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Эллы Титовой-Ромм (Майки) и Михаила Ромма
Сан-Диего, США

On Visiting Moscow

Written (opinionated) by Michael Romm


Plenty of turist info on Moscow in English. 1

General Advice on Moscow Touring. 1

Money Exchange. 2

What to See in Moscow.. 2

How to Move and Communicate in Moscow.. 3

How to Eat in Moscow.. 4



Plenty of turist info on Moscow in English

- Main site: http://en.travel2moscow.com/

- Essential information (advice): http://en.travel2moscow.com/what/advice/

- How to tip in Moscow: http://en.travel2moscow.com/what/advice/Tipping_in_Moscow_where_%20when_how%20much/

- Etc.


General Advice on Moscow Touring

     - Moscow is much polluted although not as badly as the worst cities on Earth.

     - There are four seasons, watch out for the weather forecast!

     - Smiling at strangers is strange in Russia, so keep the serious face to stay unnoticed.

     - People are more polite with foreigners who speak no Russian than with each other.

     - If you see people arguing, they might be just talking.

     - If they are not polite with you, it is not personal.

     - Police is not reliable and corrupt.

     -  There are more public toilets now. Many are free, some might be at charge.

     - Russians drink everything that has alcohol.

     - Don’t come to visit empty-handed.

     - Russians usually take off their shoes when entering an apartment.

     - Don’t underdress; it is not a vacation or beach city like San Diego. It is more like New York.

     - Don’t expect a lady to pay for herself.

     - Don’t let a woman to carry heavy weights.

     - It is custom to give your sit to the elderly or pregnant on public transportation.

     - Don’t burp in public.

     - Don’t be disrespectful in a church (women cover their head, shoulders, no short skirts or shorts).

     - Shorts are uncommon in Moscow unless you are a tourist in the hot summer.

     - Don’t take photos of government buildings ???

     - Don’t be surprised if you are stopped by police (especially if you have middle-eastern features).

     - Moscow never sleeps, it is crowded and noisy at night.

     - Don’t demonstrate your sexual orientation outside the gay club. It can be dangerous for your health and life.


Money Exchange

     - You must pay with rubles In Russia, not with dollars.

     - You may exchange currency in a bank. Exchange rates vary from bank to bank, so watch for the better rates.

     - You may want to pay with your credit card where possible. The rate of exchange then depends on your US bank that issued the credit card.

     - Current dollar rates in Moscow: https://cash.rbc.ru/?currency=3


What to See in Moscow

     - Obviously, take the bus tour of the city for the highlights.

     - Near Kremlin:

     - Museums of the Moscow Kremlin: (1) Armory Chamber, (2) Diamond Treasury, all the churches on the premises.

     - The St. Basil Cathedral (Cathedral of Vasily the Blessed) on the Red Square.

     - The Presidential quarters are NOT available to the public.

     - The Kremlin is closed on Thursdays.

     - Etc.

     - For arts:

     - Tretyakovskaya Gallery (for the Russian artists)

     - State Museum of Fine Arts named after Pushkin (for the foreign artists).

     - Other galleries.

     - For architecture,

     - Shchusev Museum of Architecture.

     - Early-Soviet times buildings around the city (Moscow University, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, etc.)

     - Take a walk on the Old Arbat Street for the street artists, shops, etc. This street is free of traffic.

     - For souvenirs, go to (1) Old Arbat, (2) Izmailovsky market, etc.

     - Theaters

     - The tickets are sold in advance, hard to find. You can buy them online.

     - Visit Bolshoy for a ballet or opera.

     - Other theaters are also beautiful on the inside and outside.

     - Other Places to see:

     - Ostankino Tower with the observation deck

     - Gorky Park (especially in summer time).

     - There are also former mansions of the Russian Empire nobility that are museums now and open to the public (Kolomensloye, Kuskovo, Abramtsevo, Arkhangelskoye, Sheremetyevo, etc.). They are located near and around Moscow.

     - A day trip with a tour company of the site on the “Golden Ring”, eight cities around Moscow: cathedrals, monasteries and medieval fortresses.


How to Move and Communicate in Moscow

     - Parking is a big problem in many places.

     - Moscow subway is called metró. It is beautiful inside and convenient. The trains come every few minutes (less than five). It is also very crowded.

     - In the center, the metro stations are announced in Russian and then in English. The metro maps are everywhere, in two languages.

     - Additionally, they make frequent announcements in Russian only. The essence of those announcements is to remind the public how to behave themselves and also stay safe.

     - You may use Get Taxi or Yandex Taxi. (Yandex is the Russian Google.) Uber is available but they hire wrong people, they do not know whom to hire.

     - Traffic of often awful, so the taxi service might be less rapid than metro.

     - From and to the airport…

     - You may take a private driver but it is expensive and slow because of the traffic.

     - A sensible alternative is to take the train from the Sheremetyevo airport to Belarusky Station (35 minutes ride), and then the subway will take you anywhere in the center.

     - You would need to install an app on your phone (if you use a cell phone in Moscow) or go online on your computer.

     - Major difference with USA: I paid the driver cash when used Get Taxi, at the end of the trip, based on his meter.

     - I heard, you may also use a credit card to pay the driver but cannot confirm how easy it is. Have cash just in case.

     - You will know the approximate amount when ordering.

     - Mobile Phone

     - Local providers: Beeline (Билайн), MTS (МТС), Megafon (Мегафон).

     - You need to have your passport with Russian visa in it at the point of sale! You may buy a SIMM card, put it in your cell phone and put some money on it in a local Moscow provider office. You may then add more funds as you go if need to.

     - I think, a concierge in your hotel will assist you or point to the right direction. (I personally stayed with my relatives, not in a hotel.)

How to Eat in Moscow

     - Bacteria of Moscow is foreign to bacteria of your body, keep that in mind!

     - Drink only bottled water!

     - Be conservative about choosing where to eat.

     - Tips in the restaurants are smaller than in USA (5-10%, depending on the size of the bill and your satisfaction).