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Moscow is a historic and architecturally fantastic destination that welcomes visitors from across the globe. The city has very distinct seasons. The humid continental climate offers warm to hot summers, brief but glorious spring and fall seasons, and long, frigid winters. If you decide to make a winter trip to Moscow, be prepared for temperatures that dip to average lows of 14 – 21 degrees Fahrenheit. Pack the warmest gear you own! Fewer tourists visit during Moscow’s winter, so you may find better pricing on flights and accommodation. As spring slowly warms, the tourist count grows, and it becomes quite busy by May, when high temperatures of 68 degrees Fahrenheit are comfortable. Summer is peak tourist season in Moscow, with long days for sightseeing and temperatures of 72 – 78 degrees Fahrenheit. If you visit in summer, make sure to book your flights and rooms well in advance and expect to pay higher prices. In September and early October, before the cold sets in, Moscow enjoys a splendid fall season, and there are fewer travelers, so this might be the best time to plan your visit.
Numerous airlines offer flights from the US to Moscow, including Aeroflot, Air France, Delta, United, KLM, Lufthansa, SWISS, and British Airways.
There are 3 airports serving Moscow: Domodedovo International Airport (DME) lies 26 miles south southeast of the city, Sheremetyevo International Airport (SVO) is 18 miles to the southwest and Vnukovo International Airport (VKO) is closest to the city center, at 17 miles southwest of the city center. Here are your options for travel into Moscow from each of these.
Board the Aeroexpress train across from the domestic flights arrival hall exit and get off at Paveletsky terminal in the city center. The trip takes 45 minutes and the fare is ₽420 RUB. You can also take either express bus 308 or shuttle bus 308 from outside the passenger terminal exit 2, and ride to Domodedovskaya station, then board metro route 2 to Paveletsky terminal. This journey takes about 1 hour 48 minutes, and the total cost is ₽78 RUB.
You can book a taxi from the self-service booking kiosks in the domestic and international arrival areas. For a ride to central Moscow, you can expect to pay ₽1,700 RUB and the trip takes around 1 hour 30 minutes.
You can either use the pedestrian walkway or take a free shuttle from Sheremetyevo airport to the Aero Express Terminal, and then board the express train to Belorussky station in the city center. The fare is ₽420 RUB and the trip takes 30 – 40 minutes. Buses 851 and 817 will take you to either Rechnoy Vokzal metro station or Planernaya metro station for a cost of ₽55 RUB in 1 hour 5 minutes.
A taxi from Sheremetyevo airport into the city center will cost you between ₽1,600 – ₽2,000 RUB and travel time is between 45 minutes – 1.5 hours, depending on traffic.
Board the Aeroexpress train running between Vnukovo airport and the Kievsky rail terminal in the center of Moscow. The journey takes 35 minutes and a one-way ticket costs ₽420 RUB if you buy it in advance. Your best option is to take route 611 outside the airport terminal and travel to Troparevo station, then board metro route 1 to travel to Kropotkinskaya station in central Moscow. The total cost of this trip is ₽91 RUB and the trip takes around 45 minutes.
Take a taxi from Vnukovo airport into the city center for a fare of between ₽1,600 – ₽2,000 RUB. Travel time is between 45 minutes – 1.5 hours depending on the time and day.
If you wish to rent a car during your trip to Moscow, you should look for deals on car rentals with momondo.
Moscow is an immense city, and the best way to get around is undoubtedly the amazing metro system. In fact, the metro stations themselves are a tourist attraction; several have been designated as cultural heritage sites. The city also offers an impressive above ground transportation network of buses, trams, and trolleys, light rail and an elevated monorail. Traffic congestion in Moscow can be terrible, so you may want to leave your rental car parked until needed for out-of-town trips. Travel on the city’s public transportation options is easily managed with a multi-fare pass, called the unified travelcard. It offers unlimited trips for 24 hours, 3 days, or a week, on buses, trolleys, trams, the metro, Moscow Central Circle rail and the monorail. The prices are ₽210 RUB, ₽400 RUB and ₽800 RUB respectively.
Moscow’s metro system offers 12 lines and 206 stations. You can get to almost any place, event or sports complex in the city by riding the metro, which operates 7 days a week, from 5.30 am – 1 am.
Buses, trolleybuses, trams, trains and the monorail
To reach some of the furthest points of the city, or if you are just looking for a change of pace, you can ride Moscow’s network of buses, trolleybuses and trams, enjoy a spectacular view of the city on the elevated monorail, or ride the new Moscow Central Circle rail line.
Moscow is one of the most breathtakingly beautiful cities in the world, and well worth seeing. From the stunning, onion-domed St. Basil’s Cathedral to the sleek modern structures in the city’s new business district, you’d be hard-pressed to find another place with so many contrasting skylines. Here are a few of the sights and activities worth adding to your itinerary, when you travel to Moscow.
Avoid the people who approach you offering taxi services immediately after getting through customs. Even though they may be wearing uniforms that say, “official airport taxi”, they are usually illegal taxi services. These taxis can cost much more than the official taxis because they don’t have set prices.
DON’T order vodka with orange juice or tonic! You might be breaking an obscure Russian law, or at the very least, you risk being considered uncivilized by the Russian bartender. Vodka may be chased with lemon or a pickle, and must be drunk swiftly, not sipped.