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Most travel agencies offer trips to see the European/Asian border. Well, these days there are actually two of them, the newer one being a bit closer to town. Unless you you want to say that you had one leg in Europe and the other one in Asia, forget it...it's just too expensive for what there is to see.
Updated Oct 1, 2004
If you are trying to save your money, call a taxi company in advance and ask someone Russian to make a car reservation for you. Your driver will wait for you next to the luggage area.
If you do not care about money, take the first ok loking driver that stands in the same luggage area. It will cost you a lot. About 500 roubles or more.
If you are really short on money, try the bus. Those are departure times from Koltsovo airport.
(Local Time Moscow +2 hours)
The bus will bring you almost to the center. From there you can take a tram or go by foot.
Unique Suggestions: If you do not feel like taking a bus and forgot to order a taxi, you have a problem. Because there are about 20 drivers, bothering you with their sugestions.
If you speak some Russian, tell them your price. The good price is about 300 roubles.
Choose a good looking driver. With less tatoos (means they were in jail), maybe smaller and thiner than you, and not drunk. Check that there is nobody except you and driver in the car.
Tell the driver to stop if the car goes to small streets or turns somewhere into the forest. There is nothing like that on the way to the city. There is a highway, huge roads with people and shops around.
Fun Alternatives: Order a taxi from Moscow or another city. It will wait just for you, the driver will look nice and take you wherever you want safely.
Updated Aug 16, 2003
They are a trap not just for tourists, but tourists may bring their attention to themselves more than citizens.
Gypsies are always in groups. You will recognize them from about 100 meters. You have enough time to cross the street or turn around and walk somewhere else. Because that will be better for you.
They ask for money and if you stop, they steal your belongings.
Unique Suggestions: So if you realized that you are in the middle of gypsies, get out as soon as you can. Watch your bag and your pockets. But do not give them anything they ask for.
If they touch you, they can make some kind of contact with you.
One friend of mine gave 10 roubles to a gypsie. The next thing I saw, she gave her all she had in her wallet. She came to me smiling. I asked her, why she did that, but she didn´t know.
Once a gypsie followed me for about 10 min, got angry and picked out one of my hair. I spent next two days in bed with terrible headache. Tablets didn´t help.
Fun Alternatives: I don´t know if there is alternative...Maybe pretend that you are crazy, jump around them and sing something in English... That could work.
Updated Aug 16, 2003
- in the transport, public or private.
The reason is that women who sell tickets in the transport will not bother to look for change if you give her 100 rouble note. One ticket costs just 5.
Private taxis (the ones you can catch anytime in the street), could have no money on them at all. So if you made a deal about 50 roubles for a trip, and you have just 100 rouble note, say goodbye to it.
- in state shops, museums, and restaurants.
The same reason - they will not bother. Their salaries are to small to run around the place looking for change. Tips in restaurants are not accepted - they even feel offended. When I were 6 years old, my Mom sent me to buy ice cream with a paper money note. I spent a bout 10 min to choose the one I liked and gave money to the seller. She looked somewhere and told me angrily laughing: I got no change. I didn't get it, I stood there as she sold ice cream to other people and started crying. When I told my Mom, she went there herself and told her what she thought about her and her attitude. The answer was - have no change, get lost.
- when you buy sunflower seeds from grannies in the street. They will get angry looking for change everywhere they can.
- in kiosks at night. Because this is the only place you can shop in at this time. And it makes no difference for seller - she has no extra income except monthly salary.
There were times in Russia when people got their change in chewing gums. They costed like 1/2 rouble. So if your return money should be 10 roubles you can get 20 gums! Isn' t that great?
Unique Suggestions: If you cannot find just a couple of missing roubles:
- scream at the seller. Tell him or her, that it is not your work to look for change.
- give them more money and take something else.
- tell them to forget it and proudly walk away.
All three are bad for you and makes no difference for them.
Fun Alternatives: There is no alternative. Just take coins with you.
Updated Aug 14, 2003
Here is 'Ivan's', a place I considered a tourist trap. I wanted to go to a Russian restaurant to taste the real Russian cuisine but I wound up here. It was unbelievably over prices for mediocre food. OK, maybe I didn't order the right thing but the decor was interesting and service was great.
Written Sep 12, 2002
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