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Moscow

Ooaj Travel Guide, tourism, hotel reservation, residence, plane, cheap pension for you holidays in moscow

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Moscow is the capital of Russia.


moscow Travel Guide :

Moscow

Understand

Moscow has a population of around 11 million, and covers an area of around 1080 square kilometres.

Moscow

History

Moscow

Geography

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

Get in

Moscow

By plane

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 20062006 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 20052005 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

By train

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.

  • Belorussia Station: Serves Smolensk, MinskMinsk, Poland, Berlin, and other destinations.
  • Savyolov Station
  • Riga Station: Serves Riga and other Latvian destinations.
  • Leningrad Station: Serves NovgorodNovgorod, PskovPskov, St. Petersburg, Vologda, Petrozavodsk, Tallinn, and Helsinki.
  • Yaroslavl Station: Serves Rostov Veliki, Sergeev Posad, YarlslavlYarlslavl, NovosibirskNovosibirsk, several destinations in Siberia and the Russian Far EastRussian Far East, and Beijing.
  • Kazan Station: Serves Nizhni NovgorodNizhni Novgorod, KazanKazan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
  • Kursk Station: Serves Vladimir, Nizhni NovgorodNizhni Novgorod, Tula, Adler/SochiSochi, the Crimea, and eastern Ukraine.
  • Paveletsky Station: Serves Voronezh, Astrakhan, and other destinations to the South.
  • Kiev Station: Serves Kiev, other destinations in central and southern Ukraine, Budapest, Zagreb, Belgrade, and Sofia.
Moscow

By car

It is not advisable to come to Moscow by car. Foreign cars tend to attract unwelcome attention, and there is cumbersome paperwork involved.

Moscow

By bus

Eurolines (http://www.eurolines.ru/) operate coach services into Moscow. Typical fares would be £10 (one-way) to Riga,Latvia, or £60 to London in the United Kingdom.

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.

Moscow

Get around

Moscow

By Metro

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).

Moscow

By Taxi

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.

Moscow

See

Moscow

Main sites

Red square, Lenin MausoleumRed square, Lenin Mausoleum
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Red square, Lenin Mausoleum
  • Red Square
  • St Basil Cathedral Built 1555-61. Inside is a museum, although it looks best from the outside.
  • The Kremlin Must not be missed. The Diamond collection is worth a visit on its own. If you get a chance, the ballet in the Conference centre has some very cheap matinee performances. (And you can change seats in the interval)
  • Old Arbat Street Walk down this lively street full of souvenir vendors, cafes, restaurants, artists, etc. The prices of the souvenirs are not bad--check both the shops and the street vendors.
  • Bolshoi Theater Sit in front of the famed theater near the fountain, or catch a show inside if you can.
  • Tretyakov Gallery One of the world's great museums, this is probably the one to choose if you only want to visit one museum in Moscow. In contrast to the worldwide collection of the Pushkin Museum, the Tretyakov is mostly a collection of Russian art. It has the best collection of Russian icons, and many of the most famous pieces of modern Russian artists like Ilya Repin.
Moscow

Other sites

Less essential sites, but very worthwhile if you have the time, include:

  • New Arbat Street Located near Old Arbat Street, this street offers a contrast from the touristy pedestrian-only thoroughfare. New Arbat is perhaps where Moscow's rich are the most visible, as some of Moscow's most expensive restaurants and nightclubs are located here. There are some reasonably priced cafes however. The street is lavishly lit up at night and is always very lively.
  • Tverskaya Sreet This street starts from the Kremlin itself and runs Northwest in the direction of TverTver (hence the name) and St. Petersburg. For that reason the road was a very important thoroughfare in Tsarist Russia. It is now Moscow's most fashionable street, with several prestigious boutiques, and is also lined with cafes, restaurants, coffeehouses, a couple of theaters, and several hotels, including two locations of the Marriot. Most of the street's architecture doesn't actually have much history to it, though along the way you will find Russia's first and the world's busiest McDonalds. The statue of Pushkin at Pushkinskaya Square, near the KFC is a very popular meeting point
  • Gorky Park Easily the best known of Moscow's many parks, Gorky Park is packed with a number of theme-park rides, cafes, places to stroll, and a quaint-looking pond, all straddled alongside the Moskva river. Gorky Park is a very popular place for Muscovites of all ages. In winter it's a popular place to ice skate, and it hosts an ice sculpture competition.
  • Kolomenskoye This former imperial estate is now a very popular weekend destination for Muscovites. It is a vast collection of churches and other buildings from the 16-17th centuries, including some wooden architecture that was transported here by the Soviet government from KareliaKarelia. Kolomenskoye is located in the south-east of Moscow near a metro station of the same name.
  • Victory Park This massive memorial to WWII was build for the 50-year anniversary of V-E day in 1995. On weekends, it is very popular with newlyweds. The park now has its own metro station of the same name.
  • Vorobyovy Gory 'Sparrow Hills' in English, this the best place for a view of Moscow from the ground. Right near the main Moscow State University building, there is a popular lookout point. You can see much of the city on clear days.
  • VDNKh This Russian acronym stood for 'Exhibit of the People's Economic Achievements'. It has been since renamed 'All-Russian Exhibition Center'. However, it is still popularly known by the Soviet abbreviation. Previously this was a massive exhibit of the advances and progress of the USSR. Now it is largely a marketplace for everything from computers to bicycles. However, many of the monuments and fountains here make the area a nice place to stroll. You can also visit the adjacent Botanical Gardens. VDNKh is at a metro station of the same name.
  • Christ the Savior Cathedral This cathedral, the largest Orthodox church in the world, was blown up after orders from Stalin in 1931, then rebuilt in the mid-nineties. There is an extensive museum beneath the cathedral documenting its history (the original was first started in 1839 and consecrated in 1883).
  • Novodevichy Convent Both a convent and a fortress, Novodevichy was built in the early 1500s and has remained nearly intact since the 17th century, making it one of the best preserved historical complexes in Moscow. The adjacent Novodevichy Cemetery is Russia's most famous cemeteries. Famous people buried here include Anton Chekhov, Nickolai Gogol, Konstantine Stanislavski, Nikita Khrushchev, and Raisa Gorbachev (the former premier's wife).
Moscow

Do

  • Go to the top of the Ostankino TV tower (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ostankino_Tower) (VDNK metro). It is 540 meters tall, restaurant and viewing platform at 330 meters. This is the tallest structure in Europe and Asia and has a wonderful sixties James Bond feel.

Bring cash and your passport to get in.

Moscow

Learn

Moscow

Work

Moscow

Buy

Don't rely on your cr card too much - a lot of small stores won't accept any.

Moscow

Eat

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'sMcDonald'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.


Moscow

Budget

There are several chains of outdoor stand-up food vendors, usually located around metro stations. Two ones to look for include:

  • Kroshka-Kartoshka These green kiosks sell stuffed baked potatoes, as well as toasted sandwiches and a few drinks.
  • Teremok These brown-colored kiosks sell large blinchiki, or Russian pancakes (actually these will remind you more of crêpes). They have a wide variety of fillings.

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.

Moscow

Mid-range

  • Yolki Palki 10+ locations, including one at 23/8 Bolshaya Dmitrovka Street, tel-200 09 65, metro Pushkinskaya/Chekhovskaya. This popular chain of reletively cheap Russian restaurants has several locations all over Moscow. The interior is meant to look like an old Russian inn. The menu is small but entirely Russian/Slavic fare.
  • Yolki Palki Po... Also has several locations, including one at 18 Tverskaya Street, tel--200 39 20, metro Tverskaya/Pushkinskaya. This looks awefully similar to it's namesake but the cuisine is rather different. It's a Mongolian barbecue place. It also has several locations.
  • Dyadya Vanya m. Pushkinskaya/Chekhovskaya. Literally 'Uncle Ivan's', this place also uses a nostalgic interior, of the inter-war peiod.
Moscow

Splurge

Moscow

Drink

Moscow

Sleep

Moscow

Budget

Moscow

Mid-range

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.

Moscow

Splurge

Moscow

Contact


Moscow

Cope

Moscow

Get out

  • Arkhangelskoye
  • Leninskiye Gorki
  • Borodino battlefield
Moscow

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