For over 20 years I have been receiving guests from all over the World, who are coming to Moscow and St.Petersburg, two major business capitals of Russian Federation, on business purpose.
I would like to share with you some tips and info about planning a trip to these two cities of Russia.
This first article is dedicated to Travelling to Moscow.
Please check the weather forecast for Moscow.
The weather could be slightly different from your home place.
There are two major seasons in Moscow - summer and winter.
Summer is +15 + 35 C / 59 - 95 F and Winter is -25 - 0 C / -13 to 32F
Please mind that indoors and in the cars it is comfortable temperatures, please mind it to choose clothes.
RUSSIAN ENTRY VISA
For citizens of most of World countries entry visa for Russian Federation is required. This was always a little headache for my guests.
In case you just start business, I would suggest calling INTOURIST office (former government travel agency) in your country or calling Aeroflot Russian Airline on how to buy tourist Rus entry visa.
You can also ask your Russian partner or Rus business service provider or travel agency for visa support. Local service to obtain Rus entry visa in your country will probably cost about 50-100 USD.
It is also possible to deal directly to Rus consulate following their local procedure.
After first visit to Russia, in case you start travelling regularly, it is better to obtain one-year multi entrance visa. It is also possible to buy or to receive the invitation for 12 months multi visa from your local business partner.
HOW TO CHOOSE A HOTEL
You can use World leaders for hotel booking in Moscow as booking.com; hotels.com; airbnb.com or other services to choose a hotel.
There are four road circles around Moscow center.
Boulevard rind / about 1 km around Kremlin
Garden rind road / situated about couple of km around Kremlin
Better to book a hotel within this two rings of roads.
Third ring road - I would suggest to limit hotel location by this ring.
Fourth ring road is Moscow orbital (about 14 km from Kremlin) road, which was for a long time natural city border but today city has taken a step far forward.
Type of hotels
There are a lot of International hotel chains in Moscow and I would suggest you choosing either World known hotel chain, which is usually at reasonable price and service. Average 4 start hotel will costs you about 100 USD a night including breakfast.
AIRLINE AND AIRPORT
There are three international airports in Moscow.
Sheremetievo - hub for Aeroflot (Major airline) and Skyteam partners.
Domodedovo - hub for S7 (second big air carrier) and base for most of foreign airlines of Miles and More alliance.
Vnukovo - mix airlines hub.
All three airports are fine for arrival and located from Moscow city center about 1 h driving time.
Concerning airline - you can choose your own airline or Russian one as Aeroflot, S7 or other, which is ok today in terms of service and safety.
CUSTOMS AND BORDER
Customs are business friendly.
Usually it is sufficient and fast, just follow the signs and rules of the border guards.
In terms of cash you should declare sums from over 10.000 Euro in cash.
Concerning importation rules for alcohol and cigarettes, please check info in the internet because it is changing from time to time.
TRANSFER FROM AIRPORT TO HOTEL
All three Moscow airports Sheremetievo, Domodedovo and Vnukovo have about 35-40 mins express train service to down town Moscow at 20 Euro per person. Express train better to use during traffic rush hours 7:30-10:30 am and 18-20 pm to enter the city and then to order a taxi from train station to your hotel.
If arrival time is out traffic rush hours you can book a taxi directly from airport to the hotel. It is better to book taxi from Get taxi, Uber or Yandex taxi (Rus taxi service) from your smart phone or ask for a taxi service at your hotel.
To book a taxi at the airports in Moscow directly could be about 2+ times more expensive compare to Internet taxi service or a hotel taxi.
Payment for taxi is possible by credit card, cash or on-line if you register a credit card in Get taxi, Uber or Yandex taxi application.
Taxi fare from an airport to down town Moscow is about 40 Euro.
You can move around city by taxi, Metro, public transport, walking or cycling in case of warm season.
If you have smartphone, you can download Moscow metro map program Metropolitan. It will show you the route, travel time and station for change the train. Moscow underground / Metro has flat rate about 1 Euro per travel (not depending on the distance), at any station you can buy a ticket for 1-2 or more trips, credit cards accepted.
It is safe in Moscow Metro just be careful with pickpockets.
If you get lost in metro do not hesitate to ask people, about half of them speak English and will be glad to help you.
Concerning taxi service - it is better, as I said earlier to use Get taxi, Uber or Yandex via smartphone.
Walking around city is also quite safe.
For busses, trams and trolley you can use Metro ticket to buy it on cash from the driver of public transport.
In case of summer, there is in Moscow a public rent bicycle service. Application Velomos at Apple store, with info where you can rent bicycle in Moscow, bicycle availability at particularly parking, routes to the required address, other.
When you plan visit to Moscow for the first / second time, I would advise reserving at least half a day in order to visit Red Square, Moscow Kremlin and other historical places of the city, which are magnificent!
For most of the museums, you can order tickets via Internet.
Wish you nice trip!
RME /Russian market entry services
P.S. If you have any questions concerning travelling in Moscow, please do not hesitate to ask us at www.rusmarkets.com