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World Travel Guide > Guides > Europe > Russia > Moscow

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Getting around Moscow

Public transport

The easiest way to get around Moscow is using the efficient but often crowded Metro system (tel: +7 495 539 5454; http://www.mosmetro.ru/), which has almost 190 stations. Entrances are marked by a large ‘M' and services leave regularly throughout the day. Stations often have multiple names - one for each line that intersects at that point. Buying a card for multiple trips affords a small discount. 

Moscow also has an extensive network of buses, trolleybuses and trams, run by Moscow City Transport (http://msk.rusavtobus.ru/en/). These can be unpleasantly crowded during rush hour. Bilyeti (tickets) may be purchased from kiosks or directly from the driver at a slight premium. 

Smartcards are available for one, three or seven days' unlimited travel on the metro, buses, trolleybuses and trams.

Taxis

Official taxis are yellow with a ‘T' sign. These have a sealed meter and a printed fare table on display, but drivers may insist on a negotiated fare. Tipping is not expected. Reliable taxi firms in Moscow include New Yellow Taxi (tel: +7 495 688 3399; http://www.nyt.ru) and Taxi-Maxim (tel: +7 495 505 5555/+7 495 504 2222; http://taximaxim.ru/en/).

Moscow also has an extensive network of marshrutka (minibuses) that follow set routes and can be flagged down at bus stops.

Driving

Driving in Moscow is difficult and rush-hour traffic jams are common. Trumped-up fines requested by traffic police are another good reason to avoid driving in Moscow. For those that do, guarded car parks are safer as theft is common; many of the larger hotels offer this facility to non-guests.

Car hire

Car hire is expensive in Moscow. Some firms will only hire out cars with a driver. International firms represented in Moscow include Avis (tel: +7 495 981 1917; http://www.avisrussia.ru) and Europcar (www.europcar.com). Drivers must be at least 21 years old and have one year of driving experience.

Bicycle hire

Bicycle hire is available at some Moscow parks and through the city's bikeshare scheme, Velobike (tel: +7 495 966 4669; https://velobike.ru/en/), which has 300 docking stations across the city.

 

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Hotel National

With perhaps the perfect Moscow location, overlooking the Kremlin, Hotel National offers a unique blend of history and luxury. Frescoed ceilings, Damask wallpaper, oil paintings and antique furniture all add to the classic Russian baroque experience. The best rooms afford splendid views of the Kremlin, and all have all the expected mod-cons, including Wi-Fi.

Swissôtel Krasnye Holmy

This eye-catching modernist hotel looms above the Moscow River. The most expensive rooms have sweeping views towards the Kremlin and the Seven Sisters, but they can be found from the hotel's rooftop bar too. There are 233 sleek rooms, all with flatscreen TVs and Wi-Fi access. There's also a spa, pool, gym and an organic restaurant.

Hotel Baltschug Kempinski

Facing the Kremlin across the Moskva River, the opulent Baltschug Kempinski is elegance incarnate. Rooms are lavish, with flowing drapes, piles of soft linen and every imaginable convenience, but it's the views of domes and spires across the river that steal the show. There's a plush restaurant with a view of St Basil's, plus a swish spa too.

Izmailovo (Gamma-Delta)

Constructed to accommodate visitors to the 1980 Olympics, the concrete towers of the Izmailovo boast a staggering 8,000 rooms. Institutional in atmosphere, and located far out in the northern suburbs, the hotel is handy for the enormous Izmaylovo Market and has decent city centre links. There are several onsite restaurants and in-room Wi-Fi is available too.

Peking Hotel

Built in 1956 as a little sister to Stalin's Seven Sister skyscrapers, and intended as post-war headquarters for the secret police, Moscow's Peking Hotel is a heritage hotel with a small 'h', in a good location just northwest of the centre. Although slightly old-fashioned, its 130 rooms are comfortable enough, with satellite TV and en-suite bathrooms.

Warsaw Hotel

Although its location may not be one of Moscow's most picturesque, the Warsaw Hotel is convenient for Gorky Park. Considering the quality of the competition, this is one of the best cheap options in the city, with clean and comfortable rooms, albeit in a rather dated style. Wi-Fi is complimentary and the Oktyabrskaya Metro station is right next door.