Flights to Moscow and City Airports Suggested Itineraries

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Moscow acts as the country’s principal aviation gateway and is well served by international flights. Although the capital is served by five airports, most flights to Moscow land at Sheremetyevo Airport (colloquially known as SVO 2). Moscow’s main airport already handles more than eleven million passengers each year (two million more than it was built for); so expect soviet era style queuing at immigration and passport control. SVO 2 is located 20 km form the city centre on the road to its elder sibling; SVO 1. The original namesake was built to handle domestic traffic, but now receives much of the international overspill from its younger sister.

The last major player is Domodedovo Airport. Despite the fact that it’s one of the largest airports in the world, at 48 km from central Moscow; it’s too remote for most international carriers to take seriously. However, passengers flying with Swissair are likely to find themselves here.

The majority of European national carriers (such as British Airways and Lufthansa) operate direct flights to Moscow and any slack is picked up by Russia’s national airline Aeroflot. Direct flights from London, Paris and Berlin take approximately three hours, climbing to ten if you’re departing from New York. If you’re leaving form a regional airport you may have to change planes en route; typically in either Helsinki or Frankfurt. The cost of flights to Moscow varies seasonally, but the good news is that a new breed of budget airlines is beginning to hammer down prices.

Before flying to Moscow you must ensure that you have a valid visa. Besides your passport you’ll need endless patience as you are forced to listen to the Russian Embassy’s recorded information line, at £1 per minute, for what seems like a lifetime. You’ll also need to hand over £30 and confirmation of your first night’s hotel booking. If this all sounds too much; there are number of agencies happy to do the work for you for about £85. If you are caught short, and prepared to cough up £225, the Russian National Tourist Office will issue you a visa within a day.

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