Are you planning to visit the splendid capital of Russia? Or have you already booked a hotel and airplane tickets? You are on the right track! However, you should pay attention to our Moscow Travel Tips in order to have nothing but a good time. We believe that our travel tips will help you to avoid unpleasant situations and hopefully your trip to Moscow will be one to remember for many years to come!
Of course you need a local currency. Dollars and euros are not accepted in any restaurant or shop. However, do not hurry to exchange a large sum of money at the airport as the exchange rate leaves much to be desired. Exchange a small amount of pocket-money that you may need (for instance, a taxi or metro tickets). FOREX exchange points are widely accessible in the city and offer fair rates.
Taxis in Moscow have undergone a remarkable transformation in recent years, thanks in large part to the rise of the Yandex app. Gone are the days of hailing a cab on the street or dealing with exorbitant fares. With just a few taps on your smartphone, you can summon a comfortable and reliable ride to whisk you away to your destination. Yandex, often referred to as the "Russian Uber," has revolutionized the way Muscovites get around the city. Not only does the app provide a seamless user experience, but it also offers a wide range of vehicle options, from standard sedans to luxurious executive cars.
All travellers around the world have a question about gratuity. This tendency is picking up steam in Russia; we usually leave 5-10 % of the bill in restaurants, cafes and bars, as tips are not included. However, the choice is yours!
The situation of speaking English in Moscow has improved significantly over the years. While it was once challenging to find English speakers in the city, today, it is much easier to communicate in English with locals and service providers. English has become more widely taught in schools and universities, leading to a growing number of Muscovites who can converse fluently in English. Additionally, the city's thriving tourism industry has prompted many businesses to cater to international visitors, resulting in more English-speaking staff in hotels, restaurants, and shops.
There is a stereotype that Russian people are unfriendly. Forget it! It is just a myth. We are just not used to smiling without reason, but it does not mean that we have a bad attitude to foreigners or we are unhappy all the time. In reality, we are very friendly people and if we have an opportunity to lend a helping hand we will do it with pleasure.
If you are planning to stay in Russia and wish to keep in touch, then you it might be a good idea to purchase a SIM card at the airport. They are cheap and function all over the country. It is also worth noting that the metro has free WI-FI, as do many cafes and restaurants. eSIM is also available.
Although Moscow is a big city, it is extremely safe. Nevertheless, be vigilant when you are in crowded tourist areas.
Of particular importance are documents. Wherever you go take your passport (or a photocopy, at least). For example, you will need it when you buy a SIM card. You won’t be alone as Russian people carry their passports everywhere!
Immigration cards that you fill in at the airport or on a plane are one of the most important documents in the Russian territory. It is free of charge, but be careful when filling it out.
Perhaps you are going to visit Moscow and then move on to other cities and towns. The railway system is very developed in our country. You can get to any point from Moscow, and some destinations are even accessible via high speed train! Sapsan (to St. Petersburg), travel time 4 hours. Strizh (to Nizhny Novgorod), travel time 3 hours 55 minutes. Lastochka (to Kursk, Smolensk, Tver).
In spite of a common misconception, Moscow is an affordable city with relatively reasonable prices. For instance, a meal in a restaurant is around 10 dollars per person, metro ticket costs less than a dollar, and entrance to museums is roughly 5-8 dollars.
If you are travelling with someone who is mobility impaired then please be aware that there are many pedestrian under-crossings that are not equipped with wheelchair ramps. The same goes for some museum and metro entrances. Moscow authorities are working to resolve this problem, that is why we believe that in a short while the situation will improve.
When travelling back home how can you delight your nearest and dearest? With a souvenir of course! You should certainly buy the Russian doll (Matryoshka), lacquer boxes, imperial porcelain, famous Gzhel and Hohloma utensils. Unfortunately, there are some rules in respect to exports that you should be aware of. Goods that are more than 50 years old (antique icons, for instance) are not allowed to be exported. If you have bought items that are semi-antique, you should get a special document proving that these exported goods do not have any cultural value. If you have decided to export caviar, there are several rules: you can export not more than 5 kilos of salmon roe, and not more than 250 grams of sturgeon roe. What’s more, we do not recommend putting cans in your hand-luggage.