Globaleye Relocation Guide
A Guide to Living and Working Overseas
Moscow is the capital city and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural
and scientific centre in Russia and in Eurasia. According to Forbes 2013 Moscow has the largest community of billionaires in
Moscow is the northernmost megacity on Earth, the most populous city in Europe, and the 5th largest city proper in the
world. It is the largest city in Russia, with a population, according to the 2010 Census, of 11,503,501. By its territorial
expansion on July 1, 2012 southwest into the Moscow Oblast, the capital increased its area 2.5 times; from about 1,000
square kilometres (390 sq. mi) up to 2,511 square kilometres (970 sq. mi), and gained an additional population of 233,000
Moscow has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfb) with warm humid summers and fairly cold
winters usually lasting from mid‐November through the end of March. Weather can fluctuate widely with temperatures
ranging from −25 °C (−13 °F) to above 0 °C (32 °F) in the winter and from 15 °C (59 °F) to 30 °C (86 °F) in the summer.
Typical high temperatures in the warm months of June, July and August are around a comfortable 20 °C (68 °F) to 26 °C (79
°F), but during heat waves (which can occur between May and September), daytime high temperatures often exceed 30 °C
(86 °F), sometimes for a week or two at a time.
Moscow is situated on the banks of the Moskva River, which flows for just over 500 km (311 mi) through the East European
Plain in central Russia. 49 bridges span the river and its canals within the city's limits.
Moscow has developed in circles around the original historical centre. Today, Muscovites divide their city into four major
rings. The first ring contains the very centre of the city, the Kremlin, as well as the Red Square and some other tourist
The second ring is an immensely popular place to live with both locals and expats moving to Moscow. Its outer ring road
draws a circle with a diameter of around five kilometres around the Kremlin and covers what is considered the city centre.
The area is referred to as Sadovoye koltso, the Garden Ring.
Although the majority of expats moving to Moscow choose to live within the Garden Ring, most of the city’s residential
quarters are located between the third and fourth ring. The fourth ring is enclosed by the Moscow Automobile Ring Road
(Moskovskaya Koltsevaya Avtomobilnaya Doroga – MKAD). The MKAD is the official city boundary, although there are
some areas outside the ring that are also part of the city area.
GMT + 4 hours
Cost of Living
Due to the current economic situation, the price of real estate in Moscow continues to rise. Today, one could expect to pay
£2500 monthly on average per square meter (11 sq. ft.) on the outskirts of the city or £3958 £4872 per square meter in a
prestigious district. It costs about £1520 per month to rent a 1‐bedroom apartment and about £1,100) per month for a
studio in the centre of Moscow.
A typical one‐bedroom apartment is about thirty square meters (323 sq. ft.), a typical two‐bedroom apartment is forty‐five
square meters (485 sq. ft.), and a typical three‐bedroom apartment is seventy square meters (753 sq. ft.). Many cannot
move out of their apartments, especially if a family lives in a two‐room apartment originally granted by the state during the
Soviet era. Some city residents have attempted to cope with the cost of living by renting their apartments while staying in
dachas (country houses) outside the city.
The ruble or rouble (code: RUB) is the currency of the Russian Federation and the two partially recognized republics of
Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Formerly, the ruble was also the currency of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union before
their dissolution. Belarus and Transnistria use currencies with the same name.
The ruble is subdivided into 100 kopeks (sometimes transliterated kopeks, kopecks, or copecks). It is represented by the
abbreviation руб. Bills come in denominations of 5000, 1000, 500, 100, 50 and 10. Coins range from 1 kopek to 10 roubles,
with intermediate values of 5, 10, and 50 kopeks, and 1, 2, and 5 rouble coins.
Credit Cards and ATM’s
All major international credit cards, such as American Express, Master Card and Visa are accepted at most tourist hotels,
restaurants, supermarkets and shopping complexes. It is possible to apply for a local credit card, billed in Thai Baht but
some issuers are reluctant to give them to expatriates. Cheques are not widely accepted.
Banking, money and taxes
While they have stabilized recently, Russian banks have had a nasty history of collapsing. This has caused a serious distrust
of banks by most Russians and consequently it is recommended to open an account with an international bank and to
transfer the money you want to save to a bank in your home country.
Residents pay a standard personal income tax of 13%, which is deducted by the employer. Tax returns do not need to be
filed by taxpayers. You will need to find out if a tax treaty exists between your country and Russia to determine whether
you need to pay Russian taxes or not. It is best to get professional advice on Russian taxation, as it can be very easy to fall
foul of the law in this area.
While trading in US dollars or Euros is illegal in Russia, you might see prices marked in YE, or units, which are loosely linked
to the US dollar. This is due to the dramatic fluxes in the value of the Russian rouble in the past. The Russian rouble seems
to have recovered from the rampant inflation it was subject to in the 1990s. Trade in the country is still largely cash based,
so if you are going anywhere outside Moscow or St Petersburg make sure you have enough cash with you. You will
probably struggle to get hold of roubles outside of Russia, so make sure you have some cash to exchange on arrival.
Country code: 7
The three predominant mobile service providers are Beeline, Megafon and MTS. There is not really much variation
between them, as reception and cost of service will be roughly the same. Expats are able to apply for mobile phone
contracts with only a passport and valid Russian visa; however, it is advised to go to larger shops in the centre of cities.
International calls are very expensive on any plan: it is recommended to use Skype or other online telephone services
In Russian cities, most apartment buildings are already wired for an Internet connection, meaning you'll simply need to
contact a service provider to come over and physically bring the wiring from the hall into your apartment.
Competition among Internet service providers in Russia is fierce, and companies such as Megafon, Beeline, MTS, Akado
and many others offer reasonable prices. The cost of service depends on the provider, but contracts generally fall within a
similar price range.
Internet contracts are offered in terms of Mb per second: expect to pay around £8.75 to £10.50 for a 50Mbps Internet
connection per month. If telephone and television are also added, expect to pay upwards of £17.5 a month.
The weather is often harsh and sometimes extreme, the language seemingly impenetrable, and the people themselves can
often appear distant and uncaring. That said, expats living in Russia will also find themselves in a land of surprises and
adventure; of sublime theatre, dance, art and music, of architectural wonder, rare beauty and historical depth.
Russian people speak with pride about the nature of their “Russian soul”, and are often eager to share their traditions,
their passion for life and their rich culture. With patience, good friends and an open mind expats will indeed survive the
culture shock of living in the fascinating Russian Federation.
Russian life is often unstable and short, but as a result people tend to live more intensely. This ‘way of life’ is noticeable to
people settling in Russia or making a fresh start there.
For the most part, the business etiquette in Russia is similar to that of most Western countries. It is important for expats to
dress formally, shake hands and have direct eye contact when meeting people. Business cards are exchanged and expats
should have these printed with English and Russian on alternate sides. The usual business hours are 9am to 6pm, Monday
Moscow offers a wonderful lifestyle for expats to enjoy, with a number of shopping, restaurant and nightlife options. There
are various malls and boutiques to be browsed in the city centre; the GUM building in Red Square is a favourite, as is
nearby Tverskaya Ulitsa Street. Okhoktny Ryad, at Manezh Square, has high‐street fashions and electronic goods.
Local markets include the Izmailovskii Park market (Russian arts and crafts) and the Cheremushinsky Rynok market (fresh
produce). The exclusive Eliseev Gastronome supermarket sells the best caviar and vodka.
The nightlife in Moscow is extraordinary, featuring everything from bars and clubs to bowling alleys, billiards rooms and
casinos. The trendiest nightlife areas are in and around Arbat, Kitai Gorod and the Garden Ring. The most famous area for
clubs is the Krasny Oktyabr (Red October) area which is an abandoned chocolate factory transformed to a variety of night
clubs and bars, opposite the Kremlin. Some favourite venues include the Piramida bar, Le Club and Fabrique. B2 and the
Chinese Pilot host live music, Bi Ba Bo is a popular bowling alley, while ice‐skating and opera can be enjoyed at Hermitage
The city is full of different kinds of clubs, restaurants and bars. The Moscow city centre and Rublevka (richest area of the
city) have a wide selection of luxury establishments. Tverskaya Street is also one of the busiest shopping streets in
Moscow. Nightlife in Moscow has moved on since Soviet times and today the city has many of the world's largest
Food and Drink
Russian cuisine is known for its diversity and heavy dishes. Nowadays its cuisine is best known for its special traditions and
festive cooking and of course for its famous vodka.
Russian cuisine is famous for its festive dishes such as smoked sturgeon balyk, sturgeon with horseradish, slightly salted
salmon, red, black and pink caviar, pickled and salted mushrooms. Bread and other wheat products are also an essential
part in the food culture, especially brown bread. Vegetable and meat salads are also very popular. Salads are usually
heavier than in Western countries, and consisting of potato, carrots, beetroot, mayonnaise etc.
Traditional food, and non‐traditional food, can be found in the restaurants in Moscow. For a gourmet meal, try heading to
Kavkazskaya Plennitsa or Elki‐Palki.
Vodka is one of the most popular drinks in Russia, mainly because it is cheap. It is usually drunk very cold, and generally
with food or some snacks.
Tea, surprisingly, is a very popular drink in Russia. Tea is drunk traditionally from the Russian Samovar, which is a heated
metal container used for boiling water. Other popular drinks include Sbiten, a spicy hot drink flavoured with wine or honey,
and Kvass, a drink usually made from black rye or rye bread.
Healthcare / Hospitals
In Russia’s larger cities, like Moscow and St Petersburg, there are a large number of private health centres and polyclinics,
many of which claim English‐speaking staff.
These facilities are of a much higher standard than their public counterparts, but are also comparably more expensive. It is
vital that expats have adequate health insurance, either organized through their employer or organized independently, to
cover the hefty fees. Be sure your insurance covers the specific facility you’d most likely visit, as many policies will only
cover specific hospitals and clinics.
No strong relationship exists between price and quality. The most expensive clinic may not be the best, and it’s best to
source recommendations from other expats, your employer, your relocation agency or reputable forums.
Moscow is situated on the Moskva River in the Central Federal District of European Russia. The city is served by an
extensive transit network, which includes four international airports, nine railway terminals, and one of the deepest
underground metro systems in the world, the Moscow Metro, third to Tokyo and Seoul in terms of passenger numbers. It
is recognized as one of the city's landmarks due to the rich and varied architecture of its 188 stations. It’s not necessary for
expats living in one of Russia’s main cities to own a car as the public transport is reliable and relatively cheap.
A number of Russian cities, including Moscow, St Petersburg and Yekaterinburg, have metro systems, which offer the best
means of transport for getting around. However, overcrowding is common, particularly during peak hours. Entry to the
metro is by token inserted into a ticket barrier. For expats who will be using the metro regularly, a monthly pass is the best
option to consider, costing approx. £22 per month.
Buses, trolleys and trams
When the Metro can't connect with where you need to go, buses, trams and trolleybuses provide an alternative way of
getting around many Russian cities, albeit slightly less comfortably.
Russia has an extensive rail network, the second largest in the world after the USA. Long‐distance trains connect Russian
towns and cities, and Moscow and St Petersburg are linked by a high‐speed train, Sapsan, which completes the journey in
about four hours.
A number of different taxis operate across Russia. The average price for 30 min of driving is 400‐450 rubles (£7‐8) and this
is the minimum charge even if the ride is less than 30 min. Private cabs can be hailed in the street, booked via the
telephone or hailed at a taxi rank. It’s best to negotiate the fare with the driver before you get in the vehicle.
Air travel in Russia
Due to its large size, and vast distances between destinations, it’s often more convenient to fly between Russia cities. The
main airports in the country include Moscow’s Sheremetyevo and Domodedovo airports and St Petersburg’s Pulkovo
airport. Regular flights in and out of Russia are operated by Aeroflot, Transaero, Russia’s national airline, as well as Air
China, Air France, Alitalia and British Airways, amongst others.
Courtyard Moscow City Center
7 Moscow, gorod Moskva
+7 495 981‐33‐00
+7 495 580‐28‐28
The Ritz‐Carlton Moscow
+7 495 225‐88‐88
American Medical Center
26/6 Mira Prp., (495) 933‐7700, www.amcenter.ru
26 Mira Prp., Bldg. 5, (495) 937‐5757, www.intac.ru
European Medical Center
5 Spiridonyevskiy Per., Bldg. 1, (495) 933‐6655, http://www.emcmos.ru/en/
The British International School of Moscow
Central Administration Office, +7 495 426 0311
Anglo‐American School of Moscow
Beregovaya Street 1, Moscow 125367, +7 (495) 231‐44‐70
English International School
Zelenyy prospekt, 66, Moscow, Russia, 111396, +7 495 301‐21‐04
Moscow Emergency Contact Numbers
Emergency rescue service
Generally, overseas travellers are more likely to be injured through unintentional injuries than to be struck down by exotic
infectious diseases. In fact, accidents and traffic collisions are the most frequent cause of death among travellers, so ensure
you have good insurance and if you are hiring a vehicle, ensure it is in good working order.
Copy your documents
In the unfortunate event of your luggage going missing, or your passport / wallet is stolen or lost, it is a good idea to have
copies that can help you with re‐issues. Take 2 coloured photocopies of your passport, plus visa stamps and documents,
driving licence, important prescriptions or other ID documents. Make 2 sets of the documents and keep these copies
separate from your main luggage, preferably in 2 separate bags. It is also a good idea to copy scanned or photocopied
documents to an Internet based e‐mail account. Make sure someone at home knows how to access it in case of an
Check with your medical practitioner on what vaccines are required before your travel. Due to your medical history, you
may require more than one dose, or you may need boosters for childhood vaccines. Check the latest travel advice and
travel bulletins for your destination before you depart, and also while travelling, so you can ensure you have the latest
Common diseases contracted by travellers include those which are the result of eating or drinking contaminated food or
water, or not practising safe sex, plus a number of mosquito or tick‐borne diseases endemic to tropical areas. Be sure to
take measures to avoid being bitten such as wearing light‐coloured clothing that covers your arms and legs, regularly
applying an appropriate insect repellent and staying in mosquito‐proof accommodation or using bed nets.
Taking medicines with you
Book a check‐up at your doctor or dentist, before you leave. If you wear glasses or contacts lenses, bring an extra pair of
glasses and your prescription. Persons taking prescription medications should make sure they have an adequate supply for
the trip, and/or bring their prescription, making sure it includes the medication trade name, manufacturer’s name, generic
name, and dosage. Please also be aware that certain medicines are forbidden in Dubai, such as Codeine. Please check that
any medication you are taking is legal and if you are unsure please contact us and we will check for you. Prepare a simple
medical kit of over‐the counter medications (aspirin, ibuprofen, antihistamine, antiseptic and diarrhoea medication), band
aids, thermometer, sunscreen, and insect repellent. When travelling overseas with medicine, (including over‐the‐counter
or private prescription) it is important that you talk to your doctor and discuss the amount of medicine you will need to
take. Carry a letter from your doctor detailing what the medicine is, how much you will be taking, and stating that it is for
your own personal use. Leave the medicine in its original packaging so it is clearly labelled with your own name and dosage
instructions. If you have to inject your medication, inform your airline before you travel and, if necessary, arrange a letter
from your doctor explaining why you need to carry them.
Your health on long‐haul flights
Keep important medication with you in case your luggage goes missing. To help avoid deep vein thrombosis (DVT): drink
plenty of fluids, avoiding alcohol and caffeine, and whilst seated, stretch and rotate your feet and lower legs. Walking
around the cabin at regular intervals will help.
If you have been scuba diving, don’t travel in an aircraft for at least 24 hours after your final dive.
Coping with Jetlag
Factor the effects of jet lag into your itinerary. In order to cope with Jetlag you should get a good deal of sleep before your
journey. It is also important to rest as much as possible during your flight. Planning to arrive at your destination as near to
the time when you normally go to sleep will also help with the adjustment. If you are able to plan your itinerary allow time
on arrival for adjustment or plan meetings at similar times to back home. Some people advise changing their watches to
destination time when they get onto the plane. While this helps many people, for those who are on regular medication,
such as diabetics, watches should remain on home time until you are able to adjust your medication to local times on
arrival at your destination or as suggested by your health advisor. On arrival at your destination get active as soon as
possible, as exercise has been proven to improve productivity. Adjust your meals and activities to local time as soon as you
can. Exposure to light is also a good way of naturally allowing your body to adjust. If you need to take a short nap, do, it will
help refresh you, but don’t forget to use an alarm clock or wake up call to get you up!
If you happen to lose your baggage on arrival at your destination airport, tell the airline immediately and get suitable
compensation. Agree on an amount you can spend on essential items that you will need and give them an address to
deliver the luggage to when they find it. It is wise to make a copy of your passport details and any other important papers
or vaccination certificates that you are carrying with you when you travel. Leave them in a safe place in the office or copy
to an Internet based e‐mail account. Make sure someone at home either a partner or friend knows how to access it in case
of an emergency. You will need photo identification even for air travel within the UK.
Be aware of your surroundings at all times; thieves will use many tricks to distract you ‐ wiping something off your shoulder
while an accomplice is picking your pocket, getting young children to surround you while they plan to rob your belongings.
Trust your instincts, especially when visiting countries where a high poverty rate comes along with high petty crime rates.
When not attending meetings, try to blend in with the crowd when out and about ‐ try not to look like a visitor! When
enjoying the local nightlife, guard your food/drinks and keep your wits about you. Beware of the fact that you will be an
easy target after a few too many drinks. Avoid walking home to your hotel late at night, even if it is close by. Get a taxi.
Don’t take shortcuts through poorly lit areas; it pays to trust your instincts in these situations. Keep your wits about you
when making new friends – men and women may come across very friendly indeed if you are the route to an easier life. Be
careful of telling people where you live.
Unsafe Water ‐ What to do
If travelling to more remote areas with poor sanitation ‐ only drink boiled water, hot beverages, such as coffee and tea,
canned or bottled carbonated beverages, beer, and wine. Ice may be made from unsafe water and should be avoided. It is
safer to drink from a can or bottle of beverage than to drink from a container that was not known to be clean and dry.
However, water on the surface of a beverage can or bottle may also be contaminated. Therefore, the area of a can or
bottle that will touch the mouth should be wiped clean and dry.
ul. Znamenka 7,
Tel: +7 (495) 789 9596
Fax: +7 (495) 789 9597
Dubai Head Office
P.O Box 24592
Villa 801, Al Thanya Street
Umm Sequim 3
United Arab Emirates
T: +971 4 404 3700
F: +971 4 348 6362
Toll Free: 800 4558