One ride by all means of public transport
In metro ticket offices or ticket kiosks, you can buy an all-in-one ticket to use in all types of public transport. The two most popular types of tickets are the “Ediny” (All-in-One) (for one trip by metro or land transport) and the “90 minutes” (which allows you to do unlimited trips by land transport and one trip by metro within 90 minutes). The tickets cost 55P and 65P, respectively. You can buy a ticket for the same price directly from the driver. However, drivers sell only the Ediny ticket for one trip.
If you have come to Moscow for more than 3 or 4 days, it makes sense to buy the “Troika” transportation card. One trip paid with the Troika card would cost only 35P. You can buy the card and top up the balance in metro ticket offices or in automated machines and land kiosks.
For support call:
+7(495) 539 54 54
3210 (a short dial for MTS, Beeline or Megafon)
For one ride by metro and unlimited number of connections by land transport during 90 minutes (1-60 rides)
Everybody knows that Moscow has the most beautiful metro in the world. Metro is also the most convenient means of public transportation in Moscow. It is true that during rush hours (from 7 till 10 in the morning and from 6 till 8 in the evening) the metro can be overcrowded. You will find the map of the Moscow metro on page 2-3.
Buses, trolleys and trams
Modern-looking screens displaying the waiting time were installed not long ago at the public transport stops in Moscow. However, owing to the metropolitan traffic jams, you should not fully rely on this information. All in all, the land transport in Moscow is not as popular among tourists as metro or taxi. However, in some instances, land transport could be more suitable; for instance, in the city centre, trolleys often go half-empty. Entrance to the land public transport is to be made through the front door, which is equipped with a pay-gate and validator to which you have to attach your ticket.
An electronic transportation card that allows you to top-up the balance, add tickets for all means of city transport and a season pass for commuting trains.
The vast majority of legal taxi drivers in Moscow use the following three aggregators: Yandex.Taxi, Gett and Uber. If you have any of the above apps installed on your smartphone, you will not have any problem with taxis in Moscow: either in terms of language or security. The prices offered by the three aggregators are not the same but alike: you will pay 350-500P for a 30-minute economy ride. Apart from rush hours, waiting for a taxi will take no more than 10 minutes. Two important things: you can still find legal taxis that are not painted in the habitual yellow and that do not have the taxi sign on top (and most Uber taxis are like that). Do not worry about this. And, second, if you do wave down a taxi on the street, you better negotiate the price at the very beginning.
The official currency of Russia is rouble and this has long been no formality. By all means, it cannot be ruled out that, in some antique shop in Arbat Street, they will happily accept your dollars or euros (if the amount is big enough); however, generally, you will not be able to buy anything in Moscow with foreign cash. Currency exchange kiosks and ATM machines are located at every turn (in the city centre, at least) and it is safe to use them (however, just in case, you better change your money in a bank even if the exchange rate there is less appealing). Currency exchange kiosks, bank branches and ATMs are located in every terminal of the airport, where you can send and receive money transfers, buy currency or withdraw cash.
VISA and MasterCard cards are accepted virtually everywhere and soon, according to the Moscow authorities, there will be no shop or café where you would not be able to pay by card. Moscow open markets are the only places where they accept cash only.
Official currency rates
You can check the official currency rates at the website of the Russian Central Bank.
In general, Moscow is a perfectly safe city, where the police work well and street crimes are on a quite low level. By all means, same as in any other metropolitan city, you should be aware of pickpockets and stay away from prohibited entertainments such as prostitution or drugs. Unlike other world capitals, there are no particularly ill-famed locality in Moscow. However, a foreigner, who does not speak Russian, would be, for sure, running a greater risk at night somewhere in the outskirts of the city rather than at noon on Red Square. Being prudent would not be out of place at night clubs either. However, in general, if a tourist is sober and friendly, he will be safe in Moscow.
In any emergency call
HOW NOT TO OFFEND OTHERS
Moscow is a modern secular European city, where no strict rules of public behavior apply. However, Muskovites are somewhat conservative and demonstrating passionately one`s political or religious beliefs or sexual identity in public could be taken by others with disapproval. In Moscow, it is prohibited to consume alcoholic drinks in public. Police are strictly monitoring abuses and no paper packs would pass for a camouflage of a bottle.
Smoking is prohibited near metro stations, schools, hospitals, at stadiums and in any premises, apart from one`s own apartment. Smoking is also prohibited in cafes and restaurants.
One more piece of advice for our foreign guests: in Moscow, same as everywhere in Russia, you are supposed to give place to women and elderly people in transport.
The Kremlin and the Red Square
m. Okhotny Ryad, Teatralnaya, Ploshchad Revolyutsii
Don`t listen to snobs: the Kremlin and the Red Square are indeed the best places in Moscow. The Kremlin is the largest existing fortress town in the world. It is the most beautiful and precious (from the historic point of view) attraction in Moscow and the only one that should not be missed for sure even if you came to Moscow for as little as just a couple of hours. You can simply take a walk around the Kremlin walls. However, it will be better if you manage to get inside (bear in mind that there is always a queue to get in). Enjoy the phenomenal beauty of the Kremlin cathedrals, the famous Bell Tower of Ivan the Great and the treasures of the Armoury Chamber and the Diamond Treasury. If this is not enough for you, there is Lenin`s Mausoleum in the Red Square. Yes, you can still go in there.
Ploshchad Revolyutsii www.zaryadye.org
Moskvoretskaya Embankment, Moskvoretskaya Street
The Zaryadye Park is justifiably believed to be the green alternative to Red Square. While the latter is the symbol of Russia`s state dignity, the new park has accumulated all the natural treasures of the world`s largest country. The Utopian landscape of the park demonstrates main geographical zones of Russia: from ice deserts in the Arctic to subtropics of the Black Sea coast. The Zaryadye Park has six original spaces, including an educational complex “Reserved Embassy” with an Ice Cave inside, an underground archaeological museum, an interactive Media Centre and a dome “Glass Bark” with a concert amphitheatre. A view point “Flying Bridge” offers yet another fantastic opportunity to the guests of the park. This is an ideal spot to take a selfie in Moscow with a fascinating view over the Kremlin, the Moskva River and the so called House on the Embankment.
The Bolshoy Theatre
m Teatralnaya www.bolshoi.ru
1, Teatralnaya Square
They say that you can never freely buy tickets for performances there. While this is not quite true, it is indeed difficult to get into the Bolshoy, especially to see a ballet. In 2011, the theatre was reopened after many years of being on reconstruction and not only does the Bolshoy have now an outstanding company but it also has new buildings and unique technical infrastructure. Well, even if you did not make it to a performance there, you can still go on excursion to see the renowned classicism building, with a chariot on its frontispiece designed by Alberto Cavos.
The Tretyakov Gallery
m Tretyakovskaya www.tretyakovgallery.ru
10, Lavrushensky Pereulok
Together with the Russian Museum in Saint Petersburg, this is the main collection of national art. The collection of Pavel Tretyakov, who was a merchant and gifted the collection to Moscow, is packed with masterpieces: from the main Russian icon of all times – the Trinity by Andrey Rublev, to the works of Repin, Vereshchagin, Surikov, Vrubel and Serov. Apart from its static exhibition, the Tretyakov Gallery always has interesting temporary expositions.
The Pushkin Museum
m Kropotkinskaya www.arts-museum.ru
12, Volkhonka Street
Unlike the Tretyakov Gallery, the Pushkin Museum was intended as a Western museum demonstrating the world art. The intention indeed materialized, as its collection includes Cranach and Botticelli, Rembrandt and Poussin. However, the main pearl of the museum is its collection of French impressionists and post-impressionists, including the Red Vineyard near Arles by van Gogh and the Blue Dancers by Dega. And, by all means, there is the Girl on the Ball by Picasso. Many visitors come here specifically to see it, same as Mona Lisa in the Louvre.
The Gorky Park
m Park Kultury www.park-gorkogo.com
9, Krymsky Val Street
The park became the most popular open space in Moscow only a couple of years ago after it was largely reconstructed. They removed tasteless amusements, wisely rearranged the park layout, provided free Wi-Fi and opened quality and cheap fast food outlets here. The Garage Museum is also here, which is the main exhibition space of modern art. One more thing: in the Gorky Park, you not only may but also encouraged to lie down on the grass. The park has the only minus being that, on 28 May and 2 August, the park is flooded with former frontier guards and troopers, respectively. They try to keep an orderly house; however, not everyone would like such a noisy crowd.
The main building of Moscow State University
1, Leninskie Gory Street
If you are not a student, you will not, most likely, make it inside. There is nothing interesting inside the building, apart from, however, the ninth “dean`s” floor. The building designed by Boris Iofan has a truly impeccable exterior. The best place to take a rather close look at the Moscow State University is the observation platform on Sparrow Hills (Vorobyovy Gory). If you turn around you will see the whole Moscow right in front of you.
The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour
m Kropotkinskaya www.xxc.ru
15, Volkhonka Street
This magnificent cathedral is considered to be one of Moscow`s main churches. Its prior is nobody else but the very head of the Russian Orthodox church. Important church festive services conducted by the Patriarch are broadcasted live all over Russia from here. The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour was erected in the mid-19th century to commemorate the soldiers fallen in the 1812 Patriotic War. During Soviet times the cathedral was completely demolished and reconstructed from scratch in the present-day Russia.
Moscow Perfume Museum
m Smolenskaya https://museumperfume.ru
Arbat Street, 36/3
+7 (499) 795-14-79
+7 (916) 555-74-74
The famous museum in Arbat Street is the only world`s library of fragrances, where its guests can try antique and vintage perfumes. The most popular perfume-testing tour offered by the museum is called “the world`s 25 best fragrances”, which blows everybody`s mind away with beauty and grandeur of a classical perfumery school. The guides, as true conductors to the world of the past, open to the visitors the doors to a fascinating world of the aromatic past of the humanity. The museum`s collection of fragrances is one of the largest in the world and accounts for over 60 thousand bottles, including 1,500 – 2,000 that are demonstrated daily within the regular exposition of the museum.
By all means, three days is too little to see Moscow. However, if you use your time wisely, you will manage to see all important things.
Let`s take that you have a whole day at your disposal. Start with a short walk from Pushkin Square1 and go down towards the Kremlin. You will get an overview of the imperially majestic Tverskaya Street, where it is most pretentious; and see the building of the Moscow City Hall and a Yuri Dolgorukiy statue on the opposite side of the street. In as little as 20 minutes you will reach Manezhnaya (or Manege) Square. Do not let the crowd flow you into the underground shopping mall here – this one is far from being the best in its kind in Moscow. Red Square2 is waiting for you.
Strange as it might seem, you do not need to see Red Square and the nearby Kremlin all in one day. If no festival, preparation of a concert or construction of a skating-rink (which does not happen often) is taking place on the square, you will be able to peacefully enjoy its enormous size of 24,750 square metres and a circle of surrounding buildings: the Mausoleum, the Historical Museum, the GUM (state universal department store) and the Cathedral of St. Basil the Blessed. Do not forget to see the Calvary (Lobnoye Mesto) and the Monument to Minin and Pozharsky. If you`ve had enough, take Ilyinka Street to go to the Bolshoy Theatre. It is within a stone`s-throw.
If you`ve arranged for seeing a performance at the Bolshoy Theatre, it makes sense to wait until the evening of the performance to see the Bolshoy. Then, without hesitating twice, descend to the metro and go from Ploshchad Revolyutsii station to Smolenskaya station. Visiting the Arbat3, with its street musicians, souvenirs and antique shops is virtually a must for any tourist. Most people walk along the street in the direction “from the centre out”. We are urging you to take just the opposite direction. Having walked through the Arbat from Smolenskaya Square down to Arbatskaya Square, take a left, heading towards the boulevards. The Boulevard Ring was built where once there were the walls of the ancient White Town, now demolished. This is one of the nicest places to walk. Make it at least along Nikitsky and Tverskoy Boulevards. At the end you will come to Pushkin Square, which you already know. If you`ve done all the above thoroughly and without rush, it must be high time for a dinner then. The good thing is that, right on the spot, near Pushkin Square, there are numerous places offering food for any taste and budget.
Give it to the Kremlin. Take your time to see the Armoury Chamber4 (the Monomakh`s Cap, the unique collection of gold and silver plates and, by all means, the amazing collections of arms and carriages) and the Diamond Treasury (the big and small imperial crowns, the sceptre topped with the “Orlov” diamond, the “Shakh” diamond and the medal “Victory”). Go inside all the three cathedrals that are open to visitors: the Cathedral of the Assumption5 (Uspensky Sobor), which is the oldest fully preserved building in Moscow, the Cathedral of the Archangel (Arkhangelsky Sobor), which accommodates the table tombs of Russian czars, including that of Ivan the Great, and the Cathedral of the Annunciation (Blagoveshchensky Sobor), which was the family chapel of Moscow monarchs. Go up the Bell Tower (Kolokolnya) of Ivan the Great (137 steps). Take a walk in the Taynitsky Garden and in a newly laid garden square situated where once there stood a building of the 14th corps, nowadays demolished. There is still the Patriarchal Chambers and the Church of the Deposition of the Robe of the Holy Virgin (Tserkov Rizpolozheniya) left to see.
Having seen the Kremlin, drop in the Alexander Garden (Aleksandrovsky Sad) and see the changing of the guard by the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. If you are still not tired enough, go to Red Square again. Make it inside the Cathedral of St. Basil the Blessed. It is much more spectacular on the outside, however, than in the inside. And, yeah, pop into the GUM mall. No need to buy anything in the numerous boutiques there; however, buying an ice-cream made to the old Soviet recipe is a must.
The way you spend it depends somewhat on the season. In summer, go to Proletarskaya metro station and, having walked about a hundred metres, take a cruiser at the river station by the Novospassky Bridge. Half an hour later, having sailed past the Kremlin and the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, get off at the Gorky Park6. You will enjoy fine grass lawns, comfortable benches, free Wi-Fi, cheap fast food, rented bicycles and other enjoyments. You can actually stay the whole day in there (especially, if there is some interesting exposition at the Garage Museum). But if you`ve had enough, there is Museon on the opposite side across Krymsky Val Street, which is a curious open-air museum park, where they installed demolished monuments to Soviet leaders, including the very statue of Dzerzhinsky from Lubyanka.
This option will not suit in winter (although special cruisers sail along the Moskva River even in winter). But don`t let things get you down. There are two museums in Moscow which are a must: the Tretyakov Gallery7 and the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts8. An inexperienced tourist would argue that seeking two museums in one day is too much. An experienced tourist would use a secret method: he or she will go to the museum to see just one masterpiece. This could be, for instance, The Trinity by Rublev in the Tretyakov Gallery and The Blue Dancers by Dega in the Pushkin Museum. In this case you will be able to get an impression about the museum and will not be confused with too many paintings.
If going to a museum is not for you, shopping would be your option. See the columns of 21-23, to learn where the main shopping places in Moscow are.
Museums of the Moscow Kremlin
Moscow, the Kremlin Entry through the Borovitsky Gate.
m. Biblioteka imeni Lenina, Aleksandrovsky Sad, Arbatskaya or Borovitskaya
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Closed on Thursday.
+7 (495) 695 41 46 / 697 03 49
m. Okhotny Ryad, Teatralnaya or Ploshchad Revolyutsii
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
+7 (495) 623 55 27
The Pokrovsky Cathedral (Cathedral of Saint Basil the Blessed)
m. Okhotny Ryad, Teatralnaya or Kitai-Gorod
The Cathedral: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Closed on Wednesday
The territory of the Cathedral:
11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
+7 (495) 698 33 04
The State Tretyakov Gallery
10, Lavrushensky Pereulok
m. Tretyakovskaya or Polyanka
Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.;
Thursday, Friday and Saturday: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Closed on Monday.
+7 (499) 230 77 88, +7 (495) 951 13 62
Delegatskaya Street, 3
m. Mayakovskaya, Novoslobodskaya
Monday: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Tuesday: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Wednesday: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Thursday: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Friday: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Saturday: 12 noon – 8 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
+7 (967) 212 62 82
Garage Museum of Contemporary Art
9/32 Krymsky Val st., Gorky Park
m. Park Kultury or Oktyabrskaya
11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
+7 (495) 645 05 20
The Bulgakov Museum
Apt. 50, Floor 4, Entrance 6, 10, Bolshaya Sadovaya Street
Open daily 12 noon – 7 p.m.;
on Wednesday 12 noon – 6 p.m.
Closed on Monday.
+7 (495) 699 53 66
The Museum of Moscow
2, Zubovsky Boulevard
m. Park Kultury
Open daily 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.;
on Thursday: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Closed on Monday and every last Friday of the month. Free entry every third Sunday of the month.
+7 (495) 739 00 08, +7 (495) 637 79 93
The Kolomenskoye Open-Air Museum
39, Andropova Prospect
10 a.m. – 6 p.m.;
Saturday: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Closed on Monday.
Entry to the park is free. Entry to the museums – from 100P.
+7 (499) 782 89 17, +7 (499) 782 89 21
The Armoury Chamber
Sessions at: 10 a.m., 12 noon, 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
The Diamond Treasury
The museum ticket offices are located in the Aleksandrovsky Garden.
Sessions are every 20 minutes.
Closed for a break from 1 p.m. till 2 p.m.
The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts
Main building: 12, Volkhonka Street
Open daily 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.;
on Thursday: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Closed on Monday.
+7 (495) 609 95 20, +7 (495) 697 95 78
The State Historical Museum
1, Red Square
m. Okhotny Ryad or Ploshchad Revolyutsii
Sunday – Thursday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.;
Friday and Saturday: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
+7 (495) 692 40 19
The State Museum of Oriental Art
12A, Nikitsky Boulevard
Open daily 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.;
on Wednesday and Thursday:
12 noon – 9 p.m.
Closed on Monday.
+7 (495) 691 02 12
The Jewish Museum and Centre of Tolerance
Building 1A, 11, Obraztsova Street
m. Maryina Roshcha or Dostoyevskaya
Open daily 12 noon – 10 p.m.;
Friday: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Closed on Saturday and Jewish holidays.
+7 (495) 645 05 50
The Multimedia Art Museum / Moscow House of Photography
16, Ostozhenka Street
m. Kropotkinskaya or Park Kultury
12 noon – 9 p.m.
Closed on Monday.
+7 (495) 637 11 00
The Novodevichy Convent
1, Novodevichy Proezd
Open daily 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Closed on Tuesday and every first Monday of the month (for cleaning).
+7 (499) 246 85 26
The Kuskovo Estate Museum
2, Yunosti Street
m. Ryazansky Prospect, Vykhino or Novogireyevo
The museums and expositions:
10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
The park: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Closed on Monday and Tuesday and every last Wednesday of the month (for cleaning).
+7 (495) 375 31 31, +7 (495) 370 01 60