Flying is obviously the fastest way to travel to Russia from India. The two countries enjoy an excellent connectivity as there are numerous daily flights that fly to Russia from Mumbai and Delhi. Air India operates direct flights to Russia while other operators have connecting flights with at least one stop in between. Moscow’s Domodedovo International Airport is the busiest of the 270 airports in Russia.
The other two major airports in Moscow are Sheremetyevo International Airport and Vnukovo International Airport. Once you land at Domodedovo, there are many ways to reach the city centre. With a station within the airport itself, the Aeroxpress Train will drop you into Moscow within 45 minutes. The elektrichka suburban train is more pocket-friendly but takes around 70 minutes.
The bus service from Domodedovo doesn’t go all the way to the city centre. Instead, it drops you at a Metro station near city limits. From here it takes another 30 minutes to reach Moscow. If you arrive in Moscow at night, a taxi seems to be a sensible option. There are multiple taxi services operating from the airport, some of which allow you to pre-book your taxi.
As vast as it is, Russia is covered by an extensive road network that is very well-maintained, with a few exceptions. Russia has multiple entry points from neighbouring countries such as Belarus, China, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Latvia, Norway and Ukraine. If you’re driving into the country, make sure you have all the paperwork in order as Russian border crossings are strict. Also, be prepared for long waits as they can take hours to process your crossing.
The best option by road would be an international bus journey. Eurolines is a major international bus operator that connects Russia’s major cities with Europe and Baltic States. Although there are other bus operators, it is better to stick with the biggest one simply because of its deeper connectivity.
Russia enjoys direct international connectivity by boat with countries like Turkey, Finland, Estonia, Denmark, Japan and South Korea. On the Russian side Vladivostok, St. Petersburg and Moscow are the major maritime centres that receive international ferries. Some of these journeys last more than a day. Make sure that your boat is comfortable and well-equipped to handle emergencies.
Alternately, there are a good number of international cruises that call on Russian ports during their journey. A cruise ship is rather a grand way of reaching Russia by boat. Do make sure you carry correct documentation and a valid visa, without which you will not be allowed to enter. Almost all the cruises and ferries operate during summer. In winter the seas are rough and frozen in some places.
Trains are the most efficient way of travelling in any country around the world and it holds true in Russia as well. Russina Railways (RZhD) connects the country with 13 European nations by trains. You can easily reach Moscow from major European cities such as Berlin, Helsinki, Milan, Paris, Prague, Tallinn and Warsaw.
Moscow also receives trains from Asia, Eurasia and the Balkans. But the connectivity is not as extensive as with Europe. As of 2019, France, Germany, Finland, Italy, Poland, Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova have direct trains to Russia. Others like Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary, Serbia and Slovak Republic have through trains. The trains are mostly comfortable, if a bit old. But the trains are gradually being updated and Russia now has the high-speed ‘Sapsan’ trains which travel at speeds up to 250 km/h. Book your tickets online in advance to enjoy excellent deals and discounts on your tickets.
The Trans-Siberian Railway stretches between Moscow and Vladivostok. It is the longest railway line in the world and covers around 9290 km. A journey on this line is a treat for the senses as the train passes through some of the most beautiful parts of Russia. The high-speed Sapsan trains will take you anywhere between Moscow and St. Petersburg. Getting around Russia by train is highly convenient as they operate all year long.
While a bus journey may get tiring due to the long distances, they often connect to out-of-the-way and remote villages. The long-distance buses of Russia are more economical than the trains. With better granular connectivity, the buses are a popular mode of transport to get around, especially if the distances are not too long.
Renting a car in Russia is quite easy and the country has an excellent road network. But driving yourself around Russia could get cumbersome as you go deeper into the interiors and remote areas. Electronic navigation doesn’t work in all places, so you must carry a paper map for finding your way around. With vast distances between cities, you’ll have to plan your trip in advance including your fuel stops. Driving in Russia in winter is not recommended due to dicey road conditions.
Thomas Cook has several exciting holiday packages for Russia. Book your holiday online or visit your nearest Thomas Cook branch for a personalised vacation.