Russia is a vast country with enormous distances, but even if it is your first visit to Russia, it is not difficult to get to a destination on your own. The main thing is to plan your route, like during a journey to any unfamiliar places.
Usually staff will send detailed instructions on how to get to the university. It is easy to find your way around in Russian cities with mobile maps that work without Internet access (OsmAnd, Mobile Yandex maps, 2 GIS and others). Don't forget to download them before your journey.
From the Airport to the City
You can get from the airport to the city using various forms of transport. Most often these are regular buses, fixed-route or private taxis, and suburban trains. Express trains operate in some major cities from airport terminals.
The advantages of buses and fixed-route taxis are that they are inexpensive and frequent (every 10-15 min). They can be found at bus stops at the airport. Buy tickets in special kiosks or on the bus.
You can get from Moscow airports to the city for 30-40 roubles and by fixed-route taxi for 70-120 roubles. Prices are even lower in other Russian cities. For example, the Plus Metro rate (1 journey by train + 1 journey by metro), Airport-to-Airport (2 journeys by aeroexpress + 1 journey by public road transport) and other Aeroexpress tariffs are available from Moscow airports.
High-speed trains take passengers to the city centre. They are fast, comfortable, frequent (every 30 min.), they have more luggage space, and different tariffs are available online.
For example, the Plus Metro rate (1 journey by train + 1 journey by metro), Airport-to-Airport (2 journeys by aeroexpress + 1 journey by public road transport) and other Aeroexpress tariffs are available from Moscow airports.
It's relatively easy to find ticket offices for express trains by following special signs at the airport. You can also buy tickets at the airport, but it is cheaper to purchase online.
1 journey on the Moscow express costs about 500 roubles. Tickets are cheaper in other cities. For instance, a high-speed train from Koltsovo Airport will take you to Yekaterinburg for 20-50 roubles.
High-speed trains also operate from the airports of Vladivostok and Sochi.
A journey from the airport to the city by standard train will take longer and be less comfortable than by high-speed transport but it will be several times cheaper. Tickets are sold at ticket offices.
The most expensive option is to get a taxi from the airport to the city: in Moscow and St. Petersburg the journey will cost at least 1,000 to 1,500 roubles, but in Yekaterinburg, only 650 roubles. At railway stations and airports it is better to order a taxi at the information desk or online in advance. To avoid trouble, avoid using unlicensed taxis.
Many Russian universities offer students a transfer service for an additional fee. Learn about the cost and how to book from your university representatives.
Students on full-time courses at Russian universities can purchase tickets on public transport at discounted prices. Passengers pay cash in fixed-route taxis and no discounts are offered.
Discounts for students: monthly travel with a student social card costs 7 times less than a regular ticket. As soon as you get a student card, arrange a student travel or social card (depending on the city). Learn more in the "Benefits for Students in Russia" section.
Before you receive your travel card, you can still save on regular travel cards using various tariffs. It is not worth buying tickets for 1 or 2 journeys. A travel card for several journeys (5 or more) will work out cheaper: the more journeys you purchase, the cheaper they become. In Moscow, you can also buy a travel card at the "90-minute" rate, which allows you to make as many journeys as you like within an hour and a half, using both the underground and/or public road transport. Similar tariffs apply in other Russian cities as well.
Tickets on public road transport can be bought from the driver, but they will be much more expensive than from ticket offices or special kiosks.
Traveling around Russia
Intercity travel is possible by coach, train, boat and plane. Discounts are also available for local trains (within one federal district): a 50% discount is available between September 1 and June 15. To apply this discount when purchasing a ticket or travel card, present your student card (student social card, depending on the region).