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13 hour layover at Moscow's Domodedovo airport: what to do?

I will be flying from Berlin to Volgograd in early October on S7 airlines. This flight involves a layover at Moscow's Domodedovo airport from 8 pm to 9 am. How do I kill time there? Is it practical to leave my luggage at a storage site (no problem here) and take public transportation to central Moscow to visit that area, including the Kremlin, late at night? Is it safe to do this? [Note: direct flights between the two cities either arrive in Volgograd after midnight or are really expensive so I am willing to tolerate the layover. It will be part of the adventure of visiting Russia. Or I am being stupid for being so frugal?]

Posted by
430 posts

Hi there,
Sure, you can drop off your luggage (http://www.domodedovo.ru/passengers/welcome/services/cloakroom/#lock. - the new site has been only partially translated, so please use Google translate). No problem with public transit downtown, but you might take Uber or some other taxi service to get back (on a week day, you don't want to get stuck in morning traffic).
You may want to check out when the latest run of Radisson flotilla boat ride is - it's a nice way of seeing Moscow lights at night.
You could also do a pub crawl - let me know if that's something you'd be interested in. Again, the scene largely depends on the day of the week - on a weekday, most bars will not have much of anything going on by 3 or 4 am, on a Friday most popular places will be quite busy through the night.
As far as safety goes - it would be helpful if you listed your specific concerns. Failing that, all I can say is that it's safer than most cities I've ever been to (except maybe Luxembourg or Basel - simply because I didn't see a single person in those cities when I did my 3 am stroll)

Posted by
430 posts

Kaeleku, the OP will be on his way to Volgograd, which makes me think the idea of obtaining a visa must have crossed his mind...

Posted by
4637 posts

anamirtu, why do you think OP does not want russian visa? He will have it, he is going to Volgograd which is in Russia.

Posted by
449 posts

Thanks for all your responses. Yes, I am in the process of getting a tourist visa from my tour company so that will not be an issue.

What I would like to do is visit central Moscow during the layover, maybe around 12 midnight. What I don't want to happen is to be robbed. Will it be safe to use the train or other public transporation between the airport and central Moscow, and will it be afe to walk around while staying on the main streets?

Unfortunately, I probably would not arrive in time to catch the last boat tour which leaves Gorky Park pier at 9:00 pm.

Geor(ge)

Posted by
430 posts

Hi geor(ge),
Yes, looks like you are going to miss the last boat (even though I think there are later (non-Radisson) ones leaving from Kievskaya embankment, but they shouldn't be much later, maybe 9:30, so it's a stretch. Pity, really, - that would be my number one recommendation for such a short visit.

Hate to disappoint you, but your chances of getting robbed in downtown Moscow around midnight (or at any other time) are very remote. The most exciting thing likely to happen is you missing the last metro and scrambling to get a taxi (uber, Yandex, and Gett are always there for you, but you will need a local sim card to use them efficiently).
I'd do a couple of hours walk thing - Red Square and vicinity, up tverskaya, left at Kamergersky, down dmitrovka, right at Stoleshnikov, then right back towards Kremlin and circle around it towards Christ the Savior. Traci back to airport afterwards. All these areas are unlikely to be brimming with life after midnight in October, but they are safe and some places might still be open.
Let me know what your dates are - I'll try to see if there is anything going on concert-wise that night (a bit far-fetched, but worth trying).
Cheers.

Posted by
449 posts

I decided to rent a room in a cheap hotel near the airport. This would be better than trying to sleep over at the airport. It was 2000 roubles for the room and 400 roubles each way using GETT taxi service. Some of the taxi banditoes wanted as much as $40 one way to the hotel (vs $7).

Posted by
430 posts

Yup, another reminder of multiple benefits of app-based taxi services... For the time being, anyway - wonder what happens when the competition from gypsy cabs is totally obliterated, though - will they hike their prices?

Everything OK safety-wise?