Guide to Moscow public transit during the FIFA World Cup

Guide to Moscow public transit during the FIFA World Cup

The 2018 FIFA World Cup takes place from June 14 to July 15, 2018, across 11 cities in Russia. The capital city of Moscow will play host to 12 World Cup matches, and many tourists from around the world are planning to visit and support their favourite football team.

Commute like a local with our guide to public transport and getting around Moscow during the World Cup.

The Fan Transport Guide

Firstly, we recommend you download the The Fan Transport Guide. Available in Russian, English, French, Spanish and German, the guide also has a mobile version to help you get around. Note: In order to use the free transport, you need a match ticket and a FAN ID.

The Transport Guide will help you:

  • Find the best routes of travel in the host cities (taking into account free public transport routes)
  • Confirm a free ticket for an additional train going to the host city, taking into account the start time of the football matches
  • Find all the important facilities in host cities, such as stadiums, railway and bus stations, airports, fan zones and where to obtain a FAN ID issue

In addition, embassies of the participating countries will be listed in the guide, as well as various city attractions.

Arriving in Moscow

Moscow has three major international airports: Domodedovo (DME), Sheremetyevo (SVO) and Vnukovo (VKO). You can get from the airports to the city by Aeroexpress trains or by taxi.

The Aeroexpress terminals are located at the following Moscow railway stations:

  • Sheremetyevo Aeroexpress trains arrive at Belorussky railway station
  • Vnukovo Aeroexpress trains arrive at Kievskiy railway station
  • Domodedovo Aeroexpress trains arrive at Paveletsky railway station

Railway stations are located close to metro stations, so you can easily continue your journey; see the timetable hereNote: airports do not have direct connections. A transfer between airports by taxi or Aeroexpress (with combination with metro) may take up to three hours. However, there is free wi-fi on all Aeroexpress trains, so you can keep yourself occupied while you ride. 

Passengers can buy Aeroexpress tickets from Aeroexpress ticket offices and ticket vending machines, online or via the Aeroexpress mobile app (for iOS and Android), and from mobile ticket clerks at the airports. standard one-way ticket costs RUB 500. 

For fans
For free travel on Aeroexpress, you need to have a FAN ID and a ticket for the match. Fans can use the free travel tariff two days before the date of the match indicated on the ticket, on the day of the match, and two days after the date of the match indicated on the ticket. Note: a ticket for one match can be used to make no more than two trips using Aeroexpress. Ticket inspectors will be on hand during the World Cup, and documents that prove the right for free travel must be taken with you.

Social Responsibility
Upon request, physically challenged passengers can receive assistance from a personal assistant free of charge. Train carriages are equipped with folding ramps to accommodate the needs of wheelchair users, as well as special seats and  toilets. The ticket offices at the company’s terminals are equipped with special intercom stations for hearing-impaired travellers. The platforms at rail terminals and Aeroexpress terminals are equipped with tactile plates. The new double-deck carriages are equipped with lifts to accommodate wheelchairs.

The average cost of a taxi ride from Moscow airports to the city centre is RUB 950 from Sheremetyevo airport, RUB 1,000 from Vnukovo airport and RUB 1,250 from Domodedovo airport. Waiting time for a taxi during peak hours is only 5-7 minutes. In the city centre, the car will arrive within a couple of minutes. 

The largest taxi operators in Moscow are: NEXI, Taxi 2412, Taxi Rhythm, Formula taxi, Mostaxi, Glavprokat, Novoe Zheltoe Taxi, and Taxi 956. You can also use Uber, Yandex.Taxi, and Gett to get around. Please note, on match days taxis will not be able to get closer than 800 metres from the stadium, due to additional traffic restrictions.

Shuttles from the Airport
Shuttles will be available for free to all spectators on World Cup match days.

  • S4: Sheremetyevo International Airport to Spartak Stadium. If a match is taking place at Spartak Stadium, shuttles will be available from two hours before kick-off to two hours after the final whistle.
  • S5: Sheremetyevo International Airport to Khovrino Metro Station. If a match is taking place at Luzhniki Stadikum, shuttles will be available from 7am up until four hours after the final whistle.
  • S6: Vnukovo International Airport to Salaryevo Metro Station. Shuttles available from 7am up until four hours after the final whistle.
  • S7: Domodedovo International Airport to Domodedovskaya Metro Station. Shuttles available from 7am up until four hours after the final whistle.

For a precise schedule and loading zones, contact the host city desks in the airport arrivals area.

travellers coming out of the subway in Moscow

Take the metro and ride like the locals | Photo by Moscow Urban Adventures

Moscow Metro

The Moscow Metro is not only a convenient, fast and safe means of transport, but also an interesting cultural and historical site. There are 45 Moscow Metro stations that are recognised as objects of cultural heritage, and all 12 stations making up the Ring Line are monuments of architecture, with stunning interiors. While using the metro system isn’t rocket science, it is fast-paced and the huge crowds (nine million people use the metro daily!) can be overwhelming.

If you can, take your first ride with a local (hint: our Moscow Underground tour will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about the Moscow Metro) or read our tips below on how to use Moscow Metro like a pro.

What should I do first before entering the metro?
Download the Я.Метро app for better Moscow Metro navigation, where you can easily build a path from one station to another, with an English language option. Plan your  trip before you enter the underground and always keep a metro map with you.

When will the metro run during the World Cup?
The Moscow Metro will operate from 5:30am to 1am, and trains arrive on average every 2.5 minutes. While the metro is definitely the fastest mean of transportation in Moscow, be prepared for crazy crowds during rush hours.

Where can I buy metro tickets?
Tickets can be bought at the counter (касса) or in the ticket terminals inside metro stations. You can pay either by cash or by credit card. Terminals accept cash and give change. However, make sure to check what banknotes are accepted. Terminals sell tickets for 1 or 2 rides only.

What type of tickets are available?
There are three types of tickets available:

  • Unified (Yediniy – ЕДИНЫЙ) for a limited number of rides (from 1 to 60). Cost from RUB 55 to 1,765. Tickets for 1-2 rides are valid for five days only, and tickets for five or more rides are valid 90 days.
  • Unified (Yediniy – ЕДИНЫЙ) tickets are valid for 24 and cost RUB 200.
  • Troika card (ТРОЙКА). The balance on the Troika card can be replenished by any sum up to RUB 3,000, and you may use it for one-time trips by metro or by surface transport. The basic fare of the Troika card is RUB 36. If you take one ride on the metro and change to surface transport several times within 90 minutes, the entire trip will cost RUB 56. Note that you will need to pay a RUB 50 deposit when you buy the Troika card. It will be refunded after you return the card to a ticket office.

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

What are tariffs for fans?
A free travel period is available on the date of the match indicated on the ticket and not less than four hours after the end of the match. For free travel on Moscow Metro, you need to have a FAN ID and a ticket for the match.

How do I buy my ticket? 
Here are some 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)
  • Yediniy (Unified) ticket passes for a limited number of rides
  • Troika card for unlimited number of rides – карта Тройка (Karta Troika)
  • A ticket for 1 ride pleasebilet na odnu poyezdku pozhaluysta
  • A ticket for 2 rides pleasebilet na dve poyezdki pozhaluysta
  • A ticket for 20/ 40 rides pleasebilet na dvadzat’ / sorok poyezdok pozhaluysta
  • Yediniy (Unified) ticket for 24 hours, please Yediniy na dvadzat’ chetyre chasa pozhaluysta
  • How much does it cost?skol’ko eto stoit?
  • Repeat, pleasepovtorite pozhaluysta
  • Do you accept credit cards? – Vy prinimayete kreditnyye kartochki?

Are tickets only valid on the metro?
No. All tickets described here are valid for travel by metro, MCC, bus, trolleybus, tram and monorail system services.

How do I avoid getting lost on the metro? 
Metro stations in Moscow have signs in both English and Russian. Stations are also called out in Russian and English. Metro entrances are marked with a big red letter “M” and every metro line is marked with a different colour. The brown line is the circular track which surrounds the city centre 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 Red Square. Many stations have been recently renovated, so it has since become easier to find your way around.

The most important signs:

  • Entrance to the Metro – вход в метро (vhod v metro)
  • 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. Remember the colour and the number of the line that leads to your desired station. All hanging transfer signs show line colours and numbers. Moscow residents usually use line colours instead of their official names.

Emergency call points with panic buttons are also available in each station. A metro map with English translation is also available. During the FIFA 2018 World Cup, additional information desks and volunteer zones will be built on Moscow Metro stations where volunteers will be on hand to guide visitors. English-speaking consultants will also be on duty.

What is the etiquette on the metro? 
Escalators are very long and move very fast. Always stand on the right side of the escalator (people pass on the left) and never run up or down the escalators.

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 entrance and exits. And special “meeting point” signs can help you.

Moscow Central Circle

The Moscow Central Circle (MCC) is a 54-kilometre rail line. The new line, which opened in September 2016, is similar to the S-Bahn in Germany. The MCC uses the same payment cards and tariffs as the Moscow Metro (e.g., Troika), so it can be used on both systems. There are 31 ring stations, which works as transfer hubs for passengers who change to surface transport and the metro. Transfer from the Central Ring to metro stations is free of charge.

High-speed electric trains are equipped with air conditioners, toilets, sockets and free wi-fi. The stations of the Moscow Central Ring are also adapted for people with disabilities. You may take your bike or scooter with you (these are unfortunately prohibited in the Moscow Metro, as it is old and not renovated for bikes yet). See the map here.

The free travel period for fans is available on the date of the match indicated on the ticket and not less than four hours after the end of the match. For free travel on Moscow Central Circle you need to have a FAN ID and a ticket for the match.

train coming out of a tunnel

Above-ground trains and trams are another option for getting around Moscow | Photo by Moscow Urban Adventures

Surface Transport

Surface transport in Moscow includes buses, trolleybuses and trams. As the result of a huge modernisation campaign, 39 ground routes have been united, bus lanes have been built, transport hubs have become more convenient, and all transport has wi-fi. Electronic boards let passengers see when the next bus arrives, and all buses have retractable steps to make it easier for travelling with strollers, bikes or for passengers with restricted mobility.

What you need to know:

  • Passengers use the front door to get on and other doors to get off.
  • Tickets are validated in a validating machine installed inside the bus at the entrance near the front door
  • On some routes you need to signal a driver to stop by pressing the call button located on the handrail near the exit door.
  • All the surface transport has the same tariffs as the Moscow Metro and you may use the cards you buy in the metro.
  • You can only buy a one-way Yediniy (Unified) ticket at the bus, trolleybus or tram entrance.

Find the surface transport network of the Moscow city centre here.

Free rides for Fans
During the World Cup, a number of ground transportation routes providing access to the stadiums “Spartak” and “Luzhniki” will be free for fans.

Eight express routes will be organised, three of which provide transit between the main match sites and metro stations.

  • S1 «Park kultury» Metro station – «Luzhniki» stadium
  • S2 «Ulitsa Kosygina» Metro station – «Luzhniki» stadium
  • S3 «Sokol» Metro station – «Spartak» stadium

On the day of the match, you’ll need to show your FAN ID passport and match ticket to an inspector or bus driver. Free routes are decorated with official symbols of the World Cup 2018. We recommend that you save the ticket for the match, as free trips for the fans will be provided within a few hours after each match.

Bikes and scooters

There is a system of bike-sharing and newly established scooter-sharing in Moscow. Currently, the bikeshare system is comprised of 380 stations and 3,600 bicycles. Each registered user can rent a bicycle at any bike rental station and return the bike to any other station.

To register, download the “Velobike” app. Payment can be made by credit card. The tariffs depend on the amount of days you rent a bike. A 24-hour rental costs RUB 150 (includes 30 minutes per day) and a RUB 1,000 deposit. 

Scooter sharing is not that extensive, but you can still easily find a station within the center of Moscow. Download the Samocat app to find a station and choose a rental time. Each scooter has a wi-fi hotspot for downloading an application. At the beginning of each trip, an insurance deposit of RUB 1,000 is deducted, which is returned to the card at the end of the trip. The hourly rate is RUB 60 per hour.

Car sharing

There are several companies that provide car-sharing in Moscow, including Anytime, Delimobile, Sar5, BelkaCar and YouDrive services. To use these services, you need to download the mobile application, register in the system, sign a service agreement (at the office or at the courier) and attach a bank card to the account. After that you can start using the rental service. The average rate is about RUB 8 per minute with all providers, with Hyundai Solaris and Kia Rio cars available. 

The conditions for providing a car for a foreign citizen differ at each provider, and it would be better to study them beforehand. For example if you want to use Delimobile, you must be a Russian citizen, however upon agreement with the company, the car can be used by a foreigner. In BelkaCar, a foreigner needs to remove the tick in the column “citizen of the Russian Federation” during the electronic registration. At Car5, the decision to provide a car to a foreigner is taken at the discretion of the security service. For the FIFA 2018 World Cup, English versions of sites and mobile applications will be available to users.

Finally, around 6,000 volunteers will be on hand at metro stations and near stadiums in the city to help you feel safe, get around and make the most of the 2018 World Cup. Now you’re ready to tackle Moscow’s transit system like a local.

See you in Moscow for the World Cup!

Moscow Underground

Go beneath the streets on this tour of spectacular and mind-bending Moscow Metro! Be awed by the architecture, spot the propaganda, and listen to the Soviet stories from a local in the know. Finish it all above ground, looking up to Stalin’s skyscrapers and get the inside scoop on what was going on behind those walls.

About author

Natalia Panasenko

Manager @ Moscow Urban Adventures. Russia explorer, cooking enthusiast, esotery fancy, dreamer.

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