Getting from the airport to your hotel
Once you first arrive in Russia you will need to make your first journey from the airport to your hotel and this first experience inside Russia could set the tone for the duration of your stay. A few pieces of good advice will help ensure that you start on the right foot and avoid being overcharged or spending too long in traffic. Traffic in Moscow and St Petersburg can sometimes be pretty bad especially at peak-times. You can spend hours and hours en route to or from the airport.
If you arriving around the usual rush hour times (morning & afternoon commuter traffic) and are feeling adventurous enough to try public transport then it makes sense in Moscow to use the Aeroexpress service, especially if you do not have heavy luggage with you.
You can use Aeroexpress from all three airports in Moscow. From Sheremetyevo and Domodedovo you can get the train every 30 minutes and it takes only 45 minutes to the centre of the city. From Vnukovo - its every hour and takes 35 minutes. However, if you are not feeling adventurous or if you are laden with heavy bags then we would strongly recommend that you pre-book a transfer or taxi service with a well known and reputable company such as Hoppa.com.
When arriving at St.Peterburg you can get the bus to the nearest metro station (Moskovskaya) and it takes only 20 minutes. Again, if you prefer a transfer or taxi service then our recommendation is to pre-book with Hoppa.com.
There is a lot of useful information about airport services and travel options on the official websites here:
If you need any advice on the route and best choice you can always ask your visa agent who will be happy to help you with any information you may need.
Finding taxis throughout your stay in Russia
There are a lot of taxi/transfer companies in any Russian city so finding a taxi is usually quite easy but as with most big cities, there are dos and don't to avoid getting ripped off and remain safe. If you can speak even a little Russian (or willing to try you best) then it will often be well received. However if you can't speak any Russian and your trip is not a simple A to B then you will be best advised to find an English speaking taxi driver but how can you do this?
Big Russian cities such as Moscow and St Petersburg can offer you services with English-speaking drivers, but if you are visiting a small city or more remote region then this could be more challenging.
It often takes a little while for travellers to find their feet when visiting a new place, for this reason we would strongly recommend that you pre-book your transfer or taxi when first arriving in Russia, there are several well known companies that offer this service and in our opinion the best all round option is to book with Hoppa. You can also find more good advice and tips on tripadvisor.co.uk.
When seeking a taxi inside Russia, your first options should be:
- Ask a receptionist in your hotel. Most of the hotels have a few taxi companies they are working with to provide a service to their customers and would have vetted them before making recommendations to their guests.
- Search on the Internet. The Internet offers you a lot of options, but we would advise that you are specific in your search, for example 'English speaking taxi service in Moscow' and don't forget to read reviews about the listings too. Again we would recommend tripadvisor.co.uk for reviews from other travelers in your location.