I like to define this adventure in Russia as the week of the unexpected! Yes, exactly; everything that could have happened was presented with Swiss punctuality!
Let's start by the landing procedure at the Moscow airport, where we are told that for reasons of air traffic the runway is occupied by another maneuvering aircraft, with an immediate "hung up/go around" a few meters from the runway. The panic mixed with confusion begins to be felt.
Once off the plane, I insert my Russian sim into the smartphone, convinced to call the hotel for the transfer, instead what? Sim blocked for low usage. Ok, don't panic! Stop a girl, perhaps the only one who speaks English around me and ask her to contact the reception to advise her to send us a taxi. Also this time fortune revolves on our side and we are told: "We can't come, organize yourself and then we'll refund your expenses".
11.30 pm. No Internet. No translator. No taxi. Offline maps almost useless. Airport Wi-Fi not working. And around me, no one who speaks English... Let's start right here to tell you about our super adventure!
Moscow has bewitched us from the first hours of stay, for its extreme cleanliness and for the order that is found everywhere. The means of transport in the city center are impeccable and punctual. The influence of the national holiday of May 9 leaves its trail even in the following days, in which the streets are deserted and the flow of people is not at all pressing.
With this short story, I want to give you three useful tips for visiting Moscow.
1) BOOK THE VISIT OF KREMLIN AND ARMORY ONLINE. Buy the two tickets online, at the same price you will find on site, in the crowded ticket offices. The access procedure will be much more streamlined and fluid. Bring the bare minimum in your backpack because wherever you enter, you will have security checks to do. Remember! You can see the changing of the guard on Saturday at 12.00 by purchasing the ticket for the Kremlin architectural complex on the official Kremlin site.
2) TROIKA CARD FOR SEAMLESS TRAVELLING WITH PUBLIC TRANSPORTS. The means, many and well organized, will be even more enjoyable if with a single rechargeable card, you can travel anywhere. The cost of the journey, regardless of duration and distance, is 50 cents; with the Troika the price drops by around 10 cents. Always validate the ticket, because there are controllers everywhere! Often, fixed on every bus.
3) MUST-HAVE, A RUSSIAN SIM CARD. What world would it be without Google Maps that calculates the itinerary in just a few seconds with the best and fastest means? And Google translate, that translates the unthinkable? All this saves us a lot of precious time! To do this, you will have to buy a Russian SIM card (with 11 euros, unlimited minutes and internet data for a week). Where to buy it? You will find small shops everywhere, often even at the entrance to the subway. Activation occurs in a few seconds and everything will be easier. To move - offline - in the subway, the Yandex app will be essential for you!