I have accidentally run into this collection of professional photos with the most spectacular Moscow metro stations on display – from the oldest, like Kropotkinskaya and Sokol to the fairly new Aeroport.
There is one ‘but’:
Two of the stations mentioned in the article – ‘Sportivnaya’ and ‘Avoto (really Avtovo)’ -actually belong to St. Petersburg metro. Hope one doesn’t try to make a direct connection!
All I can say is wonderful and so cheap.
See my things to do pages for some photos
The Moscow metro is world famous for the decoration of the stationas.
They have conducted tours of the metro stations for visitors.
In 2015 I went to Moscow. I landed in Domodedovo airport. In order to get to the center I took a bus in front of the airport to the closest Metro station, called also Domodedovo or Domodedovskaya, and then headed to the circular line, and there I made a combination to the Kremlin or Red Square. Very easy and I enjoyed the beautiful Metro. I paid 100 r. per the bus ride, and 50 more per easch Metro ride. I lked the stations Paveletskaya and Taganskaya.
Moscow metro system is very effective public transportation system. It is not just way you easy navigate trough huge city then and experience itself. It was high on my things-to-do list quite some time.
I find out that not all metro stations here looks like art gallery. It is recommended to follow description on your map of metro.
I find out that this is busiest metro in the world and that is well known fact. It said that more then 8 millions people daily. It is fast, clean and efficient way of traveling trough city especially if you have in mind queues at roads.
I'm a big fan of a good public transport system and Moscow's Metro was pretty much my #1 thing to do on my last visit. But no matter what I read about it, or the pics that I came across on various websites, nothing quite prepared me for just how impressive it is - both as a utilitarian mass-transit (9 million journeys every day) system and as a tourist sight in its own right.
With its trains running the whole system roughly every minute from 5.30 am until midnight, 7 days a week, this is an amazingly efficient mode of transport for getting around. Not only is it efficient, it's cheap, and once you get the idea of how to use it, it's simplicity itself for getting from A to B.
Not that you want to rush your journeys. The cathedral-like stations, with their impressive architecture and artistic finishes, need to be savoured in exactly the same way as you'd do your sightseeing around the above-ground attractions.
Buying a ticket is easy. For most tourist purposes you can buy an electronic ticket loaded with the number of rides you require - 1, 2, 5, 11, 20, 40 or 60 - you'll find current prices on the website. A ride is not time-limited and so no matter how many metro changes you make, or whether you back-track, your ticket is valid for as long as you stay in the system. The tickets can be bought from the desks (just indicate the number of rides you require) or from the easy to use machines.
To access the system just touch your ticket against the gate and it'll let you through. If you have a multi-ride ticket the display on the gate will tell you how many journeys you still have loaded.
Perhaps the most off-putting thing is the Russian Cyrillic alphabet but if you ignore that and do a bit of forward planning you don't even need to be able to read the station signs. All the up-to-date tourist maps, even the freebie one I got from my hotel, will have the station names in English as well as Cyrillic. The 12 lines are colour-coded and the stations have direction signage which follows this colour-coding - the recently modernised ones even have the lines and directions in English. The one thing you do have to be aware of though is that at most intersections between lines the stations, although connected, have different names.
So, to get from A to B you need to plan your journey. The website below has a very useful interactive map where you can click on your start and end stations and it'll give you timings and interchanges
One thing you will find is that once on a train you often won't be able to see the destination station name as you arrive. The thing to do is to note the number of stations you need to pass and count down as you go. If you get confused when you start off and are unsure whether you've got on the train heading in the direction you want then listen for the announcements - you can always determine the direction of the train by the gender of the announcer.
"When you are taking a train to the center of Moscow you hear a male announcer. But as soon as you cross the city center you'll hear a female voice announcing stations. There's a good mnemonic rule: 'your boss calls you to work; your wife calls you home'.
On the ring line the clock-wise direction submits to the male voice, while counterclockwise direction is under the guidance of fair sex.
This system was initially invented to help the blind. Listening to announcements you can find your way even if you don't understand the language." *
* Above quote from bridgetomoscow.com (with permission).
You'll find the metro safe, clean, and even when busy (it can get VERY during the rush hours) it's totally hassle-free. Trains are reliable and if one is a bit too packed just wait for the next one. Don't stress and do take your time to admire the architecture and decor - amateur photography is now allowed but obviously refrain from sticking your camera in people's faces and switch your flash off.
In addition to being one of the world's busiest public transport systems - the official website claims 9 million trips daily - Moscow's Metro is a tourist attraction in its own right.
Construction on the metro began in the 1930's at the instigation of Josef Stalin and was part of the planned industrialisation of the USSR. Vast quantities of building materials were required, in particular steel, and so mines, foundries and factories were built throughout the republics. Although much of the labour needed was unskilled manual the education system notched up a gear to provide the professional skills of the craftsmen (and women), the engineers and the managers.
Not only was the metro to be designed as a utilitarian transit system but Stalin's overview required that it reflected the triumphs of Socialism and that the stations should embody "svet" (radiance or brilliance) and "svetloe budushchee" (a radiant future).
The first line opened on May 15th, 1935 to a well-organised public fanfare which included parades and concerts - there was even a triumphal anthem commissioned, "Songs of the Joyous Metro Conquerors", of which 25,000 copies were distributed. The line, which appropriately now forms the backbone of the present-day Red Line 1, was 11 kilometres in length with 13 stations beginning at Sokolniki, passing through the city centre at Okhotny Ryad and continuing through to Park Kultury and Smolenskaya.
The stations were built on a grandiose-scale, anticipating perhaps just how busy they would become, with high vaulted ceilings and fabulously ornate decorations. Each had a different theme, and although often described under the lump-heading of "Socialist Realism", their artistic styles and the materials employed, are amazingly diverse.
Until Stalin's death in 1953, as the 2nd, 3rd and 4th stages of the metro's expansion were completed, the stations continued to be constructed with their elegant, individual, theming. His successor Khrushchev however preferred a more utilitarian, and also less-expensive, design and so the stations built between the late 1950's and mid 1970's were pretty much identical.
Despite the USSR's economic problems in the 1970's the then First Secretary Brezhnev continued with the metro's expansion and perhaps as a reaction to the circumstances re-instituted the architectural flamboyance of the stations.
Not even the collapse of the USSR and Socialism in Russia have slowed the metro's development. At the time of writing, November 2014, the system comprises 12 lines with a total length of 325 kilometres and 195 stations. Expansion is still ongoing with a further 150 kilometres, including an outer circle line, expected to be completed by 2020.
Just as a taster here's a (almost random) selection of pics:
I was quite surprised to see people internet-surfing in our metro.
I though they are super-rich and went mobile, but no, it turned out that the Moscow metro had installed Wi-Fi!
My red line (that’s not what you think, it’s the colour on the map) is # 1 here, too (see the map).
The other pioneering line is the brown circular (# 5).
And by the end of 2014 Wi-Fi network will cover the entire system, the official metro site says.
Look for the Wi-Fi sign - usually above the door of the carriage.
Basically you pay 40 roubles for one metro ride. But that’s only if you pay as you go.
Supposing you are planning to spend 5 days or so in Moscow. It’s a good idea to rent a flat and share it with fellow budget tourists.
Supposing there are four of you; buying one ‘Unified’ will give you 60 metro rides for 1200 roubles, that’s 15 rides per person.
Can you use 15 metro rides in five days – that’s 3 rides a day?
1) From your hotel to the Kremlin (or Red Square)
2) From the Kremlin to Novodevichy Convent (or Arbat street)
3) Back to your hotel
That’s 20 roubles/ride instead of 40!
Planning and cooperation = good economy.
After the porcelain exhibition the Vorobyovy Gory metro station had got another tenant – the Darwin museum. Its visitors are mostly school kids, and all these figurines substitute for real-life animals – it’s not a zoo, after all.
Shame indeed they are protected by thick glass walls, they send reflex into the camera.
Vorobyovy Gory metro station is unique.
First comes its structure - the station takes the lower level of the bridge accross the Moscow river, the upper level is an motor road; you can see occasional daring pedestrians there, too.
Second - it's never crowded; pretty far to walk to the University on the one bank and the Luzhniki stadium on the other.
Third - no artificial light needed, the station is sort of a natural exhibition hall. Strange indeed it was only lately that the metro administration had got this idea. But the result was great – starting with the porcelain expo a couple of years ago, they have new exhibitions regularly.
The station as such look fairly modest, but the view over the Moscow river on both sides is great.
The wonderful porcelain exhibition at Vorobyovy Gory metro station - worth of any real museum
NB: It's free! - Except for the metro fare :)
There are four hits:
- the two celebrated Moscow factories – the Kuznetsovs’ Dulevo and Gardner’s Verbilki,
- plus St.Pete’s Imperial (former LFZ) factory with their famous ‘cobalt grid’
- and the collectors' dear, the blue-and-white Gzhel.
If you contact the metro office, they may send you a PDF booklet, but it's in Russian only.
for 300 roebel you buy a 11 trip card. You can use it with more people. The metro is not so difficult, remember the colour of your line and the endstation. When you get in count the stops. The ticket is a card you should scan at the entrance.