Being a major metropolitan city, Moscow, is just like any other concrete jungle with jam-packed roads and fast moving life. The good thing is that the roads are clean, traffic is disciplined and people have a sense of cleanliness. However, the parking spaces are not available at many places, and a lot of vehicles park on the streets itself, but still you do not find any type of chaos in the streets. Beneath the concrete jungle of Moscow, there is altogether a different world running on the two rails of Moscow Metro Network. They are more faster than their counterpart on the roads above, but when a Metro train stops on the stations, you can sense a different world of prosperity. Display of this prosperity does not matter much to the residents of Moscow, because, its a part of their daily routine life. But, for a tourist visiting the city first time, its a matter of great interest with unmatched beauty. The mesmerised eyes just want to capture all signs of grandeur displayed at the metro stations in Moscow.
For a moment, its very hard to digest that these are the metro stations of a subway network. Being one of the most extravagant architectural projects of erstwhile USSR, the interior of these stations can beat many reputed hotels as well as the heritage buildings by its grandeur. I am not going to tell you the complete story of the Metro stations. My aim is just to throw some light on the different ways to use Moscow metro network and after that, sharing some photographs to admire these architectural beauties.
How to Use Moscow Metro? Metro is a convenient option to travel in the city of Moscow. Earlier, the language was a big issue for the foreign tourists. Its still a problem, but the things are not so bad now. The maps and the name of various stations inside the metro trains are written in Russian as well as in English language. Announcements inside the train are made in Russians only, but if you listen carefully, you can figure out name of the current station at each stop as well as name of the next station.
To avoid any confusion, it is always better to carry a map of Moscow Metro Network, in which name of the stations are written in Russian as well as in English. Name of the stations, routes, lines and all other details at metro stations are still written in Russian only. Best way to figure out these names is to follow the color coding of the metro network. To know about the direction of your travel, you can check your relevant metro line and stations name written in your map and match them with the signs at the stations.
To change the metro train at a interchange stations, better to follow the colour codes. Also, they have informational sign available in English at some places, but those signs are made at the floor, most of the the time remains hidden under the moving public.
Overall, its only a matter of the very first visit. Once you travel by the metro, it is very convenient to use in the subsequent trips.
Fare system in Moscow Metro: Buying a ticket is again a difficult task at the metro stations, if you don’t know the Russian language. I stayed in Moscow for 5 nights only, so I didn’t research a lot on the fare system and various types of smart cards used in the public transport. However, as a general rule, following points should be considered:
1. One Trip Card: There is no token system in the metro. They have a card system, that works similar to a token in Delhi Metro. Just touch that card on a sensor at the entry gate and proceed through the open barrier. You can keep your card with you, however, it is not required at the time of exit. The cost of this single trip card is flat 50 Rubles, regardless of the stations and travelling distances. There is no time limit between each entry and exit, means if you enter in the metro station with a single trip card, you can remain inside for the whole day, interchanging lines and boarding-deboarding the trains as many times as you wish. But, once you exit from the metro station, the trip is over. This is the best thing to consider, while exploring the metro stations of Moscow. Buy a 50 Rubles card, go inside the metro station and explore the beautiful stations of Moscow Metro Network one by one for the whole day. It may require 4-5 hours to explore the most beautiful metro stations in the Moscow.
2. Single Day Card: This card is valid for 24-hours and cost is 210 Rubles. It allows you to take unlimited trips on the Moscow Metro within the limit of 24 hours from the first entry.
3. Other Cards: There are other available options like 2- trip card, 5-trip card, one month card etc, but I don’t know about them in details. I also tried to buy a smart card name as Troika several times, but the lady at the counter never understood my English, so I simply moved with one-trip card every time. Troika is a rechargeable smart cards and can be used on all types of public transports in Moscow.
How to buy a ticket from the ticket window? Look for Kappca sign to reach at the ticket windows. Most of the ladies at the ticket counter of the Metro stations do not understand English, but Russian only. Better to use signs or written texts to convey your message. If you want to buy a single trip card, just show them one finger. They charge 50 Rubles and refund rest of the money. If you need a 24 hours validity card, show them one finger with 210 (cost of the card) displayed either on mobile screen or a paper. For Troika card, better to show them a picture of the card or the Russian translations.
Some Beautiful Stations and Nearby Attractions: There are many beautiful stations on the network of Moscow Metro. In fact, every station built during the Stalin’s era before 1955 had constructed as “the luxurious palaces for the common people.” Below are the 6 such stations, that I visited in Moscow:
1. Oktyabrskaya Station: On the Brown Line known as The Ring Metro. Nearby Attraction: Gorky Park
2. Vorobyevy Gory Station: On the Red Line. Nearby Attraction: Sparrow Hills, One of the highest point in Moscow to get the beautiful panoramic view of the city.
3. Kievskaya Station: On The Ring Metro, Brown Line. Opened March 14, 1954.
4. Novoslobodskaya Station: On The Ring Metro, Brown Line. Built in 1952
5. Komsomolskaya Station: On The Ring Metro, Brown Line. Its the main metro station serving the Trans-Siberian Railhead of Moscow as well Leningradsky Terminal to catch the train for St.Petersburg.
6.Arbatskaya Station: On the Blue Line, Its in the centre of Moscow. Nearby Attractions: Arbat Street, A little walk for Red Square, Kremlin, Bolshoi Theatre, St. Basil’s Cathedral
I couldn’t visit all the beautiful stations, because of the ignorance and time limitations. There are so much to see, so much to click. But there should be something left for the next visit. Overall, a journey in the metro train of Moscow Subway is always mesmerising, whether you travel during the day or in the night.