More than just an efficient way to get around the city, the Moscow Metro is a destination in itself. Many of the stations were built in the Soviet era. They are clean, loaded with artwork and history and each one is different. Moscow Metro tours seem quite popular, but we opted to do it ourselves, as we had already had a free walking tour of the city, and one of the Kremlin.
We made it a game, and each of our girls got a chance to take us around to a series of stations. It is more complicated than other subway systems we have used, as all of the writing is in Cyrillic and no-one seems to speak English.
It seems as though there are police everywhere, yet the two we tried to ask for help looked straight through us like we didn’t exist. So we gave up asking and figured it out on our own. In the end, it was a fun adventure.
Here are some of our favourite stations:
Note: Based on world conditions, we advise checking official channels including cancellation policies prior to booking. Also, with often reduced capacity, booking ahead becomes more important.
Moscow Metro Travel Tips
If you are going to take the Moscow Metro and you don’t speak Russian, and you can’t read Cyrillic characters, here are my bests tips:
- Have a good look at the map and ask for help in your hotel before you go. Don’t count on anyone helping you at the station.
- If you are going during a busy time, be prepared to move. It is very crowded (one of the busiest metro systems in the world), and people get off the trains in a hurry and move through the stations quickly.
- The escalators are very long and very quick, and people stand on the right and walk on the left. Pay attention as you approach as it is a lot of stairs to walk if you get on the wrong side (I only did this once, learned quickly from my mistake).
- Most importantly – learn the Cyrillic word for entrance, exit and transfer. If you get on an exit escalator when you meant to transfer, you will pay again to get back into the system.
- Don’t let this scare you; it is easy once you get the hang of it. It is cheap and the best way to get around Moscow.
All photos on this page © Rhonda Albom 2012. All rights reserved.