Wednesday, September 7, 2016

3 Reasons to Ride the Moscow Metro

When A and I first went to Kazan I would laugh every time he suggested we ride the metro. He LOVES it! There isn't a metro in Ufa so when we visit cities that have one (Kazan and Moscow) he wants to ride it as much as possible. I guess I can't really argue with him. I think riding the metro is my favorite form of transportation. The Moscow Metro is one of my favorite parts about the city, and I think everyone should ride it once in their life. Here are my three reasons why you should ride the Moscow Metro.
Partizanskaya Station (Dark Blue Line)
Partizanskaya Station (Dark Blue Line)

1. It's a landmark in itself 

It's always a good thing when something functional is also something iconic. The architecture, design, and grandeur of the metro is why I think it should be considered a destination next to the likes of St. Basil's Cathedral and the Kremlin. Plus, it's functional! You can use it to get from point A to point B. I also learned that you can take pictures inside! Unfortunately, I learned this pretty later so my pictures are not the best. I'll warn you that the metro is extremely crowded, all the time, so the best time to do take pictures is after 10 pm or on the weekends unless you want to be run over by unforgiving Muscovites. You can spend an entire day riding from station to station marveling at this architectural wonder. Note: you need a special permit to use any special equipment or take pictures for commercial purposes. I know you can book special tours of the metro, but, honestly, you don't want to be THAT guy. On the Monday before we left there were so many tours that it was hard to get around. There are already tons of locals using the metro that adding tour groups of 10-20 people only makes getting around more complicated. 
Trubnaya Station (Lime Green Line)
Trubnaya Station (Lime Green Line)
Trubnaya Station (Lime Green Line)
Trubnaya Station (Lime Green Line)

2.You can ride it and not get caught in the rain or snow

As someone who gets super frizzy hair at the sight of water and freezes at anything below 60 degrees I love that I can ride the metro without ever leaving the station. Does this make me lazy? Maybe, but I'll take that chance. AFIMALL, Охотный ряд, and Paveletsky railway station are all places I know for sure that you can get to without ever having to go outside. If you know any others please leave them in the comments!
Novokuznetskaya Station (Green Line)
Sretensky Bulvar Station (Lime Green Line)

3. You don't need any other form of transportation

Besides taking the suburban train to and from the airport on both our trips to Moscow we didn't use any other transportation besides the metro and our own two feet! Even the suburban trains are near the metro lines so you don't have to walk very far with your luggage. I wrote this post a while back about about the best apps to use for Russian travel, and 2Gis is extraordinarily helpful for navigating the metro and getting you from one place to another. There are other apps, like Yandex Metro, but I'm not very familiar with them.
Park Kultury Station (Red Line)
Park Kultury Station (Red Line)
While I want to rant and rave about how great the metro is I should tell you some of the drawbacks. The first is that almost nothing is in English, and it shouldn't be since you are in Russia, but for you travelers visiting Russia for a short period of time this makes navigation difficult. I was only on one train that had an announcement in English. Most trains have stops written in Latin letters, but most of the signs in the stations are written in Cyrillic, so it is extremely important to learn the Russian alphabet before you go. The second drawback is the metro is extremely crowded most of the day, so don't be surprised if you are packed like sardines. If you are claustrophobic I would suggest sticking to the front or back of the trains although I can't guarantee they will always be less crowded. The third thing you should be careful of is your clothing. I may or may not have gotten my maxi skirt caught in the escalator. Also, it is really windy in the metro so just be careful to not let your skirt or dress fly up. Finally, you have to do a lot of walking. There are escalators going to the platforms, but sometimes you have to walk long distances to a connecting platform. Your destination may also be a bit of a walk from the metro station as well. If you don't like to walk or get tired easily I'd suggest learning how to take a bus or calling a taxi.
Paveletskaya Station (Ring Line)
Belorusskaya Station (Green Line)
Belorusskaya Station (Green Line)
I want to end with a list of metro stations that I highly recommend visiting. Unfortunately, this idea didn't come to me until the middle of my second trip to Moscow, so the list is very small. I plan on updating this list if I go back.
  • Elektrozavodskaya 
  • Kiyevskaya 
  • Arbatskaya
  • Novokuznetskaya
  • Ploschad Revolutsii 
  • Dostoevskaya
Have you been to Moscow? What are your favorite stations?

8 comments

  1. I loveeee the Moscow Metro. When I was there I rode around on it for a while to random places too :)

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    1. My only regret is that I didn't take pictures of some of the better stations on my last trip to Moscow!

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  2. I think I would die without my bus app. These stations are beautiful!

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    1. Good to know there is a bus app when I go to Seattle. :)

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  3. Whoa, those are supremely beautiful!!! For some reason I feel like if we had such art/designs around public transit here, they would be vandalized right away.

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    1. Yeah, I think the same thing, but there are a lot of police and cameras walking around the metro so I think that's part of the reason.

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  4. Beautiful! There's never enough photos of the metro!

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    1. I know! I want to go back just to take photos!

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