It is inevitable you will have to have to hop on the public transport at some point to cover the vast distances between the city’s main attractions. The deservedly famous metro is probably the only transport you will actually use as the stations are all over the city (there were 150 at the last count), but if you want to travel further afield then you will find the buses and trains slow but cheap.
Moscow Transportation Travel Guide
Who would have thought you could describe an underground system as a masterpiece? Moscow’s stations defy all expectations and are admired daily by the nine million people that pass through them. Designed by the country’s best architects and artists, the older stations resemble the lobbies of luxury hotels with their glittering chandeliers, marble columns and gilt-edged ceilings. Mayakovskaya, constructed in 1938, is the jewel in the proverbial crown, with amazing back-lit mosaic panels that glow brightly in the gloom.
The metro runs from 6am-1am and the trains arrive every 2-3 minutes. Tickets can be bought from the ticket offices in the station and a flat fare costs R10. Buy in bulk if you are planning on using it frequently as 10 journeys cost R50.
All operate across a comprehensive network that criss-crosses the city. Tickets are cheap – you purchase them onboard, but the transport tends to be very slow so allow plenty of time to complete your journey. The trams only run in the outer lying suburbs from 5.30am-1am and the trolleybuses and buses run from 6am-1am.
3. River boat
During the summer, boats plough up and down the Moskva River following two routes. One begins at the International Trade Centre and ends up at Novo Spassky Bridge, stopping frequently along the route in case you wish to get off. The other service departs three times a day at 11.30am, 2.30pm and 5.30pm and takes you from the Kiev Railway Station Pier to the Rowing basin in Kuntsevo.
There are three types of taxi services available to you; official, unofficial and taxi buses. Official taxi’s can be hailed on the street or booked through the Taxi Reservation Office, telephone 927 000, and are yellow with a chequered band trim. Agree the price before you set off and never get in if there is already a passenger inside.
Taxi buses are small minibuses called marshrutney that run from 9am-9pm and, again, can be hailed on the street.
Unofficial taxis – driven by residents of Moscow who want to make some extra money – can be found everywhere. Simply state you destination and ask “sikolko?” or “how much?” A short trip will cost around R50, longer ones cost R100-150.
Majestic, monumental Moscow. With its fantastically brutal and bloody past it seems rather apt that the largest city in Europe is also the capital of Mother Russia and the power core of a vast landmass that stretches from Europe to the far reaches of Asia. Today, the heavy curtain of Communism has been torn down as, once again, the city reinvents itself for the next passage in its long history.