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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Planning a Layover at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo

06714f7-2.cachedTwelve hours between flights at Sheremetyevo International Airport. With scores of diversions located there, and many more waiting in Russia’s capital city beyond, which would you choose? Go into the city, or stay and relax at a huge airport the size of a small city?

First of all, if you decide to venture out, where would you leave your baggage for a day? Your connecting bag should be in transfer by the airlines, but heavier carryons may be placed in a luggage storeroom in Terminal C. Flammable, smelly, or toxic items will not be accepted, consider yourself forewarned, lol. The storage requires a shuttle bus from the more remote terminals of D, E, and F and then back again to the terminal railroad station near Terminal E.

The high-speed trains called “Aeroexpress” depart every 20-30 minutes from Sheremetyevo and 189991376arrive to Belorussky Railway Station 30-40 minutes later. Then you catch the metro to the rest of the city. Or, take a bus from the airport traveling to the Rechnoy vokzal, Planernaya or Leninskiy prospekt metro stations, remembering that journeying into the heart of Moscow may easily take 1-1/2 hours one-way above ground in their usual traffic-clogged thoroughfares.

Kremlin-Moscow-RussiaAnd what could you do with such limited time in the city? Really a good bit. Maybe visit St. Basil’s Cathedral, or Lenin’s Tomb, a quick view of the Kremlin, definitely Red Square. Walk along pedestrian Old Arbat Street with shopping and eateries and add-on from there.  Keep in mind that a visa into the city needs advance planning and will cost you quite a bundle if you don’t hold a Russian passport (therefore not requiring said visa).

But how about staying put at Sheremetyevo during your long layover? Still a lot to see and experience.

Believe it or not, there are two chapels and one cathedral inside the airport, all Russian Orthodox:fresco-the-virgin-archangel-gabriel-and-michael-smiley-n-pool the Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ near Terminal F, the chapel of Michael the Archangel located near Terminal C and the chapel of St. Nicholas the Miracle Worker in Terminal E. Might make a good stop for those who are nervous about travelling or who need to have a quiet moment.

More practically, how about a quick shower if you’re on a long-haul trip? You can rent a 30-minute shower room in Terminal D along with a disposable towel, shower gel and soap included. I’ve made use of such facilities when traveling by planes, trains and automobiles for long periods and I’m telling you: for about $5 (more expensive in some other airports), you feel like a new person.

Airport-wifiFor those engaging work or pleasure while enroute, Sheremetyevo International Airport offers free WiFi in Terminals C, D, E, and F. The Russian Pochta (Mail) is located in Terminals C and F and gives access to stamps, envelopes, and greeting cards for sale, along with phone calls, fax, and photocopying services.

And naturally, Russian soul food will fortify you for the rest of your journey. You may see the locals hitting the bars and lounges for a good, stiff drink, but I would recommend anything from the native dishes at the airport eateries, along with Skydogs (hotdogs, lol) or Subway for the less adventurous.

When ready to depart, hit a few of the numerous shops for Russian (or international) magazines, 130722183731-sheremetyevo-airport-lounge-horizontal-galleryalong with music, DVDs (make sure they can play internationally), clothing, perfume and chocolates.

I have spent many untold hours in remote Russian airports, watching reruns of dubbed-Russian “Popeye” on one small TV for a whole waiting-room of trapped travelers and other dubious diversions. But at Sheremetyevo and beyond, there’s something for everybody.

“Naslazhdayeessya!” Enjoy yourself.

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