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Travelling to Moscow

So, you have reached Moscow and want to figure out which is the best way to travel in and around the city. There's no reason to sweat as the public transportation in Moscow is par excellence, with the super efficient subway trains, and buses connecting most parts of the city to each other.

An excellent, efficient public transportation system.

Muscovites swear by their public transportation system, and there is no reason why, you as a tourist can't have a taste of the real way to travel in Moscow.

They say that the best way to discover New York is on foot.similarly the best way to get yourself around in Moscow is the Metro train, or the subway system which the city prides itself on. A clean, effective and efficient system, the Metro is the preferred way to travel for most of the residents. In fact an estimated 9 million people travel by the Metro in Moscow on a single day. The subway network in Moscow is one of the most expansive in the world, and each subway station looks like a work of art. The Moscow Metro Map is freely available and shows a network of lines criss-crossing each other in multi-colored patterns. It would be advisable to acquaint yourself with the lines and the map beforehand, and then venture out for a ride on the metro.

The working hours for a Moscow metro are between 5.20 am and 1 am everyday, with peak hours centered around hours 8-9 in the morning, and 5-7 in the evening. A ticket for the metro is priced at a flat rate of 7 Rubles, and one can spend as much time traveling on the metro for a day, and go from one corner of Moscow to another. Yes, a ticket on the Moscow metro does not have a time limit, and the entire Moscow metro is one zone.

Also, instead of buying one ticket a day, if you are into striking a good deal, you can even pay 30 R or 50 R, and get tickets for 5 and 10 trips respectively on the Metro. If you end up missing one train, you need not fret as there will be another one coming alone in the matter of one and a half minutes. The Metro is a smooth running, underground giant which gives visitors the taste of real Russia . The Muscovites love their metro, and expect guests to pay the same respect to their subways. Loud noise and rowdy scenes are frowned upon by the locals on metro, so abstain from being a part of such a scenario.

The Moscow Metro Stations are something to behold in their own right. Each of them is decorated with frescoes and mosaics, and sports an opulent look, with beautiful chandeliers adorning the roof the subways. It is said that the subways were so designed purposely, as they were supposed to act as an underground shelter if there ever was a war in Russia.

To make it pleasing to the eye of the people, the subways were decorated with marble columns, statues.the works. Some of the most beautiful stations on the Moscow metro are Kievskaya on the blue line; Arbatskaya on the dark blue line; Mayakovskaya on the green line and Komsomolskaya on the circle line. Moreover, the metro connects the heart of Moscow with suburbs efficiently, and most of the sightseeing places are about ten minutes walk from the Metro stations in central Moscow .

A great way to get around the enigmatic city of Moscow is through the bus, trolleybus and the tram. Quaint and old-worldly, these trolleybuses and trams are the only means of transport in certain areas of Moscow . Though not as reliable as the metro, with delays snagging the schedule, the buses and trolleybuses are an affordable means of getting around town. With tickets costing 4 R across the three categories, one can purchase this directly from the driver of the bus, or on the metro, or the conductors on the bus on certain routes.

These buses and trams connect different districts of the city together and link most of the metro stations, making it a cheap and easy way to travel in Moscow . This mode of transport is often preferred by the budget traveler for the sheer economy; with sheets of 10 tickets available at 25 R, who wouldn't want to save that extra penny.

Marshrutka, or the mini-bus shuttle is also a preferred way of traveling within Moscow . These shuttles also ply the same routes as the buses and trams, and can be hailed down like a taxi by any passenger. Tickets cost anywhere between 4R-10R, and one can purchase the tickets directly from the driver.

Taxis in Moscow are a different story altogether. Virtually every car in Moscow is a prospective taxi, with private vehicles giving visitors a ride at a cost. Yes, it's all about the money, as far as taxis in Moscow are concerned. The registered taxis in Moscow tend to be expensive, and most of the people prefer hailing down ordinary vehicles.

Haggling for money is an intrinsic part of hitching a cab ride. Before you get into a taxi - registered or private, make sure that you have negotiated the fare with the driver. Mention where you have to go, and strike a deal. Most of the taxis in Moscow do not run on the meter, and cabbies would like to extract that extra Ruble from you the moment they know you are a foreigner. So, bargaining is your best defense mechanism against being ripped off by a cab driver.

The best way to hitch a ride in the "gypsy cabs" (as the private vehicles cum cabs are called) is to stick your hand out at a nearby car, to make them stop. A few more tips that might come in handy for a traveler to Moscow - keep exact change handy when traveling by taxis, because the taxi drivers invariably don't have change; and do not get into a cab if you think the driver looks suspicious or if he has a chum riding along with him. Using common sense can mean everything when you are hailing down a Moscow cab.

In the end, if you are the kinds who likes to explore their surroundings on foot, Moscow has some great walking options as well. The heart of Moscow , with its numerous theaters, museums and hotels is the best place to discover on foot; you can walk around Red Square , Boulevard Ring and Alexandrovsky Gardens . On the outskirts of the city, Sparrow Hills and the Botanical Gardens are good options for having a stroll.

So what are you waiting for.with so many travel options in front of you, shouldn't you be out of the door, and hailing a cab yet?

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