Ten Things You Should Avoid While Visiting Moscow

When someone says that they didn’t like visiting Moscow much, I take it that they just didn’t know how to explore the city wisely. So, since you’ve been inspired with the idea of visiting Moscow – the most beautiful city in the world – pleasure make sure not to spoil such a nice intention with the following common mistakes.

Don’t stay at a friend’s place

Even if you have a good friend living in Moscow who can adopt you for the time of your visit, please, don’t make this mistake. Rent your own shelter in the city center. Use Airbnb or one of those services to find a room or flat for a decent price. Staying in the center is necessary – Moscow will treat you well only if you will treat yourself well too. Only by staying in the center you can enjoy all the advantages of this city, especially when your visit doesn’t last long. Just don’t waste your time in the ghettos. Yes, maybe a central apartment will cost you a bit, but believe me, you will not regret of that decision.

Do not bring your girlfriend to Moscow

You will find a better one here. For sure.

Don’t smile at every person passing by

Even if you’re from California and a smile is your regular condition. Russians don’t smile at each other without a reason and don’t like when people do. Accept that as a rule, and you will not find yourself in an awkward situation when you have to explain to someone why the hell are you smiling at him.

Don’t try to overdrink your Russian friends

This mission is just impossible. Well, except if you’re Irish.

Don’t go shopping

I wouldn’t recommend you to go shopping or even to buy souvenirs in Moscow. If you want to treat your friends and family with some Russian gifts, you can choose some of those. But please don’t buy anything at Arbat street or other touristic areas.

Don’t hesitate to walk by step and use the metro

Yes, Uber is extremely cheap here compared to Europe and the US, but walking by step around Moscow is one of the best ways to see more and explore hidden areas, which sometimes could be quite impressive. The Moscow subway is also a big part of the city life, so if you want to feel like we feel it here, try it.

Don’t hurry

Moscow is really huge, diverse and complex. When planning a trip to Moscow, consider that a proper Moscow visit would take you at least 10 days. Actually even that is not enough – my recommendation would be to spend two weeks here – that’s when you could start feeling what it feels like to live in Russia.

Don’t expect punctuality

When scheduling a meeting with someone, be it a local friend or a tinder girl, don’t expect people to arrive exactly on time. Mind that here it’s not considered rude to be late for 5-15 minutes. Usually we take such short delays with understanding.

Don’t compare Moscow to St. Petersburg

Those are just completely different experiences one can get. St.Pete is St.Pete. Candy, pretty, artsy, nice. Moscow is Moscow. Strong, impressive, beautiful, willful. If you travel to Moscow after St. Pete, try to set your mind to zero and come here with a clear consciousness, ready to be fulfilled with something new, something alien, something very unique.

Don’t act like a pussy

First, since the idea of visiting Moscow has already come to your mind, relax – there’s no way to refuse it. So please do not embarrass yourself by asking people stupid preventive questions such as

  • Is it dangerous in Russia?

Yes, it’s dangerous. Exactly like it is nowadays in every single place on Earth. Not more though.

  • Is it cold in Russia?

Yes, if it’s not summer, consider it fucking cold. It’s Russia after all, my goodness.

  • Are there bears playing balalaika all around?

Of course! They all can’t wait to entertain you with the greatest performance you could ever imagine! Hurry up!

About Moskvaer 50 Articles
An alternative online magazine about Moscow life in all its diversity, for citizens, expats and tourists.

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