Survival Guide in Moscow ver 1/1.4

Here some my thoughts how to arrive in Moscow, how to stay and watch CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL MAY 21st 2008 in Moscow and how to return back.

To my mind, there are two things that mostly puzzle you :
1. Lack of English speaking people (point 1)
Do not expect that you can speak English with anyone in Moscow. Better bring with you phrase-book with basic Russian words and show it then in difficulties. Some of young Russian people could speak English.
2. Mysterious Russian soul (point 2) I will try to explain by examples below.


Lucky boys! You don not need a visa if you are going to view football. Strongly recommend to check all details at your Embassy and FC.


  • Write down phone numbers of British embassy in Moscow

  • Always carry passport and phone number of your embassy with you.

If planning to stay in the country for more than three days you MUST register your visa at the local migration office.

Better to have. Could be a problem explaining your ache to doctors.(point 1). Consult you company before travel

In Russia we have our own currency RUBLES. Approximately 1£ is about 50 rubles ( to be precise 1£ = 46,9 RUBLES 06/05/08) All prices I will explain in Rubles and in £. Coins are mostly used as suveniers. Do not ask me how much money you need to stay few days in Moscow, actually I do not know what are you going to do. To be absolutelu drunk its enought to have 10£ 500 R (second note from top)

Be aware, that all notes from 1991, 1993, 1995 are no longer valid as a matter of inflation.

I recommend bring with you cash, better in US dollars or Euro (however torn, creased or strongly worn notes will be rejected by banks), £ rare guests in Russia, however cash can be easily stolen. So the choice is yours.

  • DO NOT CHANGE you money on street with unknown people, take a walk visit local bank or at it corner curency exchange office (OBMEN-NIC)

  • PLACE YOUR WALLET in safe place especially when using public transport service

  • Forget about credit cards, yes, of course, you can use it in Russia but commission rate will be astronomically high (check at you bank service before)

  • Bring your checkbook only as a source a paper.


botlle of soft drink or juice 0,5 litre 0,5 £ 25 RUBLES
botle of hard drink 0,5 litre 4 £ 200 RUBLES
junk food on street 3 £ 150 RUBLES
lunch at restaurant 5 £ - £££ 250 RUBLES - £££
russian papers notes


You probably arrive at Moscow by air or railway service.

The last place where you can find sings on you languages. There are 3 main airports and a few small around Moscow
• Domodedovo
• Sheremetevo
• Vnukovo
All are god-forsaken holes, service are terrible, custom officers never smile. Try not to be funny and do not joke about Boris of London, VIcky Pollard, latest Royals travels etc. No one here hears about them.

If you traveling with your Fan Club simply try not to be lost, if your are travelling alone - read further.

If your airoport is Bykovo, I wish you luck, even I do not know how to get there.

According to officials the football fans will be delivered separately: Chelsea fans will fly to Sheremetyevo and Vnukovo airports and Manchester United fans – to Domodedovo. So choose the rigth place.

So after leaving custom control you will be welcomed by the crowd of BLACK (not realy black -just un official) taxi drivers. It is up to you how to spend your money BUT TAXI driver charge you about 50£ (2500 R) for 30 minutes travel to Moscow. Try to be smart, spend some time and find public service. It will cost you about 1£ 50 R by BUS or SHUTTLE BUS (MARCH-RUTKA) or 3£ 150 R by Railway. If in trouble ask young Russian people, at least they show you right directions. Its time to start remembering Russian alphabet.

Moscow officials promised to provide with 700 buses. I would not rely on it, if you even get it, it will be one big traffic jam.

Railway travel is nice way to see a Russia, it takes about 40 hours from Western Europe to get to Moscow and about 15 from Baltic States. Be prepared to think about food more than expect.

  • DO NOT BUY HAND MADE FOOD at railway stops, save you stomach and paper
  • NEVER SPEAK TO GYPSY it could be worse than Kenny Craig

You will arrive to one of the dozen Moscow railway stations. Do not bother to remember the name. It all looks the same. Official info here



After you arrived in Moscow, next step to find the way to your hotel – look for BIG RED letter M. It is Underground service, we call it METRO. Well, some days ago we were proud of it, now it looks like trash cans with wheels that you use in London. To use it here -you need to buy ticket magnetic card that cost about 0,4 £ 20 R for one travel and about 2 £ 10 R for multiply. There are no zones and you can travel from end to end. Russian map here with time calculator or look here. To watch football you need СПОРТИВНАЯ station ( RED LINE, second station down from the BRONW circle line) .

Beggars,espacially gypsy children, will occasionally bothet tourists. Ignore them and walk away. Robberies and thefts have been reported at airports and public transport stations.

According to officilas METRO will work on nigth 21-22 may till 4 o'clock AM. (usually till 1 AM)

moscow metro signmoscow metro sign


Ooops, sorry there are NO lovely B&B hotels in Moscow, and if you have not book your hotel before it could be a problem. Moscow only have about 40 000 hotel beds ( can you image that in Moscow live 12 000 000 city people and 3 000 000 of visiters and such miserable amount , however do not even think that it is a good business chance for you to build hotel in Moscow).


  • Well, try to book for private flat in Moscow for few days, google will help.
  • Try to find hotel near Moscow, there are some small towns around Moscow that can offer family type hotel however it takes 1,5-2 hours to get in Moscow.
  • Moscow never sleeps. Spend night in Clubs and sleep at airplane.
  • Visit Russian students community on the web and ask for help, it could be a deal (point 2)

I won't recommend to use a any service offered by the oldery people or young woman on the streets.



It should be at LUZH-NI-KI stadium (official site). Google map at your language shows you the way how to get there.

Look big map 

It is RED LINE of Underground service, station SPORT-IV-NAYA (second station down from the circule line). I supouse that METRO will work some extra hours (usually it works till 1 A.M on entrance and exchange ). Follow the instruction of your fan club. I do not know yet how it all will be organized.


Two types of restaurants – POSH and POOR. Price does not mean quality. Menu mostly on Russian, even if you meet in English I bet i won't gess what is RASSTEGAY . Recommend junk fast food of yellow-red clown at least you know what are you paying for or try Russian fast food.

British pubs only looks like pubs, meal is disgusting, never never never order GUINNESS - black water has noting in common with original ( i always wander - from where they get it? ) however there are few exceptions. If you want to look like native you can drink near entrance to METRO wih Russian snaks SU-HA-RI-KI.

To SAVE HEALTH and MONEY visit nearest supermarket where all western brands and labels of food could be found. ( yeap, we import about 60 % of the food ). Some of them working 24 hours. Or look for small shop box (LAREK) on the street near bus stations or in other crowdy places.

Bottleed drinking and sparking water better than tap water.


Again looking for big letter M, no, now not the METRO, this time yellow-red clown helps you again. Or practice your Russian trying to find BLUE toilet box. Isolate your nose before.
toilet cabin

Again – two ways METRO and TAXI. If you do not speak Russian better ask some one speaking to write down addresse for you and all what you need is just show this card to driver. Negotiate price FIRST!!!In case of language mis -understanding just show notes you expect to pay.

Below my small classification of the TAXIs in Moscow.

wrong car
Official taxi (yellow cabs) – expensive and rare animal to meet, some of them accept credit cards, some service could be booked in advance
Others cars

– this is that I like in Moscow, simply step on the road, up your right hand and a tail of cars will be with you in second. Any car can offer you a service, from police car to truck. Again hegotiate price at the begining! HOWEVER if a person speak English and a ardent fan it could be free for you, even you could be invited for dinner( point 2).

Personally do not recommend use old cornflakes boxes look russian cars. It possible that the drivers know Moscow worse than you or the car will die immediately after you seat in it.


  • Moscow - Airoport - depends on the fantasy of the driver
  • MOSCOW - side to side 10£-20£ /500-1000 R (daytime) +100 % nigthtime rate
  • MOSCOW - side to center 5 £-10£ /250-500 R (daytime) + 80 % nighttime

In case you need it ask for AP-TE-KA.


There are mainly two types of policemen you could meet these days in Moscow.

  • Young skinny sorrowful boys – probably these are solders of Russian army wearing police uniform. In case of trouble they bring you to officer. Do not panic, ask for someone speaking English. Try to understand these boys.
  • Happy stout men – regular police forces, hardly to negotiate.
  • If you have heard about OMON it's all true, DO NOT argue with them.
mounted policy

You will probably see a lot of people in different uniforms, REMEMBER Russian is official language of our country, not English, so do not pay attention to men wearing signs SECURITY or just CAMUFLAGE form, etc. These are private securities. They normally can not act on you ( ask to show papers, search you etc) BUT they can call police.

1. Do not panic, try to find someone speaking your language and ask for help
2. Do not panic, it could be worse
3. Ask police to help
4. Call Embassy

PS. That’s all, if you need more how get to Moscow or other info about my sity ASK me , I ll make FAQ page for answers.
PPS. Do NOT bother me about my English – it is better than your Russian

SOME things not recomended to DO

  1. Ask "Where I can buy Poloniy?" - old joke, we have almost forgoten and forgiven all
  2. Ask "What is the correct name of new president of Russia MEDVEDEV or MIEDVEDIEV?" actually his name PUTIN
  3. Travel alone far and away from Moscow -you could be lost forever
  4. Drink more than one bottle of hard drinks with locals (including childs from 10 years age)
  5. Try to buy a flat or anu other real estate in Moscow - how about 2 000 £ for ONE!!! square meter?
  6. Piss on the street, otherwise some policemen will buy few flats in Moscow using your money
  7. Say "Abramovich is good!!!" here it is not true

Good luck! And pe prepared, you have been warned, Moscow is not the easiest place to be a football fan.

My blog is here