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FESTIVALS, HOLIDAYS AND OTHER ANNUAL EVENTS IN Moscow

There are a number of festivals, holidays and other events celebrated in Moscow each year. The main ones are listed below.

January 1 : New Year's Day (national)

January 7 : Russian Orthodox Christmas (national)

The Russian Orthodox Church follows the Julian calendar and thus celebrates Christmas thirteen days after it is celebrated by most Christians in the rest of the world.

February 23 : Defender of the Fatherland Day (national)

Previously commemorated the anniversary of the creation of the Red Army in 1918. Today, it is celebrated as the Russian equivalent of Father's Day, on which women and girls give presents to their male relatives of any age, whether they have served in the Russian armed forces or not.

March 8 : International Women's Day (national)

Celebrated worldwide, this holiday honours all women. In Russia, men and boys give flowers, chocolate and small presents to their wives, mothers, daughters, sisters, girlfriends and female colleagues. Throngs of flower sellers and other vendors line the sidewalks in Moscow on this day. Men and boys jostle each other to stake their claim, as none will dare face the girls and women in their lives without a gift.

April 30: Labour Day (national)

Celebrations of May Day lost their political meaning in Russia after 1991. Occasionally, political parties and labour unions have demonstrations on this day, but most Russians use this holiday for gardening or spending time with their families. If May 1 falls on a weekend, the public holiday is usually moved to the following Monday.

May 9 : Victory Day (national)

For Russians, this is the day the Great Patriotic War against Nazi Germany ended in 1945. Big military parades are held and a wreath is laid on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

June 12 : Russia Day (national)

Marks the day the Russian Federation proclaimed its sovereignty in 1990. The main parade is held on Red Square in Moscow.

December 25 : Christmas (national)

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CLIMATE AND WEATHER IN Moscow

Moscow has a humid continental climate and experiences a wide range of temperatures. Winters are very cold, while summers are hot and humid. Temperatures may rise above 30°C (86°F) in the summer, whereas in winter, the mercury often drops below −20°C (−4°F), with a record low of −42.2°C (−44°F)! Moscow is ensconced under a blanket of snow for a good third of the year. And in the thick of winter, this snow cover can remain as deep as 75 cm (30 in.) for weeks on end.

Month Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Average Rains (MM) Best Time to Travel
January -9/16 -4/25 46/1.8 Not the best period to go
February -10/14 -4/25 36/1.4 Not the best period to go
March -4/25 3/37 33/1.3 Not the best period to go
April 2/36 11/52 38/1.5 Not the best period to go
May 8/46 19/66 52/2.0 Good period to go Good period to go
June 12/54 22/72 84/3.3 Good period to go Good period to go
July 14/57 25/77 90/3.5 Good period to go Good period to go
August 12/54 22/72 80/3.1 Good period to go Good period to go
September 7/45 16/61 67/2.6 Good period to go Good period to go
October 3/37 9/48 66/2.6 Not the best period to go
November -3/27 1/34 60/2.4 Not the best period to go
December -8/18 -3/27 53/2.1 Not the best period to go
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Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport

The Moscow-Sheremetyevo International Airport is located about 30 kilometres (19 miles) north-west of the city centre. More than 25 million passengers are served by this airport every year, making it the second busiest in the country after Moscow Domodedovo Airport.

  • Five terminals
    • Terminal B
    • Terminal C
    • Terminal D
    • Terminal E (Air France)
    • Terminal F

Getting from the airport to Moscow and back:
  • By car
    • From the centre of the Russian capital, take the Prospekt Leningradskiy to the Northwest. It connects to Shosse Leningradskiy (freeway M3) that leads to the airport, which exit sign is clearly indicated.
      There are 14 parking facilities adjacent to the various terminals.
    • Several car rental companies have counters in the arrivals hall of Terminal F open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., 7 days a week.
  • By taxi
    • You may order a taxi from the passenger service managers (who wear yellow waistcoats) in each terminal, online at www.transparking.ru, or by telephone at +7 964 588 88 80.
    • A fixed-fare taxi ride to central Moscow costs RUB 1,800 from Terminal B (AutoSher), Terminal F (CAB-24 and AutoTerm) and Terminal C (TaxiSher).
    • Avoid unofficial taxis offering supposed discount fares to the city centre!
  • By bus
    • To Rechnoy Vokzal metro station (1 hour)
      Bus lines 851 and 851 Express (single tickets are RUB 50), bus 949 (single tickets are RUB 75).
    • To Planernaya metro station (1 hour) Bus 817 (single tickets are RUB 50) and bus 948 (single tickets are RUB 75).
  • By rail
    • Aeroexpress trains connect the airport with Belorussky train station in 30 to 40 minutes. A standard adult ticket costs RUB 470. Trains run every 20 to 30 minutes from 5:00 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.
  • Between terminals
    • There are pedestrian walkways connecting Terminals D, E and F.
    • A free shuttle bus for passengers runs between the South terminal complex (Terminals D, E, F and the Aeroexpress station) and Terminals B and C.
  • Services: shops, bars and restaurants, pharmacy, post office, and free Internet access (Wi-Fi) available in the airport.
  • Telephone:
    • +7 495 578 65 65
    • +7 925 100 65 65
    • +7 495 956 46 66
  • Website: http://www.svo.aero/en/

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GETTING AROUND Moscow

With an underground railway system consisting of 12 lines, 197 stations and a total route length of 329 kilometres (204 miles), a very large number of bus lines criss-crossing the capital, plus a convenient and inexpensive tram network, public transport is by far the best way to get around Moscow.

By rail

Inaugurated in 1935, the Moscow Metro was one of the USSR's most ambitious architectural projects. Apart from its mere practicality, the opulent world underneath the city streets is worth discovering for its beauty and historical interest. When planning a trip on the Metro, make sure you check your route carefully because some stations are a good distance apart. Metro trains run from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. every day. Around 7 million passengers use the system every day, making the Moscow Metro the busiest in Europe and the fifth busiest in the world in 2014. All station names on signs are written in Cyrillic. Before leaving home, make sure you take with you a metro map showing stations names in both Cyrillic and Latin characters. You can purchase your tickets at the counters in Metro stations. Tickets may be purchased individually for RUB 50 or in books of 20 tickets for RUB 650, respectively. Passes are also available, in smart-card format, offering an unlimited number of rides for 1 day (RUB 210), 3 days (RUB 400) or 7 days (RUB 800). Note that when changing lines within the system, there are sometimes long distances to cover on foot.

By bus and trolley

Ideally complementing the Metro, Moscow's buses and trolleys allow you to reach points between its stations. All of Moscow's main thoroughfares are served by bus lines. Buy your ticket at a bus stop (the least expensive way) or directly from the driver.

By car

Due to the language barrier, but also the limited parking spaces available, getting around Moscow by car is not recommended.

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Visitor information

Upon your arrival in Moscow, you can get in touch with local tourism professionals for further information and to help organize your stay.

Moscow City Tourist Information Office

Offers practical information and useful recommendations (accommodation, restaurants, public transport, festivals, cultural events, etc.).

  • Address: Ulitsa II'inka 4 Gostiny Dvor Moscou

Russia travel guide

The English-language website maintained by the Russian National Tourist Office provides a wealth of information for visitors to Moscow.

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Medical information

See your doctor before you travel. In order to obtain your visa to travel to Russia, you will need to take out insurance covering both medical expenses and medical evacuation or repatriation. If you take regular medication, make sure you have a sufficient supply for your trip, to avoid any risks relating to counterfeit prescription drugs. Moscow counts several hospitals and medical institutions, as well as quality medical practitioners and health specialists.

Vaccinations

There are no vaccination requirements for visitors to Russia.

The following vaccines are recommended for travel to Russia:

  • booster doses for protection against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and polio, plus vaccines against typhoid fever, hepatitis A and B, influenza, meningitis and rabies (depending on the length of your stay and hygiene conditions)

For more information, contact Air France's international vaccination centre:

Water

It is recommended to drink bottled water.

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Administrative formalities

Foreign nationals are required to be in possession of a visa in order to enter and stay in Russia.

For further information, visit the website of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: www.russianconsulate.info/visa_requirements

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Useful addresses

To enjoy peace of mind during your stay in Moscow, visit the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country.

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Essential phrases

Here are a few basic Russian phrases that will make your stay in Moscow a little easier:

Hello / How do you do?: Zdrastvooytyeh

Good morning: Dobra-yeh ootra

Good morning: Dobra-yeh ootra

Good day / Good afternoon: Dobri dyen

Good evening: Dobri vyechyer

Goodbye: Da sdveedanya

Yes: Da

No: Nyet

No, thank you: Nyet, spaseeba

Thank you very much: Bolsho-yeh spaseeba

I don't understand: Ya nyeh paneema-yoo.

Could you repeat that?: Paftareetyeh, pajalsta.

Please: Pajalasta

What time is it: Katori chas?

Excuse me: Eezveeneetyeh (to get past, to say sorry) / Prasteetyeh! (to get attention) / Eezveeneetyeh, pajalsta (to ask someone a question).

Airport: A-eraport

Train station: Vokzal

Taxi: Taksi

Hotel: Otel

Hospital: Bahlneetsa

Bank: Bank

Telephone: Telefon

I'm (…): Ya (…).

I'm looking for (…): Ya ishtoo (…).

How much is it?: Skolka eta sto-eet?

Do you have (…)?: Oo vas yest (…)?

Where can I find (…)?: Gde mozhna naytee (…)?

Where can I buy (…)?: Gde mozhna kupit (…)?

I'd like (…): Ya biy haytel(a) (…).

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Good to know

00 7
+ phone number
0 : 00
of time difference with
Moscow

Banks

Usually open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Government offices

Usually open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
220 V / 50 Hz

Tipping?
In Moscow, leaving a tip (called na chaï, literally “for tea”) is highly recommended, but not required. In Moscow's restaurants and bars, the standard for tipping is about 10%, but check the bill first to make sure a service charge has not already been added.