It is most probable that your first arrival to Moscow will be made by plane.
There are three international airports in Moscow – Domodedovo, Sheremet’evo and Vnukovo. They are relativelly close located to the city, have undergone reconstruction in the past decade and provide various posibilities for commuting to the city.
The largest and the most further located is the Domodedovo airport that hosts flights by British Airways, Lufthansa, S7 Siberian Airlines, American Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Qatar Airways, Transaero and others. The airport is about 25 km away from Moscow and has a separate highway that leads to it. The fastest and most convinient way to get downtown is by the Aeroexpress train, that leaves every 30 minutes from the airport and operates from 5 am to 1 am. It costs from 10 to 20 USD (the higher fare is for the premium class of services, but they actually don’t differ much) and will get you safely to the Paveletskaya train station, where one has several options for contiuning his way through town. The train is a very relaible way to get to the city centre in the afternoon on a working day and will help you avoid heavy Moscow traffic en route from the airport.
There are also several bus routes that operate from the airport to the nearest subway station and will cost you around 4-6 USD, but forget about English signs and English speaking drivers. An official taxi service (requested at a taxi desk) from Domodovo cost the most compared to other airports and if you want to get to downtown by car be ready to pay around 50-70 USD. Be sure not to pay more: there are many private cabs watching for you at the arrival gates but we strongly recommend to avoid them. They usually trick all foreigners and take them to the city for a minimum fare of 100-150 USD and they ususally have older (and less safer) cars.
The train is also a relaible transport for getting to downtown if you are going from the other two airports – Sheremet’evo and Vnukovo. They cost the same and will take you downtown in about 25-30 minutes. The Sheremet’evo Aeroexpress arrives at the Belorusskaya train station, a walking distance from one of Moscow’s central streets – the Tverskaya street. The Vnukovo Aeroexpress arrives at the Kievskaya train station, which is also located within convinient distance from the subway station.
The Sheremet’evo airport is the second largest air gateway to Moscow, that hosts flights by Aeroflot and other airlines from the Sky Team alliance. It is located on a very condensed highway that curls through one of the largest Moscow suburbs Khimki. So, when you decide to take a bus or a taxi, remeber to be patient – it might be a very long ride. The taxi fare from Sheremet’evo will be around 40-60 USD, depending on how far you need to go. Just like in Domodedovo, there will be illegal taxi drivers scavanging for you upon arrival so be sure to ask for your car at the official taxi desk.
Vnukovo is the smallest of the three airports and mostly hosts flights from CIS countries and Central and Eastern Europe. It is pretty conveniently located on a large highway and one can get downtown very quickly by taxi in the evening or on weekends. The fare is the same 30-50 USD and please don’t forget about the official taxis.
We will keep you posted on any changes and new ways of getting to the city from Moscow’s airpots.