How do you manage a trip to Moscow?

question via Quentin Grace: How do you take care of a commute to Moscow?
Im planning on going to Moscow quickly for a commute, im american so i discuss english. Im think im flying into sheremyto airport. Whats the easiest way to get to downtown and also you do you get around town and keep up a correspondence with russians. similar to requesting guidelines and buying objects. Oh and whats the currency trade charge

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2 comments for “How do you manage a trip to Moscow?

  1. Dmitry
    2013/07/12 at 8:35 AM

    To travel, by public transport, between Sheremetyevo Terminals D, E or F and the city, unless you have a lot of luggage or are not so adventurous, you should take the AeroExpress train from the terminal to the Belorusski train/Metro station. Getting to the trains is about a 200 meter walk – just follows the clearly marked sings. Once you reach the metro station from the airport, you can then travel by Metro into the city center, thus avoiding the frequent traffic jams along the way. Be careful, however, if you have either a lot of, or bigger than carry-on, luggage, you would be well advised to make sure your Metro journey does not require transfers as this might involve some long walks and stairs to navigate.

    Money
    First, forget about travelers checks…they are so “20th Century!”
    Do not waste money getting rubles before your trip (unless you do NOT have an ATM//Debit/credit card). You will simply overpay- whether due to fees, or bad exchange rates. With regard to rates, the exchange rates you get at ATMs are, in most cases, pretty much the best/same rate as you would get anywhere (that is, when in doubt, use your ATM card to withdraw cash vs. the hassle of doign a “manual” exhchange at one of the thousands of such places that do this.

    There is almost literally an ATM on every corner in Moscow and St. Petersburg, including at the airport. You should, however, try to stick to ATMs of either large foreign institutions like Citibank, or major banks in Russia. The top 5 Russian retail banks (for Moscow anyway) – good for both availability of machines but also presumably some higher degree of reliability- are Sberbank ( “Savings Bank”- by far the largest in Russia), VTB 24, Bank of Moscow (being bought by VTB), and Alfa Bank. From a security perspective, try to use ATMs which are near/connected to banks, and certainly avoid using them at night and/or in off-the-beaten-path type places.

  2. polynesian
    2013/07/12 at 8:02 AM

    1) the best way to get to downtown from SVO is to take the Aeroexpress train – $ 11 and in 35 minutes you will arrive at Belorussky railwaystation in the city center;
    taxi ride might become a nightmare as traffic jams in Moscow are outrageous. Subway system (Metro) is a preferred way of moving from A to B in Moscow – it is safe and effective, albeit maybe crowded and no air-condition
    2) beware that not many Russians speak English, even in Moscow, and all the signs are in Cyrillic, so you would better learn at least read Cyrillic not to get lost; also buy a conversation guide so that you could just point at phrases, that might help as well
    3) currency rate now is ~USD 1 = RUR 28

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