Getting around Moscow by metro and public transport
Moscow traffic / Photo by Leszek Golubinski @ FlickR
Ploschad Revolutsii metro station in Moscow / Photo by Sbisson@FlickR
Buses, Trolleys and Trams
Most of them don't go on the schedule, and the average waiting time can be from 5 minutes to 40 minutes in the evenings. The public transport works are from 5:30 until 1:00. The bus stops are yellow plates marked with "A" signs, trolleys' - white plates with "T" and trams' with "Tp". There are no night buses or trolleys or trams. If you're late, you can only take a taxi.
Prices are the same for buses, trolleys and trams: one trip costs 28 R ($1). You can buy them from the driver directly, in metro stations, or from the kiosks located near the busier bus stops. Almost all Moscow transport has now been fitted with turnstiles where you have to stick your ticket into a machine to pass through. This means you now have to enter through the front door, creating long queues for boarding, and it also means that fare evasion is no longer possible, like it was in the good old days.
Moscow trolleybuses - photo by Trolleway@FlickR
Selected Public Transport Routes in Moscow
It's great to experience Moscow if you move around by city transport - Moscow is a big city and there're many places worth seeing. The route given is the list of the areas the bus, trolley or tram goes through, it's not all the stops. If you don't understand where the areas and the streets are, read about this at Moscow Guide / Moscow Areas & Maps. The route is given in [square brackets].
#119 [Kievskaya metro - Vorobyovy Gory observation deck - Moscow State University];
#7 [Park Pobedy (Victory's Park) - Kutuzovski prospekt - Kievskaya metro - Moscow river's bank - Vorobyovy Gory, observation deck - Moscow State University - Leninski Prospekt - Oktyabrskaya metro - Yakimanka street - Kamenny Most (Stone Bridge - great place to see the view of Moscow Kremlin)];
#15, #31 [Tsvetnoi Boulevard metro - Kropotkinskaya metro]
#44 [Kropotkinskaya metro - Alexandovski Sad (Alexandrovski Garden) metro]
#B [this circle route is through all Sadovoe Koltso - Garden Ring]
#A, #3, #39 [Chistye Prudy metro - Maroseika street (Kitai Gorod area) - Boulevard Ring - Solyanka street - Novokuznetskaya metro (Zamoskvorechie (outside the Moscow river) area) - Paveletskaya metro - Serpukhvskaya metro - Dobryninskaya metro]
Taxi and Cars in Moscow
In any case the car prices have risen up in Moscow recently but are still not as high as in Europe, for example. Normally it should cost around 400-500 R ($12-$15) to get from the outskirts of Moscow to the center of the city (about 30-60 min drive depending on the traffic) and it's around 200 R ($8) to move around the center (10-15 min drive). I usually calculate 200 R ($7) for every 10 minutes.
Allo Taxi. They charge 250 rubles for the first 20 minutes (300 rubles at night) and then 7 rubles per minute after that (8 rubles at night). Moscow – Sheremetyevo II: 850R ($31). Sheremetyevo II – Moscow: 1000 R ($37). Phone: +7 (495) 225-3588. Website: www.allotaxi.ru. (You can order online).
City Taxi. Their tariffs are 250 R for the first 30 minutes during the day (for the first 20 minutes at night) and then 6 R for each additional minute (7 R at night). Moscow – Sheremetyevo II: 700R ($26). Sheremetyevo II – Moscow: 850 R ($31). Phone: +7 (495) 225-9225. Website: www.citytaxi.ru. (You can order online).
Krasnaya Gorka. The cheapest in the list – billed by km: 5 R ($0.15) / km. Ask for a Russian car - Zhiguli - the cheapest. Moscow - Sheremetyevo II 700R ($25), Sheremetyevo II - Moscow 900R ($32). Phone: +7 (495) 454-6291/7201. Fax: 454-7201.
Taxi 505. Probably the cheapest, at least for airport transfers: prices are 170 R for the first 20 minutes during the day (180 R for the first 10km at night) and 5 R per each additional minute during the day (10 R per extra km at night). Moscow – Sheremetyevo II: 550R ($20). Sheremetyevo II – Moscow: 750 R ($28). Phone: +7 (495) 505-3661. Website: www.taxiport.ru. (You can order online).
Taxi Club. Prices are 200 R for the first 20 minutes during the day (250 R at night) and then 6 R per minute after that (7 R at night). Moscow – Sheremetyevo II: 750R ($28). Sheremetyevo II – Moscow: 850 R ($31). Phone: +7 (495) 540-0400. Website: www.taxiclub.ru. (You can order online)
XXL Taxi. Prices are 240 R for the first 30 minutes during the day (270 R at night) and 8 R per minute after that (9 R per minute at night). Moscow – Sheremetyevo II: 750R ($28). Sheremetyevo II – Moscow: 900 R ($33). Phone: +7 (495) 105-8866. Website: www.xxltaxi.ru/. (You can order online).
Limousine Service. The most expensive in the list. They use Lincolns or Mercedes limousines and charge $100 Moscow - Sheremetyevo II. Sheremetyevo II - Moscow costs $150. Phone: +7 (495) 257-4000/4400. Fax: 257-1596. Website: www.limos.ru. (You can order online).
You can also order a taxi online through this site, please, see Moscow Taxi & Transfers section.
Renting a car can be a good alternative to taking taxis. For example, a ride from a Moscow airport costs about $70, but you can rent a car for $50 / day directly from the airport if you rent it for 3 days (it costs less if you rent it for longer). Be sure to take insurance as well, it's worth it because driving in Moscow is a bit chaotic (similar to Greece, Italy or Caribbean). If they let you leave the car in another city it might be a good and cheap way of travelling around when you are in a group.
You can check the prices of the major car rental operators in Moscow using Way to Russia online car rental service. It will normally cost about $30-$50 / day depending on how long you rent it for. The Russian operator Eleks-Polus offers cheaper Russian cars ($25-$30 per day), but they don't have offices at Moscow airports and don't speak English.
AVIS Rent-a-Car Moscow. Address: Sheremetyevo II airport, Phone: +7 (495) 578-7179, Fax : 578-7179.
AVIS Rent-a-Car Moscow. Address: Gallery Actor business center. Tverskaya Ul., #2. Entrance.3, 6th floor. Area: Tverskaya, metro Pushkinskaya (violet), Tverskaya (green). Phone: +7 (495) 937-9434, Fax: 937-9433
BUDGET Rent-a-Car Moscow. Address: Volgogradsky Prospekt, #43, building 1. Phone: +7 (495) 737-0407. Fax: 737-0406.
ELEKS-POLUS - The local rent-a-car operator, offering Russian cars at lower prices ($20-$25 / day). You will need to pay $300 US as a deposit and, and present your passport. Internet: www.eleks.ru, tel: +7 495 232-9009)
Bicycle and Scooter Rentals in Moscow
There are no special bike lanes and it's not safe to leave bikes on the streets, even attached. However, there are a few bike rental services in the city. Also, in Summer scooters are popular. Moscow is not the most pleasurable place to drive around with a scooter, but it's still a lot of fun.
Kruti Pedali – www.kruti-pedali.ru (in English), +7 495 642-1942 - rents bicycles and scooters in Moscow. They charge about $15 / day for bicycle rental (less if you rent for longer) and you need to pay a deposit of $30. For scooters they charge about $70 / day (much less if you rent for longer) and you need to pay a deposit of about $150.