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Layover in Moscow
May 21, 2014 9:31 AM   Subscribe

Wondering how doable and safe is to go from Sheremetyevo airport to Moscow and back in our six and a half hours layover.

Next month we are traveling to Europe and have a six and a half hours layover at Sheremetyevo airport. We really would like to make it to the Red Square. In paper it looks totally doable using the Euroexpress, Metro and walk. My question is if this is a realistic expectation in real life, taking in consideration lines, traffic, street construction, or any other variable that could affect our plans. The flight lands at 4:40 am so I also want to know how safe is to be around early in the morning.
posted by 3dd to Travel & Transportation around Moscow, Russia (5 answers total)
 
Most citizens of non-Eastern European countries would need visas for even one day in Russia.

If you need a visa, I think the time and expense in getting the visa for a 6 hour visit will not be worth it......I say this as someone who has visited Red Square.
posted by zizzle at 9:39 AM on May 21


Will you be able to get out of the airport without a visa?

(A friend who took a cruise that stopped in Russia was able to do a bus tour organized by the cruise company without a visa, so it is possible to do short trips without a visa, but I'm guessing that would be difficult to organize starting at the airport at 4:40AM.)
posted by mskyle at 9:40 AM on May 21


No need for a visa, I carry a Venezuelan passport.
posted by 3dd at 9:44 AM on May 21


Ok. The other thing is your plane is landing at 440 am? And your departing plane 6 hours later is at around 11 am?

Most everything in Moscow will barely be opened -- especially tourist stuff. Most Russians don't even get to office jobs until 10 or 1030, so I'd really question exactly what you'd gain since not even restaurants would be open to eat at.....

I still don't think it'd be worth it.
posted by zizzle at 9:46 AM on May 21


I think you mean Aeroexpress, not Euroexpess. The metro won't open until 5:30am so you would have to make the 5am Aeroexpress which is questionable. It's better to catch the 6am Aeroexpress anyway because by the time you get into the metro, the trains will be running every few minutes. That should put you in Red Square in about an hour, if you don't get lost. (Try to buy the combined Aeroexpress+metro ticket at the airport in advance, if possible, otherwise you may hit the rush hour lines). For your return, do NOT get seduced into thinking a taxi is better time-wise, traffic can get very, very bad.

I recommend spending very little time walking around the Red Square, it's kind of like the Statue of Liberty - breathtaking from afar but not as interesting up close. If I were you, I would hit the Diamond Fund that's right there and should open at 10am. Those resplendent diamond loaners you see actresses wearing at Oscar's? Chewed up old pieces of gum compared to the crown jewels you will see at the Diamond Fund. (If you see a long, looong line, that's probably the line for the Russians; locate the alternate entrance that's for foreigners, if you can't find it, look for the security guard).

Safety-wise, you will be just fine as long as you are mindful of the usual pickpockets, etc.
posted by rada at 9:58 AM on May 21 [1 favorite]


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