International Airports in Moscow
There are 4 international airports in Moscow, Sheremetyevo, Domodedovo, Vnukovo, and Zhukovsky. They all have fantastic public transportation connections to the city center. The closest airport to the center of Moscow is Vnukovo and the furthest from the center is Domodedovo.
Sheremetyevo, Domodedovo, and Vnukovo are the three busiest airports in Russia and together serve over 100 million travelers per year. Zhukovsky International Airport opened in 2016 and serves significantly fewer travelers and international destinations.
Sheremetyevo is the busiest airport in Russia and Moscow serving almost 50 million passengers per year. It is located north of Moscow and it is the hub for Aeroflot, Russia’s national airline.
There are currently three terminals and a fourth is under construction. It isn’t very easy to walk between all of the terminals, so keep this in mind before you arrive. Sheremetyevo is located 29 kilometers or 18 miles from the center of Moscow. Depending on Moscow’s traffic (which is highly unpredictable), Sheremetyevo is the easiest airport to reach by taxi. It is served by two highways, one of which is a toll road. It also has a direct train from Belorussky Station in the center of Moscow.
Domodedovo is the second busiest airport in Russia and in Moscow. It serves about 30 million passengers per year. Domodedovo is the furthest airport in Moscow from the center, located 42 km or 26 miles to the south of Moscow. It has only one terminal that serves all domestic and international destinations. Due to its distance from the center of Moscow, it takes considerably more time to reach from downtown Moscow than Sheremetyevo by car. It also has a direct train from Paveletsky Station in the center of Moscow.
Vnukovo is the third busiest airport in Russia and Moscow and it serves about 25 million passengers per year. Thankfully, Vnukovo is located closer to the center of Moscow than Domodedovo. It’s only 28 kilometers or 17 miles to the west of Moscow. Vnukovo has three terminals that serve domestic and international destinations. They are all close to each other, but you do need to walk outside to get from one terminal to another. It also has a direct train from Kievsky Station in the center of Moscow.
Zhukovsky is a new international airport in Moscow and it serves only about 1.5 million passengers per year. It is located 36 kilometers or 22 miles from the center of Moscow to the southeast. It is unlikely that you will be flying to or from Zhukovsky because it primarily flies to international destinations in the former Soviet Union. It also does not have a direct rail connection like the other three international airports in Moscow. There is a train that stops nearby the airport, but it is not direct so it takes a long time and you also need to take a bus to the terminal.
Transportation to and from the Airport in Moscow
There are many ways to get to and from all 4 Moscow airports. All of them have dedicated bus routes from the metro, Sheremetyevo, Domodedovo, and Vnukovo have train service directly to the airport, and of course, you can take a taxi.
Let’s take a look at all of the options in detail for each airport in Moscow.
Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow has many connections to the center of Moscow and you should have no trouble getting to and from the airport. Let’s look at each of the options.
Metro/Bus: Bus 851 and marshrutka 949 run between Rechnoi Vokzal metro station and Sheremetyevo Airport, stopping at each terminal. Bus 817 and marshrutka 948 run between Planernaya metro station and Sheremetyevo Airport, stopping at each terminal. All of the public transport options are detailed on the Sheremetyevo Airport public transportation page.
Train: The Aeroexpress train goes from Belorusky Station in the center of Moscow to Sheremetyevo Airport every half hour and takes 50 minutes. You can find the schedule on the Aeroexpress website.
Taxi: There are many taxi options from Sheremetyevo Airport that you can order from your phone. Yandex Taxi and Gett Taxi are the two most popular options. Yandex Taxi has dedicated kiosks in the Sheremetyevo Arrival hall where you can order a taxi without a smartphone. Unfortunately, Yandex Taxi and Gett Taxi do not have an English website, but the apps are available in English.
Metro/Bus: Bus 308 and marshrutka 308 run between Domodedovo metro station and the Domodedovo Airport terminal. All of the public transport options are detailed on the Domodedovo Airport public transportation page.
Train: The Aeroexpress train goes from Paveletsky Station in the center of Moscow to Domodedovo Airport on the hour and every half hour and takes 45 minutes. You can find the schedule on the Aeroexpress website.
Taxi: There are many taxi options from Domodedovo Airport that you can order from your mobile phone. Yandex Taxi and Gett Taxi are the two most popular options. Gett Taxi has kiosks in the Domodedovo Arrival hall where you can order a taxi without a smartphone. Unfortunately, Yandex Taxi and Gett Taxi do not have an English website, but the apps are available in English.
Metro/Bus: Bus 611 runs between Yugo-Zapadnaya metro station and the Vnukovo Airport terminals.
Train: The Aeroexpress train goes from Kievsky Station in the center of Moscow to Vnukovo Airport every hour and takes 35-40 minutes. You can find the schedule on the Aeroexpress website.
Taxi: There are many taxi options available from Vnukovo Airport that you can order on your phone. Yandex Taxi and Gett Taxi are the two most popular options. There are no kiosks in the airport to order a taxi. Unfortunately, Yandex Taxi and Gett Taxi do not have an English website, but the apps are available in English.
Metro/Bus: Bus 441 goes to and from Kotelniki metro station to the Zhukovsky Airport terminal.
Train: There is no direct train from the center of Moscow to Zhukovsky Airport. There is a train from Kazansky Station to Otdykh Station and a shuttle from there to Zhukovsky Airport. All of the public transport options are detailed on the Zhukovsky Airport public transportation page.
Taxi: There are many taxi options from Zhukovsky Airport that you can order on your mobile phone. Yandex Taxi and Gett Taxi are the two most popular options. Unfortunately, Yandex Taxi and Gett Taxi do not have an English website, but the apps are available in English.
Moscow Airport Amenities
All of the international airports in Moscow have the typical amenities you expect from a major international city.
All of the international airports in Moscow have free Wi-Fi, which can’t be said about many airports in the United States. One minus is that you typically need to authenticate your device by receiving a text message. Most international mobile operators have free incoming text messages, even when abroad, so this shouldn’t be a huge issue.
Three of the international airports in Moscow have business lounges, though the amenities vary by airport.
Sheremetyevo has 14 different business lounges. You can find information about all of them on the Sheremetyevo Airport website.
Vnukovo has a number of business lounges, and you can find information on the Vnukovo Airport website.
Domodedovo has a business lounge as well, and you can find information on the Domodedovo Airport website.
Zhukovsky Airport does not have any business lounges at this time.
All of the international airports in Moscow offer duty-free shopping. Due to their size, Sheremetyevo and Domodedovo have the most options, but you can find all of the typical duty-free goods that are available around the world at all four airports in Moscow.
ATMs and Currency Exchange
There are a number of ATMs at all of the international airports in Moscow. You can be sure that these are legitimate and secure as they are serviced by Russian banks. Unfortunately, there is a surcharge for using many of the ATMs at Moscow airports, so we don’t recommend using them unless you must. There are no surcharges at most ATMs in Moscow generally, so it is best to wait until you get into the city before getting money from an ATM. There are banks on every street corner in Moscow.
Exchanging money is also possible at all of the international airports in Moscow. You will not get market rates here, so again, we suggest you wait until you get into the city to exchange your money. In fact, many of the currency exchange booths give you a poor rate and charge some sort of commission on top. Since international credit and debit cards are accepted everywhere in Russia, you should have no problems using your card until you can get cash.
For more information about Russian rubles, check out our article on Russian money.
Taxi Service at the Airport in Moscow
Getting a taxi at the airport in Moscow can be extremely stressful if you don’t know what to do. There are a number of options, but you should never rely on asking one of the many taxi drivers asking you to go with them as you are leaving the airport. There are many stories of people getting ripped off or telling one price only to demand 5 times more once you have arrived at your destination. Even if you do agree on a price, you can be sure that it is at least double what you will pay ordering from an app on your phone.
DO NOT get a taxi by haggling with the drivers, you will thank us later.
Thankfully, there are many great options for getting a taxi at Moscow airports that you do not have to worry about trying to haggle with the aggressive drivers near the exit.
In Russia, Uber merged with Yandex Taxi, the largest mobile taxi ordering service. In Sheremetyevo, there is a kiosk near the airport exit where you can order a taxi even if you do not have mobile service. You can be sure to get the best price here. If you have mobile service, it is even easier. You can simply download Yandex Taxi and order a taxi yourself. There is also Wi-Fi in the airport that you can use to order a taxi.
You may need to have mobile service to authenticate your device though, so the kiosk we mentioned before is great. Sheremetyevo also has a handy page in English about taxis. They even mention the maximum price, which at the time of writing is 1250 RUB or 16 USD. This definitely depends on the weather and traffic though.
At Domodedovo, Gett Taxi has a kiosk where you can order a taxi without the app. Gett is the second most popular taxi service in Russia. Just as at Sheremetyevo, if you have mobile service, you can order a taxi with Yandex Taxi.
Vnukovo Airport has its own official taxi service, which is much more expensive than ordering a taxi with Yandex Taxi or Gett Taxi. If you have mobile service, you can easily order a taxi, but there isn’t a kiosk where you can order if you don’t have mobile service like there is at Sheremetyevo and Domodedovo.
Zhukovsky Airport does not have a kiosk or an official taxi service for you to use. You should either order a taxi yourself with Yandex Taxi/Gett Taxi or haggle with one of the drivers outside. You can of course use public transportation, which we outlined above.
English Speaking Taxi Service
If you are going to Russia for the first time and are worried about how you are going to get from the airport to your hotel, there is one option that is perfect. It is a bit more expensive than ordering a taxi from Yandex Taxi or Gett Taxi, but it will still be cheaper than haggling with a taxi driver.
Lingo Taxi is a taxi service that you can order in advance before you arrive in Russia. They have very competitive prices and meet you as soon as you arrive at the airport in Moscow. They even have English-speaking drivers. If you want a stress free arrival and transfer to your hotel, we HIGHLY recommend Lingo Taxi.
All transfers with Lingo Taxi include the following:
- English-speaking driver
- Payment in Euro, US Dollar or Russian Rubles
- Fixed fares per vehicle, no hidden costs
Pick up at the airport includes:
- Meet & greet in the arrival hall with a name board
- Flight status tracking (in case of a flight delay, no additional costs)
- 1-hour waiting & parking included
Renting a Car at the Airport in Moscow
If you are looking to rent a car at the airport in Moscow, there are many options at all of the international airports. For peace of mind, it is best to just use one of the major travel booking sites such as Booking or Kayak.
That said, if you have never been to Russia, we do NOT recommend that you rent a car to drive around Moscow. There are a number of rules on the road that are different than in the United States and you can end up in a mess if you do not observe the rules of the road. Even though driving in Moscow is quite easy compared to 10 years ago, parking is an absolute nightmare. There are no parking garages at most hotels and tourist sites in the city. You will spend lots of time looking for parking or worse, you will park somewhere and the car will get towed.
If you are visiting Moscow, it is much easier to take a taxi everywhere in the city. Using taxi apps and the metro will get you anywhere you want to go faster, and cheaper than renting a car.
Getting a SIM Card at the Airport in Moscow
Once you arrive in Russia, if you have an unlocked smartphone, it is very easy to get a SIM card at the airport and connect to the local mobile network.
There are many people selling SIM cards at all of the international airports in Moscow. Before, it was always convenient to buy a SIM card on arrival to order a taxi. Unfortunately, the prices for SIM cards are a bit higher at the airport than in the mobile shops in Moscow. We recommend that you wait until you get to the city to buy a SIM card.
If you must buy a SIM card at the airport in Moscow, they are still cheap by western standards. Just look for the signs of the major carriers MTS (МТС), Beeline (Билайн), Megafon (Мегафон), and Tele2.