If you’re looking for extraordinary historical wonders and architecture, then the Russian capital, Moscow, certainly won’t disappoint. The largest European city west of the Urals has seen it all – tsars, Vikings and Napoleon – and still its icons stand bolder and more vivid than ever before. While the Red Star shines bright on the Kremlin's Spasskaya Tower, today, Moscow is all about earning money, as opposed to sharing it. This makes for a heady swirl of shopping centres juxtaposed with communist monuments. Get ready for culture clash on your London to Moscow break.
As a global metropolis swimming in a new-found wealth, Moscow isn't quite as cheap as it used to be, so it's not a bad idea to saave a few pounds on your flights. The cheapest time to travel is in January or September. You can get bargains any time up to six weeks before you plan on flying out, but book for a Wednesday afternoon, as this time seemingly is the best time for a bargain.
Gatwick Airport usually offers the lowest prices for London to Moscow flights. You can drive there down the M23, but if you want to avoid the traffic jams, the Thameslink offers regular train services that run from London Victoria. It's cheap at around GBP 10. Alternatively, the Gatwick Express is much faster, taking about 30-35 minutes, and costs about GBP 20 for a single ticket.
It takes just under four hours to cover the 1,500 miles to Moscow's Domodedovo International Airport (DME). Given that Moscow is five hours ahead of the UK, you may get a little jet-lagged. The cheapest airlines offering London Moscow flights tend to be those making a stopover, such as Lufthansa, Swiss International Air Lines and easyJet. British Airways and Aeroflot do fly direct, but come with a hefty price tag.
Domodedovo is one of three major airports close to Moscow, located about 35 miles south of the city. The fastest way to get into the capital is on an Aeroexpress train. These speed between the airport and the Paveletsky Railway Terminal in about 50 minutes and cost about GBP 6. You will need to use Metro Line 2 to get the rest of the way into the city centre. Commuter trains cost a lot less, about GBP 2, but take 75 minutes. Alternatively, jump on the 308 bus to the Domodedovskaya metro stop for the same price.
Despite its massive size and hugely powerful symbols, Moscow is a city where the sightseeing can be done within a few days, perfect for a mid-week or long weekend. But what sights they are. Red Square simply is a must, thanks to its collection of stunning buildings and symbolic monuments. The Kremlin's fiery-red outer walls exude a palpable power. Inside, the white and gold turrets of the three glorious cathedrals remind you of its one-time religious significance. An even more impressive former cathedral, St Basil's, sits opposite, a glorious confection of colours and shapes that's sure to raise a smile. More sombre and telling is Lenin's Tomb, which is still open to the public.
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