Our goal as Lokal is to achieve as many true thanks from our clients as possible. And for that we at Lokal understand that People in unknown environment need professional care, minimizing stresses and smoothing relocation process. We offer a full range support to expatriates and their families, both corporate and private, relocating to Moscow. Our service is efficient and reliable, because we are totally independent and impartial and customer oriented. Our clients have an advantage of single point of contact to resolve any issues arising and a cross-cultural training provided from the beginning. Individual approach and always on hand support even after move in are two main criteria that enable us to hit the target and our clients to experience the joys of learning to live in Moscow.
CONTENTS RUSSIAN ETIQUETTE/ CUSTOMS ....................................... 4 RUSSIAN NATIONALHOLIDAYS .......................................... 4 CAUTION, SECURITY ISSUES ............................................... 5 EMERGENCY NUMBERS ........................................................ 5 HELP DESK ................................................................................. 6 REGISTRATION......................................................................... 6 OPENING A BANK ACCOUNT ............................................... 7 FINANCIAL TRANSACTIONS ................................................ 7 DRIVER’S LICENSE .................................................................. 8 VEHICLE REGISTRATION ..................................................... 9 CONTACT GROUPS .................................................................. 9 ADDITIONAL COSTS TO THE RENT ................................. 10 RELIGIOUS SERVICES .......................................................... 11 ENTERTAINMENT FOR CHILDREN.................................. 12 PUBLIC LIBRARY ................................................................... 12 WATER ....................................................................................... 13 MOSCOW TRANSPORT ......................................................... 14 RUSSIAN ALPHABET ............................................................. 19
RUSSIAN ETIQUETTE/ CUSTOMS Never give an even number of flowers to someone unless at a funeral. Never kiss/shake hands over a doorstep or you will quarrel with this person. Do not return home if you forget something. It will bring bad luck. If you must return, look in the mirror before leaving again. If you sit at the corner of a square table, you will not marry for 7 years. It is a serious breach of etiquette to refuse a drink or a toast. Russians have a hard time when someone wants to stop drinking, but can understand if someone doesn't drink at all. Spitting three times over your left shoulder will also prevent bad luck. In the West, whistling while you work is pretty much acceptableed whenever the notion moves one. Russians like to whistle too, but never indoors! This is regarded as a sure way of guaranting that you will soon part with all of your money. As in the West, always take a hostess a gift when visiting of Russians. Flowers for the woman of the house and a bottle of wine or vodka for the man is acceptable (providing they drink). Before leaving the house on a trip it is customary to sit on one's suitcases for a minute to reflect on the trip and to recall whether you've forgotten anything.
RUSSIAN NATIONALHOLIDAYS January 1-5
New Year's Break
Defenders of the Motherland Day
International Women's Day
Victory Day, World War 2
Day of Nation Solidarity
CAUTION, SECURITY ISSUES The local mass media says a lot about the criminal situation in Russia, but most cases of murder and many other crimes are directly related to the local Mafia and financial intrigues. If you have no intention of conducting illegal activity in Moscow, you'll be safe and protected. The best advice is to simply stay away from people who you don't trust or like. Never give your advice or telephone number to people you don't know. Like you would in any other city, it is best to follow these simple rules: Avoid walking through unknown and deserted streets after dark. When walking through crowded streets, big stores, or marketplaces, check your pockets regularly. If pickpockets see that you are on your guard, they'll be less likely to single you out. Never carry a lot of money with you. Most stores and restaurants downtown accept credit cards. The crowded public places (like railway stations and the Arbat str., e.g.) are full of Gypsies, who may offer to tell your fortune or simply beg for money, some can be thieves. Be on your guard.
EMERGENCY NUMBERS The emergency numbers for Moscow can be found on the first pages of Moscow telephone books or Moscow telephone guides: Fire
Lost Credit cards
956 35 56
Lost documents 9am - 6 pm
200 99 57
933 66 36
Lost items: Metro (M-F 9 am â€“ 5 pm)
222 20 85
Surface transport (M-F 10 am â€“ 6 pm)
971 02 91
Medicine delivery service Rescue service
737 93 93 937 99 11
There are also International emergency numbers: International SOS assistance (24 hours) Crisis line for English speakers
937 64 77
24-hour free confidential telephone help line call: 244 34 49 937 99 99 564 82 82 931 96 82,
give an operator the “Crisis” code and the councilor will return your call.
HELP DESK When you have settled in Moscow, but still have some questions or queries you can always contact us during your transfer period. We will be more than pleased to assist you further. Do not hesitate to call our local counsellor.
REGISTRATION In Russia Passport and Visa Department (PVU), is responsible for issuing visa extensions, registrations and residence permits. Its bureaucrats are notoriously rude and lazy, guaranteeing hours of tedium and annoyance for anyone who comes into contact with them.
By law, all foreigners are supposed to register within three days of arrival at PVU and obtain a stamp on their exit visa to that effect. Visitors who do not get a registration stamp may be fined $120 upon leaving Russia. In practice, registration isn’t as bad as it sounds, since anyone coming on a tour or staying at a hotel will have this done for them automatically, so it only applies to those staying in some kind of “unofficial” accommodation. Then, the problem is that PVU insists that whoever supplied or sponsored your visa becomes involved in your registration. Usually Moscow offices have personnel managers who are responsible for obtaining registrations together with work permits for their expatriates. The limits of travelling in the CIS countries are stipulated in the corresponding parts of the visa.
OPENING A BANK ACCOUNT You may apply to a Russian or foreign bank if you need to open an account in foreign currency or in Roubles, to transfer money abroad, to cash a travellerâ€™s check or to get cash from a credit card. The Russian banks may provide you with a depository to keep your securities or precious items.
When opening your bank account you need to show your passport and customs declaration or a receipt about purchasing hard currency for roubles. To open an account cost $20, minimum deposit $5. A bank will charge some percentage, for example 1%, from cashed amounts.
If a foreigner opens a rouble account the charges will be 50 rbls (about $9) for opening and 10 rbls (about $2) minimum deposit.
Credit cards are not accepted everywhere in Moscow. You may use credit cards at hotels, large restaurants, night clubs, supermarkets; when buying airline and railway tickets; at tourist agencies etc. The majority of stores, shops and organisations accept only Rouble cash payment, so it will be useful to carry the local currency with you.
At hotels and airports the exchange rates are the highest, so it would be better to exchange your currency in banks or at special currency exchanges. Please remember not to carry out currency transactions with private persons, as you may be dealing with a scam artists and such transactions are illegal.
Please note that during financial transactions your passport or another form of ID will be needed.
The official exchange rate of the main currencies is established daily by the Central Bank of the Russian Federation. You can learn about the current rate by telephone. However, each bank
sets its own exchange rate for its currency exchanges, and this rates differ a little from the official rate of exchange.
DRIVER’S LICENSE A license and registration are required to operate a vehicle in Russia. A foreigner can drive a car in Moscow using his/her International Driving License. It is required to have with you visa and residence registration and documents confirming vehicle ownership. It is also required to have a copy of your International Driving License translation into Russian.
In order to obtain a Russian driver’s license, a foreigner needs the following documents:
his/her passport and a Russian visa registered at UVIR (the Visa and Foreign Citizen’s Registration Department);
a medical certificate (Ministry of Health Form 083/U-89)
a foreigner’s state driver’s license or international driver’s license and a photocopy with translation into Russian;
two 3,5 x 4,5 cm photographs;
If the driver’s license is valid, the applicant can take a written test and obtain a Russian driver's license. If the applicant has an expired license, they also need to take a full driving test before a Russian license can be issued. The fee for the test is approximately $10.
If a foreigner does not have his/her state driver’s license or is unable to submit it to the GAI (State Automobile Inspection), he/she will need to attend a driving school and pass both the written and driving tests. Before enrolling in any driving school, foreigners
should check that the school is approved by the GAI and that they will register the student for the tests. Currently there are approximately 150 authorised driving schools driving schools in Moscow offering courses ranging in price from $180 to $600. It is also possible to take the tests
without attending a school, provided the sponsoring organization submits a written request to GAI asking for a waiver.
VEHICLE REGISTRATION Under the current Russian customs law, a foreigner can operate a vehicle in Russia for up to six months using a document issued by customs at the port of entry as registration. If a car is in Russia for more than six months, it must be registered at the local customs office and GAI office. In Moscow, there is a customs office for foreigners accredited with the Russian Ministry of External Economic Affairs (and who have a sluzhebnaya kartochka) and there is a customs office for non-accredited foreigners.
There are several insurance companies providing vehicle insurance. The price of insurance policy may differ depending on the price of a vehicle. In average, damage and theft of a vehicle insurance cost 9-11%, and third party liability insurance is approximately 2,5 % from the price of a vehicle. Car registration: GIBDD department for foreign citizens 6th Radialnaya Street, bldg. 2
What is required for car registration: 1. 2. 3. 4.
Personal presence and the car. ID documents (passport, visa, residence registration) Documents for car purchase (including custom clearance documents if foreign car) International driving license is OK.
CONTACT GROUPS There are a few international expatriate’s clubs and societies in Moscow. Such as International Woman’s Club, British Women’s Club etc.. They are orientated mostly for spouse activities. These groups are organised by volunteers. To obtain the current information about their activities one can from the newspapers Moscow Times or Moscow Tribune which are available for free in most Hotels and big supermarkets and restaurants.
The most popular groups are:
Alliance of Russian-American Women Contact the Moscow Office for information: Address: Stolovy lane, 6, bldg. 2 Tel: 290-5385; Tel/Fax: 203-6133 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.aarwomen.org
International Womenâ€™s Club Office: 147 22 40 Ingrid: 730 31 23 Laura: 730 39 61
ADDITIONAL COSTS TO THE RENT Some additional costs may occur on the top of the rental price depending on the type of property an expatriate is renting. Please find below a short list and description of the additional costs which you can expect:
1. Deposit. To be paid to the Landlord along with the first instalment of the rent upon the signing of the lease agreement. The deposit serves as a guarantee for the Landlord against possible damage whilst you are living in the house. In Russia it usually in the amount of one month rent. 2. Real Estate Agentâ€™s Commission. One month rent is to be paid to the real estate agent as a compensation for his intermediary services. 3. Utility costs. - Westernised Russian apartments: Utilities in Moscow such as electricity, gas, water and heating are provided by central systems. Usually their costs are included in rental prices. But due to inflation and intention of local authorities to invent individual meters in the nearest future these costs might be added above rent. Currently, it is electricity which Landlords prefer to get paid for above rent.
- Western compounds: In Western compounds utilities costs are charged above rent. The amount might differ form $40 to $80 per month. 4. Telephone. It is a very rare case when an apartment comes without telephone connection. Usually at least one telephone line is already installed in the properties. But if you would like to install additional line you would use the alternative telecommunication companies. For example, Combelga Company - Installation fee - $350, Moscow city telephone service – installation fee $300. 5. Satellite TV The installation of Satellite TV antenna is negotiable. The most popular 00and simple way to get it is through Kosmos TV, a company who provide the installation of antenna and decoder. It has a few packages which you can choose depending what county’s programs and what languages you need. 5. Electric voltage. The voltage in Russia is 220V. Usually the plug of a foreign made appliance does not fit the standard Russian outlet. If this is the case, you can buy an adapter (adapters can be found in the department stores or specialised electric home appliances stores).
RELIGIOUS SERVICES Catholic: St. Louis – Malaya Lubianka, 12a. Tel. – 925-20-34 or 157-54-07. Sunday masses: Sat.
7:00 p.m. (Latin);
8:00 a.m. (Latin), 9:30 a.m. (Polish), 11:00 a.m. (Russian), 12:30 p.m. (English or French), 3:00 p.m. (Russian children), 5:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. (Russian);
6:00 p.m. (Russian), 7:00 p.m. (French).
The Moscow Protestant Chaplaincy (Interdenominational Protestant Service) The Federation for Peace and Consent Bldg. Address: Prospekt Mira 36 Tel: 143-3562 email: email@example.com Web-site: www.moscowprotestantchaplaincy.org
ENTERTAINMENT FOR CHILDREN Here is some information on interesting places to visit in Moscow for you and your children.
The Circus. Moscow has two permanent circuses: the Old Circus on Tsvetnoy Boulevard and the Great Moscow Circus on Lenin Hills. Grand Farther Durov’s Wonderland – animal theater. The Moscow Dolphinarium – dolphins shows. Cat Theater – cats and clowns. The Moscow Zoo – has over 750 species of animals. Gorky Park – amusement park for all ages. And you can find much more according to your interests.
PUBLIC LIBRARY Foreign Literature Library Open Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Saturday-10 a.m.-18 p.m., closed on Sunday To subscribe you will need to have passport, visa, one foto 3x4, to pay for a ticket 1 Ruble for non-laminated or 6 Ruble for laminated. Address: 1 Nikoloyamskaya Str., Taganskaya Metro Telephone: 915 3636
WATER To Drink or Not to Drink? Generally the water in Moscow is not dangerous, but it's best not to drink it straight from the tap. In comparison, the water in St. Petersburg is so polluted that it is not even safe to rinse with it while brushing your teeth. Most Muscovites drink the water after boiling it. Westerners generally use some form of filtration system or buy bottled water from a company that delivers to their home or office, or purchase it by the case at the supermarket. Companies to deliver bottled water: 1. Clear Water â€“ www.clearwater.ru Tel. 234 32 32 2. King Water â€“ www.kingwater.ru Tel. 937 50 15] 3. Saint Springs â€“ www.saintsprings.ru Tel. 725 76 00 You can also prepare and store tap water for drinking by boiling it for 20 minutes and then filtering it using a Brita or similar filtration system. Water filters are available in many housewares stores and rynoks (market places).
MOSCOW TRANSPORT MUNICIPAL TRANSPORT Moscow's system of municipal transport includes the Metro network and overland routes covered by buses, trolley-buses, trams (they run from 5.30 a.m. to 12.30 a.m.) and route-taxies – marshrutkas (most of these mini-bus taxies run their fixed routes from 8.00 a.m. to 10.00.p.m.
METRO History and sights. The Moscow metro was constructed in the early 1930's and is famous for its palatial marble stations with mosaics, chandeliers and precious materials. Particularly notable stations are: Komsomolskaya (1952), Kievskaya (1954), Mayakovskaya (1938-39), Novoslobodskaya (1950), Ploshchad Revolutsii (1939). The Museum on the History of the Metro is at the entrance of Metro Sportivnaya. Moscow Subway (Underground), called the Metro for "Metropoliten", is he fastest and cheapest way to reach many points in Moscow with 10 radial lines and one circular (more are being constructed) and over 200 kilometers of track. It operates from 5:30 A.M. to 1:00 A.M. Metro stations are identified by the red “M” signs (illuminated in the evenings and late at night). Trains run at intervals of 2-4 minutes, 1-2 minutes during rush hours. The loud speakers announce (in Russian) the next coming stop and the stop you are on. The doors open and close automatically. Every station has a police post, a first-aid station and telephones - local and international. Transfer points (perekhody) close at 1 A.M. Watch the time; you might get stuck in the middle of the night. Magnet tickets/cards (Bilyety dlya proyezda v metropolitene) cost 15 rubles and less (depending on the number of trips you’re buying at once). The fee for one trip by Metro is fixed, i.e. it doesn't depend on the length of your route. To enter the metro, place a magnet ticket or a transportation card in the turnstiles, or use a monthly pass. Monthly passes go on sale two weeks before the beginning of the next month at metro stations. The last type of transportation passes, called "Unified City Transport Pass" (edinyy bilet) costs 1000 rubles, but it is limited to 70 metro rides. Buy a edinyy bilet once a month, then travel on any form of transportation. There's also a new Unified Transport Pass which can be used both in suburban commuter trains and in the metro. It can be bought (i.e. the deposit for the card) for 50 roubles at any metro or RR station ticket office. But the fares for the two means of transportation should be paid for separately.
After date of expiry the pass can be prolonged at any RR or metro ticket office. If the passenger doesnâ€™t want to use the card any more he must hand it in to the ticket office and get his deposit money back.
Many Muscovites go to work and back home by Metro, that's why you should be aware of the rush hours in the Moscow Metro on working days. Try to avoid using Metro during peak hours in the morning, between 7.30 a.m. and 10.30 a.m., and in the evening, from 4.00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. However, many stations are always overcrowded. In most cases, these are the stations located close to railway and bus terminals, biggest department stores and market places. The main rule a person has to follow, when diving into the depth of the Moscow Metro for the first time, says that no one is to be afraid of a crowd. However, no one should trust the crowd completely and follow it thoughtlessly. If you can't get into the Metro car, don't try to squeeze into it, but wait till next train comes, you might get a better chance of finding a vacant place. If you want to change from one line to another, use the Metro layout to choose and plan the best and the shortest route. The task becomes easier, if a station has only one transfer. As a rule, the Metro guiding boards indicate the lines and stations and you may always find the needed one. The exit boards are also very simple and easy-to read. They display a brief inscription and the names of nearby streets, department stores or organizations. In case a station has two or even more transfers, try to get calm and don't follow the crowd, in this case you may miss your direction. Instead, try to find the information board indicating the needed station. If it doesn't help, don't get scared and try to ask other people for help. In most cases, the Muscovites are friendly enough to show you the way out of the difficult situation. If not, continue to ask the passers-by and the fifth one will definitely help you. Moreover, there is a duty personnel at every station, it's their job to help you. Take care of your personal belongings. The crowd always attracts dishonest people. Please, look after your bags, handbags, pockets, etc. Don't leave your belongings in the Metro trains or in any other public transport. Otherwise, you'll always have a small chance of getting information about the lost things through calling 222-2085 (Metro) and 923-8753 (overland transport).
Remember the meaning of some inscriptions on information boards and panels used in Metro:
TRANSFER TO CIRCULAR LINE
EXIT TO THE STREET
TRANSFER IS CLOSED AT 1 A.M.
BOARDING PLATFORMS TO STATIONS: NO BOARDING
Information boards on station walls show the line stations and transfers to stations of other lines. There is a Metro layout in each train car. For convenience each Metro line has its own color. However, you cannot always find the line of required color on light-boards of the Metro stations, which may only indicate the names of stations without displaying the colors of lines. As far as the line color makes the whole job of finding the desired Metro route easier we provide you with the names of lines in English transcription and the color of each line.
BUSES, TROLLEYS & TRAMS. Bus - av`tobus - автобус. Trolleybus- tro`leibus - троллейбус. Tram - tram`vai - трамвай. Most of them don't go on the schedule, and the average waiting time can be from 5 minutes to 40 minutes in the evenings. The public transport works are from 5:30 until 1:00. The bus stops are yellow plates marked with "A" signs, trolleys' - white plates with "T" and trams' with "Tp". There are no night buses or trolleys or trams. If you're late, you can only take a taxi. Prices are the same for buses, trolleys and trams: one trip costs 25 R ($1). You can buy tickets from the driver (30 R), in the metro (cheaper), and also in some buses there are conductors selling the tickets (25 R). The fine for going without a ticket is 300 R.
MARSHRUTKA is a minibus-shuttle. They usually have the same numbers as the buses or trolleys and go the same route. The difference is that you can ask to stop anywhere along the route, not just the fixed stops. If you see an approaching shuttle just wave it down like a taxi. You must pay for a trip from 25 to 30 R ($1-$1.2) to the driver. When you are near your stop just say aloud to the driver where to stop. He will understand if you just say "Stop!" or more polite "Ostano`vite po`zhaluista" (stop please).
TAXI & CARS. In Russia you can use any car as a taxi, most of the private drivers will give you a lift but only for money. Just wave any car like a taxi. It's better to negotiate the price before starting a trip (even cabmen don't like to use counters). When the driver recognizes you as a foreigner, he will try to make you pay the highest price - so bargain. It is a good way to find out the fair price before (ask the locals). Some of the drivers will accept US dollars or Euros if you don't have roubles. In any case the car prices are relatively low, so it's a good way of moving around the city - usually it costs around 500 -750 R ($20-$30) to get from the outskirts of Moscow to the center and it's around 500 â€“ 750 R ($20 - $30) to move around the center. Using the taxis is more safe and sometimes even cheaper, but there are not many taxis on the streets, only in lively places. You can recognize a taxi by a typical 'chess' sign on top and yellow colour. Moscow taxi operators barely speak English.
AIRPORTS AND AIRPORTCALL SERVICES SHEREMETYEVO II: International Airport, on the road to Sheremetyevo-1, located about 30 km from Moscow. Inquiries - (095) 578-9101, VIP lounge - (095) 578-2132, Transit - (095) 5785743, Arrivals - (095) 578-7518, Departures - (095) 578-7816 SHEREMETYEVO I: 30 km to the North-West from Moscow. From here you may fly to St. Petersburg, Murmansk, the Baltic countries. Highway I10 (Leningradskoye highway flows into Highway M10) Intourist Representative - (095)578-3510. DOMODEDOVO: renovated airport with both international and domestic flights, 48 km to the South from Moscow, Highway M4-M6 (starts from Kashirskoye highway) Intourist Representative - (095) 323-8652. BYKOVO: 30 miles to the South-West from Moscow, M5 Highway (Volgogradsky Prospect enters the M5 Highway). From here airplanes fly to the regions of Central and Southern Russia, the East of Ukraine. VNUKOVO: The airport is located 30 km to the South-West from Moscow. Flights to all regions of Russia, Highway M3 (starts at the end of Leninsky Avenue) Intourist Representative - (095)436-2414. You may get additional information for 0922/5003/5977/5009/8019. Information for international flights: (095)155-5045.
RAILROADS AND TELEPHONES BYELORUSSKY RAILWAY TERMINAL linking Moscow with Byelorussia, Lithuania, Kaliningrad Region, Western Europe Tverskaya Zastava Square, 7, Tel.: 973-8191, the "Byelorusskaya" Metro station (Green & Circular Line) Service-Center of Byelorussky terminal: Gates 3, admission from the square side, tel.: 250-0166/0604 KAZANSKY RAILWAY TERMINAL linking Moscow with Volga regions, Middle Asia, Kazakhstan Komsomolskaya Square, 2, Tel.: 264-6409, the "Komsomolskaya" Metro station (Red & Circular Line) KIEVSKY RAILWAY TERMINAL linking Moscow with Western Ukraine, Central Ukraine (Kiev, Odessa), Southern Europe, Moldova. The Square of Kievsky Terminal, Tel.: 240-1115, the "Kievskaya" Metro station (Blue, Light Blue, Circular Line) KURSKY RAILWAY TERMINAL linking Moscow with the Caucasus, Crimea, Ukraine, Krasnodar Region (Sochi, Novorossijsk) Zemlyanoy Val St., 29. Tel.: 924-5762, the "Kurskaya" Metro station (Blue & Circular Line) LENINGRADSKY RAILWAY TERMINAL linking Moscow with St. Petersburg, Murmansk, Scandinavia, Estonia. Komsomolskaya Sq., 3, Tel.: 262-9143, the "Komsomolskaya" Metro station (Red & Circular Line) PAVELETSKY RAILWAY TERMINAL linking Moscow with the southern regions of Russia, Northern Caucasus, Ukraine. Paveletskaya Sq., 1. Tel.: 235-0522, the "Paveletskaya" Metro station (Green & Circular Line) RIZHSKY RAILWAY TERMINAL linking Moscow with Latvia (Riga). Rizhskaya Sq., 2, Tel.: 266-0596, the "Rizhskaya" Metro station (Orange Line) SAVELOVSKY RAILWAY TERMINAL linking Moscow with the central and northern regions of Russia. Square of Savelovsky Terminal, Tel.: 285-9000, the "Savelovsky" Metro station (Grey Line) YAROSLAVSKY RAILWAY TERMINAL linking Moscow with northern regions of Russia (Yaroslavl, Uglitch, Vologda), Sergiev Posad, the Far East. Komsomolskaya Square, 5, Tel: 262-9271, the "Komsomolskaya" Metro station (Red & Circular Line) Railway Terminals Inquiries: 266-9000/01...09. Tickets for foreigners to all cities in Russia & CIS: Griboedova ul., 6, tel.:(095)262-0604 , Open Daily 8-19 (13-14), the "Turgenevskaya" Metro station.
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