Although his rate appeared high, I hired "Uncle Pasha" (www.moscowdrivers.net) for $80 and haven't regretted it.
For this price he saved me a bundle right away at the airport by cautioning me against converting my $US into Rubles at the airport.
On our way to the hotel he gave me an informal tour of Moscow and wrote out a few simple Russian phrases. He also did a review of places to eat good and cheap.
There is no way you will not get that sort of an all-around orientation from a taxi driver. He gave informative answers to LOTS of my questions. I may have paid $30 extra compared to regular taxi but saved $20 right away on not using the bank at teh airport with its ripoff rate. His advice that I don't use my mobile phone but get a local one instead and assistance with buying it probably saved me much more. I estimate I actually saved more than I paid him.
If you are looking for a recommendation for a taxi driver and if such is allowed here get "Uncle Pasha" to meet you. See www.moscowdrivers.net
I had been going with "go-to.ru " since 2003, they had always been very reliable and efficient, with confirmation by e-mail and receipts, clean cars, polite drivers - I won't be surprised if most of them are post graduates in nuclear physics.
But last year I was going to the airport and the taxi got stuck in a traffic jam for over 1 hour, just 10 minutes drive from my home.
Not their fault, I guess, and the driver had been in contact with me all the time; and I did make it to the flight, as I booked the car 4 hours in advance – the normal time for Moscow was 3 hours even in good old Soviet times.
But now I ride the train!
Still, if you have to be at the airport at night, try their site, it's in English.
Taxis are no worse – or better, than any other service these days. They are not a no-profit NGO, they need to make money, and they are not interested in making the client happy, unless these two things are immediately connected. Market economy, what did you expect?
By the way, comparing Moscow taxi drivers and the ones I had encountered in France – ours are infinitely more polite, reliable and generally accommodating.
NB: I mean PROFESSIONAL taxi drivers, not any odd vehicle one may pick up in the street.
I used to go with this company (I already wrote a tip on them)
As you can see, they have an English language site, but your friend will easily read Russian, too, I suppose. You get a confirmation by e-mail.
I stopped using them – or ANY above-ground transportation, for that matter, because of traffic jams. But there won’t be any, if you go to the airport early in the morning or late at night.
Alternatively you may check into an airport hotel.
I used their service twice, and both times it was very much OK.
There is one big minus for you, folks – Russian-language site only.
But if you combine it with the Aeroexpress train on your way from the airport, you can – or may try to – get the girl at the information desk to use recall her school English or at worst use the sign language. You pay right there (don’t know if they take plastic cards, I rather doubt it), the girl gives you a receipt with the reference number.
Another problem – she will ask you for your mobile phone number for the taxi service to confirm the order. How you will speak with the operator I do not know – this is not a VIP limousine service, you cannot expect them to speak foreign languages.
If you successfully manage all that, the driver will be waiting for you at the railway station – as shown here on their site.
You can rent a car right out of Lomakov Museum of Antique Cars and Motorcycles! Dmitri rents them to help pay for the museum.
Admission to the museum is 100 rubles byappointment.
Imagine her thrill when you pull upin a 1969 ZAZ-965 for $35 an hour, 4-hour minimum
Krasnodarskya, vladenie 58. Moscow, Russia, 109559
At all costs avoid...
Setting off in a taxi without agreeing the fare first. Official and rogue cabs are out to fleece tourists.
Bargain hard, bearing in mind that most city centre journeys should cost less than 650 roubles (US $ 20).
We took up a taxi transfer from our accomodation provider: Godzillas Hostel on our first arrival in to Moscow.
The transfer was the worst journey of our lives. The driver was incredibly unprofessional and we were deeply unhappy. This is not the kind of experience you want or need arriving in an intimidating city like Moscow for the first time.
It may be unfair for me to suggest all Taxi transfer services are bad; but the one Godzillas Hostel uses is shocking and they refused to change it after we raised a formal complaint (said the guy has a lot of 'character' ). I can tell you that many taxis are not going to have A/C, possibly no seat belts, and that the people of Moscow do drive fairly crazily so if you take any transfer you may share some of the discomfort we did.
If you really must have a taxi perhaps speak to your travel agent or hotel about it before hand and cross check that the driver will be professional, also if it has A/C, seat belts, will the driver have the car ready at the airport to pick you up (or as in our case will he leave you standing outside the airport whilst he hitchikes to his car he's parked 15 mins walk away?!)
I'd suggest travellers don't be intimidated and do some research into taking the train in from the airport to the city, then using the metro to get to your hotel. We took the train to the airport on the way out of Moscow (via metros) and did fine.
The old russian car Lada is a rare sight nowadays. But the car is still operating as taxi in Russia. Look after a Lada taxi and have a memorable drive in Moscow. In a cold day you need a warm car. Lada has still the best heater system by all cars.
Yes, we have it and we will have it! You can “catch up” any car by raising your hand and it will not be obligatory “normal” taxi with checkers. Please keep in mind that regular taxi ride is usually more expensive, while the price for gipsy taxi is a matter of negotiations. Smart locals avoid to take regular taxi and prefer "gipsys". In both kind of taxis you can only pay by cash.
It is the fastest way of transportation and you can reach absolutely any area you need.
Precautions: you always on your own in gipsy taxi because you deal just with private person, and neither government nor a company responsible for your life and safety!
- Do not use gipsy taxi in nighttime, it may be dangerous!
- Never take taxi if there more persons than one driver seat inside.
- Try to choose ‘decent’ car: international brand, fresh look etc.
- Always assess the driver’s person. If you don’t like his/her person, he looks suspicious, say that you changed your mind. If he/she looks smart and friendly, and especially speaks English it is a good choice.
- Prepare some rubles for payment prior hailing taxi, and never expose your thick vallet to driver!
- Pay only as you brought to your destination, and never before or in the middle of trip.
- On busy routes your hailing hand will always stop a LINE of cars, and you will have something to select between or ignore some of them.
Gipsy taxi price guide, 2009
How to negotiate price with gipsy driver. First of all try to estimate the distance with your map prior to hailing taxi.
Price depends on distance and sometimes on road situation, route complexity and driver’s mood.
- Minimal price 50 RUR (1,7 USD) for very short distance. 50 RUR is a corpuscular step for negotiations, when you bid 150 RUR, and driver asks 200 RUR etc.
- 100 RUR is more common price for short jumps within couple of kilometers.
- 3-5 km is 200 RUR or in range 150-250 RUR.
- 5-10 km is a distance difficult for negotiations, and may vary between 250-500 RUR.
Use this guide and do not allow to cheat you just because you are foreigner!
There are usually a lot of taxis/ private cars waiting for tourists at every Moscow airport, and their drivers usually speak English, if it is international airport. You can ask them if they would be interested to do this. I am sure, someone will.
We did the same thing in Thailand. If you'd call to a Moscow's taxi company, they might not speak English. About a quide, there are plenty travel agencies, I recommend Intourist agency, this is the oldest one: http://www.intourist.com/ENG/MOSCOW/info.shtml
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