• Safety

    Is it safe to travel to Moscow?

    DON’T BE AFFRAID OF MOSCOW

    Ukraine conflict near Russian border, US-EU sanctions on Russia, tit-for-tat
    Russian sanctions… all these make people think: «Hey, is it safe for me to visit
    Moscow now?» Ruscow can answer it: «Yes!» Moscow is still beautiful, peaceful
    and open for everyone. There are a lot of tourists now (also from EU and USA). It
    should be mentioned that warfare takes place really far from Moscow. Of course,
    you don’t have to believe us after couple of phrases so check out some topics from
    those who came back from Russia safety and sound (and excited as well).
    For example: http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g298484-i718-k7737938-Back_from_Russia-Moscow_Central_Russia.html
    Moscow now is very big and developing city. Local authorities are trying to attract
    more foreign tourists. Cafes, WI-FI connection, ATMs, free WCs, pure drinking
    water are everywhere. They do their best for you to be excited with visiting this
    amazing city. Don’t miss such opportunity.

    So you are welcome to visit Moscow, it is about time!

    To visit foreign place safely one should first get some extra information. There is some about Moscow:

    #1 Crimes

    There were times when homicide rate in Russia has been among the highest in the world (especially after USSR fell down). But it’s not the reason to worry. Now crime rate in Moscow is under control. People are friendly and you can walk easily in nighttime in the centre. There are a lot of policemen in the downtown around the clock. Although you should probably take simple safety measures, for example, while you are in crowd (aware of thieves) and walking alone in nighttime in uptown and suburbs (aware of drunk people and hooligans), taking unlicensed taxi and so on. Summary: Moscow as safe as any other big city and you just should conduct yourself like an intelligent person (as you always do).

    #2 Safety

    Crossing the road, please, be careful and make sure that this is safe enough. Unfortunately, not all drivers in Moscow let pedestrians pass and not all pedestrian crossings are highlighted so some drivers just cannot see pedestrians.

    In front of some metro stations you can find food being sold called «shaurma». Please, note that it’s considered not fully safe to eat this food. Some of the sellers break the sanitary code while making shaurma.

    There is traditional Russian drink called vodka. It has 40% of alcohol. And if you want to try it for the first time you should not do this when you are starving. It’s better to eat something first.

    Don’t worry about drinking water — it’s pure. You can buy it or drink it in parks. Some people can drink tap-water. You can either but it’s not tasty if you don’t use special filter.

    #3 Emergency

    If you have Russian SIM card then in case of emergency dial 112.

    #4 Metro

    There are rush-hours in Moscow metro: from 8 a.m. till 10 a.m. (morning rush-hour) and from 6 p.m. till 8 p.m. (evening rush-hour). During this time there are so many people in Moscow metro and all of them are in a big hurry. So that it’s rather ordinary situation if somebody pushes you or even yells at you. People are so rude not because they don’t like you but just they are too busy and full of stress. If it’s possible, please, refrain from using metro during rush-hour.

    The majority of metro signs here is in Russian. Still navigation is pretty obvious and you will not have problems with that.

    If you need help you can ask somebody for it or use special terminal with sign «info» (usually it’s in the center of the station).

    There are some unusual trains in Moscow underground. For example,
    - retro train that runs on red line (Sokol’nicheskaya) has soviet stile interior;
    - train called «Aquarelle» runs on blue line (Arbatsko-Pokrovskaya) and has gallery with copies of beautiful pictures inside.

    #5 Souvenirs

    This is cheaper to buy Russian souvenirs on Arbat street or in small shops in comparison with Red Square.

    #6 Natives

    First of all, Russia is a multinational country. You can meet people with different nationalities here especially in Moscow.

    Moscow natives don’t smile every time. This is not because they are not happy or don’t want to smile to you. They are just too busy and stressed.

    If you want to take a Russian girl for a date then you should know that it’s a man who pays for dinner in Russia.

    If you need to ask for help you should ask young people. Younger generation speaks better English because of some history issues.

    #7 Payments

    You can pay by card almost everywhere in the city but in small shops and street stalls. So it can be good idea to ask if you can pay by card before you start to buy goods or services.

    When ordering taxi you should say about your intention to pay by card so they can send you a car with special terminal.

    In Moscow it is really hard (or even impossible) to pay by traveler’s checks.

    #8 Electricity

    In Moscow one uses European plug socket. But in some old flats or hotel rooms you can find soviet sockets. Ask host or landlord to give you an adapter. There is 220V 50Hz voltage.

    #9 Time

    There is UTC+4 time zone all over a year in Moscow. Russians use 24-hour time format.

    #10 Language

    Russian language is rather difficult in grammar but not so hard to pronounce. You can find some useful words and phrases below.

    Hello — Здравствуйте — Zdrávstvuyte
    Hi — Привет — Privét
    Bye — Пока — Poká
    Thank you — Спасибо — Spasíbo
    Please — Пожалуйста — Pozháluysta
    How are you? — Как дела? — Kak delá?
    I’m good, thank you — Все хорошо, спасибо — Vsyo horoshó, spasíbo
    Excuse me… — Извините… — Izviníte…
    My name is… — Меня зовут… — Menyá zovút…
    Where is… — Где… — Gde…
    Yes — Да — Da
    No — Нет — Net
    That’s right — Верно — Vérno
    O.K. — Хорошо — Khoroshó
    Of course — Конечно — Konéchno
    Bill/check — Счет — Schyot
    What size, please? — Какой размер? — Kakóy razmér?
    How much? — Сколько? — Skól’ko?
    I feel sick — Мне плохо — Mne plókho

    Interesting fact: word «Moscow» in Russian sounds like «Moskva».

    #11 Weather

    It’s not a big secret that there can be really cold in winter in Russia. In addition climate in Moscow is rather moist. Please, if you are going to visit Moscow in winter or early spring take more warm clothes and boots.

    Note that there are snowing a lot in winter and Moscow municipal workers do their best to prevent pavements from icing. Unfortunately they do it by throwing special reagent which can damage your boots. So it’s better to clean your shoes after walking on street and use special remedy for shoes care.

    You would probably like to do some winter sports. For example, ice-skating. It can be very romantic in night.

    And of course you should take a camera with you – snowing Moscow is very beautiful and breathtaking.

    In summer there can be very hot as well as very rainy. It’s never the same twice. There are a lot of parks in Moscow where it is so nice to take a walk, to do activities and to enjoy the weather.

    There is a «summer snow» in Moscow. It’s poplar down. You can find it in June and July all over Moscow. Please, note that it can cause some troubles if you have an allergy.

    You can find monthly average temperature in the table below.

    Monthly average temperature
    Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
    2012, °C -6,8 -11,7 -3,1 8,2 15,1 17,1 20,9 17,7 12,9 6,5 1,6 -8,6
    2013, °C -8,5 -3,5 -6,6 6,1 16,9 19,8 18,9 18,3 10,3 6,6 4,0 -1,7
    2014, °C -8,8 -1,9 2,8 7,0 16,0 16,1 21,1 19,2

     

    Please, enjoy your staying!