Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Destinations > Europe > Russia
Reload this Page >

How safe is Moscow?

How safe is Moscow?

Old Feb 17, 15, 5:17 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Slough
Programs: BA Blue,Accor.Flightdiary.net/liamvad
Posts: 663
How safe is Moscow?

Going to Moscow in March,have checked the travel sites for info etc,but perhaps someone on here can give me some accurate advice,is Moscow safe for tourists,is English spoken,or as I have been told,no-one speaks english?
Just wanted to hear from the 'horses mouth' so to speak.Thanks.
liamvad is offline  
Old Feb 17, 15, 7:49 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Programs: United Plat and falling
Posts: 100
Originally Posted by liamvad View Post
Going to Moscow in March,have checked the travel sites for info etc,but perhaps someone on here can give me some accurate advice,is Moscow safe for tourists,is English spoken,or as I have been told,no-one speaks english?
Just wanted to hear from the 'horses mouth' so to speak.Thanks.
In my experience, Moscow is a fairly typical Eastern European capital city. I find it to be about as safe/unsafe as London. My personal experience of crime is that it is infinitely higher in London than Moscow - in that I was glassed once in London and never in Moscow There is crime, but it is not dramatic in the main tourist areas. Moscow is no longer the city many imagine from the 80s of frequent street crime and overt organized crime. I know a lot of people see Russia as dangerous, much like NYC is no longer the city of daily murders, even though many may imagine it that way. My apartment has two 6cm thick doors, each with 6 dead bolts. I assume it was once necessary. We only use one and only lock one deadbolt. But of course it is a major city and crime can happen anywhere, so take care like you would anywhere else. Download a taxi app - yandex or gettaxi or the like - taxis can be hard to hail on the street and I've heard, but not experienced, that hailed taxis could be unsafe. Know where you want to go and more or less how to get there so you aren't wandering around lost. The metro system is great. If you learn the Cyrillic alphabet before you come (not too hard, really) it is pretty easy to navigate.

I see you are based in Slough, so I am assuming you're British? You should check on travel guidance from the Foreign Office before you leave (https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/russia), but right now they are only advising against traveling near the Ukrainian border area. But I suppose that if the US arms the Ukraine things could get bad quickly. Since the sanctions/counter-sanctions started I've been expecting negative interactions from Russians, but I honestly haven't experienced anything beyond typical Russian gruffness. If anything, ordinary Russians are more polite to me, which probably means that they are more careful not to express their true opinions. I have found that most Russians I interact with do genuinely believe, or at least claim to believe, the Kremlin line on Ukraine - that the west is the instigator and Russia the protector in the conflict. Before you come, you could check out the Moscow Times (daily english newspaper) online and see what is going on.

It is true that fewer people speak English than in other European cities, but it is far from true that "no one" speaks English. Most commercial interactions are doable between English and smartphone translation apps. I'm sure you will be fine. I have found that native Russian speakers have a hard time understanding non-native speakers who speak Russian poorly (as I do). I don't think it is a matter of lack of willingness, but more likely that Russians just aren't used to hearing bad Russian in foreign accents - they just aren't accustomed to working with non-native speakers are trying to say and the kind of language mistakes they make.

I bet you will have a great trip. In many ways, it is a good time to visit. Moscow used to be about 30% more expensive than Western Europe, but with the fall in Ruble, it is kind of a good deal right now. Moscow is probably as tourist-oriented today as it ever was - there is a big domestic tourist industry and there are a lot of businesses and systems set up to help/extract money from tourists.

Good luck.
fischi is offline  
Old Feb 17, 15, 10:00 am
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Slough
Programs: BA Blue,Accor.Flightdiary.net/liamvad
Posts: 663
Hi fischi,thank you for your detailed reply,I am so looking forward to going to Moscow,have been wanting to visit since I was very young,and I am now very old!!! I am sure I will enjoy Moscow,have been looking at the language and cryptic wording,so that should help,I am going with my cousin,so will not be on my own as I am for most of my trips abroad.I will post a detailed account of my trip on here,thanks again for your advice.Yes,I am English.
liamvad is offline  
Old Feb 17, 15, 10:11 am
  #4  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: LAX-SNA
Programs: BA Gold, AF/KL Gold, UA 1K, AA 2mm LT PLT
Posts: 19,244
Mrs. SFO777 and I spent three days in Moscow about a year ago and loved it. We did all the touristy things, Red Square, Kremlin, Bolshoi, took taxis, the metro. Most everyone we met was very friendly despite the language barrier. Never once felt uncomfortable even walking outside at night.
If you are interested, my trip report.
SFO777 is offline  
Old Feb 17, 15, 11:26 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Programs: United Plat and falling
Posts: 100
Originally Posted by liamvad View Post
Hi fischi,thank you for your detailed reply,I am so looking forward to going to Moscow,have been wanting to visit since I was very young,and I am now very old!!! I am sure I will enjoy Moscow,have been looking at the language and cryptic wording,so that should help,I am going with my cousin,so will not be on my own as I am for most of my trips abroad.I will post a detailed account of my trip on here,thanks again for your advice.Yes,I am English.
I grew up in Los Angeles, practicing nuclear missile drills by cowering under plywood desks. So I am living in a place I really never expected to visit. You may find it shockingly hyper-commercial here, but there is still a lot of soviet era public art and last week I saw three old guys in the park with a ussr flag.

Last edited by fischi; Feb 17, 15 at 11:27 am Reason: Typo
fischi is offline  
Old Feb 17, 15, 12:50 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: YUL
Programs: AC*E50 (*A Gold), Accor Platinum, Bonvoy Gold Elite, Hilton Gold, Amex Platinum, NEXUS, Global Entry
Posts: 5,392
fischi and SFO777 have done a good job with the basics. I'll add that you'll be absolutely fine. Just use usual precautions while around crowds.

I've found it difficult to find English speakers, but try to learn the cyrillic alphabet before you head over; indeed, it's not terribly difficult. Once you can recognize the letters, you'll quickly recognize words (some of which are very similar to English) and will be able to order off Russian menus by simply pointing to what you want.

I'm heading back in March, too -- I'm sure you'll enjoy it!
ffsim is offline  
Old Feb 18, 15, 12:41 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 2
Moscow is absolutely secure, if you do not do anything stupid
antonyreed is offline  
Old Feb 18, 15, 2:17 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Programs: United Plat and falling
Posts: 100
Originally Posted by antonyreed View Post
Moscow is absolutely secure, if you do not do anything stupid
Exactly correct. I could take a lesson from you in being concise .
fischi is offline  
Old Feb 20, 15, 4:10 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: New York
Programs: Krisflyer Elite Gold, BAEC Bronze, Amex Plat, SPG Gold, Hilton Honors Gold, Marriott Gold
Posts: 364
Just one more post to note that Moscow is indeed generally safe. Been there almost 20 times (my wife is Russian) and found it completely safe.

I have also taken "illegal" taxis many times, both alone and with people, and found it to be an experience - some times you find careless drivers, so do note that. However, you can just ask to get out.

Other than that, you will enjoy it, I am sure.
JFSV is offline  
Old Feb 20, 15, 3:56 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Warsaw / London
Programs: price is a king
Posts: 820
Originally Posted by liamvad View Post
Going to Moscow in March,have checked the travel sites for info etc,but perhaps someone on here can give me some accurate advice,is Moscow safe for tourists,is English spoken,or as I have been told,no-one speaks english?
Just wanted to hear from the 'horses mouth' so to speak.Thanks.
I'm travelling to MSC twice a year, it might sound a little rough BUT you will be fine as long as you don't look Asian nor you manifest openly being homosexual.

mfk
MichalFKowalik is offline  
Old Feb 21, 15, 4:49 am
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Slough
Programs: BA Blue,Accor.Flightdiary.net/liamvad
Posts: 663
Oh,I had better leave my pink wallet at home then...
liamvad is offline  
Old Mar 3, 15, 7:47 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: EWR
Programs: UA / DL
Posts: 150
Originally Posted by MichalFKowalik View Post
I'm travelling to MSC twice a year, it might sound a little rough BUT you will be fine as long as you don't look Asian nor you manifest openly being homosexual.

mfk
By "look Asian"...

if I am Chinese-American, born and raised in US (speaking obviously great English), is this something to be wary about when going to Russia? I know there's a big Chinese tourist crowd, so are we talking racism, coldness, harassment, or what?
acmys is offline  
Old Mar 3, 15, 8:17 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Moscow
Programs: Marriott Plat, IHG Plat Amb
Posts: 1,126
Probably not - the most "unliked" here are those born in Central Asia and Caucasian republics (both independent and Russian). The Chinese tourist crowd is really getting bigger each year, and it's better to be treated as a tourist then as an illegal worker.
Temedar is offline  
Old Mar 10, 15, 2:54 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: California USA
Programs: AA EXP, AA Million Miler, AA Lifetime Gold, Top 1% of KIVA lenders
Posts: 377
Just got back from Moscow. Absolutely safe and felt no uneasiness a all. Lots of visitors from just about everywhere and everyone was relaxed.
Brahmin is offline  
Old Mar 10, 15, 10:16 am
  #15  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Slough
Programs: BA Blue,Accor.Flightdiary.net/liamvad
Posts: 663
Originally Posted by Brahmin View Post
Just got back from Moscow. Absolutely safe and felt no uneasiness a all. Lots of visitors from just about everywhere and everyone was relaxed.
Cheers! I am looking forward to Moscow...thanks for the news.
liamvad is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread