the easiest way to pay for transport in Moscow, with the exception of marshrutkas which only accept cash. You can add trolleybus-bus-tram trips (RUB28), "united" trips which are also good for the metro (RUB40), 90 minute trips (RUB44), or unlimited ride passes to your Troika card. See the fare table for more details on the costs. You can also buy 90-minute trip tickets from bus drivers for RUB50.

By metro[edit]

Moscow Metro system map 2014
The Metro in Moscow

The Metro is open from 5:30AM-1:00AM. Station entrances are closed at 1:00AM, and at this time the last trains depart from all of the termini stations. After 1:00AM, many locals will enter the train station using the exits, which are still open. Service on the ring line runs until 1:30AM, although entrances are closed at 1:00AM. The down escalators are also shut off at 1:00AM.

There is signage in the Metro stations in English and the Latin alphabet, but these signs are not everywhere. Each train carriage has a map in Latin script and there is one near the entrance to each platform. Note the direction of the train before you alight. It is worth printing a map of the metro system in both Cyrillic and Latin letters to take with you.

All trains in the system have free WiFi onboard. Some of the older train cars are not air-conditioned nor heated.

Note that 2 or 3 stations may be connected as transfer points but will each have a different name. There are 2 stations called Smolenskaya and 2 stations called Arbatskaya, but the station pairs are not connected to each other despite having the same name. Some of the stations are very deep underground, and transfer times between certain metro lines can take a lot of time. In the city centre, it can save time to go directly to the above-ground entrance of the line you want to take rather than to enter at a connecting station and transfer underground. On the escalators, stand on the right and walk on the left.

Some of the train stations include beautiful architecture and it is worth taking a guided tour of the metro system. The most interesting stations in terms of decor are Komsomolskaya (ring line), Novoslobodskaya (ring line), Kievskaya (ring line), Kropotkinskaya (Line #1 - red), Kievskaya (Line #3 - dark blue), Arbatskaya (Line #3 - dark blue), Ploschad' Revolyutsii (Line #3 - dark blue), Mayakovskaya (Line #2 - dark green). Also look at the architecture of the ground entrance building of Arbatskaya (Line #4 - light blue) and Krasnye Vorota (Line #1 - red). History buffs may appreciate that Metro Line #4 (light blue) has the oldest stations, opened in 1935.

The Vorob'evy gory Metro Station on Line #1 (red) is unique in that it is on a bridge crossing the Moscow River. This bridge also carries auto traffic road on another level. There is a beautiful view through the transparent sides of the station. A great observing point around Moscow is located nearby on Vorob'evy hills, next to the main building of Lomonosov Moscow State University.

There are a couple of unique trains operating through the system and you will be lucky if you get to ride them. Aquarelle (Watercolor) is a train that includes an art gallery. The train operates daily on Line #1 (red). The Sokolniki Retro Train is a train modeled after the original 1930s trains and it occasionally is placed into service, usually around a major anniversary of the metro system.

The metro is relatively safe, although pickpockets are a problem, as they are in any environment where a lot of people are pressed together. Opportunistic petty crime, such as snatching someone's mobile phone and jumping out just as the doors are closing, is also commonplace. Take the usual precautions at night when gangs of inebriated teenagers may look for an excuse to beat someone up. There is no train guard or conductor, so the first car near the driver may be the safest. Every car is equipped with an intercom to the driver's cabin; they are beige boxes with a grill and a black button near doors, and mostly work, unless visibly vandalized.

By bus and trolleybus[edit]

Typical whte-green bus

Every large street in the city is served by at least one bus and one trolleybus route, which necessitate an abundance of trolley wires in the city. Most Moscow buses and trolleybuses operate 05:30AM-01:00AM; however, there are a few routes that operate during the night.

Buses and trolleybuses never seem to follow their schedules, mostly due to traffic jams and delays, but they are frequent until the late evening.

A trolleybus route map is available online. A useful mobile app called Yandex Transport helps you locate a nearest bus, trolleybus or tram on the line.

By tram[edit]

There are several tram routes, although trams are not common in the city centre. A map and a schedule of the tram routes are available online.

By marshrutka[edit]

Marshrutka is a jitney-like mode of transport similar to a minibus or shared taxi. They follow similar routes as many bus lines and have a similar numbering system. The fare is paid in cash to the driver upon entering. They generally are faster and more efficient than buses, although the drivers are much more reckless. If you need to get off, you have to shout: "Остановите здесь!" (Astanaviti zdes, meaning "Stop here!") as loudly as possible so that the driver can hear. There is a saying "Тише скажешь – дальше выйдешь", meaning "If you speak quietly, you'll travel far". The marshrutka drivers are independent businessmen and are generally immigrants from Central Asia that only speak Russian.

By commuter rail[edit]

Local commuter trains (electrichkas) operate between the Moscow train stations and the suburbs of Moscow Oblast, but are of little use to tourists. Schedules can be accessed online at

By monorail[edit]

Moscow Monorail is a 4.7km monorail line with 6 stations. It is slower, less frequent, and has shorter operating hours when compared with the metro (every 6 min at peak hours, 16 min rest of the time). However, the view is picturesque. It is useful to get to the Ostankino Tower, or to get to the VDNKh exhibition centre from Metro Line #9 (silver). Officials are considering dismantling the monorail.

By taxi and rideshare[edit]

Caution NOTE: Beware of unofficial taxis that like to hang around tourist areas. They use a taxi meter; however, their meter goes by a fabricated inflated rate. A 10-minute ride can easily cost RUB3000 instead of RUB400. Make sure to negotiate a fixed price before entering. Smartphone-based apps such as Uber, Yandex Taxi, and GetTaxi are popular and reliable in Moscow and the rating systems and customer support force the drivers to be accountable.


Rates for UberX are the cheapest among rideshare and taxi services. Non-surge rates are RUB50 base fare + RUB8 per minute + RUB8 per kilometer, with a RUB100 minimum.

It is possible to negotiate the price with taxis drivers and not use the meter. Taxi fares within the Garden Ring are generally under RUB250. When negotiating with a street taxi, if you don't like the amount one guy is charging, you'll doubtlessly find another driver in a minute or two. Try to get an idea if the drivers know where they are going as many will pretend they know how to get to your destination just to get your business. Smartphone-based apps eliminate this problem since the drivers follow a GPS and the rates are fixed.

Taxi operators[edit]

There are several taxi services operating in Moscow, the most noticeable on the streets being The New Yellow Taxi (Novoye Zholtoye Taxi). The cars are yellow Fords or Volgas (Russian car brand). They will charge the minimum rate of around 250 rubles no matter the distance.

If you're not good in Russian, there are several English-speaking taxi services operating in Moscow, the most notable being LingoTaxi. Prices are generally higher but booking by phone is easier.

By car[edit]

Using a car in Moscow can be very time consuming and stressful. The street system was never designed to accommodate even a fraction of the exploding population of vehicles and the traffic jams never seem to clear until the night. Most roadways are in a constant state of disastrous disrepair. You will have to compete for the right-of-way with seasoned drivers in dented "Ladas" who know the tangle of the streets inside out and will not think twice before cutting you off at the first opportunity.

The drivers of the ubiquitous yellow "marshrutkas" are reckless, while buses stop, go and barge in and out of traffic at will, blissfully unaware of the surroundings. One bright spot is the relative dearth of the large 18-wheeler trucks on Moscow roads. Sometimes, all traffic on major thoroughfares may be blocked by police to allow government officials to blow through unimpeded, sirens blaring. There is very little parking. Parking illegally can lead to a hefty fine of RUB2500 and your car being towed. If you are driving to Moscow, park as soon as you can at a safe place such as your hotel and use public transit.

Parking is usually not free and the costs can be found online. Expect to pay RUB80/hour for the parking within the Boulevard Ring and the district, RUB60/hour - between Boulevard Ring and Garden Ring, RUB40/hour between Garnen Ring and Third Transport Ring. Payment is avaialble through SMS (Russian SIM-cards only), mobile app or at parking columns (usually accepting credit cards only). You have to pay for the full hour upfront, unused money will be sent back to your account. Like many other Russian cities, parking spaces, even parking lots, are extremely disorganized, making safe parking a challenge.

However, if you have driven in Rome or Athens before, then it's not that hard to get accustomed to Moscow traffic. Just don't try to drive across the city during rush hours or you can be stuck for as long as 3 hours in traffic jams. Check one of the many traffic jam information websites before you start your journey. Taking the metro may actually be faster than driving. The most popular sites are Yandex Probki and Rambler Probki.

Roads are almost empty during holidays at the beginning of January and May as well as during weekends and the summer.

Gas stations: BP, Lukoil, Gazpromneft, Rosneft gas stations all have good quality gasoline.

By ship[edit]

Boats are not the best way to move around the city fast, but they do offer great scenery.

  •   Flotilla Radisson RoyalNaberezhnaya Tarasa Shevchenko, 9, (Ukraina Hotel embankment) (M: Krasnopresnenskaya). veral year-round cruises. Unlike other tourist boats, these boats can move on ice very smoothly so that the waiter can easily pour champagne in crystal glasses on a table. There are huge panoramic windows to protect against the wind. The food is overpriced. The trips depart from either Hotel Ukraina or Gorky Park. RUB650-2,000.
  •   North River Terminal to Bukhta Radosti (Bay of Joy) (Северный речной вокзал) (Leningrad Highway (Ленинградское шоссе), 51). A few hydrofoil passenger ships operate service from the North River Terminal to Bukhta Radosti (Bay of Joy), a popular picnic and barbeque spot with many cafes. This terminal is not close to the city center; the closest metro station is Rechnoi Vokzal.

By bicycle[edit]

Velobike operates a bike sharing network that has over 2,700 bicycles available at over 300 bike stations throughout city. To use it, you first have to register the web site or via the mobile app. Membership rates are RUB150 per day or RUB500 for a month. Usage fees, which are in addition to membership fees, vary, but the first 30 minutes are free. This is intentional to encourage people to use the system for short place-to-place trips; however, after riding for 30 minutes, you can dock your bike into a station, wait 2 minutes, and then take the bike out again to restart the timer. The service is only operational in the spring and summer months, but extending the operational season is currently being contemplated.

By hop-on-hop-off bus[edit]

The hop-on-hop-off bus is a convenient way for tourists to see the major sights quickly and efficiently. The buses feature English-speaking guides to answer any questions. A 1 day pass costs US$24 for adults and US$15 for children.


Individual listings can be found in Moscow's district articles


Moscow has many attractions, but many of them are not friendly to a non-Russian-speaker. English-language newspapers like The Moscow Times, Element, Moscow News and others can help to navigate towards English-language friendly attractions and services.


  •   Sandunovskaya banya (Sanduny), Neglinnaya ulitsa, 14/3/7 +7 495 625-46-31. Most famous banya. - Make sure you visit a Russian bathhouse (banya) since in Moscow, as it's an important Russian tradition, especially people over 40s go at least once a week. Have a hot steam, followed by a good whipping with birch branches. While it's not the most pleasant experience, the benefits you'll receive afterwards will enable you to understand why Russians are loyal to their banya. 600 rubles for 2 hours.


  •   Moscow State Circusprospekt Vernadskogo (просп. Вернадского), 7 (near the University),  +7 495 939-45-47, e-mail: . Tickets 10.30-19.30. A state-owned enterprise, opened 30 April 1971 is an auditorium in Moscow located at the Vernadsky Prospekt, with a seating capacity of up to 3,400. The circus has 5 arenas (equestrian, water, illusionist, ice rink, and light-effect) located 18 metres below the floor. - Touts may be selling tickets outside and can save you a lot of queueing, and they'll speak more English than the ticket office. Sometimes they are selling tickets at the cover price, and sometime at twice the price. Ask and make sure before parting with your cash. From 200 rubles.


Ice skating[edit]

  •   Gorky Central Park of Culture and Leisure ("Центральный парк культуры и отдыха (ЦПКиО) имени Горького"), Krymsky Val (Крымский вал), 9 (Across the Moskva River from Park Kultury Metro Station),  +7 495 995−0020, e-mail: . 10-17, evening 17:00-23:00. It is most famous but overcrowded and ice is not always in ideal condition. The Park opened in 1928. morning 200 RUB, evening 300 RUB.
  •   Luzhniki aka Kristall skating ring (Каток «Кристалл» и каток «Балет на льду»), Luzhnetskaya nab.(Лужнецкая наб.), 24 (M: Sportivnaya). has arguably the best ice, although service can be tough and open hours are not always convenient.

The winter rinks at Chistye Prudy or Izmaylovsky Park can be other alternatives.


  •   MiGs over Moscow (Zhukovsky Airbase aka Ramenskoye Airport (Аэродром «Раменское», Жуковский), 46km SW),  +41 44 500 50 10, e-mail: . This great adventure started after the end of the USSR, due to the lack of money in the army. In the beginning flights in MiG-21, MiG-23, MiG-25, MiG-29 and Sukhoi Su-27 started from Zhukovsky Airbase. Today this base is closed for passenger flights, but flights in MiG-29 Fulcrum and L-39 Albatros jets are still possible from other airbases near Moscow. starting at under €2000 for a flight including transfer from Moscow, interpreter services and all preparations.
  •   Kva-Kva Water ParkGostinichnaya str., 4/9 (M: Vladikino),  +7 495 788 72 72. 10.00-22.00. Water Park affiliated with Maxima Hotels (discounts for guests). There are 7 high trills (90-120 meters length) and a pleasant surprise for extremers – Tsunami trill – unique in Russia. There are also 4-line trills – Multislide and a special area for kids – a small tropical town with shallow pool. - Kva-Kva Lagoone offers hydromassage. There’s also pure Russian bath, Finnish sauna, Turkish bath (hamam) and Kva-Kva SPA-salon. - Night discos take place every weekend, with free admission for Maxima Hotel guests. 225-745 RUB.
  • Hot air balloon rideSuburban Moscow. 4400-5000 RUB.
  •   Moscow Zoo (Московский зоопарк), Bolshaya Gruzinskaya str., 1 (M: Barrikadnaya or Krasnopresnensky),  +7 499 252 3580fax: (495) 605 1717, e-mail: . Tu-Su 10-17. The oldest (1864) and the biggest zoo in Russia, has over 6000 animals representing about 1000 species and covers an area of about 21.5 hectares 300 rubles, photo cameras free of charge, Attention! summer weekends 500 Rbl (2013).


Moscow State University

Moscow remains the educational center of Russia and the former USSR. There are 222 institutes of higher education, including 60 state universities & 90 colleges. Some of these offer a wide-spectrum of programs, but most are centered around a specific field. This is a hold-over from the days of the USSR, when Sovietwide there were only a handful of wide-spectrum "universities" and a large number of narrow-specialization "institutes" (mostly in Moscow & St.Petersburg). Moscow offers some of the best business/management, science, & arts schools in the world. Moscow is also a popular destination for foreign students to learn Russian.

State Universities[edit]

  •   Lomonosov Moscow State University (Московский государственный университет имени М. В. Ломоносова), Leninskye gory (Ленинские горы), 1; Prospect Lomonosovsky (M: Universytet),  +7 495 939 10 00fax: +7 (495) 939 01 26, e-mail: . The largest school in Moscow (nearly 50 000 students). Mostly liberal arts & the sciences. Courses only in Russian, except:
  • LMSU Center for International Education. Russian courses from 4 wks-3 semesters: Pre-university Russian (to prepare for a Russian-language university education, teaches jargon/vocabulary for 6 fields), preparation to be a teacher of Russian, & 6 levels of Russian for fun.
  •   Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (Московский Физико-Технический институт (государственный университет)), Dolgoprudny, per. Institutskiy 9 (Metro: Altufyevo 5,4 km take taxi bus №545 (456C) until “MIPT” stop (~15 minutes)),  +7 495 408-51-45, e-mail: . One of the most prestigious science universities in Russia. -
  •   Moscow State Institute of International Relations(MGIMO) (Московский государственный институт международных отношений (Университет) МИД России, often abbreviated МГИМО, MGIMO). On of the most prestigious foreign relations universities in the world, this school of 5000 has trained over two thirds of Russian government officials and many others in the CIS. Courses only in Russian.
  •   Moscow Aviation Institute (State University of Aerospace Technologies) (Московский авиационный институт), Volokolamskoye shosse (Волоколамское шоссе), 4 (Metro Voykovskaya 700m, Metro Sokol 800m),  +7 499 158-0002fax: +7 499 158-29-77, e-mail: . Specializes in Aviation-related science & engineering. Courses in Russian, but the school has "Pre-school" Russian courses & a tolerance for some English.
  •   Bauman Moscow State Technical University (Московский государственный технический университет им. Н. Э. Баумана), Ul. 2-ya Baumanskaya (2-я Бауманская ул.), 5 +7499 263-6391fax: +7(499)267-4844, e-mail: . Engineering/Technology. Oldest technical university in Russia. Offers courses only in Russian.
  •   Russian State Medical University (Российский национальный исследовательский медицинский университет имени Н. И. Пирогова), Ul. Ostrovityanova (ул. Островитянова), Dom 1 (M: Belyaevo or M: Konkovo),  +7 495 434-3174, e-mail: . Otherwise referred to as Pirogov institute, it recently celebrated its 100 year anniversary. It has a huge campus for an exclusively Medical faculty. Presumably Russian-language only.
  •   I. M. Sechenov First State Moscow Medical University (Первый Московский государственный медицинский университет имени И. М. Сеченова), Trubetskaya ulitsa, 8 (Metro Frunzenskaya 400m, metro Sportivnaya 750m). As the name suggests, this school offers Medical & Pharmacological degrees exclusively. It claims to be the oldest medical school in Russia and once to be a medical department of Lomonosov Moscow State University. Courses in Russian, but Russian courses for English-speakers offered. First 2-3 years courses can be in English, afterwards in clinical years mainly in Russian.
  •   People's Friendship University of Russia (RUDN), Miklukho-Maklaya str., 6 (M. Belyaevo, Yugo-Zapadnaya 1.5km),  +7 (495) 434-70-27 Comparable to an American public university, this school offers everything from French to Engineering to Hotel Management. It has European accreditation & specializes in teaching foreign students. Courses in Russian, but offers many Russian-language courses.
  •   Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation (Финансовый университет при Правительстве Российской Федерации), Leningradsky Prospect, 49 (M. Aeroport 600m, Metro Dinamo 1km),  +7 499 943-98-55fax: (499) 157-70-70, e-mail: . The first in the history of Russia specialized financial institute of higher education. Alma mater of many famous russian businessmen and government officials (one of the wealthiest person in Russia Mikhail Prokhorov, Governor of Krasnoyarsk Krai Lev Kuznetsov, Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Khloponin, CEO of Gazprombank Andrey Akimov and some others)
  •   Plekhanov Russian University of Economics (Российский экономический университет им. Г. В. Плеханова), Stremyanny per. 36 (Metro Serpukhovskaya 200m, Metro Dobryninskaya 300m),  +7 499 237-85-17. Established in 1907, is the oldest institution with focus on economics in Russia's tertiary education.


You will need a work visa which is not an easy process. The visa needs to be arranged well in advance of travelling. It is possible to work in Moscow, you just need to find a good company to support you.


Credit card acceptance is widespread in large stores, but less common smaller stores and restaurants. However, ATMs are plentiful, display in English and accept the major card networks such as Visa/Plus and MasterCard/Cirrus. Currency exchange offices are plentiful in the city, but be sure to count your change and note that the advertised rates sometimes don't include an added commission or only apply to large exchanges.

Be sure to break your RUB5000 or RUB1000 notes where you can, as the smaller merchants, street vendors and even many metro clerks often refuse them.

Shopping Malls[edit]

Large shopping malls are common near metro stations. There is a online shopping aggregator, Yandex Market, where it is possible to find lots of other goods.


Russian borsch

Dining establishments in Moscow range from food stalls near metro stations to quick canteen-style 'Stolovaya' eateries to American-style fast food chains to overpriced restaurants catering to tourists to high-end restaurants where you can spend RUB10,000.

Restaurants and cafes promising "European and Caucasus cuisine" generally cater to tourists and are usually bad; seek a restaurant that specializes in a single region instead (Georgian, Russian, Italian, French, etc.).

Many small restaurants offer lunch specials costing RUB200-250. These deals are valid from 12:00 to 15:00 and include a cup of soup or an appetizer, a small portion of the main dish of the day, bread and a non-alcoholic beverage.


For information on tipping in restaurants, see Russia#Eat.

Ethnic food[edit]

Authentic ethnic food from countries of the nearby Caucasus (Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia) is common in Moscow. Japanese food, including sushi, rolls, tempura, and steakhouses are very popular in Moscow. Other Asian cuisines including Vietnamese, Thai, and Chinese are becoming increasing more common.


Street food[edit]

Free-standing kiosks serving sausages, meat pies, or kebobs are plentiful, although the origins of the meat served is questionable and the food has been known to occasionally make people sick. Food kiosk chains that you will notice include:

  • Kroshka-Kartoshka – These green kiosks sell microwave-baked potatoes as well as toasted sandwiches and a few drinks. Hot and filling, but rather expensive for what is basically just a hunk of root vegetable.
  • Riksha Ivan ("Ivan the Rickshaw") – Quick Chinese-like cuisine; fried rice with meat to go.
  • Teremok – These brown-colored kiosks sell large blinchiki, Russian crepes that come with a variety of fillings. Very tasty and authentic. Make sure to try the Kvass - a traditional Russian drink made from rye bread.

Muscovites are also fond of their ice cream, consumed in any weather, even in the dead of winter, cheap and usually of superior quality; kiosks can be found all over the center and near all Metro stations.

Fast Food Chains[edit]

McDonalds and KFC have locations near almost every shopping mall. It is common to pay extra for condiments.

  • Yolky-Palky – This chain restaurant offers Russian food. You can take an all-you-can-eat plate for RUB300.
  • Kruzhka – Serves cheap food and mugs of beer. 20 locations around Moscow. The menu is relatively simple, consisting mainly of types of kebab and shawarma, with fries. Sports events are on often shown on televisions or a big screen.
  • Prime Star – Specializing in natural food such as sandwiches and salads. RUB400 for a cold soup, salad, and beverage.

Canteen-style cafeterias[edit]

In these cafeterias, you take a tray, move along a counter with food (either taking the dishes yourself or asking the staff to give you a bowl of soup, a plate of vegetables, etc.) and pay at the cash register at the end of the counter. These self-serve establishments have decent quality food, no waiting time, and good prices. Canteen chains include Café Moo-Moo (30 locations) and Grabli (Грабли).


  • Viet Cafe - A modern fusion-like chain of cafes serves Vietnamese cuisine but for a slightly higher price. Normal meal will cost around 500 rubles per person.
  • Izumrudnaya Reka ("Emerald River") A nice place for Vietnamese food in the Savyolovskiy market, close to Savyolovskaya metro station.
  • Kharbin (Харбин), Nizhnyaya Pervomayskaya ul. 66 (m. Pervomayskaya). Mon-Sun 11AM-11PM. Well outskirts—but worth a dedicated trip. Non-Europeanized authentic Chinese restaurant. with therefore generous portions, each main can typically fill a couple. Both run entirely by and where 80% of clients are Chinese. Try turtle soup; eggplants in caramel sauce. Loud karaoke weekend evenings. No credit cards. 1000 rubles per person for a filling dinner w/o alcohol.
  • Gavan' v Khamovnikakhul. Rossolimo 7 (Near Park Kultury Metro Station and Gorky Park),  +7 499 246-94-32. Great authentic Armenian food.


  • Carré Blanc (Metro: Novoslobodskaya), Selezniovskaya ul. 19/2 +7 495 258-44-03. French restaurant with an attached and much cheaper bar/cafe which also serves good food. Good wine list. French/English/Russian spoken.</
  • Chemodan (Suitcase)Gogol Boulevard 25/1 (Metro: Arbatskaya, Kropotkinskaya),  +7 (495) 695 3819. Specifically a Siberian restaurant, with a menu featuring the freshest river-fish from Siberia's vast rivers and lakes, game dishes from the riches of the taiga forests, pickles and preserves featuring mushrooms and berries. Good food, good service. Mains: RUB700-1,500.
  • Cafe Pushkin (Кафе Пушкинъ), Tverskoy Blvd 26А (Metro: Tverskaya, Pushkinskaya). Has a cafe and restaurant (cafe is cheaper). A fake 19th century mansion (built in 1999) that pretends to be a tourist attraction, not just a place to eat. The legend goes that so many foreigners were asking for the restaurant with this name that they finally opened one. With a stretch of imagination the food might pass for what it purports to be, the aristocratic Russian cuisine from the Czarist times. Still, it's probably the only place in Moscow to try true Russian cuisine, as it's cooked at home (at least, it's quite difficult to find another of the same quality).
  • Riviera – Painfully slow white glove service but it's a beautiful restaurant with a harpist playing throughout the meal and expertly prepared authentic French dishes. Expansive wine list.
  • RobertoRozhdestvensky blvd, 20 bldg. 1 (M. Chistiye Prudy / Tsvetnoy Blvd). Genuine Italian restaurant frequented by Italians. Risotto 400+ R, salads 350+ R, pasta 350+ R, soups 300+ R, mains 450+ R.
  • Vogue Cafeul. Kuznetskiy Most, 7/9. – Situated right across the street from TSUM on Kyznetski Most Street building 7/9, the restaurant is a great little find but do not be fooled by the word cafe. It is quite trendy inside and can be busy in the evening. The prices are on the lower end of expensive (fish dishes range between 800-1300 rubles) and the wine list is extremely underpriced by Russian standards - like at least 4000 rubles per bottle. Overall, the food is absolutely delicious.
  • White Rabbit3, Smolenskaya Square (Metro: Smolenskaya),  +7 495 66 33 999. Astonishing interiors in fusion style. Combining an old fireplace with fretted designer furniture and an active bar in the middle of the hall with a 360 degree panorama view of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ukraina hotel. You get an outstanding view on the Garden Ring, the New Arbat and the river Moscow through the windows.


There are several bars in central Moscow worth visiting.

  • Tema Bar – Located near Chistye Prudy Boulevard (Potapovsky pereulok (Потаповский переулок), 5). It boasts quite a long cocktail list, including all-time favorites like Screwdrivers, Cosmopolitans and Manhattans. The bar is packed on Fri and Sat nights. - M:Chistye Prudy


Nightlife in Moscow is bustling, intense and exciting. It starts quite late - it's not uncommon for the headliners to start at 1 or 2AM. Most noticeable are areas near Solyanka street and Krasniy Oktyabr' place. At summer time a lot of clubs opening "verandas" - which are terraces in the open air. Most of clubs in Moscow are very keen of who they let in, so make sure you have a positive attitude and dress up if you are going to a fancy club.



Moscow has a good selection of tea saloons. Beyond them, high-quality infusion teas like Newby, are widely available in cafes, both packeted and loose.

Asking to add boiling water to the tea you ordered earlier is a practice that some cafes don't welcome, but normally it's acceptable. However, initiative from the waiter is really rare in this respect.


According to Vedomosti (March 2009), best coffee can be found in: Coffeemania chain, Coffee Bean chain, Starbucks Cafe


Individual listings can be found in Moscow's district articles



There is a big need for mid-range accommodations in Moscow, but nevertheless the curious traveler can find some useful accommodations.

Stay safe[edit]

Moscow historically enjoyed a low crime rate. However, since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the crime rate throughout Russia skyrocketed and this terrible reputation lingers, despite much recent improvement.

Drunk people and the police are the most likely sources of problems. A lot of policemen are corrupt, and it is best to avoid them. While traveling in Moscow, as in the rest of Russia, you should always have your passport with you. If you look non-white, your papers may get checked more often than otherwise.

Police may demand to see your documents to check if you have obtained registration papers within seven business days of your arrival into Moscow. Most policemen do not speak a word of English, but will let you know if your papers are not in order and if you must go with them to the police precinct. A bribe of about 500 rubles (more if you look like you have more) should make them leave you alone, though if you are reasonably sure your papers are in order, get out your mobile phone and call your embassy. Most corrupt policemen will be frightened enough to let you go before you dial the number.

Non-white people should be especially vigilant since the number of violent attacks by skinheads is prevalent, and most minorities are likely to be stopped for document checks by the police.

Women should take caution walking alone late at night since they may receive unwanted attention from drunk men. Women should also stay clear of large companies of men in front of bars, restaurants, etc. It is best to walk with a friend if possible.

Streets can become very slippery in winter. Wear shoes or, even better, boots with decent grip to prevent twisted ankles. Ice patches can be hard to spot. A waterproof raincoat is also sensible.

The city's rapidly expanding economy has left traffic poorly handled, and accident rates are very high. Stay safe.

If you need help with translation, ask students or pupils. Because there were problems in the 20th century with learning foreign languages, young people are more likely to be able to help you.



In Moscow there are three main GSM operators (MTS, Beeline, Megafon), and they often have offers that give you a SIM card, including 3G internet, for free or at least very cheap. Even if you are only staying for a short time in Russia, you should consider buying a local pay-as-you-go SIM card, as it may be cheaper than just a few minutes of roaming. Almost any European phone, and those from the U.S. which work on a GSM network (T-Mobile, or AT&T), carry the "tri-band" or "World phone" designation and had been unlocked, should work on the Russian standard (if yours is not one of those, a basic new candybar will still run you considerably less than $50 without a contract).

If you buy a SIM card from a shop you'll need your passport for identification. It only takes five minutes to do the paperwork and it will cost less than $10. You will receive a number in the "mobile" area code, starting with 9, which has more expensive rates for calls to and from landlines (and from abroad; in compensation, the tariffs for calls to phones on the same network are usually reduced), and your card will be preloaded with a small initial minute allowance. Incoming calls are free (or at least are supposed to be, by law; some companies are trying to find ways around it).

Top off at the stores of your chosen company, at shops selling phones, or at newer automated kiosks which accept utility payments (they look like short, squat ATMs with large touchscreens, and display, among others, logos of the mobile operators); the latter charge a small commission fee and accept cash or (rarely) credit cards. Be careful when entering the number: it is possible to add airtime to any phone, not only your own.

For calls abroad there are different inexpensive pre-paid cards (e.g. Arktel), which you can find at many shops and kiosks throughout the city or in any post office.

Wireless Internet[edit]

Public Wifi hotspots[edit]

There is a good penetration of WiFi in Moscow, with hotspots at even surprising downbeat little cafes. Not everywhere with WiFi advertises it prominently, so make sure you ask if your device doesn't connect automatically, you may be surprised.

BeelineWiFi has the largest network of access points, available almost everywhere within the Garden Ring, less frequently outside it. Most connections are free to use (paid by such as a cafe or mall). Though a few require an account. Rates are 50 rubles for an hour, 100 rubles for 24 hours, 500 rubles for 30 days; if you have a credit card, it's a fairly simple process to sign up and connect entirely online. Airports are flooded with paid networks so as to drown the (few) free choices. In some places, pre-paid cards can be acquired at the cashier's desk (e.g. Starbucks) or in outlets selling mobile phones. The main railway stations provide free access.

McDonalds has free Wi-Fi in nearly every branch in the city (and in most of them within the Garden Ring)—operated also by BeelineWiFi.


There is also a mobile Wimax provider called Yota available in Moscow and some other cities. You can buy their USB modem in almost every outlet selling mobile phones(Euroset, Svyaznoi, I-on etc.) as well as in any computer related store. Available plans : 900 rubles/month or 90 rubles/day. Average download speed - 0.6-3Mbits /sec depending on how busy the base wimax station is. Connection can be problematic roughly between 16:00 and 21:00 on workdays, however.

Mobile internet connection[edit]

The 3G (HSDPA) coverage is also available in some areas provided by MegaFon, MTS, BeeLine. HSDPA (GSM) coverage is limited through Moscow and the traffic there is very expensive if you didn't purchase a "traffic package" beforehand. There is also a CDMA (EV-DO rev. A) wireless internet available provided by Skylink but you have to buy their hardware (450Mhz) like USB modem for 1890 rub to use it (runs at 450 MHz and it's not compatible with CDMA equipment used in the U.S. etc.). It's much cheaper than HSDPA (GSM) connection: CDMA is 4.6/2.5 rub per MB in daytime/nighttime (and even less if you first pay 640 rubles for switching to Легкий Интернет tarif). Average download speed with Skylink - 0.7-2.0 Mbits per second, and it's much more reliable than Yota. Compared to HSDPA (GSM), CDMA coverage is almost equal to MTS and Beeline, and frequenly better than Megafon.



Moscow is one of the global diplomatic capitals, competing with Berlin, Paris, London, and Washington D.C.. Most of the world's countries have their embassies in the city.

Go next[edit]

Since Moscow is the biggest transportation center in Russia and one of main the points of entry for the foreign tourists, it is a convenient starting point for exploring much of European Russia. Even travelling through Moscow to Ukraine and some Caucasian and Central Asian countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan etc.) could be cheaper than direct flights from Europe/North America. Travel deals to Moscow are not rare and ticket prices are often pretty low within former USSR.

  • Saint Petersburg - 13 different overnight trains leave Moscow for the 7-hour (or thereabouts) journey, arriving the next morning. Don't try to save on sleeper accommodations; you won't like the coach car unless you aren't counting on getting any sleep at all (but in this case, you'd be better off taking one of the daytime high-speed Sapsan trains - they take around 4 hours, and the vistas rushing by on the other side of the window are lovely). You might even consider paying the extra money for a first class sleeper cabin which has two comfortable beds. Included in the price is a small snack for supper and breakfast. There is also an attendant for each carriage who is willing to make tea in classic metal and glass tea glasses. Very civilised way to travel.
  • Tver - Known as "Tiny Petersburg" thanks to its city structure. The administrative center of Tver Oblast. The Volga river divides the city into two very different parts.
  •   Arkhangelskoye Palace (Арха́нгельское), Krasnogorsk (Metro stations: "Tushinskaya"). - One of the finest of Moscow Oblast's usadbas (estates) is only a short elektrichka ride away from Moscow and makes a fine day excursion.
  • Golden Ring - Old cities and towns rich in historical buildings, situated in the heartland of Muskovy Russia. There are many tourist companies organizing guided tours, but travellers with rudimentary knowledge of Cyrillic alphabet can do it independently. Many guidebooks are available in English.
  •   Kubinka Tank Museum (Бронетанковый музей в Кубинке) (67km W of Moscow centre). - One of finest armour collections in the world. About one hour west of the city. Access is restricted, visitors must apply for a permit [1], but it worths the bother for any self-respecting tank buff.
  •   Leninskiye Gorki (Го́рки Ле́нинские) (10km south of Moscow city limits),  +7 495 548-9309, e-mail: . - An old country estate, expropriated by the Communist authorities after 1917 and used by V. Lenin as his country residence when he became ill. Large museum, although pretty decrepit now.
  •   State Borodino War and History Museum and Reserve (Государственный Бородинский военно-исторический музей-заповедник «Бородинское поле») (By suburban train: from the Belarusian railway station to "Borodino" or "Mozhaysk" station (2-3 a day, 2h) or intercity bus № 457 to Mozhaysk further - by bus to the "Borodino" museum). Warning: preodered group visits only. - This is the site of the famous Battle of Borodino. Museum and national historic site [2].
  •   Melikhovo (Ме́лихово) (65km south of Moscow). Chekhov's country house
  •   Sergiev Posad (Сергиев Посад) (by car: 70 km from Moscow via the Yaroslavsky Highway - by electrical train: from Yaroslavsky Station, “Sergiev Posad” stop (1.5h). - by Bus № 388: from VDNKH Metro station to Sergiev Posad. Then you can go by a bus (or a minivan) to the “Center” or walk along Sergievskaya ul. (street) to the observation platform on the Blinnaya gora ( mountain) and admire a magnificent view of the Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra.). - Famous old Orthodox monastery (Troitse-Sergieva Lavra). Commuter trains from Yaroslavsky Station, several daily; travel time about 1 1/2 hours.
  •   Kolomna (Коломна) (114km (by rail) southeast of Moscow). - A nice medieval town (2-3h from Moscow) with a number of very interesting churches and monasteries
  •   Yasnaya Polyana (Я́сная Поля́на) (12 km SW of Tula and 200km S from Moscow.). Tolstoi's country house
  •   New Jerusalem Resurrection Monastery (Новоиерусалимский монастырь) (between Novoierusalimskaya (15 min on foot) and Istra (15 min by bus) elektrichka stations, around 60 km from Moscow, Trains to Istra, from Moscow’s Rizhsky Vokzal (Riga Station) (~20 a day, 1.5h, RUB130) (2011)). - A monastery-fortress (male, working) with a number of museums inside and next to the walls: Wooden architecture museum, local history museum, Art and History museum etc. The monastery was founded in 1656 by Tzar Alexis II and Patriarch Nikon (his "cell", a three-storey house stands in the park outside the monastery walls) to resemble the original Jerusalem.
  •   Savvino-Storozhevskiy monastery (Саввино-Сторожевский монастырь) (65km W; Commuter trains from Belorussky station to Zvenigorod , several daily; travel time ~1h, 1.5km west to monastery, which is on a nearby hill.). - A beautiful monastery with interesting history, closely connected to Russian Tzars.
  •   Dmitrov (Дмитров) (65km North from Moscow (trains from Savelovsky station, several daily, 1.5h)). - A town, on Moscow Channel, with old churches, interesting sculptures in the streets and a number of museums
  •   Snegiri (40km NW from Moscow (Volokolamskoe hwy). Trains from Rizhsky Station, several daily, travel time about an hour.). - Settlement, that boasts a monument to the Defense of Moscow during WW2, with a good collection of tanks, and a museum.
Routes through Moscow
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This city travel guide to Moscow is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page
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