My trip to Moscow was not long, because I can say from experience: large cities stress me and let the desire for “away” arise quickly in me. Based on this experience, I had already booked an onward journey to Sochi for the next day before landing in Moscow. In the end I have to admit that I was a little sad about it. Moscow surprised me positively. Maybe because I expected the worst?
Russians are friendlier than you think
Before my arrival I heard through many mouths that Russian people seem very unfriendly, very unofficial, intent on money. I cannot confirm these experiences. After my landing I first bought a Russian Sim card. The purchase could not have been easier. Directly in the airport there are many different stands, which activate the Sim directly. The price is clearly below German standards. I paid 600 rubles for my tariff of 17 GB and I have to say that I didn’t do any price comparison, but went to the first best stand.
How to go from the Airport to the city center of Moskow
Equipped with internet on my mobile phone, I directly searched for a bus to the metro to get to my sleeping place at a couchsurfer. Here I can note that there are several options to get to the Metro. The most expensive variant is by far a train, the Aeroexpress (I think costs are about 500 rubles), whereas a taxi costs 100 rubles and the bus (number 911) 55 rubles. The people I asked for help were all very friendly, even if they didn’t speak English. You drive to the final stop of the 911 bus and then change to the metro. Everything becomes self-explanatory here, since the metro network in Moscow is, in my opinion, very well structured and clearly arranged. Even if one cannot read the Cyrillic alphabet, there is always the translation into the Latin alphabet directly under the names. In addition, all announcements are also made in English and so loud that you don’t have to make an effort to understand them. I was impressed by the immense length and height of Russian escalators up and down the metro. Immense!
I also assumed very stressful conditions in the metro. Of course many people seemed to be rushed, but there were no crowds in the metros, even when I moved directly into the city center, the crowd was very pleasant. With the Russian Metro App Yandex, navigation becomes child’s play. The price for a day ticket is about three euros.
Moscow is very impressive
Actually, I am not particularly interested in the architecture and history of cities, but the impressive and at the same time elegant buildings around the red square impressed me. I actually considered to voluntarily book a tourist sightseeing tour. But this did not happen for me, because my hunger drove me to a small restaurant. Here I felt so comfortable that time flew by.
Eventhough many people said I shouldn’t use couchsurfing in Russia my experience was really good
My first couchsurfing experience in Russia can also only be described as thoroughly positive. Anton sent me all the important information in advance so that I could find his apartment without any problems. We spent a nice evening where he showed me many of his current work projects (he builds sculptures out of clay). We had very interesting conversations (admittedly in English…my Russian training followed later) and ate together. He has cosmopolitan views, travels a lot through different countries and is a very considerate person. As a farewell he even gave me two self-designed postcards with a personal dedication. Two of my friends will certainly be very happy about these soon 😊.
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