The easiest and most pleasant way to get around Moscow is on the underground metro. It is inexpensive, very efficient, and easy to use, even considering all signage is in Russian, but it's still a good idea to have the destination written in Cyrillic characters to help identify the correct station. The metro runs until 1am and fares are standard regardless of the distance travelled, allowing unlimited transfers. Overland transport is less efficient than the metro, but an extensive network of buses, trams and trolleybuses covers the areas not serviced by the metro until about 11pm. They can get unpleasantly crowded during rush hour. Alternatives to the bus are the passenger vans called marshrutka, which follow the bus routes and stop on request. There are also scores of official metered taxis and unofficial cars that can be flagged down on the street, but fares must be negotiated before entering the vehicle, especially as foreigners are likely to be overcharged. Although taxis are generally safe, tourists should be cautious and single women are advised to avoid them at night. Driving in the city is not recommended.
Local time is GMT +3 (GMT +4 from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in September).
Electrical current is 220 volts, 50Hz. Round two-pin plugs are standard.
The official currency is the Rouble (RUB), which is divided into 100 kopeks. Most international credit cards are accepted in larger establishements in Russian cities. Currency can be changed at banks, currency exchange booths and hotels. ATMs are widely available in major cities. It is hard to get roubles outside Russia and travellers are advised to take good condition US dollars or Euro notes to change once there.
The international access code for Russia is +7. Public phones are good for local and international calls; they take phonecards, which can be bought at newspaper kiosks and post offices. Phone booths in airports and major hotels usually take Amex or Visa cards but are generally much more expensive than street phones. Mobile phone coverage is extensive in towns and cities, but can be limited in some remote areas. Internet access is available at internet cafes in major towns and cities.
|Orthodox Christmas Day||7 Jan||7 Jan|
|New Year’s Day||1 Jan||1 Jan|
|Defender of the Fatherland Day||23 Feb||23 Feb|
|International Women’s Day||8 Mar||8 Mar|
|Labour Day||1 May||1 May|
|Victory Day||9 May||9 May|
|Russia Day||12 Jun||12 Jun|
|Unity Day||25 Oct||4 Nov|
|Christmas Day||25 Dec||25 Dec|
Moscow has a continental climate, typified by exceedingly cold, long winters and hot summers. In mid-summer, during July and August, temperatures are pleasantly warm, with occasionally hot spells, and humidity tends to be high. Winters differ drastically, with only about six hours of daylight in the middle of the season and temperatures recorded at way below freezing point. Winter snows start in October and the snow blanket persists well into spring. Moscow has little rainfall, most of its precipitation falling as snow.
There are several bus services, connecting each terminal to the nearby metro stations; from there, connections can be made to the city centre. Minibuses are also available.
Car rental companies include Avis, Hertz, National and Budget.
A taxi ride to the city centre takes around 30 minutes (traffic dependent). Taxis touts operate in front of both terminals and are to be avoided. Book a taxi from one of the official taxi company booths. It is advisable to prebook a taxi and be met on arrival.
Most international flights will arrive at Terminals D, E and F. Terminals B and C, about 15 miles (24km) away, serve domestic and charter flights. Public and Express buses, taxis and free airline shuttles are available between all five terminals. There is a walkway between Terminals D, E and F.
Once through check-in at Moscow Sheremetyevo airport, all terminals include bureaux de change, restaurants, bars and duty-free shopping. For disabled passengers, wheelchair transfer from the aircraft to the terminal building should be arranged in advance. Business lounges, including showers and refreshment facilities, are available in Terminals D, E and F.
Parking is available close to each of the terminals. Most offer free parking for the first 5 to 15 minutes.
Free wifi is available in Terminals C, D, E and F.