Some days ago I told about how the Moscow subway is beautiful (want a guided tour? Click here!) and how wonderful it is to have free internet access. But now I realise that I didn’t explain you how to actually take the subway! So here it is… and enjoy the ride (from 5.30 am to 1.30 am)!
On the contrary to many countries, taking the subway in Moscow and St Petersburg is a very convenient and comfortable way to travel across the city. Indeed the cities are so big that taking the subway is often a necessity. However, as for everything in Russia, distances between two stations can be huge… so stay awake and keep in mind that walking 15 minutes to get to the nearest station is absolutely normal in the city center.
First you need to know where you are, where is the nearest station and where you go. To that end, you really (but like really really) download the official apps. Up to you to choose between Yandex Metro and Yandex transport (my favorite) but download one of them! Thanks to them you’ll always find your way and avoid unnecessary detours.
Then you need to enter the metro (and pay of course). Since Russia is hosting major international events, some employees of the subway speak a bit of english. So two options for you to buy tickets: the gentle and funny woman at her desk, or the machine (they “speak” perfect english). Being a bit afraid of people (and even more of Russian grannies) and never sure of my perfect Russian (real reason is, I hate people), I always go to the machine. But up to you!
At this point you have three options:
- Single ticket (Единый): it costs 55 RUB (0.9 USD) and it is available for only one entry. Once you entered, you can stay the time you want and go where ever you want.
- Two-rides ticket (Единый): it works the same as the first one except that you can enter the subway twice. It costs 110 RUB (1.8 USD).
- Troika card (Тройка): the troika card is a transportation card on which you can put how much money as you want. It’s the most convenient way to use public transports (it works for both the subway and buses!) if you use them more than occasionally. There is no date of availability and you only have to pop it up when you don’t have anymore money. Moreover by using the Troika you save money as using public transports only costs 36 RUB (0.6 USD)!
Side note: the troika card costs 50 RUB (0.8 USD), and can only be bought at a counter (sorry)
So now that you’re in the subway, you must act as Russians. Please do. For you and also for me (yes I hate people that misbehave in the subway). So here are some basic rules:
- Walk fast, please. And if you want to admire the ornaments, stop on a side.
- In escalators, stay on the right. Or go on the left only if you’re not stopping.
- Let your seat to elders, children, bearing women, or (if you’re man) to women
- Stay close to the door only if you go out at the next stop.
- The station before your stop, go closer to the exit door.
Thank you. And it will prevent you from any Russian grannies assault (beware, they’re quite intolerant and violent).
To finish this very long post, I would advise you to always check your directions and especially when you want to go out of the subway. Choose the wrong exit and you’ll find yourself about 1km away from where you wanted to be! To help you, many indications have recently been translated in english… or at least in the Latin alphabet. In addition, the voice in the wagon indicating stops and directions are different according to where you go! If you go towards the center you’ll hear a male voice, on the contrary if you leave the center, it will be a female voice.
After reading this it can seems scary but trust me it isn’t. Russian transports and especially subways are very comfortable, clean, safe, fast and you almost never wait! So let’s go!