Several years ago, traveling to Russia was considered quite pricey; this was especially true for Moscow or St. Petersburg. However, after the strong devaluation of the ruble, taking a trip to Russia has become more affordable. Compared to other big cities, like New York, Paris or London, the prices in “two Russian capitals” are lower. Image of Moscow as one of the most expensive cities in the world has faded nowadays.
Of course, the price of your stay will depend on the town you choose and the season you travel, the further away from the center, the cheaper. High season in Russia is summer. In this article, we will consider the cost of accommodation in Moscow and St. Petersburg as the most popular directions.
In order to save some money, you can chose to stay in hostels. Even in the center of Moscow, you can find one for a very low price (between $20 and $30 a night). If you are looking for cheap accommodation but with a non-shared room, the prices per double room start from $30.
The average price for a double room in 3* or 4* hotels (or in good apartments) would be between $40 and $180. The price will depend on the location and the services included.
If you take a double room in a 5* hotel, the price will start from $120 and can be as high as $400 or more (for some exclusive room).
The meal in unexpansive restaurant / café will cost about 500 rubles ($7). There are plenty of modern fancy restaurants in Moscow and St. Petersburg for every taste and budget. The average bill is from 700 rubles to 2000 rubles ($10 – $27.50).The prices are the lower the further you go from the two capitals.
Almost every restaurant in the downtown has business lunch offers on weekdays and a breakfast menu.
Regarding tips, we usually leave 10% in restaurants. Of course, it is up to you, if you wish to leave more, but 10% is a common rule.
A 0.5 litre bottle of water will cost you 30-60 rubles in a supermarkets or up to 150 rubles if you buy it in the street, airport or souvenir shops.
In Moscow and St. Petersburg Underground (or so-called “metro”) is the most popular transport.
A one-way trip on urban transport in Moscow 55 rubles ($0.75). If you take Troika card and put some money on it, the cost will be cheaper, 38 rubles ($0.52). The card itself costs 50 rubles ($0.70), the money will be returned if you return the card before leaving Russia.
There are also 1-day (230 rubles / $3.20), 3-days (438 rubles / $6), 30-days (2170 rubles / $30) and 90-days (5430 rubles / $75.40) tickets for an unlimited number of trips.
In St. Petersburg, one-way trip costs 45 rubles ($0.63). You can save some money by buying Podorozhnik card (analogue of Moscow Troika Card). If you happen to have a St. Petersburg guest card, it can also be used as a transport card.
There are plenty of official taxi companies in Russia. You may either call them, or download a special mobile app (which is the most convenient way). The most popular companies are Яндекс Такси, Uber, Gett.
Taxi from the center of Moscow to the airport costs around 1200 rubles ($16.50) , traveling around the city will be charged 200 -600 rubles ($3.00 – $8.50) depending on the distance and the provider.
In case you are staying in Moscow or St. Petersburg, please, keep in mind the possibility of traffic jams. So as not to be nervous, it might be a good idea to take Aero-Express, a comfortable, high-speed train, that will take you to one of three airports from the center of Moscow in about half an hour. One-way trip costs 500 rubles ($7). There are discounts for those who travel with family or friend or if you take a return ticket (valid for 30 days).
For more information, visit the Aero-express website: https://aeroexpress.ru/en/aero/prices.html
Museums and exhibition
Admission fees to the most of the museums vary from 150 rubles to 1000 rubles ($2 - $14). There are ways to get to some of the museums for free. For instance, you can get to the Hermitage without any fee on the first Thursday of each month and on December 7. Speaking of Moscow, more than 40 museums are available free of charge every third Sunday of a month.
Concert and shows
If you are planning to see ballet performance while you are in Russia, of course, Bolshoi theatre will be the classic choice for this. Need to say, that the price for the tickets here is one of the highest and can reach 15 000 rubles ($210). In other theatres the price varies from 500 to 3000 rubles ($7 - $40). For this price you can also see some show or musical.