Getting Around - Internal Travel
The internal network spreads out from Moscow’s
4 airports. Aeroflot runs services from
Moscow to most of the major cities. All-inclusive tours are available
from the specialist tour operators.
In the 1990s, Aeroflot was broken up into numerous small airlines
which led to a catalogue of air disasters earning it a reputation
for poor safety. Thankfully, its safety record has improved in the
Vnukovo Airport (VKO)is 29.5km southwest of
Moscow. Coaches go to the airport from the Central Air Terminal
(travel time – 1 hour 15 minutes). Outgoing duty free facilities
are available at the airport. Taxis are available to the city.
Domodedovo (DME) is 48km southeast of Moscow.
A coach goes from the Central Air Terminal to the airport (travel
time – 1 hour 20 minutes).
(BKA)is the smallest of Moscow’s airports, and is
35km from the city. Coaches go to the airport from Central Air Terminal.
Approximate flight times
From Moscow to:
Bratsk is 6 hours 45 minutes
Donetsk is 1 hour 30 minutes
Irkutsk is 7 hours
Khabarovsk is 7 hours 30 minutes
Kharkov is 1 hour 15 minutes
St Petersburg is 1 hour 30 minutes
Volgograd is 1 hour 50 minutes
Yalta is 2 hours 15 minutes
Owing to the geographical position, the Russian Federation
has ports on its Pacific and Baltic
shores and in the south on the Black Sea.
The main eastern ports are Magadan,
Vladivostok, Nakhodka and Petropavlovsk
and the most important western ports
are St Petersburg and Kaliningrad
on the Baltic. The only links to the Atlantic are
the ports of Archangelisk and Murmansk
on the Kola peninsula, which never freezes over.
harbours on the Black Sea are Sochi and
Novorossiysk. There are some plans to build an
extension to the St Petersburg harbour at Ust-Luga. Upgrading of
facilities at Vyborg and Kaliningrad is also intended. Sea cruises
on the Black Sea and the Baltic are quite popular.
Cruises and excursions are
available on the Amur, Don, Lena,
Irtysh, Ob, Volga
and Yenisey rivers. Many companies
offer cruises on board. The Volga towns, Moscow–St Petersburg
and the Golden Ring are popular routes.
The 87,079km of track are a very
important part of the infrastructure because
of the poor road system. The biggest and busiest
rail network in the world is predominantly
for freight traffic. Only a few long-distance routes are
open for travel by tourists, and reservations should be
made on all journeys. Children under 5 years of age travel free.
Children aged 5 to 9 pay half fare. Rail travellers are advised
to store valuables in the compartment under the bed or seat and
not leave the compartment unattended.
The Trans-Siberian Express, is perhaps one of the
most famous train in the world, and it is one of
the best ways of seeing the interior of the country.
It runs from Moscow to Pacific coast of Siberia and on to Japan.
There is daily service, but the steamer from Nakhodka
to Yokohama only sails approximately once
a week. The through journey from Moscow to Yokohama takes
about 10 days. It is world’s longest continuous train
journey, crossing 7 time zones and 9745km from
Europe to the Pacific, with 91 stops from Vladivostok to
Moscow. Bed linen and towels are provided in the ‘Soft Class’
(first-class) berths, and there is a toilet and washbasin at the
end of each of the carriage. Attendants serve tea from samovars
for a small charge and there is a restaurant car on every train
where meals can be purchased (however, no alcohol is available on
trains, so passengers are advised to bring their own if desired).
The Trans-Manchurian Express follows the exact
same route, before heading southeast into China and down to Beijing.
A slightly shorter but no less epic journey can be made on the Trans-Mongolian
Railway to Beijing. It runs from Moscow to Irkutsk (Siberia),
skirting Lake Baikal and then it enters Mongolia. The journey
to the Mongolian capital, Ulaan Baatar,
is outstanding for its dramatic scenery.
The journey ends in Beijing.
The European part of the Russian Federation depends alot
on its road network, which totals 552,000km throughout
the Federation. Normally, the few roads in Siberia
and further east are impassable during
the winter. It is a good idea to arrange motoring
holidays through reputable agencies. It is also advisable
to pre-plan the itinerary and the accommodation
requirements. On the majority of tourist routes, signposts
are also written in Latin alphabet.
can take their own car or hire a vehicle;
tariffs include the cost of insurance. Chauffeured cars
are also available in major cities.
Moscow to St Petersburg: 692km ; Moscow to Minsk: 690km ; Moscow
to Rostov-on-Don: 1198km ; Moscow to Odessa: 1347km.
Traffic drives on the right
of the road. Speed limits are 60kph (37mph) in built-up areas and
90kph (55mph) elsewhere. Hooting the horn is prhibited except when
to do so might prevent an accident. Motorists should avoid driving
at night. It is forbidden by law to carry unauthorised passengers
or pick up hitch-hikers. Driving under the influence (DUI)
of drugs or alcohol is forbidden. Every car must display
registration plates and stickers denoting the country of registration
and be fitted with seat belts, a fire extinguisher, a first-aid
kit and an emergency sign (triangle) or red light. In case of accident,
contact the nearest traffic inspection officer and make sure all
participants fill in written statements, to be witnessed by a militia
inspector. All the repairs will be at the foreign motorist’s
An International Driving Permit and a national
licence with authorised translations are required.
Visitors travelling in their own cars must also possess the following
documents all the time: passport and visa; itinerary card bearing
visitor’s name and citizenship, car registration number and
full details of itinerary presented upon entry to the Russian Federation
relating to the route to be taken and the date and place of stopovers;
form provided by Customs on arrival guaranteeing that the car will
be taken out of the Russian Federation on departure; petrol vouchers
purchased at the border; and insurance cover documents. A road
tax is payable upon entry to the country .Motor
insurance for travel within the Russian Federation should
be arranged before departure, or upon entry to the Russian
Federation at the offices of Ingosstrakh, the Russian Federation
foreign insurance agency. Contact the Embassy or specialist tour
operator for further details.
Long-distance coach services have recently
become open to foreigners. They are an excellent way of seeing the
country but patience is a necessity and getting lost is commonplace.
transport in the cities is comprehensive and inexpensive.
Many services are electric traction ( tramway, metro, trolleybus).
Stations on the Moscow and St Petersburg metros
are always elegant and often extravagant.
Entry to underground is by tokens, which are inserted into the ticket
barrier. Fares are standard for various forms of
transport. Taxis are available as well;
they can be hailed in the street, hired at a rank or booked by telephone.
It is much safer to use officially marked taxis, which should not
be shared with strangers.
The following chart gives estimated travel times (in hours and minutes)
from Moscow to other major towns and cities in the Russian Federation:
hours and 30 minutes
hours and 30 minutes
hours and 30 minutes