For a city of 12 million, Moscow is relatively compact. If you luck out with traffic, you can cross the entire city in less than an hour. However, congestion in Moscow is notorious. This includes all major highways leading into Moscow from the suburbs. In addition to the severe congestion – a quick 25-minute drive at 3 p.m. can easily turn into a three-hour ordeal at rush hour – poor signage, lack of on- and off-ramps, and general disregard for traffic rules make driving both stressful and more dangerous than in major western European cities.
However, the overall network of public transportation is such that it is possible to live quite comfortably in Moscow without a car.
The metro provides quick and easy access to almost every part of the city 18 hours a day. A comprehensive network of buses, trolleys, and the marshrutka makes travel above the ground in the city easy, as well. Express trains and designated bus lines to the major airports even make travel out of town easy. Electric trains and trams provide connections to many small suburbs and towns on the outskirts of Moscow, as well. Most international compounds in and out of town provide shuttle service to the nearest public transportation outlet to connect you to the city centre.
For those times when a car is needed, official taxis are fairly costly and can be slow to respond. However, if you’re comfortable with the common practice of flagging down any passing car to negotiate a fare to a fixed destination, you can find quick and affordable transportation in this manner, as well.
Despite the conveniences of public transportation, many expatriates, and also Muscovites, enjoy having their own car. Companies will often provide top executives with a car and driver, so that they can enjoy the luxuries of having their own vehicle without having to face the traffic.
To travel beyond the city, you have easy access to two major (Domodedovo and Sheremetievo) and one smaller (Vnukovo) international airports. Incoming and outgoing flights include all major international airlines and Russian airlines, the largest of which are Aeroflot and S7, as it is also known. As Moscow airports are huge international hubs, tickets to many international destinations are fairly inexpensive.
There are also numerous train stations, although for travel out of town, a flight is usually far faster, far more comfortable, and not much more expensive.