Modern Moscow offers the tourist plenty to see.
Flights from Finland
Helsinki-Vantaa has good flight connections to Moscow, as Finnair operates daily to the city. Aeroflot also offers plenty of flights from Helsinki to Sheremetyevo International Airport.
Flight time is about an hour and 45 minutes. There are plenty of flights available, and direct return flights cost around € 150 at the cheapest.
From Sheremetyevo there is a train connection to the Moscow station in the center of Moscow by Aeroexpress train. Trains run from midnight to twelve. The journey takes about 35 minutes.
To Moscow by train
The Tolstoy night train, which runs daily from Helsinki, provides a direct train connection to Moscow. Tickets are sold by VR, and a trip in a four-person cabin costs about one hundred euros one way. You will reach Moscow immediately in the morning.
Tolstoy arrives in Moscow at Leningrad Station, located on the so-called Three-Station Square. The same square has a total of three stations: Yaroslavl Local Train Station, Kazan Railway Station and Leningrad Station.
Due to the adjacent location of the three stations on the return journey, care should be taken to ensure that you are in the correct station.
Accommodation and hotels
Moscow is a huge city where getting around takes a lot of time. You should therefore look for accommodation as close as possible to the Red Square or a little further in the immediate vicinity of the metro stations.
The highest quality hotels are located near the Red Square, for example on Tverskaya Street, which also offers much cheaper accommodation.
Moscow’s numerous and modern hostels, which are often centrally located, offer a good accommodation option, especially for budget travelers.
So you can find very luxurious and budget accommodation in Moscow, but there is a slight shortage of good-value-for-money places in the city, as in the rest of Russia.
In particular, it is worth noting that upper-tier hotels for business people often lower their prices clearly on weekends. Weekend travelers can get a room at a good price from these places.
Traffic is congested
It is possible to walk on foot between the main attractions of the very center of Moscow, but otherwise the use of public transport in the city is necessary due to the long distances.
Traffic in Moscow is heavy and congested. Due to the number of cars and wide streets, crossing roads can be difficult and dangerous. However, there are plenty of underpasses in the center that are always worth looking for.
Powerful and easy subway
Moscow’s most practical and fastest means of transportation for folding journeys of all lengths is the metro. The network is comprehensive and metro tickets are relatively inexpensive.
There are no time tickets for the Moscow metro, but one-time or serial cards.
To avoid long ticket queues, you should immediately buy a five- or ten-trip serial card, for example. There are no flag zones, and one stamp can cover a long distance.
The use of the metro system is somewhat complicated by the fact that the signs are usually marked only in the Cyrillic alphabet. You should be prepared for this.
The metro serves as the main mode of travel throughout the city. Other means of transport, such as buses and trams, are mainly responsible for supporting the metro network as feeder traffic. There are only a few places in Moscow that cannot be reached by a combination of walking and metro travel.
At night by taxi
Due to congestion, traveling by taxi or bus in Moscow can only be recommended in the face of compulsion. Traveling during the day can be frustrating due to congestion.
Getting around by taxi is a good option at night, when the metro, which runs until one o’clock, no longer runs.
Official taxis are tolerably priced, but prices usually go up overnight. You can ask your hotel for help with taxi use. The most important principle is that the price is agreed with the driver in advance.
As in Soviet times, there are still some so-called folk taxis in Moscow. Any car can take passengers and transport them for a fee anywhere. However, for tourists, and especially those without language skills, the use of folk taxis is difficult and not recommended. Always agree on the price in advance and never get in a car with people other than the driver.
Visa and registration
A traveler to Moscow always needs a visa.
For package tours, the tour operator takes care of obtaining a visa.
It is also easiest for a self-employed traveler to leave a visa to travel agents, as travel agents handle the invitation required to obtain a visa. In 2011, the price of a one-time visa purchased from a travel agency is approximately 70 euros.
If you stay in the same destination in Russia for more than 72 hours, you must register by law. Accommodation establishments handle registration automatically, but those staying with private individuals may have to register themselves. In this case, it is a good idea to contact the Finnish consulate and ask for instructions on how to complete the registration.