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Old Apr 27, 09, 1:36 pm   #1
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DME to the H.I. Sokolniki -- train or taxi?

It seems like most people recommend taking the Aeroexpress to Paveletsky station, and then transferring to the subway. But to get to the Holiday Inn Sokolniki, that would require an additional transfer between subway lines.

On waytorussia.net, they apparently offer a "mid-range" English-speaking taxi service ("AroundMoscow") from DME to the hotel for under 30 Euros. I can even share that expense with another flyertalker. So a taxi "seems" rather affordable. Anyone ever use waytorussia to book a taxi, and which method of transport is better?

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Old Apr 28, 09, 1:01 am   #2
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Transfer between lines on the metro isn't too difficult, but you should know where you want to go from/to because the signage is all in Russian and almost nobody will be able to speak English. It is definitely worth it to spend an hour studying the alphabet and learning how to pronounce things.
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Old Apr 28, 09, 2:10 am   #3
 
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Transfering between lines is not difficult. xyzzy is right on point.
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Old Apr 28, 09, 7:07 am   #4
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Yeah, I certainly plan to get around by subway. The DME airport train though seems to run only once an hour at mid-day (when the flights from the US arrive). So that potentially could add some significant time. And I would assume the train-subway and subway-subway transfers add time. In Europe, I usually take the public transit into town. But I'm wondering if this one would be worth the effort, given that it seems to have the potential to be time-consuming,and there appears to be a reasonable taxi alternative
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Old Apr 28, 09, 7:54 am   #5
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If you really want to take a taxi, then do that. There is a fixed-price taxi booth in the baggage claim area of DME. The rate charged depends on the part of the city you are going to. The driver will almost certainly not speak English, but the dispatcher will speak enough for you to be able to get to your destination.
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Old Apr 28, 09, 8:51 am   #6
 
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In the middle of the day, the drive from DME to the Sokolniki will probably take 2 hrs or so. If you're not intimidated by the train/metro, it is a much more relaxing/interesting way to go. Taking taxis in Moscow just plain sucks.

The train ride to Paveletsky is about 40 minutes. When you get off the train, walk into the building, swipe your ticket, and turn left. The metro entrance is straight ahead. Take the green line and connect to the red line. Should take no more than 30 minutes. The metro stop at Sololniki is right across the street from the Holiday Inn, you can't miss it.
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Old Apr 28, 09, 1:04 pm   #7
 
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Take the AE and the underground. Just get a map of the metro and know how many stops you will need before you get on and off. I had a piece of paper with the line and stops in Russian and English. Most of the time people were willing to help.
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Old Apr 28, 09, 1:32 pm   #8
 
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from a purely practical view, it depends on three things:

1) The day and time of your arrival. If it is in rush-hour on a work day, it will take much more time by taxi. Worse in the morning (when most traffic goes into the city) but even in the evening it can be bad.

2) How much luggage do you have? The metro is not great if you have big and/or heavy bags. Especially if you need to change lines where there may be stairs without escalators. And the time when it makes the most sense to take the metro (see #1 above) is the time the metro is most packed.

3) Your comfort level with new challenges. If you cannot read any Russian and do not have much experience with different types of metro systems, you can get lost and confused easily enough.

I recommend all my visitors to Moscow to take the trains and metro, but I also ensure they are prepared...
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Old Apr 28, 09, 11:03 pm   #9
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Well, the Waytorussia folks tell me the rate on their website is a typo -- a taxi from DME to the city is $53. At that price, it's an offer I can refuse.

The Aeroexpress now has a better mid-day time table now that the literature suggests. If you're coming in on the AA flight from Chicago, there's apparently a train service every half-hour.

http://www.domodedovo.ru/en/main/getting/1/aero/

I understand you need to be a little careful following the signs at DME to the train, but I presume it's managable. I've riden subways from Buenos Aires to Beijing, so how hard could Moscow's be?
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Old Apr 29, 09, 7:53 pm   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iahphx View Post
It seems like most people recommend taking the Aeroexpress to Paveletsky station, and then transferring to the subway. But to get to the Holiday Inn Sokolniki, that would require an additional transfer between subway lines.
Yes, you get first on the brown line and then transfer to the red line for just a few stops. The metro was busy-busy-busy pretty much all the time when I was there last week-end, but it wasn't always packed i.e. sometimes you could move within the train car, and I think I sat down once or twice!

If you are using for sightseeing too, I recommend buying a ten ride right off the bat. Great deal and took us through the weekend, but for a single ride at the end.

From DME we took the express train then metro to the hotel on arrival, but we got in earlier in the day on Friday (10:30 or so) on UA then I believe AA does. The metro was a pain with a bag (carry-on size, but still), as you do walk a bit and have plenty of stairs. It was fine after we dumped bags at Sokolniki.

We actually did a taxi back to DME on Monday morning as I didn't want to deal with what I assumed would be just a jam packed metro on a monday morning. Took less than an hour to get to the airport via taxi, and was definitely more relaxing than fighting the metro a second time with my bag.

Recommendations: find color of line you want, then look at signage on the tracks themselves that show the direction the line is going, the upcoming stops, and the upcoming connection points to other color lines. The signage above the metro platforms (like before you go down escalators) didn't seem to have all the stops. Was a little confusing to me, but with a friend in tow we always got where we wanted! And boy is their metro quick and frequent.

Since you've done the subway thing in large cities you should be fine. It was much more complicated than DC's pathetic system that I use.

Have fun!
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Old Apr 29, 09, 9:28 pm   #11
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We actually did a taxi back to DME on Monday morning as I didn't want to deal with what I assumed would be just a jam packed metro on a monday morning. Took less than an hour to get to the airport via taxi, and was definitely more relaxing than fighting the metro a second time with my bag.
Hmmm -- everybody keeps saying how it's going to take hours by taxi, but your experience would indicate that the taxi is significantly faster.

If you do want a taxi LEAVING DME, there's a booth where you prepay, right? Does anyone know how many rubles that is? We're 3 people, so it's not like taking the train is going to save us tons of money.
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Old Apr 30, 09, 6:38 am   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iahphx View Post
Hmmm -- everybody keeps saying how it's going to take hours by taxi, but your experience would indicate that the taxi is significantly faster.

If you do want a taxi LEAVING DME, there's a booth where you prepay, right? Does anyone know how many rubles that is? We're 3 people, so it's not like taking the train is going to save us tons of money.
We were expecting a much longer taxi ride and didn't believe the guy at the desk (we used the taxi service booked at the hotel) when he said 1 -1 1/2 hours. Maybe it's because it was morning and traffic is flowing into the city instead of out of? All I know is we probably beat the metro/train time to DME.

We didn't take a taxi from DME, so can't help you there ... I'd be curious just to hear that information as well though.
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Old Apr 30, 09, 12:41 pm   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iahphx View Post
If you do want a taxi LEAVING DME, there's a booth where you prepay, right? Does anyone know how many rubles that is? We're 3 people, so it's not like taking the train is going to save us tons of money.
It's really easy to book a taxi. Details and expected travel times are here:
Quote:
Arrivals at International Domodedovo Airport you have to book a taxi at special desks, these are located at:

* the domestic arrival hall
* the international arrival hall
* the luggage reclaim hall of the International area
* the luggage reclaim area of the Domestic area

At the desk, you choose a model of car, a route you want to go and pay for your trip according to the existing tariffs. The taxi operator will provide you with a receipt, a coupon for a trip and calls a security member, who will accompany you to a taxi.
The taxi service payment can be made both in cash and by plastic card. VISA, VISA ELECTRON, Maestro, Master Card, Union Card are accepted.
Rates are here
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Old Apr 30, 09, 12:44 pm   #14
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iahphx View Post
Hmmm -- everybody keeps saying how it's going to take hours by taxi, but your experience would indicate that the taxi is significantly faster.

If you do want a taxi LEAVING DME, there's a booth where you prepay, right? Does anyone know how many rubles that is? We're 3 people, so it's not like taking the train is going to save us tons of money.
We used go-to.ru which costs 1450 rubles from DME to the city and 1200 rubles from the city to DME. Change the price from dollars to rubles on their site, as the dollar rates that are quoted are based on a bad exchange rate. We booked it online and paid the driver.

It took almost an hour going from the HI Sokolniki to DME on a Sunday morning. On the way into town we arrived at SVO (from LED) so I can't comment on the DME-Sokolniki time.
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Old May 3, 09, 12:26 pm   #15
 
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I did the trip DME to this Holiday Inn and back on the train - no big deal and pretty easy. I was towing my rollaboard and backpack which I had to carry up and down some occasional stairs in the stations, but, I didn't really find it that inconvenient.

As others have noted, you'll want to count off stations and pattern match the signs.

When you get off the AeroExpress and intothe Metro station, look for the windows with a mob in front of them and a sign that says Kacci. When you get to the window hold up ten fingers (for a ten ride pass) and given them some cash - I think it's like 250 RUB.

Ride the #5 circle train 3 stops counter clockwise and then switch to the #1 train and ride it 2 stops to Sokolniki. When you get out the hotel will be behind you with a bunch of flags and stuff in front of it and rod iron gates.

The colors of the signs in the stations aren't really indicative of the line colors on the maps. There are numbers for the lines which match the numbers on the map though. The way I found the right trains was to look at the signs overhead on the platforms and find the first few Cyrillic characters matching the last station in the direction I wanted to go in.

There is a map in nearly all the stations I used before you go through the turnstiles somewhere on the wall with a You Are Here arrow. Never saw such a map on the platforms though.

Here is the map:
http://engl.mosmetro.ru/flash/scheme01.html
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