Aside from your itinerary, there are still a number of things that you need to consider for a perfect and worthwhile trip to Moscow. Two of the most important things to put into consideration are the accommodation and transportation.
A visit to Moscow is best when you have a comfortable and cozy place to stay in. When deciding about your accommodation in the city, the first thing that you need to think about is the expense. Ask yourself how much you are willing to spend for a night or two in a particular hotel. When you already have a fixed range, you can easily surf the net to find possible hotels or inns in Moscow. Find out about each of the hotel’s facilities and amenities that you think would make your visit stress-free.
Exploring the city, one would need to research the various means to get around the Russian capital. You may want your own car in the city through rental service or would rather be practical enough riding public transportation, whichever you decide to take in the Russian capital would need researching beforehand. Otherwise, you would end up totally lost and confused in the city.
These two factors are just a few of those that need to be thought about before going to Moscow. With these properly planned, you can be assured of a visit with no worries.
Travel to Moscow
Packed your bags for a trip to Moscow? Then first you should learn how to get to the city.
Here are some means to reach Moscow:
Getting in Moscow by plane would not be a problem for international travelers as there are a number of flights that caters to the city. In fact, Moscow has four main airports to accommodate all its travelers: Sheremetyevo International Airport, Domodedovo International Airport, Vnukovo International Airport, and Bykovo Airport (the smallest). With these airports, it is good to note that Moscow is Russia’s main air traffic hub.
Moscow can be reached through three mainland transportations: train, bus, and car.
The country’s main railway hub, Moscow is accessible even to people from all over Europe and Central Asia via train. It has nine train stations, of which eight are offering both local and international services. Eurolines, on the other hand, is the main bus line in Moscow. It caters even to those coming from London for £60. For those who are more comfortable traveling with their own car, E30 road is a direct drive to Moscow from Belarus, Poland, and Germany. American citizens, however, would still have to get a Belarusian visa for them to be able to pass through Belarus.
Getting to Moscow onboard a ship is also possible, but may not be as convenient as getting in through a plane. There are two river terminals in the city, but both may not be able to allow huge ships to pass; passenger cruise ships with regular size may do so though.
For many tourists, car rental is considered to be the most convenient way to get around a particular city. However, Moscow may just be a bit different.
There are a number of reasons why many wise visitors in the city don’t rent cars in Moscow.
First of all, it is expensive. Moscow, along with St. Petersburg, is the only one among the few major cities in the country that have (several) car rental services. In Moscow, it is expectedly expensive. If you are staying only for the weekend or for just a few days in the city, renting a car would not be a practical thing to do.
The next problem is the traffic. As of recent statistics, Moscow caters to over 2.6 million cars every day! Each year, the number of cars in the city continues to grow and contribute to traffic jams, and of course the lack of space to park cars in. For travelers who only wish to visit the interesting views and spots in Moscow, getting caught in long traffic would not be a pleasing experience.
Another reason why renting a car in Moscow is not a wise thing to do is that many of its roads are written in Russian. If you are not familiar with the language, then getting around the city with only you in your car would not be easy to pull off.
These are just some reasons why car rental in Moscow would not be considered to be a very wise idea.
As Russia is an economic, social, and cultural center, tourists will not find it hard to explore the city through Moscow transport. Depending on your destination, there is at least one or two transportation to serve you.
For those who want an easy and convenient way to get around the city, Moscow’s underground metro is by far the most pleasant and easiest means.
It is considered to be among the world’s finest transport systems: its 150 stations lavishly decorated with mosaics, sculptures, and chandeliers. It is relatively inexpensive and very efficient despite its signage written in Russian (although it would help a lot if some were written in English just to make sure you are on the right station).
Moscow’s metro provides services until 1 am. The fare is standard no matter how long the distance you’ve traveled, thus, unlimited transfers are allowed. If you plan to make a number of journeys, you can buy strips of tickets in advance and use it on all of the city’s public transport.
For overland transport, the city has trams and trolleybuses which serve areas not catered by the metro. It operates until 11 pm. During rush hours, these transports get unpleasantly crowded. And compared to trains, tickets in Moscow buses must be validated right after boarding and are used for one single ride only.
For those who are not comfortable with taking a bus, a passenger van commonly known as “marshrutka” can be a good alternative. It follows the routes of the bus and stops on the passengers’ request. There are also a number of unofficial cars and metered taxis as other alternatives. Fares on these vehicles are negotiated first to avoid overcharging.
There is always a choice for Moscow transport, whatever makes you comfortable and would take you to your desired destination in the city.