Tag Archives: trip to Moscow

Day of Cosmonautics. Anyone for a Space travel?

Today, April 12 is the World Cosmonautics Day. I don’t know how about the rest of the wold, but Russia is very proud about this – 50 years ago Yuri Gagarin was a first man travel to the space. Y.Gagarin made a first space flight on the spaceship ‘Vostok’ launched from Baikonur Space center.

Somehow during my last trip I had few places around me in relation with the word  ‘Space’.

1. The Hotel I was staying:

Hotel Cosmos, Moscow

Hotel Cosmos, Moscow

2) the monument across the road:

Moscow monuments

Moscow monuments

3) the museum on the way:

Museum of Cosmonautics in Moscow

Museum of Cosmonautics near VDNKh, in Moscow

Well, to add some more – here is one I took last summer, while in Orlando, Florida:

Atlantis launch on May 14, 2010

Space shuttle Atlantis take off on May 14, 2010

The view was so cool that for a minute I forgot to take a picture 🙂 … so as you see – it’s gone already…

Some time ago space was just for science and very few people could go there. Now some people are not dreaming about space traveling but actually getting ready for sightseeing of the planet Earth. What will be next?

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Traveling to Moscow? 7 Things to Know

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 🙂

Moscow. English signs

In central part of Moscow there are many signs in English

Big cities, like Moscow & St Petersburg are save travel destinations for tourists. Many people do speak English. In central part of Moscow there are many signs in English as well. During my trip I met a couple from Brasil they said that they love Moscow absolutly. They didn’t speak English either… many travel guides do speak Spanish or Italian.

 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’.

Moscow. Sign for the subway - M

Moscow. Sign for the subway - red letter '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 🙂 )

Moscow streets. Rush hour traffic jam.

Moscow streets. Rush hour traffic jam.

 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.

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All set & ready for the trip to Moscow

Yesterday I got my travel visa to Russia. So I can say that I’m all set & ready to go to Moscow. Well, I’ll go in a week but right now I already know what my plans will be there. It’s not that I’ve been planning this visit a lot. I’ve been in Moscow before &  I know what I’d like to do.

St Basil's Cathedral, Moscow

View of the St Basil's Cathedral on Red Square

This time my trip to Russian capital is more like business trip, therefore there will be 3 evenings & 1 day for visiting the places I’d like to see. Because of tight schedule there are things I know for sure that I’ll do & when.

1. For fastest & most convenient way from Sheremetyevo Airport to the central part of Moscow is by AeroExpress. This direct train service is very good & comfortable way to the Belorussky Train Station. From there I can take a Metro to the place I need. I expect total travel time around one hour. For the city in size of Moscow, this is fast. And price for this convenient trip is reasonable – 320 RUB for the train & 28 RUB for the Metro.

2. What comes to the Metro, this is one of the best ways to get around in city. Inside the Circle line is the central part of Moscow with many sightseeing places & attractions. If you stay in Moscow for at least few days, I suggest everyone to get a card of 10 rides for 250 RUB. That will make entrance to the metro smooth & more convenient.

I like using Metro in  Moscow. It provides fast & easy access to many sightseeing  places. Many Metro stations are deep underground therefore for many people it might be as a small adventure as well. It kind of gives the feeling of the place. Besides – all the Metro stations inside the Circle line are like a piece of art. Get a map of Metro & explore underground Moscow.

Cathedral of Christ the Saviour

Take a walk in area around Cathedral of Christ the Saviour

3.On Thursday evening I’ll visit Cathedral of Christ the Saviour – one of the places I like to visit every time I’m in Moscow. Cathedral itself and area around is very nice & impressive ( after the visit to the Cathedral I would suggest to take a short Moscow River sightseeing cruise nearby to see Kremlin). In the nearby area there are few Museums to visit as well. Why Thursdays are good for museums? Because in many museums there is a late night entrance – you can see exhibitons till 8 or even 9pm. Works good if I’m busy during the day.

Last time I was in Moscow I found out about this by chance. I went to Pushkin Fine Art Museum and besides great exhibition of Japanese Art there was a musical performance at that evening as well.  So now I’m suggesting to everyone – use the opportunity of thurdays. What comes to Russian museums – they are great & worth to visit. State Tretyakov Gallery is national treasury for  Russian fine art but Pushkin Fine Art Museum has one of the most representative collection of foreign art.

4. Last day of my visit I’ll have free for myself. That means… actually I havent decided yet 🙂 There are many places to see or many things to do. I’ll be staying near VDNH – large exhibition center and park. Might be there will be something interesting or check out Kva-Kva Aquapark – one of the largest water parks in Russia. Great fun for children but adults can check out list of special night events. Ok, maybe no the Aquapark  this time because my hotel will have a large swimming pool with some slides & SPA center…

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