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Moscow is the capital and the largest city of Russia with 12.2 million residents within the city limits and 16.8 million within the urban area.Moscow is one of three federal cities in Russia (the others are Saint Petersburg and Sevastopol, although the status of the latter is disputed due to the annexation of Crimea by Russia).
Moscow is a major political, economic, cultural, and scientific center of Russia and Eastern Europe, as well as the largest city entirely on the European continent.Moscow has been ranked as the ninth most expensive city in the world and is also one of the fastest growing tourist destinations in the world.
Moscow is situated on the Moskva River in the Central Federal District of European Russia, making it the world's most populated inland city. The city is well known for its architecture, particularly its historic buildings such as Saint Basil's Cathedral with its brightly colored domes. With over 40 percent of its territory covered by greenery, it is one of the greenest capitals and major cities in Europe and the world.
The city has served as the capital of a progression of states, from the medieval Grand Duchy of Moscow and the subsequent Tsardom of Russia to the Soviet Union and the contemporary Russian Federation. Moscow is considered the center of Russian culture, having served as the home of Russian artists, scientists and sports figures and because of the presence of museums, academic and political institutions and theaters.
Moscow is the seat of power of the Government of Russia, being the site of the Moscow Kremlin, a medieval city-fortress that is today the residence of the Russian president. The Moscow Kremlin and Red Square are also one of several World Heritage Sites in the city. Both chambers of the Russian parliament (the State Duma and the Federation Council) also sit in the city.
The city is served by a transit network, which includes four international airports, nine railway terminals, numerous trams, a monorail system and one of the deepest underground metro systems in the world, the Moscow Metro, the fourth-largest in the world and largest outside of Asia in terms of passenger numbers, and the busiest in Europe. It is recognized as one of the city's landmarks due to the rich architecture of its 197 stations.
|POPULATION :||City: 12,197,596 / Metro: 16,800,000|
|FOUNDED :||Before 1147|
|TIME ZONE :||MSK (UTC+03:00)|
|RELIGION :||Russian Orthodox 79.8%, Muslims 14%, Others 6.2%|
|AREA :||2,511 km2 (970 sq mi)|
|ELEVATION :||55.8–91.5 m (183.1–300.2 ft)|
|COORDINATES :||55°45′N 37°37′E|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 46,13% |
• Female: 53,87%
|ETHNIC :||Russian 91.65%, Ukrainian 1.42%, Tatar 1.38%, Others 5.55%|
|AREA CODE :||495|
|POSTAL CODE :|
|DIALING CODE :||+7 495|
Moscow is the 860 year-old capital of Russia. A truly iconic, global city, Moscow has played a central role in the development of Russia and 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 oldest evidence of humans on the territory of Moscow dates from the Neolithic (Schukinskaya site on the Moscow River). Within the modern bounds of the city other late evidence was discovered (the burial ground of the Fatyanovskaya culture, the site of the Iron Age settlement of the Dyakovo culture), on the territory of the Kremlin, Sparrow Hills, Setun River and Kuntsevskiy forest park, etc.
In the 9th century, the Oka River was part of the Volga trade route, and the upper Volga watershed became an area of contact between the indigenous Uralic peoples such as the Merya and the expanding Volga Bulgars (particularly the second son of Khan Kubrat who expanded the borders of the Old Great Bulgaria), Germanic (Varangians) and Slavic peoples.
The earliest East Slavic tribes recorded as having expanded to the upper Volga in the 9th to 10th centuries are the Vyatichi and Krivichi. The Moskva River was incorporated as part of Rostov-Suzdal into the Kievan Rus in the 11th century. By AD 1100, a minor settlement had appeared on the mouth of the Neglinnaya River.
Early history (1147–1283)
The first known reference to Moscow dates from 1147 as a meeting place of Yuri Dolgorukiy and Sviatoslav Olgovich. At the time it was a minor town on the western border of Vladimir-Suzdal Principality.
In 1156, Knjaz Yury Dolgoruky fortified the town with a timber fence and a moat. In the course of the Mongol invasion of Rus, the Mongols under Batu Khan burned the city to the ground and killed its inhabitants.
The timber fort na Moskvě "on the Moscow river" was inherited by Daniel, the youngest son of Alexander Nevsky, in the 1260s, at the time considered the least valuable of his father's possessions. Daniel was still a child at the time, and the big fort was governed by tiuns (deputies), appointed by Daniel's paternal uncle, Yaroslav of Tver.
Daniel came of age in the 1270s and became involved in the power struggles of the principality with lasting success, siding with his brother Dmitry in his bid for the rule of Novgorod. From 1283 he acted as the ruler of an independent principality alongside Dmitry, who became Grand Duke of Vladimir. Daniel has been credited with founding the first Moscow monasteries, dedicated to the Lord's Epiphany and to Saint Daniel.
Grand Duchy (1283–1547)
Daniel I ruled Moscow as Grand Duke until 1303 and established it as a prosperous city which would eclipse its parent principality of Vladimir by the 1320s.
On the right bank of the Moskva River, at a distance of five miles (8.0 kilometres) from the Kremlin, not later than in 1282, Daniel founded the first monastery with the wooden church of St. Daniel-Stylite. Now it is the Danilov Monastery. Daniel died in 1303, at the age of 42. Before his death he became a monk and, according to his will, was buried in the cemetery of the St. Daniel Monastery.
Moscow was stable and prosperous for many years and attracted a large numbers of refugees from across Russia. The Rurikids maintained large landholdings by practicing primogeniture, whereby all land was passed to the eldest sons, rather than dividing it up among all sons. By 1304,Yury of Moscow contested with Mikhail of Tver for the throne of the principality of Vladimir. Ivan I eventually defeatedTver to become the sole collector of taxes for the Mongol rulers, making Moscow the capital of Vladimir-Suzdal. By paying high tribute, Ivan won an important concession from the Khan.
While Khan of the Golden Horde initially attempted to limit Moscow's influence, when the growth of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania began to threaten all of Russia, the Khan strengthened Moscow to counterbalance Lithuania, allowing it to become one of the most powerful cities in Russia. In 1380, prince Dmitry Donskoy of Moscow led a united Russian army to an important victory over the Mongols in the Battle of Kulikovo. Afterwards, Moscow took the leading role in liberating Russia from Mongol domination. In 1480, Ivan III had finally broken the Russians free from Tatar control, and Moscow became the capital of an empire that would eventually encompass all of Russia and Siberia, and parts of many other lands.
In 1462 Ivan III, known as Ivan the Great (1440–1505) became Grand Prince of Moscow (then part of the medieval Muscovy state). He began fighting the Tatars, enlarged the territory of Muscovy, and enriched his capital city. By 1500 it had a population of 100,000 and was one of the largest cities in the world. He conquered the far larger principality of Novgorod to the north, which had been allied to the hostile Lithuanians. Thus he enlarged the territory sevenfold, from 430,000 to 2,800,000 square kilometres (170,000 to 1,080,000 square miles). He took control of the ancient "Novgorod Chronicle" and made it a propaganda vehicle for his regime.
The original Moscow Kremlin was built during the 14th century. It was reconstructed by Ivan, who in the 1480s invited architects from Renaissance Italy, such as Petrus Antonius Solarius, who designed the new Kremlin wall and its towers, and Marco Ruffo who designed the new palace for the prince. The Kremlin walls as they now appear are those designed by Solarius, completed in 1495. The Kremlin's Great Bell Tower was built in 1505–08 and augmented to its present height in 1600.
A trading settlement, or posad, grew up to the east of the Kremlin, in the area known as Zaradye (Зарядье). In the time of Ivan III, the Red Square, originally named the Hollow Field (Полое поле) appeared.
In 1508–1516, the Italian architect Aleviz Fryazin (Novy) arranged for the construction of a moat in front of the eastern wall, which would connect the Moskva and Neglinnaya and be filled in with water from Neglinnaya. This moat, known as the Alevizov moat and having a length of 541 metres (1,775 feet), width of 36 metres (118 feet), and a depth of 9.5 to 13 metres (31–43 feet) was lined with limestone and, in 1533, fenced on both sides with low, four-metre-thick (13-foot) cogged-brick walls.
In the 16th and 17th centuries, the three circular defenses were built: Kitay-gorod (Китай-город), the White City (Белый город) and the Earthen City (Земляной город). However, in 1547, two fires destroyed much of the town, and in 1571 the Crimean Tatarscaptured Moscow, burning everything except the Kremlin. The annals record that only 30,000 of 200,000 inhabitants survived.
The Crimean Tatars attacked again in 1591, but this time were held back by new defense walls, built between 1584 and 1591 by a craftsman named Fyodor Kon. In 1592, an outer earth rampart with 50 towers was erected around the city, including an area on the right bank of the Moscow River. As an outermost line of defense, a chain of strongly fortified monasteries was established beyond the ramparts to the south and east, principally the Novodevichy Convent and Donskoy, Danilov, Simonov, Novospasskiy, and Andronikov monasteries, most of which now house museums. From its ramparts, the city became poetically known as Bielokamennaya, the "White-Walled". The limits of the city as marked by the ramparts built in 1592 are now marked by the Garden Ring.
Three square gates existed on the eastern side of the Kremlin wall, which in the 17th century, were known as: Konstantino-Eleninsky, Spassky, Nikolsky (owing their names to the icons of Constantine and Helen, the Savior and St. Nicholas which hung over them). The last two were directly opposite the Red Square, while the Konstantino-Elenensky gate was located behind Saint Basil's Cathedral.
The Russian famine of 1601–03 killed perhaps 100,000 in Moscow. From 1610 through 1612, troops of thePolish-Lithuanian Commonwealth occupied Moscow, as its ruler Sigismund III tried to take the Russian throne. In 1612, the people of Nizhny Novgorod and other Russian cities conducted by prince Dmitry Pozharsky and Kuzma Minin rose against the Polish occupants, besieged the Kremlin, and expelled them. In 1613, the Zemsky sobor elected Michael Romanov tsar, establishing the Romanov dynasty. The 17th century was rich in popular risings, such as the liberation of Moscow from the Polish–Lithuanian invaders (1612), the Salt Riot (1648), theCopper Riot (1662), and the Moscow Uprising of 1682.
During the first half of the 17th century, the population of Moscow doubled from roughly 100,000 to 200,000. It expanded beyond its ramparts in the later 17th century. By 1682, there were 692 households established north of the ramparts, by Ukrainians and Belarusians abducted from their hometowns in the course of Russo-Polish War (1654–1667). These new outskirts of the city came to be known as the Meshchanskaya sloboda, after Ruthenian meshchane "town people". The term meshchane (мещане) acquired pejorative connotations in 18th-century Russia and today means "petty bourgeois" or "narrow-minded philistine".
The entire city of the late 17th century, including the slobodas which grew up outside of the city ramparts, are contained within what is today Moscow'sCentral Administrative Okrug.
Numerous disasters befell the city. The plague epidemics ravaged Moscow in 1570–1571, 1592 and 1654–1656. The plague killed upwards of 80% of the people in 1654–55. Fires burned out much of the wooden city in 1626 and 1648.
Moscow ceased to be Russia's capital (except for a brief period from 1728 to 1732 under the influence of the Supreme Privy Council) when Peter the Great moved his government to the newly built Saint Petersburg on the Baltic coast in 1712.
After losing the status as capital of the empire, the population of Moscow at first decreased, from 200,000 in the 17th century to 130,000 in 1750. But after 1750, the population grew more than tenfold over the remaining duration of the Russian Empire, reaching 1.8 million by 1915.
By 1700, the building of cobbled roads had begun. In November 1730, the permanent street light was introduced, and by 1867 many streets had a gaslight. In 1883, near the Prechistinskiye Gates, arc lamps were installed. In 1741 Moscow was surrounded by a barricade 25 miles (40 kilometres) long, the Kamer-Kollezhskiy barrier, with 16 gates at which customs tolls were collected. Its line is traced today by a number of streets called val (“ramparts”). Between 1781–1804 the Mytischinskiy water-pipe (the first in Russia) was built. In 1813 a Commission for the Construction of the City of Moscow was established. It launched a great program of rebuilding, including a partial replanning of the city-center. Among many buildings constructed or reconstructed at this time were the Grand Kremlin Palace and the Kremlin Armoury, the Moscow University, the Moscow Manege (Riding School), and the Bolshoi Theatre. In 1903 the Moskvoretskaya water-supply was completed.
In the early 19th century, the Arch of Konstantino-Elenensky gate was paved with bricks, but the Spassky Gate was the main front gate of the Kremlin and used for royal entrances. From this gate, wooden and (following the 17th-century improvements) stone bridges stretched across the moat. Books were sold on this bridge and stone platforms were built nearby for guns – "raskats". The Tsar Cannon was located on the platform of the Lobnoye mesto.
The road connecting Moscow with St. Petersburg, now the M10 highway, was completed in 1746, its Moscow end following the old Tver road which had existed since the 16th century. It became known as Peterburskoye Schosse after it was paved in the 1780s. Petrovsky Palace was built in 1776–1780 by Matvey Kazakov as a railway station specifically reserved for royal journeys from Saint Petersburg to Moscow, while coaches for lesser classes arrived and departed from Vsekhsvyatskoye station.
When Napoleon invaded Russia in 1812, the Moscovites were evacuated. It is suspected that the Moscow fire was principally the effect of Russian sabotage. Napoleon’s Grande Armée was forced to retreat and was nearly annihilated by the devastating Russian winter and sporadic attacks by Russian military forces. As many as 400,000 of Napoleon's soldiers died during this time.
Moscow State University was established in 1755. Its main building was reconstructed after the 1812 fire by Domenico Giliardi. The Moskovskiye Vedomosti newspaper appeared from 1756, originally in weekly intervals, and from 1859 as a daily newspaper.
The Arbat Street had been in existence since at least the 15th century, but it was developed into a prestigious area during the 18th century. It was destroyed in the fire of 1812 and was rebuilt completely in the early 19th century.
In the 1830s, general Alexander Bashilov planned the first regular grid of city streets north from Petrovsky Palace. Khodynka field south of the highway was used for military training. Smolensky Rail station (forerunner of present-day Belorussky Rail Terminal) was inaugurated in 1870. Sokolniki Park, in the 18th century the home of the tsar's falconers well outside of Moscow, became contiguous with the expanding city in the later 19th century and was developed into a public municipal park in 1878. The suburban Savyolovsky Rail Terminal was built in 1902. In January 1905, the institution of the City Governor, or Mayor, was officially introduced in Moscow, and Alexander Adrianov became Moscow's first official mayor.
When Catherine II came to power in 1762, the city's filth and smell of sewage was depicted by observers as a symptom of disorderly life styles of lower-class Russians recently arrived from the farms. Elites called for improving sanitation, which became part of Catherine's plans for increasing control over social life. National political and military successes from 1812 through 1855 calmed the critics and validated efforts to produce a more enlightened and stable society. There was less talk about the smell and the poor conditions of public health. However, in the wake of Russia's failures in the Crimean War in 1855–56, confidence in the ability of the state to maintain order in the slums eroded, and demands for improved public health put filth back on the agenda.
Soviet era (1917–1991)
During the Great Patriotic War, the Soviet State Committee of Defense and the General Staff of the Red Army were located in Moscow. In 1941, 16 divisions of the national volunteers (more than 160,000 people), 25 battalions (18,000 people) and 4 engineering regiments were formed among the Muscovites. In November 1941, German Army Group Centre was stopped at the outskirts of the city and then driven off in the course of theBattle of Moscow. Many factories were evacuated, together with much of the government, and from October 20 the city was declared to be in a state of siege. Its remaining inhabitants built and manned antitank defenses, while the city was bombarded from the air. On May 1, 1944 a medal "For the defense of Moscow" and in 1947 another medal "In memory of the 800th anniversary of Moscow" were instituted.
Both German and Soviet casualties during the battle of Moscow have been a subject of debate, as various sources provide somewhat different estimates. Total casualties between 30 September 1941, and 7 January 1942, are estimated to be between 248,000 and 400,000 for the Wehrmacht and between 650,000 and 1,280,000 for the Red Army.
During the postwar years, there was a serious housing crisis, solved by the invention of high-rise apartments. There are about 13,000 of these standardized and prefabricated apartment blocks, housing the majority of Moscow's population. Apartments were built and partly furnished in the factory before being raised and stacked into tall columns. The popular Soviet-era comic film Irony of Fate parodies this construction method.
The city of Zelenograd was built in 1958 at 37 km from the city center to the north-west, along the Leningradskoye Shosse, and incorporated as one of Moscow's administrative ogrkugs. Moscow State University moved to its campus on Sparrow Hills in 1953.
On May 8, 1965 due to the actual 20th anniversary of the victory in World War II Moscow was awarded a title of the Hero City. In 1980 it hosted the Summer Olympic Games.
The MKAD ring road was opened in 1961. It had four lanes running 109 km along the city borders. The MKAD marked the administrative boundaries of the city of Moscow until the 1980s, when outlying suburbs beyond the ring road began to be incorporated. In 1980, it hosted the Summer Olympic Games, which were boycotted by the United States and several other Western countries due to the Soviet Union's involvement in Afghanistan in late 1979. In 1991 Moscow was the scene of a coup attempt by conservators opposed to the liberal reforms of Mikhail Gorbachev.
Recent history (1991 to present)
When the USSR was dissolved in the same year, Moscow became the capital of the Russian Federation. Since then a market economy has emerged in Moscow, producing an explosion of Western-style retailing, services, architecture, and lifestyles.
The city has continued to grow during the 1990s to 2000s, its population rising from below nine to above ten million. Mason and Nigmatullina argue that Soviet-era urban-growth controls (before 1991) produced controlled and sustainable metropolitan development, typified by the greenbelt built in 1935. Since then however, there has been a dramatic growth of low-density suburban sprawl, created by a heavy demand for single-family dwellings as opposed to crowded apartments. In 1995–1997 the MKAD ring road was widened from the initial four to ten lanes. In December 2002 Bulvar Dmitriya Donskogo became the first Moscow Metro station that opened beyond the limits of MKAD. The Third Ring Road, intermediate between the early 19th-century Garden Ring and the Soviet era outer ring road, was completed in 2004. The greenbelt is becoming more and more fragmented, and satellite cities are appearing at the fringe. Summer dachas are being converted into year-round residences, and with the proliferation of automobiles there is heavy traffic congestion. Multiple old churches and architecture that had been demolished during Stalin era has been restored such as Cathedral of Christ the Saviour.
Moscow has a humid continental climate with long, cold (although average by Russian standards) winters usually lasting from mid-November through the end of March, and warm summers. Weather can fluctuate widely with temperatures ranging from −25 °C (−13 °F) in the city and −30 °C (−22 °F) in suburbs to above 5 °C (41 °F) in the winter, and from 10 to 35 °C (50 to 95 °F) in the summer.
Typical high temperatures in the warm months of June, July and August are around a comfortable 20 to 26 °C (68 to 79 °F), but during heat waves (which can occur between May and September), daytime high temperatures often exceed 30 °C (86 °F), sometimes for a week or two at a time.
In the winter, average temperatures normally drop to approximately −10 °C (14 °F), though almost every winter there are periods of warmth with day temperatures rising above 0 °C (32 °F), and periods of cooling with night temperatures falling below −30 °C (−22 °F). These periods usually last about a week or two.
On average Moscow has 1731 hours of sunshine per year, varying from a low of 8% in December to 52% from May to August.
Climate data for Moscow
|Record high °C (°F)||8.6|
|Average high °C (°F)||−4|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−6.5|
|Average low °C (°F)||−9.1|
|Record low °C (°F)||−42.2|
Moscow is situated on the banks of the Moskva River, which flows for just over 500 km (311 mi) through the East European Plain in central Russia. 49 bridges span the river and its canals within the city's limits. The elevation of Moscow at the All-Russia Exhibition Center (VVC), where the leading Moscow weather station is situated, is 156 m (512 ft). Teplostanskaya highland is the city's highest point at 255 metres (837 feet).
The width of Moscow city from west to east is 39.7 km (24.7 mi), and the length from north to south is 51.8 km (32.2 mi).
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 Third Ring Road, completed in 2004, 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).
Moscow has one of the largest municipal economies in Europe and it accounts for approximately 22% of Russian GDP.Moscow has the lowest unemployment rate of all federal subjects of Russia, standing at just 1% in 2010.
Moscow is the financial center of Russia and home to the country's largest banks and many of its largest companies, such as natural gas giant Gazprom. Moscow accounts for 17% of retail sales in Russia and for 13% of all construction activity in the country.
Since the 1998 Russian financial crisis, business sectors in Moscow have shown exponential rates of growth. Many new business centers and office buildings have been built in recent years, but Moscow still experiences shortages in office space. As a result, many former industrial and research facilities are being reconstructed to become suitable for office use
The Cherkizovskiy marketplace was the largest marketplace in Europe, with a daily turnover of about thirty million dollars and about ten thousand venders from different countries (including China, Turkey, Azerbaijan and India).
Primary industries in Moscow include the chemical, metallurgy, food, textile, furniture, energy production, software development and machinery industries.
The city of Moscow is divided into twelve administrative okrugs and 123 districts.
Administrative okrugs of Moscow:
- Central 701,353
- Northern 1,112,846
- North-Eastern 1,240,062
- Eastern 1,394,497
- South-Eastern 1,116,924
- Southern 1,593,065
- South-Western 1,179,211
- Western 1,049,104
- North-Western 779,965
- Zelenogradsky 215,727
- Novomoskovsky 113,569
- Troitsky 86,752
Central Moscow districts
Just north of the bend in the Moscow River. Includes the Moscow Kremlin.
|Moscow Central-North(Krasnoselsky South, Meshchansky South & Tverskoy South raions)|
North from the Kremlin, East from Tverskaya Street, North from Pokrova Street, the area within the Boulevard Ring.
|Moscow Central-South (Yakimanka North & Zamoskvorechye raions)|
Bordered by the Garden Ring and on north the Moskva River
|Moscow Central-West (Arbat, Khamovniki North, Presnensky East, Tverskoy South raions)|
North from the Moskva River, West from Tverskaya Street, the area within the Boulevard Ring.
|Moscow Central-East (Basmanny West, Kitai Gorod, Tagansky North raions)|
North from the Moskva River, South from Pokrova Street, the area within the Boulevard Ring.
The outskirts of the city include areas between Moscow's Garden Ring and the Moscow Ring Road (MKAD).
|Zelenograd and New Moscow|
Consists of Zelenograd (Зеленоград) and New Moscow, consisting of Novomoskovsky (Новомосковский) & Troitsky (Троицкий) Administrative Okrugs, in the southwest.
Moscow Metro has WiFi in all trains. It is ad-supported.
Beeline WiFi operates the largest network of both paid and free WiFi access points. If there is a charge, you can pay online via credit card.
There is a large network of free WiFi hotspots in the city centre; check your device in the middle of a busy area and you may find one.
Many cafes and restaurants offer WiFi - ask for password. Most bookstores offer free WiFi, including Dom Knigi on New Arbat Street or "Respublika" bookstore on Tverskaya near Mayakovskaya Metro Station.
Many establishments that offer free WiFi, such as the Metro system, McDonalds, and Domedovo airport, require you to verify an authorization code sent to a Russian phone number before gaining access.
Prices in Moscow
MARKET / SUPERMARKET
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||€0.85|
|Bottle of Wine||1 bottle||€6.90|
|Dinner (Low-range)||for 2||€18.00|
|Dinner (Mid-range)||for 2||€35.00|
|Dinner (High-range)||for 2||€56.00|
|Mac Meal or similar||1 meal||€4.45|
|Beer (Imported)||0.33 l||€2.25|
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||€1.15|
|Coctail drink||1 drink||€6.00|
|Men’s Haircut||1 haircut||€10.00|
|Mobile (prepaid)||1 min.||€0.03|
|Pack of Marlboro||1 pack||€1.25|
|Toilet paper||4 rolls||€0.85|
CLOTHES / SHOES
|Jeans (Levis 501 or similar)||1||€65.00|
|Dress summer (Zara, H&M)||1||€42.00|
|Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas)||1||€68.00|
|Local Transport||1 ticket||€0.65|
36 € per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- meals in cheap restaurant
- public transport
- cheap hotel
113 € per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- mid-range meals and drinks
Transportation - Get In
Moscow (IATA: MOW) has three main airports:
Sheremetyevo International Airport (IATA: SVO), . - 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 you buy your ticket 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.
- Fixed Price Official Taxis are available, with the price based on the destination neighborhood. A fixed price official taxi costs 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), .- 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 you buy your ticket 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.
- Commuter trains are a cheaper method of traveling between the airport and the Paveletsky Railway Terminal. The journey by commuter train takes 75 minutes and costs RUB120.
- 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 another 40 minutes by metro. 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.
- Fixed Price Official Taxis are available, with the price based on the destination neighborhood. A fixed price official taxi costs RUB1,650 to the city centre.
Vnukovo International Airport (IATA: VKO), . (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 you buy your ticket 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.
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
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 songHymn to the Great City plays on its loudspeakers.
The Paris-Moscow Express is a weekly train service that makes the 2-night 3,217 km 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 Belarusand a weekly train to Budapest. You will need a Belarussian visa to ride trains that go via Belarus.
From Eastern Russia and Asia
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 biggest Russian city on 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 theTrans-Manchurian (Vostok/Train #20) via Manchuria. Both journeys take six nights but the ride via Mongolia offers more scenery.
Train stations in Moscow
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.|
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.
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.
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.
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".
Transportation - Get Around
By Public Transport
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.
The easiest way to pay for metro fares is to buy a red paper ticket with a number of pre-loaded trips from the ticket booth. Fares depend on the number of trips purchased; an 11-trip card costs RUB320 (RUB29 per trip). Alternatively, if you plan on using tram, metro, buses, and trolleybuses, you can go through the trouble of purchasing a plastic Troika reloadable smartcard. 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.
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, but you will need to have a Russian phone number to get the authorization code to access the WiFi. 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
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.
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.
Most Marshutka lines in Moscow are scheduled to be cancelled in August 2016, to be replaced by standard bus service.
By commuter rail
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 Yandex.ru.
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
|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.
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 RUB250 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.
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.
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.
Boats are not the best way to move around the city fast, but they do offer great scenery.
- Stolichnaya Sudokhodnaya Kompania (Capital River Boat Tour Company). depart about once hourly, every day. Several scenic routes geared for tourists] with prices in the range of RUB400-800. A pass is included in some hop-on-hop-off tours. RUB400-800.
- Flotilla Radisson Royal, Naberezhnaya 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.
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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.
Large shopping malls are common near metro stations.
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.
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.
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 a potato.
- 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
- 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.
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).
- Gavan' v Khamovnikakh, ul. Rossolimo 7 (Near Park Kultury Metro Station and Gorky Park), . Great authentic Armenian food.
- 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. RUB1000 per person for a filling dinner w/o alcohol.
- VietCafe, Several locations. A popular chain of Vietnamese restaurants.RUB500.
- Carré Blanc (Metro: Novoslobodskaya), Selezniovskaya ul. 19/2, . 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), . 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.
- Expedition, Pevcheskiy Lane 6, . Northern cuisine, specializing in seafood. Mains: From RUB1,000.
- Nedalniy Vostok (Not far East) (Недальний Восток), Tverskoy Blvd 15. Stylish Japanese atmosphere.
- 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, 4 Bolshaya Dorogomilovskaya Ul. (Metro: Kievskaya), . French restaurant with live music from a harp. Great ambiance but the service can be slow.
- Roberto, Rozhdestvensky blvd, 20 bldg. 1 (Metro: Chistiye Prudy / Tsvetnoy Blvd). Genuine Italian restaurant frequented by Italians. Risotto: RUB400+; salads: RUB350+; pasta: RUB350+; soups: RUB300+; Mains: RUB450+.
- Vogue Cafe, ul. Kuznetskiy Most (Kuznetskiy Bridge), 7/9 (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. Overall, the food is absolutely delicious. Fish dishes range between RUB800-1300; Wine: RUB4,000+ per bottle.
- White Rabbit, 3, Smolenskaya Square (Metro: Smolenskaya), . 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.
Coffe & Drink
Moscow has several café chains with great coffee including Coffeemania ,Coffee Bean, and Starbucks. Moscow also has a good selection of tea saloons. High-quality infusion teas such as Newby, are widely available in cafes, both in packets 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.
Sights & Landmarks
Moscow's architecture is world-renowned. Moscow is the site of Saint Basil’s Cathedral, with its elegant onion domes, as well as the Cathedral of Christ the Savior and the Seven Sisters. The first Kremlin was built in the middle of the 12th century.
Medieval Moscow's design was of concentric walls and intersecting radial thoroughfares. This layout, as well as Moscow's rivers, helped shape Moscow's design in subsequent centuries.
The Kremlin was rebuilt in the 15th century. Its towers and some of its churches were built by Italian architects, lending the city some of the aura of the renaissance. From the end of the 15th century, the city was embellished by masonry structures such as monasteries, palaces, walls, towers, and churches.
The city's appearance had not changed much by the 18th century. Houses were made of pine and spruce logs, with shingled roofs plastered with sod or covered by birch bark. The rebuilding of Moscow in the second half of the 18th century was necessitated not only by constant fires, but also the needs of the nobility. Much of the wooden city was replaced by buildings in the classical style.
For much of its architectural history, Moscow was dominated by Orthodox churches. However, the overall appearance of the city changed drastically during Soviet times, especially as a result of Joseph Stalin's large-scale effort to "modernize" Moscow. Stalin's plans for the city included a network of broad avenues and roadways, some of them over ten lanes wide, which, while greatly simplifying movement through the city, were constructed at the expense of a great number of historical buildings and districts. Among the many casualties of Stalin's demolitions was the Sukharev Tower, a longtime city landmark, as well as mansions and commercial buildings The city's newfound status as the capital of a deeply secular nation, made religiously significant buildings especially vulnerable to demolition. Many of the city's churches, which in most cases were some of Moscow's oldest and most prominent buildings, were destroyed; some notable examples include the Kazan Cathedral and the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. During the 1990s, both were rebuilt. Many smaller churches, however, were lost.
While the later Stalinist period was characterized by the curtailing of creativity and architectural innovation, the earlier post-revolutionary years saw a plethora of radical new buildings created in the city. Especially notable were the constructivist architects associated with VKHUTEMAS, responsible for such landmarks as Lenin's Mausoleum. Another prominent architect wasVladimir Shukhov, famous for Shukhov Tower, just one of many hyperboloid towers designed by Shukhov. It was built between 1919 and 1922 as a transmission tower for a Russian broadcasting company. Shukhov also left a lasting legacy to the Constructivist architecture of early Soviet Russia. He designed spacious elongated shop galleries, most notably the GUM department store on Red Square, bridged with innovative metal-and-glass vaults.
Perhaps the most recognizable contributions of the Stalinist period are the so-called Seven Sisters, comprising seven massive skyscrapers scattered throughout the city at about an equal distance from the Kremlin. A defining feature of Moscow’s skyline, their imposing form was allegedly inspired by the Manhattan Municipal Building in New York City, and their style—with intricate exteriors and a large central spire—has been described as Stalinist Gothic architecture. All seven towers can be seen from most high points in the city; they are among the tallest constructions in central Moscow apart from the Ostankino Tower, which, when it was completed in 1967, was the highest free-standing land structure in the world and today remains the world’s seventy-second tallest, ranking among buildings such as the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, Taipei 101 in Taiwan and the CN Tower in Toronto.
The Soviet goal of providing housing for every family, and the rapid growth of Moscow's population, led to the construction of large, monotonous housing blocks. Most of these date from the post-Stalin era and the styles are often named after the leader then in power (Brezhnev, Khrushchev, etc.). They are usually badly maintained.
Although the city still has some five-story apartment buildings constructed before the mid-1960s, more recent apartment buildings are usually at least nine floors tall, and have elevators. It is estimated that Moscow has over twice as many elevators as New York City and four times as many as Chicago. Moslift, one of the city's major elevator operating companies, has about 1500 elevator mechanics on call, to release residents trapped in elevators.
Stalinist-era buildings, mostly found in the central part of the city, are massive and usually ornamented withSocialist realism motifs that imitateclassical themes. However, small churches – almost always Eastern Orthodox– found across the city provide glimpses of its past. The Old Arbat Street, a tourist street that was once the heart of a bohemian area, preserves most of its buildings from prior to the 20th century. Many buildings found off the main streets of the inner city (behind the Stalinist façades of Tverskaya Street, for example) are also examples of bourgeois architecture typical of Tsarist times. Ostankino Palace, Kuskovo, Uzkoye and other large estates just outside Moscow originally belong to nobles from the Tsarist era, and some convents and monasteries, both inside and outside the city, are open to Muscovites and tourists.
Attempts are being made to restore many of the city’s best-kept examples of pre-Soviet architecture. These restored structures are easily spotted by their bright new colors and spotless façades. There are a few examples of notable, early Soviet avant-garde work too, such as the house of the architect Konstantin Melnikov in the Arbat area. Many of these restorations were criticized for alleged disrespect of historical authenticity. Facadism is also widely practiced. Later examples of interesting Soviet architecture are usually marked by their impressive size and the semi-Modernist styles employed, such as with the Novy Arbat project, familiarly known as "false teeth of Moscow" and notorious for the wide-scale disruption of a historic area in central Moscow involved in the project.
Plaques on house exteriors will inform passers-by that a well-known personality once lived there. Frequently, the plaques are dedicated to Soviet celebrities not well-known outside (or often, like with decorated generals and revolutionaries, now both inside) of Russia. There are also many "museum houses" of famous Russian writers, composers, and artists in the city.
Moscow's skyline is quickly modernizing with several new towers under construction.
In recent years, the city administration has been widely criticized for heavy destruction that has affected many historical buildings. As much as a third of historic Moscow has been destroyed in the past few years to make space for luxury apartments and hotels. Other historical buildings, including such landmarks as the 1930 Moskva hotel and the 1913 department store Voyentorg, have been razed and reconstructed anew, with the inevitable loss of historical value. Critics blame the government for not enforcing conservation laws: in the last 12 years more than 50 buildings with monument status were torn down, several of those dating back to the 17th century. Some critics also wonder if the money used for the reconstruction of razed buildings could not be used for the renovation of decaying structures, which include many works by architect Konstantin Melnikov and Mayakovskaya metro station.
Some organizations, such as Moscow Architecture Preservation Society and Save Europe's Heritage,are trying to draw the international public attention to these problems.
Parks and landmarks
There are 96 parks and 18 gardens in Moscow, including four botanical gardens. There are 450 square kilometres (170 sq mi) of green zones besides 100 square kilometres (39 sq mi) of forests. Moscow is a very green city, if compared to other cities of comparable size in Western Europe and North America; this is partly due to a history of having green "yards" with trees and grass, between residential buildings. There are on average 27 square meters (290 sq ft) of parks per person in Moscow compared with 6 for Paris, 7.5 in London and 8.6 in New York.
Gorky Park (officially the Central Park of Culture and Rest named afterMaxim Gorky), was founded in 1928. The main part (689,000 square meters / 170 acres) along the Moskva river contains estrades, children's attractions (including theObservation Wheel water ponds with boats and water bicycles), dancing, tennis courts and other sports facilities. It borders the Neskuchny Garden (408,000 square meters / 101 acres), the oldest park in Moscow and a former imperial residence, created as a result of the integration of three estates in the 18th century. The Garden features the Green Theater, one of the largest open amphitheaters in Europe, able to hold up to 15 thousand people.
Several parks include a section known as a "Park of Culture and Rest", sometimes alongside a much wilder area (this includes parks such as Izmaylovsky, Fili and Sokolniki). Some parks are designated as Forest Parks (lesopark).
Izmaylovsky Park, created in 1931, is one of the largest urban parks in the world along with Richmond Park in London. Its area of 15.34 square kilometres (5.92 sq mi) is six times greater than that of Central Park in New York.
Sokolniki Park, named after the falcon hunting that occurred there in the past, is one of the oldest parks in Moscow and has an area of 6 square kilometres (2.3 sq mi). A central circle with a large fountain is surrounded by birch, maple and elm tree alleys. A labyrinth composed of green paths lies beyond the park's ponds.
Losiny Ostrov National Park ("Elk Island" National Park), with a total area of more than 116 square kilometres (45 sq mi), borders Sokolniki Park and was Russia's first national park. It is quite wild, and is also known as the "city taiga" – elk can be seen there.
Tsytsin Main Botanical Garden of Academy of Sciences, founded in 1945 is the largest in Europe. It covers territory of 3.61 square kilometres (1.39 sq mi) bordering the All-Russia Exhibition Center and contains a live exhibition of more than 20 thousand species of plants from around the world, as well as a lab for scientific research. It contains a rosarium with 20 thousand rose bushes, a dendrarium, and an oak forest, with the average age of trees exceeding 100 years. There is a greenhouse taking up more than 5,000 square metres (53,820 square feet) of land.
The All-Russian Exhibition Center (Всероссийский выставочный центр), formerly known as the All-Union Agricultural Exhibition (VSKhV) and later Exhibition of Achievements of the National Economy (VDNKh), though officially named a "permanent trade show", is one of the most prominent examples of Stalinist-era monumental architecture. Among the large spans of recreational park areas are scores of elaborate pavilions, each representing either a branch of Soviet industry and science or a USSR republic. Even though during the 1990s it was, and for some part still is, misused as a gigantic shopping center (most of the pavilions are rented out for small businesses), it still retains the bulk of its architectural landmarks, including two monumental fountains (Stone Flower and Friendship of Nations) and a 360 degrees panoramic cinema. In 2014 the park returned to the name Exhibition of Achievements of National Economy.
Lilac Park, founded in 1958, has a permanent sculpture display and a large rosarium.
Moscow has always been a popular destination for tourists. Some of the more famous attractions include the city's UNESCO World Heritage Site, Moscow Kremlin and Red Square, which was built between the 14th and 17th centuries. The Church of the Ascension at Kolomenskoye, which dates from 1532, is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and another popular attraction.
Near the new Tretyakov Gallery there is a sculpture garden, Museon, often called "the graveyard of fallen monuments" that displays statues of the former Soviet Union that were removed from their place after its dissolution.
Other attractions include the Moscow Zoo, a zoological garden in two sections (the valleys of two streams) linked by a bridge, with nearly a thousand species and more than 6,500 specimens. Each year, the zoo attracts more than 1.2 million visitors. Many of Moscow's parks and landscaped gardens are protected natural environments.
Life and culture
One of the most notable art museums in Moscow is the Tretyakov Gallery, which was founded by Pavel Tretyakov, a wealthy patron of the arts who donated a large private collection to the city. The Tretyakov Gallery is split into two buildings. The Old Tretyakov gallery, the original gallery in the Tretyakovskaya area on the south bank of the Moskva River, houses works in the classic Russian tradition. The works of famous pre-Revolutionary painters, such as Ilya Repin, as well as the works of early Russian icon painters can be found here. Visitors can even see rare originals by early 15th-century iconographerAndrei Rublev. The New Tretyakov gallery, created in Soviet times, mainly contains the works of Soviet artists, as well as of a few contemporary paintings, but there is some overlap with the Old Tretyakov Gallery for early 20th-century art. The new gallery includes a small reconstruction of Vladimir Tatlin's famous Monument to the Third International and a mixture of other avant-garde works by artists like Kazimir Malevich and Wassily Kandinsky. Socialist realism features can also be found within the halls of the New Tretyakov Gallery.
Another art museum in the city of Moscow is the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, which was founded by, among others, the father of Marina Tsvetaeva. The Pushkin Museum is similar to the British Museum in London in that its halls are a cross-section of exhibits on world civilisations, with many copies of ancient sculptures. However, it also hosts paintings from every major Western era; works by Claude Monet, Paul Cézanne, and Pablo Picasso are present in the museum's collection.
The State Historical Museum of Russia (Государственный Исторический музей) is a museum of Russian history located between Red Square and Manege Square in Moscow. Its exhibitions range from relics of the prehistoric tribes inhabiting present-day Russia, through priceless artworks acquired by members of the Romanov dynasty. The total number of objects in the museum's collection numbers is several million. The Polytechnical Museum, founded in 1872 is the largest technical museum in Russia, offering a wide array of historical inventions and technological achievements, including humanoid automata from the 18th century and the first Soviet computers. Its collection contains more than 160,000 items. The Borodino Panorama museum located on Kutuzov Avenue provides an opportunity for visitors to experience being on a battlefield with a 360° diorama. It is a part of the large historical memorial commemorating the victory in the Patriotic War of 1812 over Napoleon’s army, that includes also the triumphal arch, erected in 1827. There is also a military history museum that includes statues, and military hardware.
Moscow is the heart of the Russian performing arts, including ballet and film, with 68 museums 103 theaters, 132 cinemas and 24 concert halls. Among Moscow’s theaters and ballet studios is the Bolshoi Theatre and the Malyi Theatre as well as Vakhtangov Theatre and Moscow Art Theatre.
The Moscow International Performance Arts Center, opened in 2003, also known as Moscow International House of Music, is known for its performances in classical music. It has the largest organ in Russia installed in Svetlanov Hall.
There are also two large circuses in Moscow: Moscow State Circus and Moscow Circus on Tsvetnoy Boulevard named after Yuri Nikulin.
Memorial Museum of Astronautics under the Monument to the Conquerors of Space in the end of Cosmonauts Alley is the central memorial place for the Russian space officials.
The Mosfilm studio was at the heart of many classic films, as it is responsible for both artistic and mainstream productions. However, despite the continued presence and reputation of internationally renowned Russian filmmakers, the once prolific native studios are much quieter. Rare and historical films may be seen in the Salut cinema, where films from the Museum of Cinema collection are shown regularly.
The Shchusev State Museum of Architecture is the national museum of Russian architecture by the name of the architect Alexey Shchusev near the Kremlin area.
Things to do
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.
Make sure you visit a Russian bathhouse (banya) while in Moscow, as it's an important Russian tradition and Russians, especially aged 40+, go at least once a week. Have a hot steam, followed by a good whipping with birch branches. While its not the most pleasant experience, the benefits you'll receive afterward will enable you to understand why Russians are loyal to their banya.
- Sandunovskye Baths (Sanduny), Neglinnaya Str. 14 Building 3-7(Metro: Kyznetsky Most or Trubnaya), . The oldest and most famous Banya in Moscow, it looks like a palace with enormous halls, marble stairs, and frescos. The restaurant serves drinks for the complete after-banya experience. 90-minute guided tours are available on Tuesday evenings. 4-person bath room: From RUB4,000/hour, with a 2-hour minimum.
- Pokrovskie Baths, Bagrationovsky proezd, 12 (Metro: Bagrationovskaya). Has a famous steam room with horseradish-flavored steam. Wide selection of brooms from birch tree, tatarian maple, lime tree, and eucalyptus. Prices are cheaper than other banyas.
- Rzehvskye Baths, Bannyi Proezd 3a (Metro: Prospekt Mira), . 9AM-10PM. 120 years old but recently renovated.
- Lefortovskie Baths, Lefortovsky Val, 9A (Metro: Aviamotornaya), . Famous for its traditionally-Russian massage with brooms soaked in mead where cold water is poured on you to get the blood flowing!
- Moscow State Circus, prospekt Vernadskogo (просп. Вернадского), 7 (near the University),, e-mail:[email protected]. 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.
- 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: [email protected]. 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 are other alternatives.
- MiGs over Moscow (Zhukovsky Airbase aka Ramenskoye Airport (Аэродром «Раменское», Жуковский), 46km SW), , e-mail: [email protected]. 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 Park, Gostinichnaya str., 4/9 (M: Vladikino), . 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 ride, Suburban Moscow. 4400-5000 RUB.
- Moscow Zoo (Московский зоопарк), Bolshaya Gruzinskaya str., 1(M: Barrikadnaya or Krasnopresnensky), , fax: (495) 605 1717, e-mail: [email protected]. 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).
Nightlife in Moscow is bustling, intense and exciting. It starts quite late; it's common for the headliners to start at 1AM-2AM. Most noticeable are areas near Solyanka street and Krasniy Oktyabr' place. At summer time a lot of clubs opening open-air terraces called "verandas". Most of clubs in Moscow are very picky of who they let in, so make sure you have a positive attitude and dress up if you are going to a fancy club.
Things to know
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.
- Lomonosov Moscow State University (Московский государственный университет имени М. В. Ломоносова), Leninskye gory (Ленинские горы), 1; Prospect Lomonosovsky (M: Universytet), , fax: , e-mail: [email protected].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)), , e-mail: [email protected]. 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). One 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), , fax: , e-mail:[email protected]. 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, , fax:, e-mail: [email protected]. 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), , e-mail: [email protected]. 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 [email protected]. 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), , fax: (499) 157-70-70, e-mail:[email protected]. 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), . 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.
Safety in Moscow
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.
It is preferable to avoid some parts of the outer districts of Moscow, especially in the south. Some of those areas are notorious for gopniks (drunkards notorious for muggings and starting fights with strangers, and will do so seemingly unprovoked), who normally hang out it sparse residential areas and in industrial zones. The same problems can be witnessed in the surrounding regions and in other Russian cities as well.
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 RUB500 (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.
If you need help with translation, ask students or pupils: younger people are more likely to be able to help you than the older generations.