Cristina's Experience in Moscow, Russia
What do you think of Moscow as a place to live? Would you recommend it? How is it?
Moscow is a metropolis. What I love about the city is that you can find anything at any time. Are you feeling hungry at 2am? No problem! Order a takeaway. (The most common are sushi or pizza). Are you ill? There will be at least one pharmacy in your neighbourhood which is open 24/7. Moscow never sleeps! Public transport runs all day and even at night where they pass more or less every hour. The underground is open from 5:30 am to 01:00 am with a train passing every two minutes.
What's student life like in Moscow?
Student life depends quite a lot on the person. In my experience, I think that the best way to be able to enjoy everything that this city, and indeed country, has to offer is to understand and speak the language. It's the key to everything. In lessons it will help you understand more and be able to share your thoughts and it will help you make friends and in the process, share incredible moments, living a culture which is very interesting in its general philosophy. Teachers will support you a lot if they can see that you are interested in what you are studying and that you do everything possible to understand. Your classmates will also help you if you ask for it. But it all depends on you! Neither your teachers nor your class mates will offer you help unless you ask for it.
How much does it cost to live in Moscow?
Students have certain privileges which makes life slightly more affordable. Universities, for example, have their own canteens where you can eat and pay according to how much you eat. There tend to be restaurants close by which offer business lunches for a fixed price, roughly 250 rubles/£2.50 (depending on the type of restaurant and its location).
The price of fresh food depends on the season (for fruits and vegetables especially). In supermarkets you can find various different brands for the same product (with different prices). Here's a rough pointer:
- 1 litre of yoghurt, 100 rubles
- 1 litre of milk, 80 rubles
- 10 eggs, 80 rubles
- 1 loaf of bread, 40 rubles
- 1kg of rice, 50 rubles
- 1kg of potatoes, 35 rubles
If you're a student you can get a social card which you pay credit of 350 rubles for the underground and 250 for the bus each month and in return, you get unlimited travel around the city.
For everyone else, it's best to get a troika card for the underground which costs 50 rubles. You can also add credit to this to access public transport. With this card any use of public transport will cost you 36 rubles. For 2075 rubles you can use it as much as you want for the whole month. If you pay for the ticket each time it will cost you 55 rubles.
Was it difficult to find your accommodation in Moscow?
Do you have any advice?
The universities tend to have their own student halls of residence, they're not very comfortable nor fancy but they are cheap in comparison to the cost of renting a flat.
What is the food like?
What are your favourite dishes?
You can find all types of food whichever takes your fancy. The typical dishes tend to include beetroot, carrots, potatoes, meat, chicken and fish. Obviously they have other ingredients but the above mentioned are the staple components for almost all meals.
I love pelmeni, dumplings containing meat, fish or vegetables (see photo). They are very tasty, easy to prepare and not very expensive.
What places would you recommend visiting in Moscow?
The centre of Moscow is stunning and thanks to the underground, everything is relatively close. There are lots of parks and green spaces. Moscow has four faces and the ones which will make you fall in love with the city appear during the autumn and the summer. For students, admission to the zoo is free and there are discounts for museums and the planetarium. There are many nice places to visit and walk around. The circus is not something you will want to miss.
Is it good to eat out in Moscow? Can you recommend some good restaurants?
It all depends on what type of food you like.
Where would you recommend to go on a night out in Moscow?
In the Peoples' Friendship University of Russia (RUDN) there are loads of Latin students and during the weekends there are some great Latin parties around that area. It also depends on what you're into. There are loads of clubs, restaurants and bars, etc. Think of what vibe you want and then choose a place accordingly.
What advice would you give future students heading to Moscow?
If you're arriving to study in September, try and come a bit earlier so that you can enjoy and really appreciate the city. If you come from February onwards, don't judge it and wait until mid spring!
Content available in other languages
Share your Erasmus Experience in Moscow!
If you know Moscow as native, traveler or as exchange student... share your opinion on Moscow! Rate different characteristics and share your experience.Add experience →