There are countries that I want to go back, Russia falls in that category. I don’t exactly know what is the charm, but my trip was inexplicably charming. Today I finally got around collecting my postcards from Moscow in one post. I was invited to Siberia on a blogging trip by Follow Up Siberia and I extended my stay in Moscow for a personal vacation.
I spent most of my time in and around the Red Square, the most iconic spot in Moscow. And if you step away from it a little you end up on
Bolshoy Moskvoretsky Bridge, with this view of the Moskva River!
Gum is a high end departmental store in the Red Square. Actually when I was in Moscow a function was going at the Red Square and some roads within the square were closed. So I took a short cut via the store to see St. Basil’s Cathedral! Its architecture of the store is amazing, so are the prices of the goods sold there!
I spent a lot of time around the Bolshoy Moskvoretsky Bridge and the view was beautiful whichever way I clicked it!
Vystavka Dostizheniy Narodnogo Khozyaystva (and don’t even ask me what the h stands for in VDNKh) is the permanent trade center but I loved it for the beautiful white facade and the vast open spaces around it. There were places to eat near by but they had such a crowd that I did not try them!
As you walk out of the VNDKh metro station you will immediately spot the high needle like structure which is the Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics. I didn’t go inside but the architecture is so fascinating!
Stretching along the West Kremlin Wall is the beautiful Alexander Garden with blooming flowers (first picture of the post taken in late August) and delightful fountains. The weather in August was lovely to explore it.
As I said my favorite spot was the Bolshoy Moskvoretsky Bridge near Red Square. It was a nice spot to watch the sunset with Kremlin dominating the skyline! It also had interesting people stopping for a picture and then going on with their walks or cycling!
The good bit about being in a place on my own time is that I can spend as long or as little I want at a particular spot! I do not have that luxury on blogging trips!
So how long did I spend on the bridge? I came there an hour or two before the sunset and I stood there till I could click light trails! And to get that big a light trail, you need to wait for a bus to move across the frame!
I round up the post with the iconic St. Basil’s Cathedral, it is such a thrill to see some of the icons in real life, which I otherwise always saw in pictures!
Of all the things to fall in love while traveling, I fell in love with the Metro! I am crazy about metro trains, rides, stations etc that I get to experience in different parts of the world. My last tryst was with Paris but I didn’t get around to write about Moscow Metro. So that goes first!
The Metro Stations of Moscow are in a league of their own! When I posted the images on Facebook and Instagram friends commented that they look like the lobby of a five star hotel rather than a metro station! And they are right!
There are many guides on the internet which will list the top metro stations in Moscow. I would say start will the circle line (also known as Koltsevaya Line and use the Yandex Metro App to get around). Some of the most beautiful stations are on this line. Below is the list of things to know before you set to explore Moscow using the Metro!
How to buy ticket on the Moscow Metro?
With station names like Mayakovskaya and Novoslobodskaya how do you go around buying a ticket on the Moscow Metro? Actually it is quite easy. You buy the tickets by the ride, whether you wish to travel one stop or five or till the end of the line or whatever. Say you wish to go to Teatralnaya from Paveletskaya and come back, that will be counted as 2 rides. So simply tell the person behind the counter you need two tickets and you are good. Now if you wanted to go to Belorusskaya from Dinamo and back that is again two rides. So you need not worry about how far or less you are traveling, you buy by number of rides you wish to take, see it is easy.
Do they understand English?
On most of the metro stations that I used there was a counter marked “We speak English” I can’t vouch for every station but I saw it whenever I bought a ticket and yes they indeed spoke English at that counter.
I also saw that they had a tab which gave the metro information in Chinese. But I soon bought a day card and that was the end of my buying individual tickets which takes us to the next topic.
How about day passes?
Day passes are available and I bought a three day pass which if I remember correctly cost me 440 Rubles. It is a great way to explore the city. Having a day pass makes a lot of sense for someone who likes to wander and change her plans every 15 minutes. I can get down anywhere I want and continue again without worrying about tickets. It is cheaper to buy a pass if you wish to use the Metro multiple times a day.
Are the station names in English?
When I was doing the web search before my trip, many web pages said the metro station names are written only in Russian and the announcements are only in Russian. So you need to count the stations and get down. That is no longer true.
The name of the stations are written in English and most routes have announcements in English post the World Cup Football 2018.
Is photography allowed on the Moscow Metro?
Yes photography is allowed on Moscow Metro. There are designated selfie spots too. Moscow Metro has hashtags #photometro I had no problem in taking pictures anywhere on the stations.
Why is the station not exactly as listed in the beautiful stations list?
Apart from checking the name of the station you also need to check on which line they are. Belorusskaya on Green Line may not be as beautiful as Belorusskaya on Circle Line!
How bad is the rush hour?
For most of the time it was okay, I have anyway seen the rush hour at the Delhi Metro. It was only once near the Gorky Park at the Park Kultury metro station I saw some serious lines!
Why do my pictures do not look like the ones in postcards/internet?
There could be many reasons for this. Many of the postcards are minus the crowd. That can be done only by shooting in very early or late hours or by digitally removing people from them! Also if you click at the stations now you are bound to catch some of the signage at the stations which you will not see in the post cards.
How do I pronounce the names?
That is the tough one, but you really don’t need to pronounce the names as you can by the tickets by the number rides you need to take.
Which app to use?
I used the Yandex Metro app and it works like a charm.
Moscow Metro Stations are so beautiful, they make the mind boggle! Also there are so many of them which are so beautiful. Tour operators offer tours of the metro stations in Moscow. But I would say you can easily do it on your own with a bit of research. It is also easy to use the metro as the signs are in English.
PS. You can read all my #themetroproject posts from this link.
I am Mridula Dwivedi, I love to travel! I started my travel blog in 2005. I have been going places since! For more details do check out my media kit! In another life I did a Ph.D. from IIT Kanpur. I was a professor when I quit my job in 2015.
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