I love Moscow. Life as an Expat in Moscow. Expats guide to Moscow IKEA





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Russian Language

Russia. Moscow. Red Square street sign

Although the official language of IKEA is English and many of the Russians working in IKEA Russia have an excellent level of English, you will find on the streets that most Russians don't speak any English at all. If you make the effort to learn the Cyrillic alphabet and a few basic phrases, you'll be able to find your way around, ask for things in shops and negotiate taxi fares at least! Beyond that, any Russian you learn is a great plus and will certainly add to your enjoyment of living here. See The Cyrillic Alphabet or start learning some useful Russian Phrases.


The phone code of Moscow is 095. If you phone inside Moscow, just dial the 7-digit number. To phone another country, dial 8, wait for the tone, then dial 10 (for international access), then the country code, city code, and phone number. Remember that Moscow is 2 hours ahead of continental Europe and 3 hours ahead of the UK. If you phone another city in Russia, you must first dial 8 to get a line out of Moscow.

You can buy phonecards for public phones at any metro ticket office, but for calling abroad, it's better to use a special telephone card for IP-telephoning which you can use from any phone in Moscow. You dial the access number on the card, enter your PIN, then the number you're calling. Cards can be bought from telecom shops or direct from the provider (popular ones are Rinotel and Comstar and it costs around 10R ($0.1) for 1 minute call to the US or Western Europe.

For mobile phones, the 3 main providers are MTS, BeeLine, and Megafon. They all provide the same level of service and similar prices: about $0.20 for a minute for a local call (incoming or outcoming), and $0.15 mobile to a mobile. Call abroad from mobiles are very expensive.

Post Office

To send something from Moscow, there is the choice of the government postal service or a courier firm such as DHL or TNT - the difference is price and speed. The government system is inexpensive, but quite slow, whereas the courier service is faster, more reliable, and of course a lot more expensive. (The fee for a next day service is $30-$50 for a letter) The central post office Glavpochtamp is located in Myasnitskaya Ulitsa 26/2 and the Central Telegraph on Tverskaya Ulitsa 7 are both open every day.

Newspapers and Magazines

The main English language newspaper is The Moscow Times which is published Monday to Friday. It's free of charge and you can pick up a copy in many of the restaurants and supermarkets around Moscow. The Moscow Times also publishes a monthly Go Magazine, which has all the latest listings of clubs, restaurants and bars. Element and Passport are other popular lifestyle magazines widely available in the city. If you want something a bit different, try The Exile newspaper. Not everyone likes their style but it does give quite an interesting picture of life in Moscow!

You can buy some foreign magazines and newspapers here, usually in the top hotels and occasionally in the city centre. One place which does offer a good choice is Maxim's News Stand and prices are far more reasonable than elsewhere. They also sell books and movies in English. It's located at Nizhnyaya Maslovska 2 which is a subway near Metro Savyolovskaya.


There are a large number of internet cafes in Moscow, most of which charge around $2 per hour. If you have a computer and modem, you can use dialup internet access at home by buying an internet card from one of the many service providers in Moscow. Cards cost between $5-$50. Broadband internet access at home costs from around $15 per month with setup costs of approx $100. More and more areas of the city are becoming Wi-Fi friendly and an increasing number of restaurants, cafes and airports also provide free Wi-Fi access.


There are several cable and satellite TV providers in Moscow. One of the most popular is Kosmos-TV which includes popular channels such as CNN, BBC Prime and World, Eurosports, Discovery, MTV, etc. There are several cable and satellite TV operators in Moscow, all offering a standard package of international channels (such as CNN, Euronews, Discovery, Eurosport, MTV), as well as local channels. Some providers offer films upon demand, and all have a feature that allows to watch TV either in original language or in Russian.