Moscow is the capital of the Russian Federation. By population, it is the largest city in Europe and also is 9th in the world. The city was founded in the 12th century and has served as a uniting point for the whole country. The city was founded at the confluence of two rivers - the Moscow River and Neglinnaya River - and this favorable geographical location helped the city to quickly gain economic independence and, consequently, political influence. It has held its title as the capital of Russia since the 16th century.
Moscow not only has an incredible history, but also world-renowned architecture, which every year attracts thousands of tourists from all over the world. The city has successfully preserved many valuable monuments, some of which are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Among the most outstanding attractions are the Saint Basil’s Cathedral, the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, the Seven Sisters, the Kremlin and many more. Central Moscow is the historical centre of the city, located in and around the Garden Ring (Russian: Sadovoye Koltso). The central part of the city is the most interesting and attractive for tourists and travellers as many of the important main historical buildings, monuments, attractions and facilities are located here.
At the moment, Domodedovo is the largest airport in Russia and one of the 20 busiest airports in Europe with 33 million passengers annually. The majority of flights are international, with domestic flights making up about 40% of its services. Today 86 airlines operate at the airport, serving 229 destinations from all over the world.
Getting from International Airport Domodedovo to the City Centre The Aeroexpress train goes from Domodedovo without stops to central Moscow at Paveletsky Station (on metro lines 2 and 5). Travel time takes about 40-50 minutes, and it costs RUB 450/€6.70. Trains run every 30 minutes from 6:00 a.m. - 00:30 a.m. Regional trains also run from Domodedovo to Paveletsky station, taking a slightly longer travel time of around 70-75 minutes. The 308 and 308a express buses travel direct to Domodedovo Airport from Domodedovskaya Metro Station (on line 2), which connects to the centre of the city. This journey takes about 25-30 minutes, and buses run every 15 min from 6:00 a.m. until midnight. The bus costs RUB 100/€1.70.
Airport passenger terminals have taxi booths where you can book an official taxi, and the ride will cost around €23-30, depending on where you need to go. For those driving, the A105 highway connects Moscow Domodedovo Airport with central Moscow.
Sheremetyevo International Airport (SVO) is one of the three major Moscow airports. By total passenger traffic Sheremetyevo comes in second, after Domodedovo. According to statistics, in 2014 the 6 terminal airport handled 31.5 million passengers to more than 200 destinations worldwide, and became one of the twenty busiest airports in Europe. Sheremetyevo is the base of the national airline Aeroflot. Among other major companies operating at Sheremetyevo are Air France, SAS, Alitalia and AirBaltic.
Getting from Sheremetyevo International Airport to the City Centre
Buses numbers 817, 851 and the 851C express bus, as well as minivan taxi routes 949, 948, 200M run from the airport to metro stations "Rechnoy vokzal" (metro line 2, green) and "Planernaya" (metro line 7, purple). Both of these metro lines go to the centre of Moscow and travel takes around 80 minutes. Going by train, the high-speed Aeroexpress departs from Sheremetyevo Airport to Belorussky Railway Station every 20–30 minutes with a travel time of 30–40 minutes. A single trip cost RUB 450/€6.20.
Official taxis at Sheremetyevo can be orderd from the taxi desk located in the airport or online. Taxis cost approximately €20-50 euro, depending on the destination or starting point in Moscow. For drivers, taking the M10 motorway, which then becomes Leningradskoe schosse and then Leningradskiy prospekt leads from Sheremetyevo International airport to the city centre.
Vnukovo International Airport (VKO) is the third major airport and one of the oldest in Moscow. In terms of passenger traffic, the airport sees 11.3 million passengers per year, ranking fourth among all Russian airports. It is also the largest airport complex in Russia. Routes from Vnukovo Airport includes more than 165 destinations, and the flight map covers the entire territory of Russia and Europe, Asia, Africa and North America. Vnukovo is formed by three passenger terminals: A, B (International) and D.
Getting from Vnukovo Airport to the City Centre
Bus stops in Vnukovo are located on the street behind the multi-level parking, about 130 metres from the terminals. The passage to the bus stops is on the right of Parking 1, and the ticket booth is located just behind Parking 1. There are two bus stops here: the one on the left is for buses going to Moscow city. Buses number 601 and 601c run from Vnulovo to metro stations "Troparuovo" and "Yugo-Zapadnaya". Both of these stations are located on the metro line 1 (red), which goes straight to the city centre. Buses operate at intervals of 11-25 minutes from 5:00 a.m. - 1:00 a.m. and take around 35-40 minutes travel time. Tickets bought at the ticket booth are usually cheaper than ones purchased directly from the driver. Minibus 45m stops in front of Terminal A and goes to "Yugo-Zapadnaya" metro station as well. The minibus service runs from 7:00 a.m. - 10:30 p.m. with a travel time of 15-20 minutes. The minibuses run usually every 10 minutes and cost RUB 100/€1.80 and RUB 10/€0.18 for each extra item of luggage.
It's also easy to get to Vnukovo Airport by train, as it is located 35 minutes from Kievsky Railway Station in central Moscow (“Kievskaya” metro station, lines 3, 4, and 5) via the direct Aeroexpress. Trains stops in Vnukovo Airport at the underground level in Terminal A. A Single trip cost RUB 450/€6.20, and trains run every hour from 6:00 a.m. until midnight. For taxi connections, fares can be booked on the first floor of terminals A and B. Travel time varies as Moscow tends to experiences a lot of road traffic and jams. There are a number of taxi companies, but official taxis booked at the terminals usually offer the best prices and are recommended. Vnukovo is located 12 km south-west of Moscow, and is linked directly to the Kievskoye motorway (M3, E101) and to the Borovskoye motorway. The Minskoye highway (M1, E30) is a 25-minute drive away, leading to the centre of Moscow.
Kursky Vokzal is one of the nine Moscow train stations. Built in 1896, Kursky is one of the busiest train stations in Moscow and the whole of Russia. Long-distance trains are available here to either the Ukraine or Nizhniy Novgorod. Suburban trains connect to many of the small towns and cities around Moscow. In Moscow, the train station is located on the circle metro line and in total connected by 3 metro lines including 3, 5, and 10.
Getting from Kursky Railway Station to the City Centre
Kursky Railway Station is located in the city centre. However, the easiest and the fastest way to get to other places in the centre of Moscow from the station is by taking metro line 3 or 10 (depending on where you're heading to). There is a large taxi rank at the station where cabs can be hailed, but English-speaking taxis can also be booked in advance. Driving to the station is not recommended as Moscow traffic can be heavy and huge traffic jams are a daily occurrence, so it's recommendable to make use of the underground services.
Kazansky Vokzal is another one of the nine train stations in Moscow, and serves both long-distance and regional trains. The station is situated in the same square as Leningradsky and Yaroslavsky railway stations, and was built in 1864. Kazansky is without a doubt one of the busiest train stations in the capital and the country. From here long-distance trains mainly depart in two directions: to Kazan and Yekaterinburg, with further journeys on to Ryazan and Kazakhstan. The major rail provider servicing this station is Russian Railways.
Getting from Kazansky Railway Station to the City Centre
Kazansky Railway Station is connected to the metro lines 1 and 5. Using line 5 in the direction of Troparyavo will bring you to the city centre, although Kazansky Railway Station is considered to be located in central Moscow. To avoid the major traffic jams that are often found in the city, it is always a good idea to take public transport services.
Leningradsky Vokzal is the oldest of Moscow's train stations. It is situated on Komsomolskaya Square, along with two other train stations - Kazansky and Yaroslavsky. Leningradsky Vokzal serves north-western routes, mostly Saint Petersburg, where its identical twin railway station is located. There are services to international destinations including Tallinn in Estonia (operated by GoRail) and to Helsinki in Finland. The main rail provider for the station is Russian Railways.
Getting from Leningradsky Railway Station to the City Centre
Like Kazansky which is located in the same square, Leningradsky Railway Station is connected to metro lines 1 and 5 in central Moscow. Take line 5 towards Troparyavo to get deeper into the city centre.
Moscow Central Bus Terminal is the biggest bus terminal in Russia. From here, 940 intercity and suburban buses depart each day, carrying some 20,000 passengers, up to a quarter of these to on long-distance routes.
Getting from Moscow Central Bus Terminal to the City Centre
Next to the Central Bus Terminal is the Shchyolkovskaya metro station. Line 3 serves the station and continues further into the city centre. The A103 highway is the best connection for those driving to or from the bus terminal.
Driving in Russia has an infamous reputation, and generally the road conditions can be quite challenging for foreign drivers, especially in the countryside. Driving into the city centre of Moscow is possible, however due to the large number of cars on the road it can take a long time as traffic jams are quite common. Major road connections include the E105 from Saint Petersburg and Kharkov, E22 from Riga, M1 from Minsk, E101 from Kiev, E115 from Krasnodar, M5 from Samara and M7 from Kazan.
In Moscow, an extensive network of buses, trolleybuses, trams and mini buses service over 12 million passengers daily, accumulating to some 4.2 billion people each year. A central part of the network, the Moscow Metro is the busiest metro system outside of Asia, and is the world's busiest by daily ridership and the 5th longest in the world. The average daily passenger traffic is more than 7 million passengers, and on weekdays it can be over 9 million. Every day more than 10,000 trains along the city's 12 subway lines, which stretch some 330 kilometres and connect almost 200 stations.
Taxis are common in Moscow, but rarely used during peak rush hours. There is no fixed fare system here, so the cost of the ride can vary from company to company so it's best to contact a taxi company and request a quote.
Driving is possible but can be very complicated due to the large amounts of traffic found in the city. It's best to park at a security-guarded car park which can be found with Moscow Parking online.
Central Moscow is very pedestrian-friendly, and a great way to explore the city and take in the many important sights. However, due to its size, it's unfortunately not really possible to see the whole city by foot. Make use of the public transport system for any locations a little further outside the city centre.
Moscow, a historical city and a bustling metropolis, offering an incredible blend of old world charms and modern pleasures. Take a leisurely walk around the iconic Red Square and soak up the centuries of history, so admirably reflected in the buildings. Discover a variety of architectural styles, from ancient to constructivism to contemporary, at every turn of the streets. Party all night at the new Arbat Street, admire art, ride a bike along the Moscow River and unwind at the Sandunovskye Baths. The city will never cease to inspire.
Sheremetyevo, Vnukovo and Domodedovo are the three major airports in Moscow. The fastest and easiest way to reach the city centre from the airports is via the Aeroexpress train which takes just 40 minutes. Tickets can be purchased for this journey at the station.
The best and cheapest way to explore the city is via metro. Cabs are quite expensive and it is better to avoid them. One can comfortably walk and spot many landmark attractions in the city centre of Moscow. Biking tours are available and are an amazing way to explore the city.