Top 10 Moscow Travel Tips

Discussion in 'Europe' started by Kalboz, Dec 20, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. Kalboz
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    Kalboz Gold Member

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    Just sharing TravelSort's article from the Huffington Post:

    1. Apply for your Russian visa three months before your arrival date. You can't apply earlier than three months for it, but you also don't want to wait until the last minute due to processing times. For a step by step guide, see Three-Year Russian Visa Application Requirements and Tips
    2. Fly first class to Moscow on a Lufthansa or Singapore Airlines award ticket. Treat yourself to some luxury even before you get to Russia by flying Lufthansa New First Class to Moscow via Germany (67,500 United miles each way), or Singapore Airlines First Class from Houston to Moscow, using KrisFlyer miles.
    3. Take the Aeroexpress to and from the airport. There's really no reason to haggle with taxi drivers, since the Aeroexpress train takes even less time between the airport and Moscow city center, and you can connect to the Metro at Paveletskaya to get to wherever you need to go (just pack light).
    4. Where to Stay, Luxury: For modern luxury, stay at The Lotte Hotel Moscow. It's no wonder the hotel was named the best city hotel in Russia in the 2012 Conde Nast Traveller Readers' Choice Awards and has quickly become a favorite among both discerning business travelers and well-heeled Muscovites alike. The attention to detail and consistently high quality service at The Lotte is still a relative rarity in Moscow. And don't miss stellar French cuisine at Les Menus par Pierre Gagnaire, or a soothing Balinese massage at Mandara Spa.
    5. Where to Stay, Budget: While there are Moscow hostels and rented apartments, your best bet for an almost-free stay that is still conveniently located in the center is to use loyalty points. Hyatt, Marriott, InterContinental and Radisson all have hotels in Moscow, so by earning points either with hotel stays or by signing up for the best travel credit cards, you can enjoy some free nights in one of the most expensive cities in the world.
    6. Try Georgian Food: Georgian food and wine was beloved during the Soviet Union and continues to be popular in Moscow. Try hip local chain Café Khachapuri which specializes in different varieties of the namesake khachapuri, a traditional Georgian bread stuffed with melted Georgian sulguni cheese. There are plenty of other Georgian dishes on offer as well. The business lunch special on weekdays is also a good deal. Check out some other great things to eat in Moscow.
    7. Take in the View: The City Space Bar, on the top floor of the Swissotel Krasnye Holmy, is your best bet for incredible 360-degree views of Moscow while sipping elegant and innovative (albeit very pricey) cocktails and excellent service. In the summer, another great place is the terrace of the Sky Lounge, located atop the Russian Academy of Sciences. Here, cocktails aren't as innovative as the City Space Bar but the food menu is far more extensive. Reserve a table here for just before sunset. Another option is the O2 Lounge atop the Ritz-Carlton Moscow, with its lovely view of Red Square and the Kremlin.
    8. Go Underground: Chances are, unless you've experienced other Russian or former Soviet subway systems, you've never seen more beautiful stations. Don't miss Novoslobodskaya, Komsomolskaya, Mayakovskaya and Ploschad Revolutsii, to name a few, whether you visit on your own or as part of a Moscow Metro Tour. Just as impressive is the subway's efficiency -- you'll often wait less than a minute for the next train to come.
    9. Go to Church: You'll probably visit Red Square and the Kremlin, but don't forget to buy a cathedral pass so that you can visit Uspensky Sobor, the masterpiece of Italian architect Aristotele Fioravanti and the coronation site of Russian monarchs from 1547 to 1896. Take in the beautiful frescos and icons, but note that photography isn't allowed inside.
    10. Visit a Russian Versailles: Arkhangelskoe Estate takes a bit of getting to (take Metro Line 7 to Tushinskaya, then a 20-30 minute Number 151 mini-bus ride) but is well worth the trek on a beautiful summer or crisp autumn day. Take a picnic with you and enjoy walking around this Russian version of Versailles.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    1. applies for many people but the list of visa-waiver countries with Russia has grown, so don't assume you need a visa. Most South Americans do not, and many Asians do not.
    2. SQ is a good choices but there's EK, not to mention that SU is very, very good these days. LH is ridiculous; they have no FC to MOW and fly only narrowbodies with the disgusting pseudo business class that uses economy seats.
    3. Aeroexpress is the choice if you've no luggage but try schlepping your bags up and down the stairs. If you've bags forget the metro.
    4 and 5. Lots of opinions on hotels but the Lotte is not the best by anybody I know. There are some great choices. Expensive yes.
    6. Cannot stop at Georgian but still one needs to try it. Skip the chains. Your concierge will know the best ones near your hotel.
    7. If you're a revolving type both of these touristy locations work. Many tourists I know prefer the faux-but-charming Cafe Pushkin to the rooftop scene. To each his own; and to each his own bill too.
    8. Yes, yes, yes. Until you've been in the metro stations you've not been to Moscow. Allow time and wander among several of them.
    9. Yes, yes , yes again. There are cathedrals, monasteries and churches galore, many very well restored thanks to Moscow's former Mayors wife's construction company. Don't miss them.
    10. yes again.

    Not bad. I agreed with almost half of what they said. I'm perplexed about LH. Don't they know? Have they never checked an LH timetable?

    Moscow is not always the most expensive place to visit, and Saint Petersburg is far more interesting, but Moscow is where the business is.
     
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  3. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    You can hire a private driver for an entire day to take you to all the sites, usually less than $100.
    There are several Russian travel agencies in NYC that do this as well as offer visa services.
    Do not attempt to rent a car and drive unless are a Moscow native. I have never seen traffic and driving like that before. :eek:
     
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  4. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    I've never heard of car and driver so cheaply. Would you care to share information?
     
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  5. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    This was a couple years back. I believe this may be the place I used:

    Always Travel
    Phone:(212) 947-0505
     
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  6. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    Tnks. I don't know how much it costs my client; they are billed directly.
     
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  7. daninstl

    daninstl Gold Member

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    Nice tips, thanks. I wish I could find the same sorta list for Hong Kong.
     
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  8. Kalboz
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    Kalboz Gold Member

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  9. Slow_Mustang
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    Slow_Mustang Silver Member

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    Heading out to Moscow, St. Petersburg and some other places this month. Any recommendations for modestly priced restaurants, tour companies, etc. will be appreciated.
     
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  10. Slow_Mustang
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    Slow_Mustang Silver Member

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    Thanks for the post. I personally checked out the Cafe Khachapuri and their stuffed Khachapuri bread, Pelmeni and other dishes were freshly made and very good.

    Khachapuri bread
    [​IMG]

    Grilled lamb chops
    [​IMG]

    I also wanted to check out Lepyoshka at Bagrationovskaya Market, but was discouraged by the hotel concierge from going to that neighborhood.
     
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