Everything is back to normal again because I’ve been at home already for a few days. But there are few things I’d like to mentioned about my resent trip to Moscow.
1) After finding out that I was in Moscow many people say – WOW, that’s great – but they don’t feel like to do the same. Why? Because they feel a bit afraid from traveling to Russia. Yes – Russia is different from the rest of Europe. But that makes it interesting 🙂
2) When people get Russian visa they are told that they need to register within 3 working days. If you stay in 2-3 star hotel in Moscow, they already provide this service automatically. If staying in smaller private/ family run hotels or outside the big cities ask them about options. It is better to have this registration because otherwise can get some fines.
I’d like to mention that it is normal that Russian police officers now & then check someones ID. Always carry a passport with you. In Russia passport is the main ID document.
3) There is no Tourist Information Center in Moscow such as. Though you can find many leaflets, basic maps or information on most popular sightseeing places in the hotel’s lobby or ask information desk about how to get from place to place. Though if you have a good guide-book with area maps & metro plan it is kind of easy get from place to place.
4) Moscow is a big city. The best thing to avoid confusion is to prepare for the trip in advance: Where, what is located? How to get there?
Do online research for sightseeing places worth to visit in Moscow or get good travel guide-book. Russians use public buses and taxis (or private cars) a lot but I would strongly suggest use Metro (subway). Print out Moscow Metro map to make marks where the hotel is located and how you will get there. Just write down directions & the name of nearby metro station.
5) What comes to the Metro (subway) – there are subway maps everywhere in stations & inside the train. It is cheap & convenient way of transportation in Moscow. Just look for the place or building with big red sign ‘M’.
Yes, there are a lot of people using it, therefore get 10x card for fast entrance through ticket chek point. There are special doors for entrance and others just for exiting. Find the name of metro station you need, pick the ‘line’ & follow the signs to the station or changing the train ‘lines’. Entrance in to the train is fast. Quick out – quick in & it’s gone…
6) It might not seem fair that there are special ‘foreigner’ price for the entrance tickets to many museums or theater performances. But there is nothing much to do – foreign travelers pay 2 – 3 times the price that locals pay. That’s why often you’ll see one price in English but other ones in Russian.
So there are two options to solve this problem. One – you speak more or less fluent Russian to buy tickets; two – if there are some local people you know, who could buy tickets for you (& don’t talk much while passing the lady who is checking the tickets 🙂 )
7) Be aware of the cars ot the streets. I would say that driving culture is very low in Russia. They more or less follow ‘red’ and ‘green’ lights but otherwise be careful. Main streets are very wide with a lot of cars and traffic jams. Therefore going from places to places by car takes time. But the main thing I wanted to say here is that if you want to cross the street even on pedestrian walk, watch out for the cars.