The vast majority
of foreign travellers arrive in Moscow at Sheremetyevo Airport's Terminal 2.
Sheremetyevo was built for the 1980 Olympics, and for a city of 8
million-plus, it's tiny. The building has a reputation as a seedy place
prowled by even seedier taxi drivers. It's not quite that bad, but customs
can be an ordeal, smoking is ubiquitous and the taxi drivers are aggressive.
When you get off your plane at Sheremetyevo you
will be herded into a dingy basement to stand in the passport control line.
After your passport is stamped, you will collect your baggage and go through
customs. Passport control takes a minimum of 20 minutes for foreigners.
Customs ranges from no time to all day. (See the front and back of a customs
When you leave customs you will emerge in a
crowd of taxi drivers tripping over themselves trying to offer you a ride
into town. If you don't want to haggle, there's a taxi desk in the centre of
the arrivals hall, but of course, for a higher price. If you do try to
bargain and don't speak any Russian, count on paying upward of $35. Native
Russian speakers can get the price down to at least $15. The taxi ride to or
from the city center should run about a half an hour to 45 minutes,
depending on traffic.
There's no metro stop at the airport, but
there is a regular marshrutnoye taksi, a minibus that runs along a fixed
route for a fixed fare and allows passengers to get on or off wherever they
want, that will take you to Rechnoy Vokzal, the nearest metro station, for
50 cents. A slower bus service runs less frequently but is cheaper.
Most flights to destinations within Russia
and the former Soviet Union are served by Moscow's other four airports:
Sheremetyevo Terminal 1
Is located on the opposite site of the runway it shares with Sheremetevyo-2.
Vans and buses running from the Rechnoi Vokzal metro station to Sheremetyevo
Terminal 2 usually continue on to Terminal 1. Taxi and bus rides to
Sheremetyevo-1 are 5 to 10 minutes longer than to Sheremetyevo 2. Prices are
about the same.
Is connected to the center of Moscow by suburban trains that run to Kazansky
Station. It is the smallest of all the Moscow airports and only serves
domestic flights. At the airport you can pick up the train at a station
about 400 meters from the terminal. Leaving the city, trains headed to
Vinogradovo, Shifernaya or Golutvin usually stop at Bykovo. Taxis to the
center usually cost between $20 and $30
Vans run between domodedovo and the Domodedovskaya metro station. The ride
costs 50 cents and usually lasts about 30 minutes. Taxis to the center
usually run from $20 to $30. In addition, there is an express train that
leaves every two hours from Paveletsky Station on the circle line to
Domodedovo airport. A one-way ticket costs 26 rubles (about 90 cents) and
the ride takes roughly 45 minutes. Additionally, passengers can check in
their flights from Paveletsky Station to avoid unnecessary hassles at the
Vnukovo Airport is connected to the Yugo-Zapadnaya metro by a 50-cent
minivan ride. A taxi from Vnukovo to the city center runs between $20 and
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