With over 10 million residents and a rich and fascinating history, Moscow is the center of Russia's economic, cultural, and educational landscape. As a result of the country's steady economic growth and virtually unlimited potential, an increasing number of multinational corporations have set up shop in Moscow, bringing an unprecedented number of business travelers to the city. Yet the city's size and complexity, combined with the country's unique language and culture, make Moscow hard to navigate for foreigners. Here, then, are some tips to help ease the way for business travelers.
1. Carefully Choose Your Accommodations
Where you choose to stay can make the difference between a successful and a disastrous business trip. Your best bet is to select a business class, fully equipped, serviced apartment rental in Moscow. A short term rental will provide you with familiar Western comforts, while giving you access to the equipment you need (like Wi-Fi Internet; a computer printer, scanner, and fax; and free local calling) to stay connected and get the job done. Many come with a fully equipped kitchen and a washing machine, which will help you settle in and concentrate on the business at hand.
When selecting Moscow rentals, be sure to look for rentals in the upscale Arbat area of Moscow, within the Garden Ring Road. This is a very safe area, and one that is close to supermarkets, embassies, stores, restaurants, financial institutions, and nightclubs. Furthermore, unless you're fluent in Russian, choose to work with a company that is Western owned and operated. An English-speaking staff will go far in ensuring that your stay in Moscow goes smoothly and is stress-free.
2. Getting through Passport Control
When you arrive at Domodedovo International Airport or Sheremetyevo 2 International Airport, it's easy to become overwhelmed by the lines and procedures at passport control and customs. The best serviced apartment rental companies can also arrange for full airport VIP services, Fast Track check in, and business lounge access.
3. Visa Registration
Russia has very strict regulations for foreigners visiting Russia. Not only do you have to register upon your arrival in Moscow, but if you visit other cities, you have to register there as well. If you are staying in a short term rental, the Western company that manages the rental should be able to assist you in complying with the myriad visa requirements.
4. Airport and Train Transfers
Many business travelers are overwhelmed by the logistics involved in going to and from Moscow's airports and train stations. There are four major airports and nine train stations in the city, as well as the world's most extensive Metro system. Although it's possible to negotiate Moscow's transportation system on your own, it's much less of a hassle to book an airport or train station transfer with the Moscow rentals company you select.
5. Taxi and Transport Services
Whether you need to get around Moscow or are going to one of the many popular tourist destinations in Russia, it's important to select a reliable taxi and transport service. Again, it's helpful to be able to rely on Westerners, who can arrange for you to book an hourly taxi.
With the right planning, business travel in Moscow can be both productive and enjoyable.