Step 1: Get a Metro Map
Tip 1: Get one in RUSSIAN, not in English
It will be much easier for you to navigate with a Russian Map. All you need to do is to stand in front of the Metro station name plague and compare the characters. If you get an English map, there will be nothing to compare.
Also, a Russian map will save you a lot of time when you need help from the locals or police officers. Just ask "G-di-e "and point to the map. They will happily show you the way. If you are lucky, someone might actually bring you to your station.
Step 2: Buy a single journey ticket for 50 Ruble.
Say this to the lady at the counter: o-din bii-liet
Step 3: Get lost!
No, seriously, get lost but don't get TOO lost.
Tip 2: In case you can't find your way back, these phrases come in handy:
1. Where is ___ station? : g-di-e stan-cia ___?
2. Can you speak English? : Vi ga-va-ri-te pa-ang-glis-ski?
3. Can you show me ___?: pa-ka-zhi-te
Body languages work well most of the time.
Tip 3: DO NOT follow the crowd
Most of the locals will head straight to the exit after stepping out of the metro. If you accidentally go out from the station, you will have to pay again.
Tip 4: Look for police officers/ People in uniformsThey tend to be able to help more readily, because almost everyone is rushing somewhere. If you ask simply anyone, most of the time you will get this answer "Ya Ni Mestni" (meaning: I am not a local). Sometimes it is because they are really not locals, or they are too busy for you. Try to understand you are in a fast-paced city.
Tip 5: If you really want to ask your question in English, try
- Try your luck by asking Russians: Can you speak English? : Vi ga-va-ri-te pa-ang-glis-ski?
- Keep an eye for Africans or Malays. ( When someone looks Asian, they probably are Eastern Russian or from Siberia, so don't put so much hope on this.)
Tip 6: Try to speak German.
A lot of Russians understand / speak German. So it doesn't hurt to try.
Tip 7: If you are really lost and no one seems to be able to help, always look for the Ring line.
I admit that Moscow Metro is complicated for someone who doesn't read Cyrillic.
If you are really lost, go back to the Ring line and get on a metro heading either direction. Stay in the metro until you see something familiar outside the window. (This metro goes in circle)
Tip 8: Always stay on the right on escalators.
The left side is a "fast lane".
Tip 9: Don't rush it.
I spent a whole morning hopping from station to station, yet I did not manage to see them all. I suggest any art or history buff to put aside 6-7 hours for the Metro self-guided tour.
Tip 10: Start early or start late.
Moscow rush hour starts from 8am to 10.30pm and then it all start again during lunch break and 4-5pm. So to take good photos, start as soon as the stations are opened or go during late night hours.
Now, lets look at some of my favorite Stations:
Chistie Prudi Station
Credit to @Aishuanandha
Credit to @aishuanandha
Now, notice the decoration on the wall, on the ceiling and those sculptures.
There are new stations coming soon. Moscow never cease to INSPIRE!
Thank You for Reading!
This post is based on my honest opinion and personal experience.
If you have a different view, feel free to share your thoughts with me by commenting below!
** All photos are mine unless stated otherwise. **