Moscow - Is it safe to ride the subway?

Jan 20th, 2004, 12:43 PM
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Moscow - Is it safe to ride the subway?

When we visit Moscow we would like to take a ride on the subway. Is it safe to ride the subway in Moscow? What kind of experiences have fodorites had?
retiredinflorida is offline  
Jan 20th, 2004, 01:09 PM
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Well I haven't been, but have heard that riding the Moscow subway is a MUST - it's rather famous you know. Chandeliers, marble....
Kate is offline  
Jan 20th, 2004, 01:13 PM
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It is safe to ride the subway, though you should take the usual pickpocket precautions.

Get change before going into the station, as the cashier's do not appreciate larger bills (especially the ones dispensed by ATM's) and often cannot make change.

Be advised that the escalators are very long, very steep, and move very quickly (quite the thrill). And, when the train stops in your station, GET ON QUICKLY.

A subway map in hand is essential. Familiarity with the alphabet helps as well. If you are unsure which direction to go once in the station, just point to where you're headed on the map to someone nearby and they'll help you. Same goes for getting off. Often it's difficult, even impossible, to see the station name when the train stops (or read it if you can see it). Best bet is to count your stops. And, ask someone nearby for assistance if you need it.
djkbooks is offline  
Jan 20th, 2004, 01:23 PM
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We rode buses and subways several times. There are two key points - you need to know the name of where you're going in Cyrllic rather than Roman - and as they say in the New York subway "step lively and watch the closing doors" - a polite way of saying move fast or get squashed.
nytraveler is offline  
Jan 20th, 2004, 02:49 PM
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I went to Moscow by myself 10yrs ago (19 yr-old female). It was an adventure. Yes, it's safe, but as others have said, count the number of stations. I had the most trouble when I had to change for a different line - I couldn't figure out which side of the platform I should go. Fortunately, people were very friendly and helped me out, even if they didn't speak english. You'll have a good time.
yk is offline  
Jan 20th, 2004, 03:16 PM
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Have a plan before you get on, don't rush onto the car, once the car is out of the station look at the direction board on the wall across the track and make sure that you are going in the right direction. Try to avoid the stations that have up to four different names.

The only time that it might be considered unwise to travel would be late at night when you will find more drunks, don't talk loudly to attract attention.
Garfield is offline  
Jan 20th, 2004, 04:19 PM
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The ride is definitely worth it! The subways in the former Soviet Union big cities (Moscow, Kiev etc.) are works of art. NYC subway, e.g., is nowhere near in terms of architecture, design, cleanliness etc. On a less positive note my advice is: the less attention you draw to yourself as a foreigner, the better. Be aware of your surroundings and your belongings, but these are the essentials for any trip...

bon voyage!
nadyag is offline  
Jan 20th, 2004, 05:58 PM
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I TOTALLY agree w/ the comment on the escalators. They move very very fast indeed. My mom was in her 70's and I was in my 50's and we just held hands and jumped on.....VERY THRILLING INDEED!!! Be prepared and dont pause!
LEANNAT is offline  
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