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Ooaj Travel Guide, tourism, hotel reservation, residence, plane, cheap pension for you holidays in moscow
Free Travel guide Ooaj.com A free travel guide for holidays. Hotels in moscow, Bed and Breakfast!
Moscow is the capital of Russia.
Moscow has a population of around 11 million, and covers an area of around 1080 square kilometres.
Moscow is located on the Moskva River, which bends its way through the southern and western parts of the city. Most of the main sites are on the northern bank of the river. The other major waterway is the Yauza River, which flows into the Moskva east of the Kremlin.
Much of Moscow's geography is defined by the numerous 'Ring Roads' that circle the city at various distances from the center. With Red Square and the Kremlin forming the very center, the innermost ring road is the Boulevard Ring, which which runs from the Christ the Saviour Cathedral in south-west central Moscow, to the mouth of the Yauza in south-east central Moscow.
The next ring road is the Garden Ring, which used to be the place of Moscow's outer walls. It derives its name from the fact that landowners near the road in Tsarist times were obligated to maintain gardens to make the road attractive. In Soviet times the road was widened and was meant to be a place where planes could land during WWII.
The recently constructed Third Ring is not much use for tourists but is a heavily used motorway which absorbs a bit of Moscow's traffic. The outer edge of Moscow is largely defined by the Moscow Ring Road, a motorway which encircles the entire city (similar to London's M25). Finally, a Fourth Ring is due to be build between the Third Ring and the Moscow Ring Road in the next years.
Moscow has 4 airports; Sheremetyevo International Airport (http://www.sheremetyevo-airport.ru/), Domodedovo International Airport (http://www.domodedovo.ru/), Bykovo Airport, and Vnukovo International Airport (http://www.vnukovo.ru/). Moscow is, by far, the main air traffic hub of Russia and so will it be since both Sheremetyevo (http://www.sheremetyevo-airport.ru/) and Vnukovo (http://www.vnukovo.ru/) are undergoing major development plans (both are due to build brand new and large terminals in the next years) and Domodedovo (http://www.domodedovo.ru/) plans to more than double terminal space to 225,000 square meters this year 2006 and to invest a further $300 million into construction and upgrades in the next two years.
In the past, nearly all international flights (from outside the former USSR) landed at Sheremetyevo International Airport, commonly called called Sheremetyevo II. (Sheremetyevo I is actually Terminal I of the same airport; however, it is located a considerable distance from Sheremetyevo II and for practical purposes is a separate airport. Sheremetyevo I handles mostly domestic flights as well as charter flights to resort destinations.) However, Domodedovo and Vnukovo are increasingly competing for international flights, and several international carriers, including British Airways, have switched to Domodedovo. It is quite likely that Domodedovo ends up year 2005 as Russia's leading airport in number of passengers, both domestic and international.
Sheremetyevo II is best reached by going to the metro station Rechnoi Voksal and taking a bus from there. Busses depart very regularly.
Domodedovo is most conveniently reached by an express train from Paveletsky Train Station (near a metro of the same name). The trip takes about 40 minutes and takes you directly into the station. Trains depart every hour starting at 6:00 (every 30 minutes in peak hours). Alternatively, you can go to the Domodedovskaya metro station and catch a bus or a shuttle from there--neither is operating at night time.
If you prefer to go to the airport by car, it is best to call a taxi agency and book a cab. There are many agencies that can provide this service, and the cost ranges from 20-30 dollars or more.
Moscow lies at the western end of the Trans-Siberian Railway from Beijing, Ulaanbaatar and Vladivostok. You can reach here from almost anywhere in Europe and Central Asia. Moscow is also the main railway hub of Russia.
Moscow has nine train stations, each offering long-distance and local train services. All are located relatively in the center of Moscow and have metro stations nearby.
It is not advisable to come to Moscow by car. Foreign cars tend to attract unwelcome attention, and there is cumbersome paperwork involved.
Intercity busses to Russian and some former Soviet Union cities depart from the intercity bus station (??????????) at Shelkovskaya Metro station (the last station of the dark blue line, in northeast Moscow). This is the only place in Moscow from which public transportation is available directly to Suzdal.
Central Moscow is best explored on foot, but the visitor will most likely use the famous Metro system (http://www.metro.ru/map/2005/). It is comprehensive, boasts some great architecture, and is quite cheap. A trip costs 13 rubles/$0.5 (convenient way is to buy tickets for 10 and 20 trips - trips became cheaper).
In Russia and Moscow the difference between hailing a cab and simply hitchhiking is blurry. It's an old Russian tradition for drivers to offer rides to strangers, for a fee. For many Russians it's like a second job. Generally, wherever you are, at any time of day or night, you can get a 'cab' in a matter of minutes or seconds by holding out your hand. Normally, you tell the driver where you're going, and negotiate an amount. If you don't like the amount one guy is charging, you'll doubtlessly find another driver in a minute or two. Sometimes, when you tell the driver where you're going, he'll decide he's not going in that direction and drive off. Keep in mind, though, that very few drivers will speak English.
You should be able to get between most destinations within the Garden Ring for RUR 150 or less.
Less essential sites, but very worthwhile if you have the time, include:
Bring cash and your passport to get in.
Don't rely on your cr card too much - a lot of small stores won't accept any.
Most tourists will find eating out in Moscow quite expensive. It does not have to be that way, but the most visible options generally are unfortunately. Although the restaurant scene in Moscow is a vast improvement from Soviet times, Russians still eat out infrequently and regard restaurants as a luxury. Also, there is very little of the ethnic food scene (Chinese, Indian, Thai, Mexican, etc.) that you'll find in other large cities around the world.
There are a number of Western (American) franchise restaurants, such as KFC and TGI Friday's.
Great American-style breakfasts can be had at either of the Amerikanski Bar locations, as well as thick juicy cheeseburgers.
A huge and quickly growing range of restaurants, with a matching range of prices. The average cost per person for a middle to top class restaurant will be $30 to $200 (more if one goes for vintage wines). A quick 'canteen' style meal in a 'Stolovaya' can cost about $3. The chain restaurant 'Moo-Moo' offers adequate quality canteen food, with English menus, for around $5 pp. Most Moscovites do not eat in even cheap restaurants very often, although lately a lot of new "middle-class" restaurants have opened, sprawling with families on weekends. The omnipresent McDonald's have outlets near many metro stations.
Besides Russian cuisine, one variety of ethnic food that is strongly recommened while in Moscow is Georgian. This cuisine is generally spicier than Russian food, and there are a number of reasonably priced Georgian restaurants in Moscow.
There are several chains of outdoor stand-up food vendors, usually located around metro stations. Two ones to look for include:
Another cheap option is fast food. There are several chains of restaurants that are now very widespread, and again are usually located near metro stations. The 1990 opening of McDonalds was an international event, and now it has over 70 outlets in Moscow. Rostiks, a Russian chain, is KFC main competitor, and specializes in fried chicken.
Hotel Russia Varvarka 6 , 101435 Moscow
Built in 1967. This three star hotel retains some of the Soviet Era charms. It is almost on the corner of Red Square and has beautiful views of St Basils. The hotel faces redevelopment at the end of 2005 so see it while it lasts.