Welcome to Moscow
Moscow is the capital and the largest city of Russia as well as the largest city in Europe, with its metropolitan area ranking among the largest urban areas in the world. It is the country's political, economic, religious, cultural, financial, educational, transportation and shopping centre. The ancient Russian capital is also the heart of Russian performing arts, including ballet and film. There are ninety-three theatres, 132 cinemas and twenty-four concert-halls in Moscow. People all over the world come here to look at architectural monuments, galleries and collections, parks and other places of interest considered to be one of the most well-known in the world. Shopping is another integral part of living in Moscow. In general, stores are open from 10:00 am until 8:00 pm from Monday to Saturday. Large department stores and supermarkets are open from 9:00 am until 9:00 pm, without lunch breaks, seven days a week. A number of supermarkets are open around the clock, seven days a week.
Climate in Moscow
The climate of Moscow is generally dry and mild, though during the year temperatures can range from -30° to +30° Celsius (-20° to +100° Fahrenheit). The first real cold hits Moscow sometime in November and there's usually snow on the ground from December through March. I midwinter temperatures are between -10° and -5°C (14 - 23°F). The warmest period lasts from mid-June till mid-August with most days around 22°C (72°F), though heat waves from the south can bring hot days around 32°C (90°F).
Clothes. What should you take with to be prepared for any weather?
Whatever the season, it is wise to not to forget your umbrella and a windproof raincoat or a jacket. Take care of footwear as well. Depending on the season, you might need warm boots with a non-slip sole, waterproof boots/shoes or comfortable sandals. In winter it can get very cold outside, but hotels and homes are well heated. In spring it might be chilly at times, but in mid-May it gets warmer. You can wear shorts in summer, though these might be an obstacle for visiting churches. Have a sweater or a light jacket for chilly evenings. It is in autumn that you are most likely to use your umbrella and waterproof boots.
Moscow is a large agglomeration spread over a vast territory, that is why the city has a well-developed transportation system, which includes buses, trolleybuses, trams, taxis, automobiles, a subway, and a railway system connecting the city with its suburbs. All forms of the public transportation can get our city's guests to any point of interest in Moscow. If you want to catch a taxi, raise your hand at the curb of the road and then negotiate the price with the driver.
While on the plane or in the arrivals hall of the airport you will be requested to fill out a customs declaration form. You are advised to declare the currency you bring in, as well as any valuable items that you are carrying, such as very expensive jewellery items. If you have more than $1500 in cash, you are to go through the red "to declare" channel and get your customs form stamped by a customs officer (especially if you intend to leave Russia having a large amount of cash on). If not, then you may proceed through the green channel. However, in any case make sure to keep your declaration form as you may be asked to show it when leaving the country. On leaving, if you have less than $1500 you may go through the green "nothing to declare" channel. It is illegal to bring out more more than $1500 without a special certificate. If you buy an original piece of art, an icon (normally never allowed for export), a balalaika or a similar piece, make sure that you get a legitimate(!) receipt and a signed and stamped certificate.
The national monetary unit is the Russian rouble. One rouble is made up of 100 kopecks. At the present time, coins denominating 1, 5, 10, and 50 kopecks, as well as 1, 2, and 5 roubles are in circulation, in addition to paper notes denominating 5, 10, 50, 100, 500, and 1000 roubles. In Moscow, as in all of Russia, payment for all goods and services is to be made in Russian roubles or by a credit card. It is possible to exchange money at any bank, at exchange booths, and at the majority of hotels and large department stores.
Credit and Debit Cards. In Russia VISA, Master Card/Euro card, American Express, Diners Club, Maestro are acceptable.
The city's cultural history spans all the arts and, having been the capital for so long, much of the nation's cultural effort is concentrated here. There are few cities worldwide that resonate with history and culture the way Moscow does. Whether you find yourself admiring St. Basil’s Cathedral and the ancient walls of the Kremlin or Red Square, heading out to the Bolshoi Theater for a night of magic, or even hanging out at the Patriarch's ponds savouring the beauty of the scenery... Wherever you go and whatever you do in this city, you are bound to feel an almost palpable aura of drama, intrigue and passion saturating every breath of frosty air.
Moscow nightlife offers a great deal of entertainments. There are hundreds of nightclubs and entertainment centers, an abundance of casinos, and an longest list of restaurants which can satisfy any taste. Most nightclubs offer high-quality music and variety shows. Some even compete with restaurants boasting superb cuisine. Among the great variety of clubs one can choose from: dance clubs, clubrestaurants, fashion clubs, clubs for teenagers, jazz clubs, etc.
« I’m glad that my business school has such a strong relationship with the University of Finance. It was a unique chance to study in Russia without actually speaking Russian, thanks to the Master program in English. Courses are at a good level, and there is an opportunity to get excellent Russian language courses ; the major plus being the links you can create with other Russian students. Additionally, Moscow is an amazing city which does never sleep, with lots of cultural events, clubs, bars… ”