- The easiest and the fastest way to move around Moscow during the rush hour is the Moscow metro. 14 lines connect all the parts of the City.
- Working hours: from 5:30 AM till 1:00 AM.
- One way ticket price is 55 rubles (~ 0,8 euros)
- No travel zones or other internal restrictions. A ticket is valid for all the stations in any direction.
- You can buy tickets at ticket counters or at self-service terminals.
- Free Wi-Fi is avalable in all the Moscow metro cabs.
The Moscow metro is a key part of the city’s public transport system. Today it has 215 stations on 14 lines (11 radial lines and a circular one) connecting all districts of Moscow. On average, the metro transports 7 million people a day, but during peak days the passenger traffic may reach 9-10 million.
One characteristic feature of the Moscow subway system is that most of its lines intersect only in the middle area of the map, which extends travel time from one part of the city to another and overloads the central stations. The most important line of all is Koltsevaya (‘circular’, coloured brown on the map). Running roughly along the radius of Moscow’s Garden Ring, it encircles the central part of the city and provides transfers to and from all radial lines. Most railway stations, including all three stations that service high-speed Aeroexpress trains (Kievsky, Paveletsky and Belorussky) are located near the stations of Koltsevaya line.
Buying tickets in Moscow metro
Each station along with ticket counters has electronic kiosks with English-language interface selling tickets for 1 or 2 rides. The kiosks are really easy to use.
If you plan to travel by metro a lot, you can purchase a ticket for 5 or more rides or an unlimited pass for 1 day or longer, which would make each ride significantly cheaper. To do this, learn how to say the number of rides in Russian or write it down on a paper and show at a ticket counter.
All the tickets are valid for metro, busses, trolleybusses and trams throught the territory of Moscow.
To find the most optimal way of using public transport, visit transport.mos.ru and use the Fare calculator.
Working hours of Moscow metro
The Moscow subway stations are open for entry from 5:30 am to 1:00 am next day. At many stations with two or more exits some of them may be closed early in the morning or late in the evening. Transfers between stations close at 1:30. The average interval between trains is 2-3 minutes ranging from 1 min (during rush hour on priority lines) to 7-8 mins (late at night on secondary routes).
Station entrances are protected with metal detectors; there are police officers on duty at each station. If you have some oversized baggage, be prepared for a closer inspection.
NAVIGATION IN MOSCOW METRO
Travelling in the Moscow metro is quite comfortable, except some of its central stations get crowded during peak hours (those on the circular line and within its limits that provide transfers to other lines). Navigation without the knowledge of Russian has its own peculiarities
- Metro maps are available at each station and inside each train car, and generally have a word for word translation into English.
- Floor signs indicating the direction of transfers and exits are duplicated in English.
- Hanging sings showing the exits are, instead, in English and Russian languages. Many stations has two or more exits, you need read those signs carefully.
- Hanging and wall signs indicating where the trains on each side of the platform are bound for are also translated into Russian.
- A next stop voice announcement in Russian and English is made twice: first upon leaving the previous station, and once again – just before arriving.
Hence our tips for navigating
- Remember the colour and the number of the line that leads to your desired station. All hanging transfer signs show line colours and numbers. Moscow residents normally use line colors instead of their long official names;
- Look for the floor signs to find directions in English. This will help you find your way to a different line or locate an exit to the surface;
- Kievskaya, Belorusskaya and Paveletskaya metro stations have floor tiles with graphic train symbols pointing towards exits to the respective railway stations. Each of the three railway stations has a high-speed Aeroexpress train service to one of Moscow’s international airports;
- Plan your route and write down the Cyrillic names of objects (stations, streets, museums) you want to see. This will help you visually sort out Russian signs when choosing the right exit and the right path;
- Carry a metro map in English and Russian languages (not just in English!). This will help you with the transliteration of various names. Download an app to your smartphone;
- Some trains have electronic displays that are placed over the car doors and make visual announcements of the next station in English. But, surprisingly, what they show can be misleading;
- Five metro stations near the Kremlin and transfer corridors between them are posted with detailed maps of the district showing top sights and Moscow attractions, and exits that lead to them. You may find these maps quite useful.
Other important things for Moscow Metro passengers
- Free Wi-Fi Internet is available in metro cars. To connect your device to the wireless network you’ll be requested to enter your phone number (from any country) and then the code sent to your phone in a text message. The Wi-Fi connection is not available out on the platforms.
- Watch out for pickpockets!
- Stopping locations of car doors are, with rare exceptions, not marked on platforms. Passengers first go out, then in.
- Average estimated ride duration: 3 minutes per station plus 5 minutes per each change of line.
- Making a transfer involves walking up and down the stairs. Therefore, try to avoid using the metro if your bags are too heavy.
- All stations of the Moscow metro are equipped with emergency call points (see below). They have a panic button, as well as a metro map with English translation.
- The busiest hours for the Moscow metro are from 8:00 to 9:30 and from 17:30 to 19:00. During these periods, travelling through central stations may give you a rough time. Firstly, you’d be moving slowly, pressed hard by the crowd from all sides, with each change of line taking up to 5-10 minutes; secondly, it may be unsafe (pickpockets here are quite active); thirdly, in heavy traffic you may be unable to see English-language floor signs, which will make it more difficult for you to navigate your way around.
- Many metro station lobbies have cash machines (ATMs).
Official mobile app of the Moscow Metro
An official Moscow Metro mobile appliation can help you to build your route, plan a journey time and navigate easier in Metro. Moreover it informs you about all the reparation works and other situations which can affect the trains circulation.
Moscow Metro Plan
By the link below you can download the latest Moscow Metro plan:
Download the Moscow Metro Plan
MOSCOW METRO AS AN ARCHITECTURAL LANDMARK
The first station of the Moscow metro was opened in 1935 when the country was run by Joseph Stalin. During the first decades of the metro construction, in the Soviet period, the Communist Party found it important to demonstrate its maximum technological and architectural potential both to Muscovites and to those visiting the capital, and to impress visitors of the Moscow metro by giving each station a unique appearance and dedicating it to some memorable event or a prominent figure. Because of this, the Moscow metro, especially its central stations, is among the world’s unique monuments of architecture with 44 stations included in the cultural heritage list.
The Moscow metro is an absolute must-see for any tourist coming to Moscow.