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FESTIVALS, HOLIDAYS AND OTHER ANNUAL EVENTS IN Moscow

There are a number of festivals, holidays and other events celebrated in Moscow each year.
The main ones are listed below.

January 1 : New Year's Day (national holiday)

January 7 : Russian Orthodox Christmas (national holiday)

The Russian Orthodox Church follows the Julian calendar and thus celebrates Christmas thirteen days after it is celebrated by most Christians in the rest of the world.

February 23 : Defender of the Fatherland Day (national holiday)

Previously commemorated the anniversary of the creation of the Red Army in 1918. Today, it is celebrated as the Russian equivalent of Father's Day, on which women and girls give presents to their male relatives of any age, whether they have served in the Russian armed forces or not.

March 8 : International Women's Day (national holiday)

Celebrated worldwide, this holiday honours all women. In Russia, men and boys give flowers, chocolate and small presents to their wives, mothers, daughters, sisters, girlfriends and female colleagues. Throngs of flower sellers and other vendors line the sidewalks in Moscow on this day. Men and boys jostle each other to stake their claim, as none will dare face the girls and women in their lives without a gift.

Around May 1 : Labour Day/ Spring Festival (national holiday)

Celebrations of May Day lost their political meaning in Russia after 1991. Occasionally, political parties and labour unions have demonstrations on this day, but most Russians use this holiday for gardening or spending time with their families. If May 1 falls on a weekend, the public holiday is usually moved to the following Monday.

May 9 : Victory Day (national holiday)

For Russians, this is the day the Great Patriotic War against Nazi Germany ended in 1945. Big military parades are held and a wreath is laid on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

June 12 : Russia Day (national holiday)

Marks the day the Russian Federation proclaimed its sovereignty in 1990. The main parade is held on Red Square in Moscow.

December 25 : Christmas (celebrated nationwide)

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CLIMATE AND WEATHER IN Moscow

Moscow has a humid continental climate and experiences a wide range of temperatures. Winters are very cold, while summers are hot and humid. Temperatures may rise above 30°C (86°F) in the summer, whereas in winter, the mercury often drops below −20°C (−4°F), with a record low of −42.2°C (−44°F)! Moscow is ensconced under a blanket of snow for a good third of the year. And in the thick of winter, this snow cover can remain as deep as 75 cm (30 in.) for weeks on end.

Month Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Average Rains (MM) Best Time to Travel
January -9/16 -4/25 46/1.8 Not the best period to go
February -10/14 -4/25 36/1.4 Not the best period to go
March -4/25 3/37 33/1.3 Not the best period to go
April 2/36 11/52 38/1.5 Not the best period to go
May 8/46 19/66 52/2.0 Good period to go Good period to go
June 12/54 22/72 84/3.3 Good period to go Good period to go
July 14/57 25/77 90/3.5 Good period to go Good period to go
August 12/54 22/72 80/3.1 Good period to go Good period to go
September 7/45 16/61 67/2.6 Good period to go Good period to go
October 3/37 9/48 66/2.6 Not the best period to go
November -3/27 1/34 60/2.4 Not the best period to go
December -8/18 -3/27 53/2.1 Not the best period to go
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Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport

Sheremetyevo, Moscow's international airport, is located about 30 kilometres (19 miles) north-west of the city centre. More than 25 million passengers are served by this airport every year, making it the second busiest in the country after Moscow Domodedovo Airport.

  • Five terminals
    • Terminal B
    • Terminal C
    • Terminal D
    • Terminal E (Air France)
    • Terminal F

Getting from the airport to Moscow and back
  • By car
    • There are 14 parking garages or lots adjacent to the various terminals.
    • Hertz has a car rental counter in the arrivals hall of Terminal F open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., 7 days a week.
  • By taxis
    • You may order a taxi from the passenger service managers (who wear yellow waistcoats) in each terminal, online at www.transparking.ru, or by telephone at +7 964 588 88 80.
    • A fixed-fare taxi ride to central Moscow costs RUB 1,800 from Terminal B (AutoSher), Terminal F (CAB-24 and AutoTerm) and Terminal C (TaxiSher).
    • Avoid unofficial taxis offering supposed discount fares to the city centre!
  • By bus
    • To Rechnoy Vokzalmetro station (1 hour)
      Bus 851 and 851 Express (single tickets are RUB 30), bus 949 (single tickets are RUB 75).
    • ToPlanernayametro station (1 hour) Bus 817 (single tickets are RUB 30) and bus 948 (single tickets are RUB 75).
  • By rail
    • Aeroexpress trains connect the airport with Belorussky train station. A standard adult ticket costs RUB 470, and the same ticket plus a metro transfer costs RUB 530. Trains run every 20 to 30 minutes from 5:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.
  • Between terminals
    • There are pedestrian walkways connecting Terminals D, E and F.
    • A free shuttle bus for passengers runs between the South terminal complex (Terminals D, E, F and the Aeroexpress station) and Terminals B and C.
  • Services : shops, bars and restaurants, pharmacy, post office, and free Internet access (Wi-Fi) available in the airport.
  • Telephone :
    • +7 495 578 65 65
    • +7 925 100 65 65
    • +7 495 956 46 66
  • Website : http://www.svo.aero/en/

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GETTING AROUND Moscow

With an underground railway system consisting of 12 lines, 197 stations and a total route length of 329 kilometres (204 miles), a very large number of bus lines criss-crossing the capital, plus a convenient and inexpensive tram network, public transport is by far the best way to get around Moscow.

By rail

Inaugurated in 1935, the Moscow Metro was one of the USSR's most ambitious architectural projects. Apart from its mere practicality, the opulent world underneath the city streets is worth discovering for its beauty and historical interest. When planning a trip on the Metro, make sure you check your route carefully because some stations are a good distance apart. Metro trains run from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. every day. Around 8 million passengers use the system every day, making the Moscow Metro the busiest in Europe and the fifth busiest in the world in 2014. All station names on signs are written in Cyrillic. Before leaving home, make sure you take with you a metro map showing stations names in both Cyrillic and Latin characters. You can purchase your tickets at the counters in Metro stations.

Tickets may be purchased individually for RUB 50 or in books of 5, 11 or 20 tickets for RUB 180, RUB 360 or RUB 580, respectively. Passes are also available, in smart-card format, offering an unlimited number of rides for 1 day (RUB 210), 3 days (RUB 400) or 7 days (RUB 800). Note that when changing lines within the system, there are sometimes long distances to cover on foot.

By bus and trolley

Ideally complementing the Metro, Moscow's buses and trolleys allow you to reach points between its stations. All of Moscow's main thoroughfares are served by bus lines. Buy your ticket at a bus stop (the least expensive way) or directly from the driver.

By car

Due to the language barrier, but also the limited parking spaces available, getting around Moscow by car is not recommended.

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Visitor information

Upon your arrival in Moscow, you can get in touch with local tourism professionals for further information and to help organize your stay.

Moscow City Tourist Information Office

Upon your arrival in Moscow, you can get in touch with local tourism professionals for further information and to help organize your stay.

  • Address : Ulitsa II'inka 4 Gostiny Dvor Moscou

Further information available online for visitors to Russia

The English-language website maintained by the Russian National Tourist Office, a tour operator with offices in London and Edinburgh, and representative offices in Moscow, Saint Petersburg and Yekaterinburg, provides a wealth of information for visitors to Moscow.

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Currency and Exchange Rates

The currency used in Russia is the russian ruble (P).

1 € = 70 р

1 р = 0,01 €

The above exchange rate is given for information because is variable.

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Medical information

See your doctor before you travel. If you take regular medication, make sure you have a sufficient supply for your trip, to avoid any risks relating to counterfeit prescription drugs.

Mandatory health insurance

In order to obtain your visa for travel to Russia, you will need to take out insurance covering both medical expenses and medical evacuation or repatriation.

Vaccinations

There are no vaccination requirements for visitors to Russia.

The following vaccines are recommended for travel to Russia:

  • booster doses for protection against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and polio, plus vaccines against typhoid fever, hepatitis A and B, influenza, meningitis and rabies (depending on the length of your stay and hygiene conditions)

For more information, contact Air France's international vaccination centre:

Water

Avoid drinking unpurified tap water. It is best to drink bottled water during your visit and even to use it for brushing your teeth.

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Administrative formalities

As a French citizen, you need a visa to enter Russia. Depending on your place of residence, you should apply for your visa at the Russian Embassy in Paris or at the Russian Consulates General in Strasbourg or Marseille. In order to leave Russia, your visa must still be valid.

It is important to note that should you remain in the country beyond the term of your visa, you will not be able to leave until your situation has been resolved, by obtaining a visa extension or by paying a fine.

To enjoy peace of mind during your stay in Moscow and Russia, be sure to check with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in your home country for the latest travel information and recommendations. Comprehensive information that may be helpful for international visitors is also provided on the Russia page of the U.S. State Department’s travel Website: view information for travellers to Russia

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Essential phrases

Here are a few basic Russian phrases that will make your stay in Moscow a little easier:

Hello / How do you do?: Zdrastvooytyeh

Good morning: Dobra-yeh ootra

Good morning: Dobra-yeh ootra

Good day / Good afternoon: Dobri dyen

Good evening: Dobri vyechyer

Goodbye: Da sdveedanya

Yes: Da

No: Nyet

No, thank you: Nyet, spaseeba

Thank you very much: Bolsho-yeh spaseeba

I don't understand: Ya nyeh paneema-yoo.

Could you repeat that?: Paftareetyeh, pajalsta.

Please: Pajalasta

What time is it: Katori chas?

Excuse me: Eezveeneetyeh (to get past, to say sorry) / Prasteetyeh! (to get attention) / Eezveeneetyeh, pajalsta (to ask someone a question).

Airport: A-eraport

Train station: Vokzal

Taxi: Taksi

Hotel: Otel

Hospital: Bahlneetsa

Bank: Bank

Telephone: Telefon

I'm (…): Ya (…).

I'm looking for (…): Ya ishtoo (…).

How much is it: Skolka eta sto-eet?

Do you have (…): Oo vas yest (…)?

Where can I find (…):  Gde mozhna naytee (…)?

Where can I buy (…): Gde mozhna kupit (…)?

I'd like (…): Ya biy haytel(a) (…).

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Good to know

00 7
+ calls to Moscow (calls to Moscow)
2 : 00
of time difference with
Amsterdam

Banks

Usually open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Government offices

Usually open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
220 V / 50 Hz

And what about tipping?
In Moscow, leaving a tip (called na chaï, literally “for tea”) is highly recommended, but not required. In Moscow's restaurants and bars, the standard for tipping is about 10 percent, but check the bill first to make sure a service charge has not already been added.