ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Tips for Traveling to Moscow, Russia

Updated on May 30, 2018
Making friends with the locals can help you discover parts of the city that are unknown to your guide books and internet blogs.
Making friends with the locals can help you discover parts of the city that are unknown to your guide books and internet blogs. | Source

Getting to Moscow from the US and Canada

Since politics can change the Russian atmosphere quickly, traveling with a travel agency, especially the first time that you visit Moscow, is preferable. Travel agencies cost a little more, but they know how to navigate the day to day Russian-ness of tourist situations, and if you book with a quality one tend to have 1-800 helplines and knowledgeable staff.

If you choose to book your trip yourself there are two main options. Fly directly from the US or Canada into Russia, or flying into a neighboring European country and taking a train into Moscow. Both have their pros and cons.

Flying to Moscow

The cheapest airplane tickets tend to be APEX, or Advance Purchase Excursion tickets. They require that you pay in full 21 days in advance, stay abroad for at least 7 days, and keep your stay under three months. Tickets from the US to Moscow are lowest from November to March (excluding Christmas/New Years Celebrations) during the tourist low tide and are highest from June to mid-September and during the Christmas/New Years celebrations.

Travel by Train in Europe

If you plan to see more of Europe and more of Russia than just Moscow, then traveling by train may be a better option. Simply travel by plane to a European country and take the train from there into Moscow. Know that although the Eurail pass for unlimited travel is valid is sixteen countries, that Russia is not one of them. A Eurail flexi-pass may be a better option. It allows a certain number of uses in a two-month time period.

Although parts of Moscow appear to be purely for practicality, parts of Moscow's train stations hold beauty with vaulted ceiling and beautifully detailed moldings.
Although parts of Moscow appear to be purely for practicality, parts of Moscow's train stations hold beauty with vaulted ceiling and beautifully detailed moldings. | Source

A Note on Russian Medical Care

There are two options when it comes to medical emergencies in Russia for foreign nationals: going to a public hospital or seeking care in a private clinic. There are obviously two schools of thought when it comes to which to use as a foreigner.

In Russia, foreign nationals can obtain medical care in the public hospitals free of charge, with nominal charges for certain medications. Russian doctors tend to run a high number of tests, but since the life expectancy in Russia is falling instead of rising, many do not trust public health centers.

The other option is to seek care at a private clinic which charges US rates at full price (a broken leg can run about $10,000) but has arguably better medical facilities. If you have regular health problems, are at risk for specific health difficulties, or simply do not trust public healthcare then investing in traveler's health insurance may be a smart idea.


How can Americans Obtain Insurance while Traveling in Moscow?

It is generally considered a wise choice to invest in traveler's insurance when traveling in a foreign country. Generally, traveler's insurance covers theft, missing luggage, or having to cancel or reschedule the trip, however being a well-insured traveler can be more difficult than first thought Like most car insurance, house insurance, and health insurances, the coverage of traveler's insurance can vary greatly.

What to Consider When Comparing Travel Insurance

  • price
  • how much does it cover with cash and checks
  • what it covers medically (especially if you have a specific medical condition)
  • does it include medical evacuation
  • does your credit card already have similar benefits if you pay for the trip with the card

Where to Obtain Traveler's Insurance

If you travel through a travel agency, then extra insurance may be built into your final cost or it may be a mandatory add-on. Regardless your travel agency most likely offers insurance packages that can be altered to your personal needs, or you can choose to go with an external insurance company. Just remember to read the fine print, and only pay for what you need. If you're backpacking then you probably don't need thousands of dollars worth of coverage for personal belongings, since you're probably traveling light.

Be careful not to get caught up in Moscow's drama, make sure that you are properly prepared for your trip before you leave home.
Be careful not to get caught up in Moscow's drama, make sure that you are properly prepared for your trip before you leave home. | Source

Handicap Travel in Russia

Russia has not been a country that traditionally has went out of the way to make things easier for disabled travelers, however slowly Russia is bringing its public facilities up to par.

Not all hotels are wheelchair accessible in Moscow, however, most international hotels are wheelchair capable. Before reserving a room, you might want to do a little extra research and contact the hotel directly to make sure they can accompany all of your needs. The metro is slightly better though.

Public transportation is also quite difficult since buses, trams, and trolleys are not set up to accommodate wheelchair passengers. The Kremlin, Red Square, and other major sites are wheelchair accessible, however, historical churches and museums tend to require navigating steps.

Mobility International USA and the Society for the Advancement of Travel for the Handicapped can both help disabled travelers planning on visiting Moscow or other parts of Russia.

Insider's View of Moscow's Public Transportation

Know the Cyrillic Alphabet

There are a lot of signs that are printed in both Roman alphabet and the Cyrillic Alphabet (the alphabet that is used in the Russian language), but in many places, signs will just be Cyrillic. Knowing the Romanized name of attractions, restaurants, and streets will do you no good if you can't at least sound out the written name.

Plus, being able to read Russian words (and knowing basic phrases) can win you brownie points with the locals. Most locals like to see foreigners attempting to understand the Russian culture, and if they believe that you are trying, they are more likely to help you or give you a break.

Have you ever traveled to Russia?

See results

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)