How to get around by Moscow metro

How to get around by Moscow metro

Built in 1935, Moscow’s underground is one of the biggest and the most beautiful in the world. Beside its touristic value, it is also the most popular mean of transportation among Muscovites, serving 56% of all public transport passengers in the city.

Moscow metro is also the best way to get around the city – it’s fast, cheap, safe, environmental friendly and really convenient!

Using metro is not a rocket science, but it’s fast pace and huge crowds can a be a bit overwhelming in the beginning. It would be easier to go for a first ride with a local (for example you can join our metro tour 😉

But if you don’t have any Russian friend around, read our tips about getting around Moscow metro and travel like a pro 🙂


What ticket tariffs are available?

You can buy 3 types of tickets in Moscow metro:

  • ticket passes for a limited number of rides (from 1 to 60)
  • 90-minute tickets for a limited number of activations (from 1 to 60)
  • smart cards for unlimited number of rides (for 24 hours, 1 month, 90 days or 1 year

Every type of ticket is valid for a limited amount of time. Tickets for 1-2 rides/ activations are valid 5 days only, and tickets for 5 or more rides/activations are valid 90 days.

If you travel with a big luggage, you have to buy an additional ticket for every piece.

How much does a metro ticket cost?

At the moment, one metro ticket costs 40 RUB, which is less than 1 EUR. The more rides you buy at once, the cheaper they get. For example, if you get a ticket for 20 rides, the price for a single ride is 25 RUB.

Buying a ticket for several rides at once is a good option if you travel in a group or if you are in Moscow for a longer holiday.

Prices may change over time.

Are tickets valid only in metro?

No. All tickets described here, are valid for travel by metro, bus, trolleybus, tram, and monorail system services. However, if you activate a ticket for “a limited number of rides”, you can use the activated ticket only in the underground (and change as many time as you need).

Where can I buy metro tickets?

You can buy tickets either at the counter [кассa] (there are at least a few counters at every metro station), or in the ticket booths, so called “terminals” [“терминал”] inside the metro stations.



Terminals give change, however, make sure to check what banknotes are accepted. Most terminals sell tickets for 1 or 2 rides, however there are some terminals which also sell tickets for 5 rides or more.

How to buy tickets?

Here are a few phrases which will help you to understand what to choose or say when buying a metro ticket in Russia:

  • Tickets – билеты (bilety) or more officially, Проездные билеты (Proyezdnyye bilety)
  • Ticket passes for a limited number of rides – Проездные билеты с лимитом поездок (Proyezdnyye bilety s limitom poyezdok)
  • 90-minute tickets for a limited number of activations – Билеты «90 минут» (Bilety «devyanosto minut»)
  • Smart cards for unlimited number of rides – Транспортные смарт-карты (Transportnyye smart-karty)
  • A ticket for 1 ride please – bilet na odnu poyezdku pozhaluysta
  • A ticket for 2 rides please – bilet na dve poyezdki pozhaluysta
  • A ticket for 5/ 11 rides please – bilet na pyat’ / odinadtsat poyezdok pozhaluysta
  • A smart-card for 1 day please – Smart-kartu na odin den’ pozhaluysta
  • How much does it cost? – skol’ko eto stoit?
  • Repeat please – povtorite pozhaluysta
  • Do you accept credit cards? -Vy prinimayete kreditnyye kartochki?

What are the Moscow’s metro opening hours?

Moscow metro operates from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. Trains come on average every 2.5 minutes.

Underground is definitely the fastest mean of transportation in Moscow, especially in the peak hours when overground is covered with traffic jams.

However, be prepared for crazy crowds inside the metro! Even though trains come very often, you may end up queuing inside the station waiting to enter the train, and then being squeezed inside the carriage.

Don’t forget to watch your belongings, especially when it’s so crowded!

How not to get lost in the underground?

Most of the metro stations in Moscow have sings only in Russian. That’s why we recommend to plan your metro trip before you enter the underground and always keep a metro map with you.

Metro entrances are marked with a big red letter “M”. Every metro line is marked with a different color. The brown one (a ring line) is circular track which surrounds the city center and makes it easy to navigate between other lines. The green and red lines are the most touristy ones, because they pass by the top Moscow tourist attractions, including The Red Square.

Many stations have been recently renovated, so it became easier to find your way around. The most important signs: “entrance to the metro” – вход в метро (vhod v metro) and exit to the city – выход в город (vyhod v gorod). You will also see signs on the ground inside the stations, to help you find the right line:


What else should I know?

Escalators are very long but run really fast. Always stand on the right side (people pass on the left) and never run up or down the escalators – you might get fined.

Taking amateur photos inside the underground is allowed but avoid the flash if a train is approaching or leaving the station. It might be considered unsafe and you may get fined.

The best meeting point in the underground is always the central hall inside the station, as most of the stations usually have multiple entrances/ exits.

Moscow metro is fast, safe and unbelievably beautiful. Stations represent the master piece of Soviet architecture and impress with stunning interiors.

Whether visiting Moscow for one day or long holiday, business or pleasure – don’t forget to explore it’s underground! ExploRussia will be always happy to show you around!

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