View Full Version : Anybody feeling helpful?

Golden Monkey
7th Sep 2001, 18:49
Sorry to clutter the board with travel trivia, but I figure you lot might be of some use.

As an extraordinarily well travelled bunch, can any of you provide any useful information regarding Moscow?

I'm flying out there for four days at the end of this month on Swissair, ostensibly to attend a UEFA Cup match. I've not booked a hotel or obtained a visa yet, and would appreciate any nuggets of advice / amusing anecdotes / lists of places to avoid/stay, etc.

Any responses (Email welcome) much appreciated, thanks.

7th Sep 2001, 19:21
Take some thermal underwear, a bath plug, and a bear skin hat. And remember that the Russian words for 'water' and 'vodka' are very similar.

8th Sep 2001, 19:23
No, not really feeling at all helpful . . .

Send Clowns
9th Sep 2001, 04:11
"Adna peeva padjalsta" is a fair approximation to "A beer please" in Russian. Or "Dva peevo" for two. "Adno Vodka" if you're hitting the hard stuff, but watch the choice, it can be rough I understand (and AB is of course perfectly correct - the word for water is "Voda").

9th Sep 2001, 14:25
In addition to the bath plug, take your own toilet roll, as it's not always available in Russian hotels.
And if you fancy trying the local vodka, be aware that it's commonly sold in measures of 100ml (as opposed to U.K. pub measures of 25ml).


9th Sep 2001, 16:22
CZBBmay I suggest you get your visa sorted out a.s.a.p. ... you said "ostensibly" for a football match..what is your other agenda I wonder!!

Moscow is a fascinating place BUT...arrange accommodation in advance..have nothing of value on show (leave the Rolex at home)and carry money/checks in a money belt with the minimum of what you will need in a wallet..have someone collect you at the airport. Unless things have changed a lot in the three years since I was last there, there is usually a crowd of "people" who, apart from meeting family, are picking out easy marks, i.e., people who don't know how to get into centre of town and who might be worth rolling (mugging by any other means!). There have been instances of people taking a regular taxi and on the drive into town being hailed by the Militia (police), as the car slows down it is the Militia who "mug" you - claiming you need to pay $$ to get into town...they are working WITH the taxi driver!! If you ARE going for a football match then I suggest you contact the relevant travel agency who sold you your ticket on Swissair and find out if (a) they will arrange accommodation (b) they will arrange visa and (c) they will arrange a taxi collection at the airport.

Be prepared for a total disparity in lifestyles - some in Russia today seem to have more money than Croesus with beautiful clothes, cars, jewellery, partners etc and the top hotels, like the Metropole where I used to stay, even have armed door guards (well they look like Secret Service) to keep out anyone they think might be local and NOT rich! and others, the former academics and ordinary people, can be shockingly poor. And by the Kremlin tube station if you see a line of old people appearing to be demonstrating, they are not, they are actually trying to sell some small items from home to buy bread and basics.

Red Square is absolutely amazingly beautiful and no movie footage to date does it justice. As I used to visit Russia on business I didn't get a huge amount of time to sight-see beyond the centre unfortunately.

Have a wonderful time and let us know how you get on!

Da skorova (see you soon!)


9th Sep 2001, 21:02
Moscow is an excellent party town, or at least it was 3 years ago.

Good selection of Irish Bars and the Hungry Duck nightclub, got voted the worlds wildest nightclub by the New York Times, the place is owned by a Canadian who knows how to have fun.

Nightlife is expensive, but I have never seen such beautiful strippers.

Places on the must see list.... Red Square, the underground, Lenins tomb, GUM and even the Ballet!!!!!

Places to stay, get in touch with Intourist, they arranged a relatively cheap and cheerful hotel right beside Red Square. It came complete with burly doormen who insisted on making sure that the blonde with me was actually a foreigner and not a local hooker, this wasnt so much to save me, but to make sure that i used the hotels own hookers!

I felt relatively safe, especially at night, but there again I was getting shown the nightlife by a group of US Embassy Marines.

Enjoy the place, I most certainly did.


11th Sep 2001, 01:01
First of all, get your visa in order. Second, you need a definite place to stay. Third, watch your wallet and all your valuables carefully. Keep that list when you change your foreign currency for rubles, because when you go out again, it will come in very useful. Fourth, if you have a mobile phone, register it with the customs people. Fifth, if you visit night clubs make sure they open be beer bottle in front of you (many incidents of drugging and robbing you). If you're a little tipsy, don't try walking home, even though its only a few blocks away. 1) Militia may fine you $50 or more for public drunkeness, or 2) You may get beaten up and rolled by countless thugs just outside the bar who'se only aim in life is to pray on foreign tourists. Don't try to get laid. Very many reasons for that. And don't wear your football colors when you're out on the town. You'll stand out like a warthog among gazelles. Prime target!

Any more information. Just E-mail me.