Its an essiential on how to get around in Moscow: Taxi’s.

To save you money and a headache we have some tips for you:

1. AIRPORTS! Don’t follow any “taxi drivers” waiting with some bogus licences right after the customs exit. Don’t take any taxis’s from the airport, unless its ordered from the Yandex counter (not because we have some advertising deal with them, but because they are the most reliable and one of the cheaper options). If at the airport, you can also consider to take the “Aeroport Express” into the center and then continue your trip by metro or taxi from there. The train won’t save you a lot of money, if you’re final destination isn’t anywhere close to the city Aeroport Express station.

2. CLUB’s & BARs and RESTAURANTS. Don’t take any of the drivers waiting for you right infront. They will at least rip you off with the fare, but some of them are also criminals. Its better to order a taxi by one of the APPS (which we will explain further down) or at least stop one on the next main road and not directly infront of the club.

3. DON’T USE GIPSY TAXI’s. Moscow has an old history of private people, offering a ride for money. Some of these “gipsy” taxis even look like official taxis. It used to be our common way to get around 5 years ago, but since the introduction of the taxi APPs and the large taxi companies, there are less and less wild taxi divers around. The remaining ones, are often tryinging to rip you off with the fare or are even criminals. The official taxis are the better deal in most cases. If you want to use a gipsy taxi, you should negotiate a fixed price before the ride, which will be a problem, if you don’t speak Russian. You can always try to use your fingers, but make sure the driver understands, that you mean hundrets and not thousands.

Here are the commonly used taxi companies with links to their sites. All of them offer APPs for your mobile phone. Most in English language as well. It probably a good idea to install (and verify – by SMS) the APPs before you come to Moscow. Note, while most APPs are available in English, the 99% of the drivers won’t speak English at all. But you can put all data in the APP when you order the taxi and the driver has it on his phone or tablet.

Apps for iPhone and Android + Website
This is certainly the largest service in Moscow. They are working with various licensed taxi companies, some of them with official yellow taxis and others with private cars. There are different options in the APP, from economy to comfort to business to van. You can also add special requirements, as kids seats, luggage, a pet transport and so on. After the verification by SMS, there is no need for a credit card. You can pay in cash. Credit Card rides are usually 20-40% cheaper, though. Yandex offers fixed fees, which come in handy, when you take a rush hour ride and expect to stay in the notorious Moscow traffic jams. BUT, Yandex adjusts the rate and charges more than double during peak times. This can also be at 3:00 am at night, when everybody wants to drive home from the clubs. Another taxi company may have a longer wait, but a much cheaper fare in that case.

Apps for iPhone and Android
UBER mainly uses private drivers abroad, but has to work with official taxi companies in Russia. Nevertheless, the rates are typically a bit cheaper, than from Yandex Taxi. Uber usually has the worse sevice and drivers, though. A plus is, that you can use your local / home UBER APP in Moscow. A cerdit card is needed for the registration process, after they usually also accept cash (can be set in the app).

Apps for iPhone and Android
Another foreign taxi service provider that runs operations in Russia, with local licensed taxi companies. The service is usually good and accurate. Occasionally it takes longer to get a GETT taxi, than on Yandex or Uber. The company also offers fixed fees, which is a plus during rush hours. They also have a flexibale fare / rate system, which gets more expensive during peak times, but it is usually cheaper than Yandex’s.

Apps for iPhone and Android + Website (in ENG as well)
This is certainly the cheapest taxi service of all. But the cars are not always the best and not the cleanest. The biggest downturn is, that the APP is only available in Russian. The website offers an ENG version and can be used to order a taxi. They usually offer fixed fares, which are well below the above mentioned companies. So if you speak a little Russian or have someone, who can help you, this is certainly an option. The waiting times are usually a bit longer. Typically I wait for 15-20 min until the car arrives for pickup.

Apps for iPhone and Android
A normal taxi is not your style? You want executive class with driver? Than this is your best choice. And especially on shorter rides with lots of waiting times (in traffic jams), this may be a good option. Their APP works with the GPS location and you can order a taxi directly to your pinpoint (without an address), which may come in handy, if you are not familiar with Moscows streets (names). So far they offered outstanding service anytime we used them. The wait is also not too long. Typically 5 min and less.

Did we forget something? Feel free to comment below!

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