Moscow is one of the most expensive cities in the world, according to regular Cost of Living Survey from Mercer Human Resource Consulting. But whether it is true or not depends basically on one's personal needs.
How Mercer calculates
Mercer estimates the average cost of living in 211 cites worldwide. It compares prices of over 200 items like food including tobacco and alcohol, clothing, entertainment, going-out, transportation and housing. The survey uses New York as a base city scoring 100 points.
The survey aims to help multinational companies determine salaries for their employees posted abroad. However Mercer only compares prices for luxury goods and services. Especially steep rental costs for foreigners contribute to Moscow’s high rating. But those who don’t buy imported goods in expensive western-style supermarkets, don’t dine out in exclusive restaurants and don’t necessarily need a loge seat in the opera, can enjoy Moscow also on a modest budget.
Moscow is one of world's most expensive cites
|Luanda / Angola||1||1||2||1||1|
|N'Djamena / Chad||2||4||8||3||3|
|Hong Kong / Hong Kong||3||6||9||9||9|
|Singapore / Singapore||4||5||7||8||11|
|Zürich / Switzerland||5||8||6||7||8|
|Geneva / Switzerland||6||7||5||5||5|
|Tokyo / Japan||7||3||1||2||2|
|Bern / Switzerland||8||9|
|Moscow / Russia||9||2||4||4||4|
|Shanghai / China||10||14|
|Source: Mercer Human Resources Consulting|
How expensive Moscow really is
As of August 2012, the official subsistence minimum in Moscow was 9,437 Rubles per month, so about 232 Euros or 302 USD. Of course, this sum is calculated for rather poor Russians and can hardly cover basic needs.
Rising world food and oil prices also hit Moscow. In the first eight months of 2012, inflation ran at 5.3 percent. At the end of August 2012, the average monthly income in Moscow was 46,000 Rubles (about 1,132 Euros or 1,470 USD).
Compared to the foreigners, most Russians have an advantage of low-rate living in state apartments. But one still doesn’t have to be a millionaire to afford a trip to Moscow.
Tourists who travel to Moscow and need to pay the hotel naturally have higher expenses. But there are alternatives to 5-star hotels overlooking the Kremlin.
This short overview of Moscow prices shall help you estimate the cost of a trip to the Russian capital.
Hotel rates in Moscow
In Moscow it is possible to find a hotel for 50 Euros or 65 USD per night in double room. The average hotel rate is about 90 Euros or 116 USD. 4-star hotels in Moscow city centre cost 150-200 Euros or 195-260 USD. A night in a double room in the luxury hotel Ritz-Carlton at the edge of the Red Square cost from about 400 Euros or 530 USD without breakfast.
Getting around in Moscow
Fuel prices in Moscow
(as of May, 2014)
Normal petrol (ordinary unleaded 95 RON):
about 33.00 Rubles per litre (0.66 Euros or 0.92 USD)
The official taxi prices in Moscow are:
Minimal fare per journey (about 20 minutes):
daytime: 280-290 Rubles (about 5.63-5.84 Euros or 7.81-8.09 USD)
nighttime: 330-380 Rubles (ca. 6.65-7.65 Euros or 9.20-10.60 USD)
Every additional minute: 9-15 Rubles (ca. 0.18-0.30 Euros or 0.25-0.42 USD)
Getting from the city center of Moscow to one of the international airports Sheremetyevo, Vnukovo or Domodedovo costs about 1,000-1,200 Rubles (about 20.14-24.17 Euros or 28-34 USD).
Public Transportation in Moscow
Universal tickets can be used in all means of public transportation including metro, bus, trolleybus, tram and monorail trains.
|Single fair for tram, bus or trolleybus||25 Rubles
(about 0.61 Euros 0.83 USD)
|Single fair for the Moscow metro||28 Rubles
(about 0.68 Euros or 0.93 USD)
(plus 28 Rubles for each piece of luggage)
|Universal ticket for up to 5 journeys||135 Rubles
(about 3.30 Euros or 4.50 USD)
|Universal ticket for up to 10 journeys||265 Rubles
(about 6.48 Euros or 8.83 USD)
|Universal ticket for up to 20 journeys||520 Rubles
about 12.72 Euros or 17.33 USD)
|Universal ticket for up to 60 journeys||1,245 Rubles
(about 30.46 Euros or 41.50 USD)
|Children under 7||free of charge|
From Moscow with love
|Within Russia||International Airmail|
(about 0.23 Euros or 0.29 USD)
(about 0.59 Euros or 0.76 USD)
|Letter (under 20 g)||13 Rubles
(about 0.32 Euros or 0.41 USD)
(about 0.59 Euros or 0.76 USD)
|Letter (under 20 g, registered mail)||28.50 Rubles
(about 0.70 Euros or 0.90 USD)
(about 1.80 Euros or 2.33 USD)
Food prices in Moscow
As almost everywhere in the world, people in Moscow have to cope with rising food prices. In the first nine months of 2012, the price for the basic food package in Moscow rose 5.7 percent.
|Moscow||St. Petersburg||Avegage in Russia|
(about 73.63 Euros or 95.20 USD)
(about 71.23 Euros or 92.10 USD)
(about 62.68 Euros or 81.05 USD)
Source: Federal State Statistics Service of the Russian Federation.
As of end of September 2012.
Eating out at a (fast-food) reastaurant in Moscow
Pizza: about 240 Rubles (5.90 Euros or 7.64 USD)
Big Mac: 75 Rubles (1.85 Euros or 2.37 USD)
Main dish: about 250 Rubles (6.15 Euros or 7.95 USD)
Dessert (for example, a piece of cake): about 90 Rubles (2.20 Euros or 2.86 USD)
Water (500 ml): about 50 Rubles (1.23 Euros or 1.59 USD)
Fruit Juice (250 ml): about 55 Rubles (1.35 Euros or 1.75 USD)
Cola, etc. (500 ml): about 95 Rubles (2.34 Euros or 3.02 USD)
Tipical Russian drinks that are served in many restaurants in Moscow:
Kvass (a popular Russian drink made of bread) (500 ml): about 65 Rubles (1.60 Euros or 2.07 USD)
Cranberry Drink (250 ml): 60 Rubles (1.48 Euros or 1.90 USD)
Russian beer (500 ml): about 70 Rubles (1.72 Euros or 2.23 USD)
Imported beer (500 ml): about 120 Rubles (2.95 Euros or 3.82 USD)
Glass of Red or White Wine (150 ml): about 70 Rubles (1.72 Euros or 2.23 USD)
Vodka (50 ml): about 70 Rubles (1.72 Euros or 2.23 USD)
Cocktails: about 190 Rubles (4.68 Euros or 6.05 USD)
Espresso: about 60 Rubles (1.48 Euros or 1.90 USD)
Cappuccino: about 80 Rubles (1.97 Euros or 2.55 USD)
Tea: about 50 Rubles (1.23 Euros or 1.59 USD)
Most restaurants in Moscow accept international credit cards American express, Master / Eurocard and Visa.
Clubs in Moscow
Most clubs in Moscow don't charge for entrance, but apply strict face control and dress code. Some clubs have entrance fee starting from about 300 Rubles (7.38 Euros or 9.54 USD). Women often enter for free or pay a lower price.
Museums and Theaters in Moscow
The Moscow Kremlin
Ticket prices for the Kremlin and its museums:
Full ticket for visiting the Kremlin (the architectural complex):
- Standard rate: 350 Rubles (ca. 8.97 Euros or 11.13 USD)
- Discount rate for students and schoolchildren: 100 Rubles
(ca. 2.56 Euros or 3.18 USD)
Ticket prices for the Armoury Chamber:
- Standard rate: 700 Rubles (ca. 17.95 Euros or 22.27 USD)
- Discount rate for students and schoolchildren: 200 Rubles
(ca. 5.13 Euros or 6.36 USD)
The Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow
Ticket prices differ per show. The average price for parquet seating for performances that take place on the main stage is about 5,000 Rubles (123 Euros or 159 USD).
Main stage: from 1,750 Rubles (43 Euros or 56 USD)
New stage: from 800 Rubles (20 Euros or 25 USD)
The price of a movie ticket in Moscow varies depending on the theater and the day of the week. Average prices range from 120 - 300 Rubles ( 2.95 - 7.40 Euros or 3.80 - 9.55 USD).
Every effort has been made to ensure the information given on this website is accurate. Nevertheless no responsibility can be taken for data accuracy.