Things We Should Know Before Visiting Moscow

In terms of shopping and cuisine, Moscow may not be able to match other cities around the world. However, we could still get a magnificent sight-seeing, especially around the famed Kremlin. There are also many cathedrals, museums, world class artworks, architecture, culture and parks that we can visit. Travellers should be able to keep themselves occupied for a few days when visiting the state. When visiting Moscow, we should no longer expect to see the police state atmosphere, with stern guards toting the iconic Kalashnikov rifles. The reality is, New York and other cities in the United States could be more guarded by police than Moscow. During our stay in the capital of Russia, we could see very few police cars and hear the sirens. Overall, it feels like a normal kind of city that we would glad to visit at anytime of the year. There’s no oppressive atmosphere.

The Domodedovo International airport is full of luxury shops. It is a clean and modern place, so we shouldn’t expect to see an old airport, like what we see in Cold War movies. The fare in the airport should be comparable to other airports around the world. The currency of Russia is Rubel and many prices already include VAT. It means that the price we see on the packaging is the one that we should pay. ATMs are plentiful around the city, some even dispense US dollars. One challenging thing about visiting Moscow, is that the country doesn’t use Latin-based alphabets like many countries around the world. In other countries, even if we don’t know a single word of the local language, we could still recognize names of places and we could still follow directions. Russia is using the Cyrillic script so it is a good idea to spend a few days learning about the alphabet, so at least, we can still read names of places. If we are still confused, we need to count how many subways stops or ask a lot of question with locals.

English is taught at schools, so we could still perform basic communications. People in Moscow should be able to understand basic English words, so we could still use hand signs, while uttering name of items or locations that we want to go. Although Moscow isn’t a shopping destination, there are still plenty of modern and traditional shopping areas. When we want to find local souvenirs, we should go to the Arbat Street. It is located in the old area of Moscow and home for artisans during the era of Tsars. It’s worth our time to spend a few hours in Arbat street. The public transportation in Moscow is quite easy and the most obvious mode of transportation is Metro or Moscow Subway System. It is frequent, reliable, clean, fast, cheap and easy to use. During normal hours, trains arrive every two minutes. There are still remnants of the old Soviet era in the subways, such as ornate chandeliers, marble and stunning architecture with high ceilings.