Close to the Metro, Center: Where to Search For a Rental Apartment in Moscow

In Moscow, a successfully chosen nest is the alpha and omega of your relationship with the city. Whether you decide to build your future here, or come for a week as a tourist–on where you stop, directly depends how soon and how deep you will fall in love with this city.

Of course, everyone has their own preferences and requirements for housing, so we dispense with tips like “an apartment in the center even with ‘babushka’ repair is better than a perfect apartment in Mytishchi”, and instead will offer you several convenient and modern services for searching rental properties in Moscow.

Exchange houses while traveling

If you plan a vacation trip (for a couple of weeks or even the whole summer) to Moscow and want to organize everything for as cheap as possible, then the option of exchanging houses can be very handy. The site usually shows enough offers from Muscovites who want to exchange their apartments (especially those not in the center) for housing in Germany, England, Greece, etc. There you can find a nest for exchange in other cities of Russia and the CIS as well. Among the proposals are common options in St. Petersburg, Sochi, and Odessa.

You can monitor the site or the project’s page on Facebook, or write your own offer, mentioning the region and period you are interested in.

Flats for Friends

This is a big community of young nomads who now and then move around Moscow with their clothes hangers from IKEA, pets and roommates. The daily updated community offers dozens of new leased rooms and apartments; among which you can often find quite decent options. There are no commissions or middlemen–the nests just pass from hand to hand, from one nomad to another, and this is the beauty of spontaneous relocation.

If you are looking for a room and not a whole apartment or a house, it is probably the first place where you should look carefully.

The community is also useful for those who are looking for not just shelter, but also partners for joint tenancy. Many foreigners find convenient options here.



HomeApp–is a new paid housing search service in Moscow, which promises to revolutionize the wild property market of the capital. The site is bilingual, and this is its undoubted advantage over competitors. Another useful feature of the project is the consultancy service–experts in real estate, each of which is responsible for a certain area, help customers choose the appropriate option. A con of the service is that it takes a rather big fixed commission on each concluded transaction–30 thousand rubles.

On the website, it is written that every day they put about 500 new and current lodging options starting from 40,000 rubles a month. I hammered in the search of 1 and 2-bedroom apartments within the Garden Ring for no more than 60,000 rubles per month, and the site gave me about 10 options. Obviously, the revolutionaries still have to work over the base of the real estate. We wish the project great success!

The Locals

Paid service for renting apartments without commissions and middlemen. For 590 rubles for three days of use, 990 rubles for ten days and 1,290 rubles for a 30-day subscription, you get access to a base of apartments and rooms all over Moscow. The subscription price in the TheLocals unreasonably increased over the last year. I remember a time when the total access cost 350 rubles a week, and then, it seems that this is somehow unfair. Anyway, without the paid subscription you will not be able to contact the author of the ad.

Whether the purchase of the full access to the site would be justified is unknown. I hammered in the search all the same, 1 and 2-bedroom apartments within the Garden Ring for no more than 60,000 rubles per month, and the site gave me 2 options. Not a lot.

Small life hacking: it is often that those who want to save on the subscription, simply spreads a link to a chosen flat or room in the above-mentioned Facebook group Flats for Friends with a request to those of which are still within the paid subscription period to share the contacts of the landlord.


Good old Cian. This Babylon of large and small, ‘babushka’ and fancy designed, central and peripheral slots throughout Russia. Cian–it’s like a flea market where you have to search through a bunch of unsightly shit to find your pearl.

That’s the risk to stumble upon an agent though. Anyway, today this resource is probably the most popular among Moscow residents, and even foreigners have resorted to its service. My American colleague shared his experience of using Cian:

I really liked it! Even while not knowing Russian well, it was pretty straight forward. I liked the map that shows you locations of flats that you can click and then see prices and photos there. Yes, it has problems but overall it was convenient and I didn’t need an agent…
About Moskvaer56 Articles
An alternative online magazine about Moscow life in all its diversity, for citizens, expats and tourists.

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