Getting around in Moscow: info, costs and advice

Who I am
Martí Micolau
@martimicolau
SOURCES CONSULTED:

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

Moscow is a big and majestic city, one of those to see at least once in a lifetime! If you're planning a trip to the Russian capital, getting around won't be your main problem. While the downtown area can also be explored on foot, the metro network connects the rest of the city very well, and where it does not arrive there are trams and buses to replace it.

Here is a guide on how to get around Moscow: info, costs and tips to better organize your trip!



Index

  1. Useful Tips
  2. How to get from the airport to the center of Moscow
  3. How to get around on foot
  4. Con i mezzi pubblici
  5. By car
  6. User questions and comments

Useful Tips

In Moscow, public transport is simple and comfortable. The metro, in addition to being fast, is also a real museum, its stations are among the most beautiful in the world, so much so that there is even a guided tour of the metro! There is also the option of a combined tour of the metro and major attractions!

We do not recommend surface vehicles because they are used more by commuters and often get stuck in traffic. Therefore, cars and taxis are also not recommended, of the latter there are also too many unofficial and without a taximeter, which end up charging far too high!

For a first approach to the city, a good solution is the tourist bus, which will allow you to get on and off without restrictions along all the stops along the route, located near the main attractions. The bus is also included in the Moscow City Pass! To facilitate the use of public transport, we recommend the purchase of Troika prepaid card, on which you can upload a booklet of tickets and passes.
Finally, an unmissable experience is the cruise along the Moskva River, to appreciate the view and buildings from the water, both during the day and in the evening!



  • Recommended solutions and means: metro, tourist bus
  • Solutions and means not recommended: car, bus, tram, trolleybus, bike
  • City cards and season tickets recommended: Moscow City Pass (from € 60,00 -), Troika card (from € 0,70 -), transport day tickets (from 230,00 RUB / € 2,80)

How to get from the airport to the center of Moscow

Moscow has 3 main airports: Vnukovo, Domodedovo and Sheremetyevo. All three are well connected to the city center, there are essentially three ways to reach it, by train, taxi or bus.

The taxi is the most comfortable way, but also the most expensive, however, it can be convenient if you travel in a group and divide the total trip. The train instead it is the fastest way to reach the center, you will arrive at the central stations in about 40 minutes. The service is active from 6:00 to midnight. Finally the bus is the cheapest way, but only use it if you have a good orientation and travel light, since buses do they only go as far as metro stations. Prices obviously vary depending on the departure airport and the distance to be traveled, let's see them in detail.

Domodedovo Airport

  • Distance from the center: 45 km / travel time: 1 h;
  • By train: Aeroexpress line / ticket cost: 500,00 RUB (€ 6,40)
  • By taxi: average cost RUB 2.000,00 (€ 25,60) / travel time: 1 h
  • By bus: average cost RUB 120,00 (€ 1,50) / Express Bus and Shuttle Bus lines
  • Private transfer: private transfer service from the airports

Sheremetyevo Airport

  • Distance from the center: 30 km / travel time: 50 min;
  • By train: Aeroexpress line / ticket cost: 500,00 RUB (€ 6,40)
  • By taxi: average cost RUB 1.600,00 (€ 20,50) / travel time: 1 h
  • By bus: average cost RUB 80,00 (€ 1,00) / lines 817, 851, 948 and 949
  • Private transfer: private transfer service from the airports

Vnukovo Airport

  • Distance from the center: 36 km / travel time: 50 min
  • By train: Aeroexpress line / ticket cost: 500,00 RUB (€ 6,40)
  • By taxi: average cost RUB 1.800,00 (€ 23,05) / travel time: 90 min
  • By bus: average cost RUB 100,00 (€ 1,30) / line 611 and 911
  • Private transfer: private transfer service from the airports

How to get around on foot

The city of Moscow is very large, and getting around on foot can be particularly difficult. However, the historic center is completely pedestrian, then you can enjoy peaceful walks between Red Square, the Kremlin and San Basilio. The Arbat district is also a pleasant walk among street artists, clubs and shops.
Being very extensive, you may find yourself disoriented at the beginning; for a first approach, opt for a guided historical walk through the center or a walking tour with food tasting, ideal for getting to know Russian culture! To find out instead one of the main attractions, or the Kremlin, you absolutely cannot miss the guided tour of the Red Square and the Kremlin.

Beware of motorists outside pedestrian zones, never cross the street without using an underpass or overpass!



Con i mezzi pubblici

Getting around by public transport in Moscow is the best choice. Especially the metro, which covers the city center without any problems, also extending into some peripheral areas. This is the subway most famous in the world for their stations which are real works of art, so much so that there is a guided tour of the metro, with the possibility of a combined tour of the metro and the main attractions.

A 'extensive network of buses, trams and trolley buses, which covers all areas not served by the metro. For a first approach to the city, a good solution is the tourist bus, which will allow you to get on and off without restrictions along all the stops along the route, located near the main attractions, for the duration of your ticket (48 or 72 hours).

The most characteristic means of Moscow, however, are the marshrutkas, a kind of minibus that makes stops on request and in which the amount must be paid in cash to the driver, like a real taxi. The only downside is that many drivers speak only Russian and don't have a proper timetable.

Metro

The subway, as well as being considered a kind of museum, is the most used means of transport. Has 12 lines which move around 7 million passengers a day. The only flaw for tourists is the signage, even if a small part is translated into English, the rest is in Russian.

If you plan to use the metro often, we recommend that you buy a ticket booklet, it is a convenient solution and are valid for 45 days from purchase.

Some of the stations best known: Kievskaya station shows the years of the Revolution, Mayajoskaya station is decorated in the style of the 30s, Komsomolskaya is covered with a mosaic. Very particular is the Vorob'evy gory station of line 1, located on a bridge, has glass walls that allow you to admire the view over the river.



  • Downloadable map: Moscow metro map
  • by 5: 30 1 to: 00
  • Ticket / single ride cost: RUB 57,00 (€ 0,70), children under 7 travel for free
  • Cost of ticket booklet / season ticket: daily RUB 230,00 (€ 2,80), 3-day ticket RUB 438,00 (€ 5,33), monthly pass RUB 2.170,00 (€ 26,42)

Bus, trolleybus and tram

Surface means such as trolley buses, buses and trams they are not used much by tourists as they often remain stuck in downtown traffic, thus causing great delays. Furthermore, many stops are indicated in local language. Most lines run until 1:00 but there is also a night bus service marked with the letter "H".

  • Interactive map: moscow-transport-map
  • by 5: 30 1 to: 00
  • Ticket / single ride cost: RUB 57,00 (€ 0,70), children under 7 travel for free
  • Cost of ticket booklet / season ticket: daily RUB 230,00 (€ 2,80), 3-day ticket RUB 438,00 (€ 5,33), monthly pass RUB 2.170,00 (€ 26,42)

By car

Renting a car to get around Moscow, although easy to book and cheap (costs starting from € 30,00 per day), is really not recommended, mainly due to the heavy traffic! The best way to get around is still the metro, which traveling underground manages to always be punctual!

Furthermore, another big obstacle must be taken into account: the local language! Most road signs are written in the Cyrillic alphabet, making it really difficult to settle in an already large city! You would run the risk of taking wrong roads or with limited traffic and, above all, of parking where it is not allowed.

Stops and parking

The costs of parking in the vicinity of the city were recently increased, these are the roads located on the borders of Bulvarnoe Kol'co. Specifically, a maximum rate of 380,00 RUB per hour (€ 5,00) has been established along the streets Tverskaya, Arbat, Patriarshiye prudy, Petrovka and Neglinnaya. Even near the area known as the Third Ring, the neighborhood has risen considerably. Furthermore, until 2018 the parking spaces were free on Sundays, today they remain paid.

For these reasons, tourists avoid renting a car during a trip to Moscow and rely on the efficient service of public transport. If you arrive by car in the city, the best solution is to find an accommodation that provides the parking service to their guests!


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