The Best Way to See Moscow is Underground

Moscow Metro | OneTravel, photo: Brooke Schoenman

 

 

You might not believe me, but after a brief visit to the bustling, gigantic, and iconic Russian capital of Moscow, I have to say that the best way to get around and see another perspective of the city is by going underground.

What? Underground?  Are you for real?

Yes, I am totally for real.  Moscow's city just simply cannot be crossed by foot – it's too big!  Instead of forking out for astronomically priced taxi fares, or hopping on a random marshrutka (mini bus), the answer lies in the well-mapped region of the Metro.

I learned a lot about this area of Moscow by taking a tour – a tour focused just on the Metro. I know, it sounds boring, right? Oh, but let me tell you something about the Moscow Metro:  It is probably one of the most interesting in the world, especially given it is the second most often used of its kind in the world!

Once you get in and learn why the different stations look as they do, you will be thrown into the history of the country back to the early 1900s, which is more than can be said for other trains or underground systems across the globe.

So yes, I do believe this is the best way to see Moscow, not only because it is a massive network of 185 stations and stops across 190 miles of land that get you from point A to B in a timely and cost-effective manner, but also because of the following interesting facts:

  •    Many of the stations are deep underground. This aspect was instigated so that the stations could be used as bomb shelters in a time of war.  Fact: Many babies were born in the underground because of these war needs.

  •     Some of the stations are decked out in art and ornate chandeliers. Why? Well, one of the architects of the underground decided that palaces should also be built for the people to enjoy.

  •   During the morning and evening rush hours, you will not wait longer than 90 seconds for a train. That's only a minute and a half! Talk about putting the Sydney train network to shame where a missed alighting means waiting up to 15 minutes for the next to arrive.


And, if you're into a good amount of people watching, then the Moscow Metro is the perfect place for the curious traveler. With more than 7 million people per day riding the rails to and from work and meetings, a good portion of the population can be found under the streets and busy intersections in the Metro.

Photo: Brooke Schoenman

 

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