Any tourist or visitor should know that dollars and euros are acceptable neither in Moscow nor anywhere else in Russia: the local currency is the rouble, available in coins and notes in various denominations. It is good to get all such details before you arrive in Moscow; a good suggestion here would be for you to visit your bank and ask for all the info you need under the circumstances.
The inconvenient is that you cannot buy roubles anywhere outside Russia, and you'll have to get to an exchange office as soon as you arrive, right on the airport premises eventually. Paying with a credit card is not so common in Moscow, the process is rather slow and foreigners are often asked to identify themselves for this type of payment, but the passport should do under the circumstances.
Visas and health insurances
Getting a visa is compulsory for a visit to Russia; all the information is available with the embassies and local governmental agencies; but you'll go through that trouble only if you choose to travel on your own. The most common types of visa include the private, the business and the tourist options. Yet, when planning the trip through a travel agency, all the booking details will be taken care of, including the visa support necessary for Russia. As for heath insurance, it may be necessary that you make some vaccinations recommended for a trip to Moscow, they usually include special shots against polio, tetanus or diphtheria.
The Internet is the easiest and most reliable way to stay in touch with the friends and family back home; Internet access is not a problem in Moscow, not only airports and hotels, but restaurants and bars, offer email services to their customers. Things are anything but cheap when it comes to using the phone; you'll be charged depending on the network and the distance at which you make the call. If you are traveling from another European country, you should have no problem with the roaming service in Moscow. However, overseas passengers are advised to check their mobile phone access before the trip as such.
Among the most comprehensive and reliable touristic guides to Moscow we need to mention the Rough Guide and the Lonely Planet; they both include similar items organized in high-interest sections. Moreover, it is good to know that the main English newspaper in the Russian capital, The Moscow Times
, issues a monthly magazine exclusively devoted to tourism. Called Go-Magazine
, this supplement proves highly useful and trustworthy when you need to find a good restaurant or learn what entertainment opportunities you've got available. The magazine is free and you'll get it together with the newspaper!
The bad news for disabled travelers is that the majority of churches, museums and other important sights do not have special areas that would allow them access on the premises. One other thing that needs to be mentioned here is that the regular transportation means do not include facilities for the disabled either. Therefore, it is probably advisable to make a call and check with restaurants and bars and see if they provide wheelchair access, otherwise, it would be a pity to go all the way and have to face a very awkward situation.