Moscow - General Information

Moscow panorama

Moscow is situated on the Moskva River in the Central Federal District of European Russia. In the course of its history the city has served as the capital of a progession of states, from the medieval Grand Duchy of Moscow and the subsequent Tsardom of Russia to the Soviet Union. Moscow is the site of the Moscow Kremlin, an ancient fortress that is today the residence of the Russian president and of the executive branch of Government of Russia. The Kremlin is also one of the several World Heritage Sites in the city. Both chambers of the Russian parliament (the State Duma and the Federation Council) also sit in Moscow.

The city is served by an extensive transit network, which includes four international airports, nine railway terminals, and one of the deepest underground metro systems in the world, the Moscow Metro, third to Tokyo and Seoul in terms of passenger numbers. It is recognized as one of the city´s landmarks due to the rich and varied architecture of its 185 stations.

Time

Moscow serves as the reference point for the timezone used in most of Central Russia, including Saint Petersburg. The areas operate in what is referred to as Moscow Standard Time (MSK), which is 4 hours ahead of UTC, or UTC+4. Daylight saving time is no longer observed.

Climate

Moscow has a humid continental climate with warm (sometimes hot) and somewhat humid summers, and long, cold winters. Typical high temperatures in the warm months of June, July and August are around a comfortable +23 °C (73 °F), but during heat waves (which can occur between May and September), daytime high temperatures often top +30 °C (86 °F)—sometimes for a week or a two at a time. In the winter, night-time temperatures normally drop to approximately −10 °C (14 °F), though there can be periods of warmth with temperatures rising above 0 °C (32 °F). Snow (present for three to five months a year) typically begins to fall at the end of November and melts by mid-March.

Public transport

Railway

The high-speed Sapsan train links Moscow with Saint Petersburg and Nizhny Novgorod

Moscow employs several train stations to serve the city. Moscow's nine rail terminals (or vokzals) are:

  • Belorussky Rail Terminal
  • Kazansky Rail Terminal
  • Kievsky Rail Terminal
  • Kursky Rail Terminal
  • Leningradsky Rail Terminal
  • Paveletsky Rail Terminal
  • Rizhsky Rail Terminal
  • Savyolovsky Rail Terminal
  • Yaroslavsly Rail Terminal

They are located close to the city center, but each handles trains from different parts of Europe and Asia.

Suburbs and satellite cities are also connected by commuter electrichka (electric rail) network. Elektrichkas depart from each of these terminals to the nearby (up to 140 kilometres (87 mi)) large railway stations.

Metro

Local transport includes the Moscow Metro, a metro system famous for its art, murals, mosaics, and ornate chandeliers. When it first opened in 1935, the system had just two lines. Today, the Moscow Metro comprises twelve lines, mostly underground with a total of 185 stations. The Metro is one of the deepest subway systems in the world; for instance the Park Pobedy station, completed in 2003, at 84 metres (276 ft) underground, has the longest escalators in Europe. The Moscow Metro is one of the world´s busiest metro systems, serving more than nine million passengers daily. Facing serious transportation problems, Moscow has extensive plans for expanding its Metro.

Bus and trolleybus

As Metro stations outside the city centre are far apart in comparison to other cities, up to 4 km, an extensive bus network radiates from each station to the surrounding residential zones. Moscow also has a bus terminal for long-range and intercity passenger buses (Central Bus Terminal) with daily turnover of about 25 thousand passengers serving about 40% of long-range bus routes in Moscow.

Every major street in the city is served by at least one bus route. Many of these routes are doubled by a trolleybus routes and have trolley wires over them.

Taxi

In Russia and Moscow, the difference between hailing a cab and simply hitchhiking is blurred. It's an old Russian tradition for drivers to offer rides to strangers for a fee. Generally, wherever you are, at any time of day or night, you can get a 'cab' in a matter of minutes or seconds by holding out your hand. Commercial taxi services are also available. In addition, route taxis ("marshrutka") are also in widespread use.

 

 

 


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