Let’s learn how to travel from Moscow Airport to the city centre by train, bus, metro and taxi, and comparing prices and journey times using each one of these options
Are you traveling to Moscow by plane and not sure how to travel to main areas of the city? Check our guide below and compare the best options to travel from Moscow Airport to the city centre.
Moscow Airports: Overview
The first thing you should consider when flying to Moscow is to find out at which airport you will arrive. The capital of Russia currently has four airports operating domestic and international flights, and each airport has its peculiarities. The four airports for civilian traffic in Moscow are: Sheremetyevo (IATA: SVO), Domodedovo (IATA: DME), Vnukovo (IATA: VKO) and Zhukovsky (IATA: ZIA).
Depending on the airline and the route, you will arrive in one of these airports in Moscow. Currently all of them have international connections. Sheremetyevo is currently the biggest airport in Moscow in passenger traffic, but Domodedovo is almost as big as it. If you are looking for flights to Moscow, check our flight tickets comparison tool.
If you haven’t been to Moscow, the most central area of the city is close to the Red Square and the Arbat Street. Check more information in our guide of the best places to stay in Moscow.
Moscow Airport to City Centre
As mentioned above, Moscow has four airports operating domestic and international routes. Below, we will have a brief overview about each one of these airports followed by the options to get from each of these Moscow Airports to the city center.
Moscow Sheremetyevo International Airport
The Moscow Sheremetyevo International Airport (Международный аэропорт Шереметьево) is currently the biggest airport serving the Russian capital. It is located 29 km from the city. It is the main hub of the biggest Russian airline, Aeroflot, but it also receives flights from other domestic and international companies.
Moscow Domodedovo International Airport
The Moscow Domodedovo International Airport is the second biggest in Moscow in terms of passenger traffic, and a hub for a number of major airlines in Russia. It is located 42 kilometers South of Moscow’s center, and it is the only privately owned airport serving the city.
Moscow Vnukovo International Airport
Moscow Vnukovo is the oldest airport in the Russian capital, among the ones in operation. Its location is 28 km Southwest of the city center. Vnukovo is the third airport in Russia in terms of traffic, and receives domestic and international flights from companies like Aeroflot, Pobeda, UTair and Wizz Air.
Moscow Zhukovsky International Airport
Moscow Zhukovsky International Airport is the fourth busiest in Moscow, and considerably smaller than the other airports serving the city. However, it receives both domestic and international flights, and Ural Airlines is one of its main operators. It is located 36 km Southeast of Moscow
Express Train (Aeroexpress)
There is a network of express trains connecting Moscow airports to the city center, and they are called Aeroexpress. They connect the following Moscow airports to the city center: Sheremetyevo, Domodedovo and Vnukovo. If you are going to the Zhukovsky airport there is no Aeroexpress service, however, other trains go to this airport.
Aeroexpress from / to Sheremetyevo Airport
In the case of Sheremetyevo, the Aeroexpress connects the airport to the Belorussky Railway Station. From the Belorussky Station you can easily get around Moscow city centre using the metro line. The metro station serving this station is called Belorusskaya, with the metro lines 2 and 5.
Aeroexpress from / to Domodedovo Airport
From Domodedovo to the city center, the direct Aeroexpress will take you to the Moscow Paveletsky station. You can from there connect with the metro lines number 2 and 6 (Paveletskaya Station) as well as buses and trains.
Aeroexpress from / to Vnukovo Airport
From Vnukovo Airport the Aeroexpress will take you directly to the Moscow Kievsky Railway station. From there you have three metro lines to choose from, all at the Kiyevskaya Metro Station.
In most cases, I would recommend choosing the Aeroexpress to get from Moscow Airport to the city centre. Even if it is not the cheapest option, it is the most convenient, and often the fastest. The ticket costs 500 RUB (one way – standard fare) and can be bought on stop as well as online on the Aeroexpress website.
The Aeroexpress usually operates each 30 minutes (or one hour), from early in the morning until late, which makes of it very convenient. You also take it from inside the Airport building, in a relative short walk, regardless of which terminal you arrive. The frequencies depend on which airport you are traveling from and the time of the day.
Train from / to Zhukovsky Airport
Even if the Zhukovsky Airport is not served by the Aeroexpress, it is possible to travel from this airport to Moscow city centre by train. You can take the Sputnik train from the Kazansky Railway Station to the Otdyh Station, and from there a Shuttle Bus to the Airport terminal.
However, if you are going or coming from the Zhukovsky Airport, I consider the bus and metro a better option.
Bus and Metro
Taking the a combination of bus and metro is another option to get from Moscow to the city center. This is certainly the cheapest option, but it is time consuming and less smooth than the Aeroexpress. Buses from the Sheremetyevo Airport take you to the Rechnoy Vozkal and Planernaya Metro Station. From there you can easily reach the city center.
Bus and Metro from / to Sheremetyevo Airport: Buses number 949 and 851 to Rechnoy Vozkal and Buses number 817 and 948 Planernaya Metro Station.
Bus and Metro from / to Domodedovo Airport: Express bus to the Domodedovskaya Metro Station.
Bus and Metro from / to Vnukovo Airport: Bus number 611 to Troparyovo and Yugo-Zapadnaya Metro Station and Bus 911 to Salaryevo Metro Station.
Bus and Metro from / to Zhukovsky Airport: Bus number 441 to Kotelniki Metro Station.
From any metro station you can usually reach the Moscow city center. Once in a metro station the trip to the city center usually takes around 30 minutes (depending on the station).
The most central metro stations in Moscow are Ploschad Revolyutsii (Площадь Революции), Teatralnaya (Театральная) and Arbatskaya(Арбатская).
Taxi can be also another option if you want to travel from any Moscow Airport to the city center. It has some advantages and disadvantages though. The main advantage of using a taxi is that it will deliver you at the exact address you need to go. This is especially convenient if you have a lot of luggage.
The taxi journey is definitely longer than taking the Aeroexpress, but potentially quicker than the bus and metro (depending on the traffic). Price wise, the taxi is quite expensive, and a journey can cost around 1000 RUB, depending on which airport you are traveling from.
Car Rental and Airport Transfers
You can also rent a car and pick it up directly at the airport. This is especially a good idea if you will stay in Russia for more than a few days and will visit other cities than Moscow. Click to compare car rental prices in Moscow on RentalCars.
Another option is getting a transfer organized before hand. The transfer has a good advantage over the taxi, as it will be waiting for you as you arrive, and you can pay before hand online. You can book a Moscow Airport transfer online here.