Moscow (Russian: Москва) is the 869
year-old capital of Russia. A truly iconic, global city, Moscow has
played a central role in the development of Russia and the world.
For many, the sight of the Kremlin complex in the centre of the city
is still loaded with symbolism and history. Moscow was the capital
of the former Soviet Union and signs of its previous life are very
visible even now. Yet, there's more to Russia and its capital than
just memories of the USSR. Architectural gems from the time of the
Russian Empire are still dotted throughout Moscow, whilst signs of
modern Tsars (or at least people with similar levels of wealth)
Moscow is a living museum to a millennium of political, religious and cultural history. Moscow can be an overwhelming experience for visitors - there's just so much to see in this vast and vibrant city, from the truly sublime to the ever-so-slightly ridiculous.
The Metro is open from 5:30AM-1:00AM. Station entrances are closed at 1:00AM, and at this time the last trains depart from all of the termini stations. After 1:00AM, many locals will enter the train station using the exits, which are still open. Service on the ring line runs until 1:30AM, although entrances are closed at 1:00AM. The down escalators are also shut off at 1:00AM.
There is signage in the Metro stations in English and the Latin alphabet, but these signs are not everywhere. Each train carriage has a map in Latin script and there is one near the entrance to each platform. Note the direction of the train before you alight. It is worth printing or saving to your phone the most up-to-date map of the metro system in both Cyrillic and Latin letters to take with you.
Note that 2 or 3 stations may be connected as transfer points but will each have a different name. There are 2 stations called Smolenskaya and 2 stations called Arbatskaya, but the station pairs are not connected to each other despite having the same name.
By bus and trolleybus
Every large street in the city is served by at least one bus and one trolleybus route, which necessitate an abundance of trolley wires in the city. Most Moscow buses and trolleybuses operate 05:30AM-01:00AM; however, there are a few routes that operate during the night.
Buses and trolleybuses never seem to follow their schedules, mostly due to traffic jams and delays, but they are frequent until the late evening.
A trolleybus route map is available online. A useful mobile app called Yandex Transport helps you locate a nearest bus, trolleybus or tram on the line. The red tickets for the metro can be used on the buses and trolleys too.
There are several tram routes, although trams are not common in the city centre. A map and a schedule of the tram routes are available online.
Need to Know
You will need the following for all visas:
1. Passport Valid for at least six months beyond your return date.
2. Photos One or two passport-sized photos.
3. Completed application form Allow some time for this: it's a doozy.
4. Handling fee Usually in the form of a money order; amount varies.
5. Visa-support letter Provided by hotel, travel agent or online service.
To obtain a visa, everyone needs an invitation, also known as 'visa support'. Hotels and hostels will usually issue anyone staying with them an invitation voucher free or for a small fee (typically around €20 to €40). If you are not staying in a hotel or hostel, you will need to buy an invitation – this can be done through most travel agents or via specialist visa agencies. Prices may vary depending on how quickly you need your invitation.
Invitation voucher in hand, you can then apply for a visa. Wherever in the world you are applying you can start by entering details in the online form of the Consular Department of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (https://visa.kdmid.ru/PetitionChoice.aspx)
Take care in answering the questions accurately on this form, including listing all the countries you have visited in the last 10 years and the dates of the visits – stamps in your passport will be checked against this information and if there are anomalies you will likely have to restart the process. Keep a note of the unique identity number provided for your submitted form – if you have to make changes later, you will need this to access it without having to fill the form in from scratch again.