Moscow, Russia travel tips

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Don't be afraid to use the metro, which is efficient and clean.

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Don't take photographs of police or other official looking people.

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Don't keep all of your money with you. In case of pickpockets, it's a good idea to keep some in a separate location.

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Mineral water is often served in restaurants. If you don't care for it, be sure to ask for "voda byez gaz," which is Russian for "water without gas."

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Wine-lovers should sample Georgian wines while in Russia. They're excellent.

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To experience a bit of Russian opulence, be sure to visit Arkhangelskoe Estate. It's a bit outside the city, but well worth the trip.

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For great views of the city, head to the Sky Lounge, at the top of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

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Be sure to check out the views from the City Space Bar, on the top floor of the Swissotel Krasnye Holmy.

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Check out some of the top-tier exhibits at the Tretyakov Gallery.

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If you have an interest in Georgian food, get a meal at Cafe Khachapuri.

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For a luxurious stay, book a room at the Lotte Hotel Moscow, consistently rated one of the city's best.

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Remember that many major American hotel chains have locations in Moscow, so you can save some money by using loyalty points.

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On your way to the Cathedral of Christ Our Savior, stop in the Kroptkinsaya metro station to see what's left of the original cathedral, which was bombed by the Bolsheviks in 1931.

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Be wary of people offering you vodka. Poison bootleg vodka is a major problem in Russia.

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If you plan on driving in Russia, be very careful. Highway robbery is increasing, and foreign drivers are the primary targets.

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If you plan on driving in Moscow, you'll need an International Driver's License, as your own is not acceptable.

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If you want to get out and see some of the surrounding areas, and are justifiably concerned about driving, you can hire a car and driver to take you. Most hotels can make these arrangements for you.

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Avoid driving in Moscow--and the rest of Russia. It's dangerous, particularly if you don't know Russian and aren't familiar with local driving laws.

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A flu shot is advisable if you're traveling to Russia in the winter.

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Pack as much as you can in your carry-on, as checked luggage is often lost or pilfered.

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