The essential tips that will save you time in Moscow. What are those? Imagine your flight tickets & the accommodation are booked, and the next day you catch a flight to Moscow. It must be exciting! But the moment you land you realize that you have no idea how you get from the airport to the city. And once you miraculously get to the city, what’s next?
If you are not ready, even in the most beautiful subway in the world can make you feel uncomfortable and lost. Which line should you take? What is the name of the station? And once you get to the city center, you would realize that Moscow is enormous, and it is easy to get lost within its never-ending winding streets and confusing Cyrillic signs that you wish never to pronounce.
All of these are the real case scenarios for the people who do not know the tips we are about to share with you. But this will no longer be your case.
WHEN @ THE AIRPORT
To go from the airport to the city you can use an Aeroexpress (iPhone/Android) train. If you purchase a ticket through the app, you get a discount, and you don’t have to spend time in line to buy one! Also, the app provides you with the schedules for all train stations and airports. It makes quite easy to predict when to hop on that train.
WHEN IN THE METRO
One of the essential navigation tools is Yandex Metro (iPhone/Android) app. In Moscow, you can go anywhere by subway, so it is a must-have to get a map on your phone. It’s free; it’s in English, it lets you find most efficient routes. We use it; we love it. You have your subway app now, but you still have to get a pass. You can purchase an Ediniy pay-per-ride ticket, or if you plan to use the subway a lot then you can buy an unlimited pass for 1 day (218 rubles; ~ $3), 3 days (415 rubles; ~ $6), 7 days (830 rubles; ~ $13).
The other option is to get Troyka which is a hard plastic card. To get this card, you need to deposit 50 rubles (less than $1). You can also put money on the card using an app which makes the process even easier. It is cheaper to pay for per-ride (36 rubles instead of 55 rubles). This card allows you to save on getting into the many museums and also some events that take place in Moscow.
When the balance is low on your Troyka card, you can easily top up using the serial number on your card using your Yandex Metro app. The app will provide you with more detailed instructions in English.
Another tip that will save you time in Moscow is knowing that not all information in the subway is written in English. It is especially hard when you are trying to change lines. When you look up, you can’t find the signs in English. But if you look down, you can see huge plates with a written number of the line you can change to. Follow them.
WHEN ON THE STREETS
If the navigation in the subway may seem a little bit behind, the navigation on the ground will seem much more accessible. Walking around the city you can notice street signs that navigate you to most of the locations. Following them, you can let go of the app a little. Look up and let yourself get lost in the rhythm of this fabulous city.
It is nice not to get lost but not for too long. In any case, having a local city map on your phone is crucial. This is why we recommend you to download 2gis (iPhone/Android) which lets you search for the supermarkets, pharmacies, and restaurants near you even if you are offline. You can plan routes, search for the streets in English. The app will most likely use English interface if you set your phone to this language. The downside is that it displays street names in Russian. Even when you search in English. The great side of 2gis is that it has one of the most accurate and detailed maps of the city making it the primary choice.
In case you do not want to clutter the storage on your phone, you can always go for the Google Maps (iPhone/Android) that you might already have installed. Expect Moscow subway and walking around the city center be your primary ways to explore the city.
BEAR IN MIND
In case you would need to take a bus, tram or a trolleybus, here is another tip that will save you time in Moscow. Make sure you downloaded Yandex Transport (iPhone/Android). It uses your location and shows you which bus is arriving at the stop located nearest to you. This app also tracks your position when you on the public transport. That makes it safe and easy never to miss the right stop.