Moscow’s public transportation is awful and the city is immersed in constant traffic, so don’t even try to go to the surface during rush hour (8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.). The only good thing about city transport is the famous Moscow Metro, which is very efficient, fast and so beautiful that it could well be a museum. Although, again, avoid using it during rush hour, otherwise you will be stuck in train cars like sardines.
Another interesting thing about Moscow, instead of using the buses, you can hail any car on the street and it will stop and give you an elevator for money. Don’t ask why it works – it’s just a lifelong tradition and it feels good. By the way, there is an excellent service on the local Yandex internet portal where you can see all the Moscow traffic jams online (it’s in Russian, but it’s worth it because you even received video streams in direct to key locations).
In addition, to save time, you can install a local taxi app on your phone, such as GETT Taxi or Yandex.Taxi – both find the nearest driver and have prices that start from 500 R (10 € ) for a 20 minute trip. It is good to use them because you do not have to negotiate the price in Russian (it is fixed) and if you travel more than 30 minutes (the time it takes from the center of Moscow to the suburbs), they have best prices.
1. Moscow Metro
It is easy to use, although there is no sign in English. As you can see on the map of the Moscow metro, all the lines have their own color.
There is an annular line (brown) which has crosses with all the other radial lines. Metro entrances are marked with a large red letter “M”.
Hours of operation are from 5:20 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. Usually the last train leaves at 12:50 a.m. from the last station on any line; the passes between the stations are closed at 1 a.m. When there are peak hours (8.00-9.00, 17.00-19.00), the metro is overcrowded, so it’s best to avoid it.
Some stations of the Moscow metro have interesting traditions. For example, when you go to Ploschad Revolutsii
(blue line, center – photo on the photo above) you will see many bronze statues of supporters commemorating
the communist revolution.
Many people have this bizarre superstition of touching a dog’s nose or a worker’s shoes because they are thought to be lucky. Look at it a little and you will see. And touch it!
Tickets and prices. The metro does not have special zones – the whole metro is a zone, and there is no time limit to use your ticket. You can buy a ticket for 28R ($ 1) for a trip and spend as much time indoors as you want. You can also save money and buy tickets for 5, 10 or 20 trips – they are cheaper. If you don’t pay, you’ll have to pay around $ 50 in fines.
2. Buses, Trolleys and Trams
Most of them do not follow the calendar and the average waiting time can range from 5 minutes to 40 minutes in the evening. Public transport works are from 5.30 am to 1 am. Bus stops are yellow plates marked with an “A” sign, trolleys – white plates with “T” and trams “with” Tp “. There are no night buses, trolleys, or If you are late, you can only take a taxi.
The prices are the same for buses, trolleys and trams: one trip costs 28 R ($ 1). You can buy them directly from the driver, at metro stations or at kiosks located near the busiest bus stops. Almost all Moscow transport are now equipped with turnstiles where you have to stick your ticket in a machine to pass. This means that you must now enter through the front door, creating long queues for boarding, and it also means that tariff evasion is no longer possible, as it was in the good old days.
3. Marshrutka (Minibus-Shuttle)
These are smaller buses, normally private. They usually have the same numbers as buses or trolleys and take the same route. If you see an approaching shuttle, wave it like a taxi. You must pay for a trip of 30 R ($ 1) to the driver. When you are near your stop, just tell the driver out loud where to stop. He will understand if you just say “Stop!” or more polite “Ostano`vite po`zhaluista” (please stop).
4. Taxi and Cars in Moscow
In Russia, you can use any car as a taxi, most private drivers will give you an elevator but only for money. Just shake any car like a taxi. It is best to negotiate the price before starting a journey (even taxi drivers don’t like to use the counters). When the driver recognizes you as a foreigner, he will try to charge you the highest price – so get a good deal. It is a good way to know the price just before (ask the locals).
In any case, car prices have increased recently in Moscow but are still not as high as in Europe, for example. Normally it would cost around R 400-500 ($ 12- $ 15) to get from the outskirts of Moscow to the city center (around 30-60 minutes by car depending on traffic) and around R 200 ($ 8 ) to get around the center (10-15 min by car). I usually calculate 200 R ($ 7) every 10 minutes.
Renting a car can be a good alternate to taking taxis. For example, a trip from a Moscow airport costs around $ 70, but you can rent a car for $ 50 / day directly from the airport if you rent it for 3 days (it costs less if you rent it longer) . Also be sure to take out insurance, it is worth it, as driving in Moscow is a bit chaotic (like in Greece, Italy or the Caribbean). If they allow you to leave the car in another city, this could be a good way to travel when you are in a group.
You can check the prices of the major car rental operators in Moscow using the online car rental service Way to Russia. It will normally cost between $ 30 and $ 50 per day, depending on the length of the rental. Russian operator Eleks-Polus offers cheaper Russian cars ($ 25- $ 30 a day), but they don’t have offices at Moscow airports and don’t speak English.
NOTICE Rent-a-Car Moscow. Address: Sheremetyevo II Airport, telephone: +7 (495) 578-7179, fax: 578-7179.
NOTICE Rent-a-Car Moscow. Address: Gallery Actor Business Center. Tverskaya Ul., # 2. Entrance. 3, 6th floor. Neighborhood: Tverskaya, Pushkinskaya metro (purple), Tverskaya (green). Phone: +7 (495) 937-9434, fax: 937-9433
BUDGET Rent-a-Car Moscow. Address: Volgogradsky Prospekt, # 43, building 1. Telephone: +7 (495) 737-0407. Fax: 737-0406.HERTZ Rent-a-Car Moscow. Address: Chernyakhovskogo Ul., #4. Phone: +7 (495) 937-3274. Fax : 956-1621.
ELEKS-POLUS – The local rent-a-car operator, offering Russian cars at lower prices ($20-$25 / day). You will need to pay $300 US as a credit and, and present your passport. Internet: www.eleks.ru, tel: +7 495 232-9009)
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6. Bicycle and Scooter Rentals in Moscow
There are no special cycle lanes and it is not safe to leave bikes on the streets, even when tied. However, there are some bicycle rental services in the city. Also, in summer, scooters are popular. Moscow isn’t the nicest place to get around on a scooter, but it’s still a lot of fun.