Sheremetyevo (SVO) Airport

Author: Dimitry Paranyushkin (on 02 Dec 2014)
Sheremetyevo Moscow airport serves most international flights (including all of Aeroflot flights), as well as some domestic flights as well. It has three terminals. Sheremetyevo 1 is an old run-down terminal serving domestic flights, Sheremetyevo 2 is a relic of the Soviet 70s serving most international flights to/from Moscow, and Sheremetyevo 3 is a new terminal, more or less comfortable, but not yet servicing all the airlines.

SVO2 Airport - Photo by Davisx_Chen@FlickR
SVO2 Airport - Photo by Davisx_Chen@FlickR

Its main attraction are the duty free shops selling tax-free alcohol, caviar, cosmetics, clothes, simple souvenirs, and travel junk. It was however renovated in 2006, so nowadays it's much better than it used to be.

There's a very neat and nice post office opened 24 hours in Arrivals zone (2nd floor), where among other things you can browse the interent for 200R ($8) / hour, use a printer, and charge your mobile phone. There's also wi-fi in TGI Friday's restaurant (2nd floor, Arrivals).
There's a bar and a good grocery store in the Arrivals area, both opened 24 hours.

A few restaurants are scattered in the departures area (after the check-in counters), the only ones worth attention are Tajmahal restaurant (located next to Terminals 6-9, upstairs) and the Irish bar - the favourite among transit passengers.
If you end up waiting for your flight, it’s better to go to one of these two places (by the way, you can plug in your laptop there).

The departure and arrival area outside of the check-in area have a few 24-hour food and souvenirs shops, pharmacy, cafes (a meal for about $10, drink - $2-$5), bank and exchange offices.
The airport is located about 15 km to the north outside of Moscow, 5km to the right from Moscow - St Petersburg highway.

The new Terminal 3 was opened recently and it's much better than SVO2, but not all the flights arrive there, yet. 

Sheremetyevo SVO Arrivals / Departures

Traveling to / from Sheremetyevo Airport

Sheremetyevo - Moscow with an Aeroexpress Train

The best way to get to / from Sheremetyevo. The new train express (since 2009) takes you directly from Sheremetyevo Airport arriving to Moscow center (Belorusski train station). It takes about 35 minutes and the ride costs about 400R (€8). You can buy your ticket using an App or just before the departure. The train station for the Aeroexpress train is connected to the airport, so it's only about 10-15 minutes walking once you leave the luggage claim area.


Sheremetyevo - Moscow by Taxi

Generally it's a bad idea to take a taxi from Sheremetyevo because of the crazy traffic. So try to get an express train. If you come in the night or on Sunday, then it can work. When you walk out of the arrival zone there will be many people offering you a taxi, it's Sheremetyevo taxist mafia. They are not dangerous, but they will be sure to charge you a double price. If you decide to hire one, it'll cost you minimum $45 to Moscow center (after you practise your bargaining skills), but choose the taxists you trust. You can also go to the official taxi counters (eg MosCab) at the arrival zone and take a taxi for the same $45 - it's safer. You can also phone any of Moscow taxi operators and organise a meeting. It'll cost about 1100-1400R ($35-$50). Finally, you can use an iPhone app GETT Taxi, which connects drivers to passengers (it works like Uber).

Sheremetyevo - Moscow with Rent-a-Car

As mentioned earlier, driving from Sheremetyevo is not too pleasant because of too much traffic, but if you're arriving during the night, it's not such a bad choice. There are a few rent-a-car stands in Sheremetyevo airport, but to get the best deals it's better to book a car rental in Sheremetyevo online beforehand. Most major rent-a-car operators have an office in Moscow (see Getting Around section for their contacts), it is cheaper to use the local ones, like Eleks-Polus, but they don't have an office in Sheremetyevo. The trip to the city takes about 1 to 1.5 hours and you should avoid 7am to 11am and 4.30pm to 8pm as there's too much traffic and it'll take you ages.

Sheremetyevo - Moscow by Bus

If you're on a budget or want a real Russian experience, take a bus. Note, that the buses operate only from 5.40 until 24.00. If you arrive later than 23.00 your only option is a taxi. You can just walk outside of the airport (ground floor, right wing exit) and in front of you there will be a bus stand. There are either buses or shuttles-marshrutkas. They work from 6.00 until 22:00 - 23:00 and go to the nearest metro stations 'Rechnoy Vokzal' (green line, north) or 'Planernaya' (violet line, north-west) and cost from 5 R (for buses) to 25 R = $1 (for shuttles). It will take around 30 minutes to get to the metro.
If there are no buses on this stop, you can go to another stop. You have to walk to the right (if the airport is behind you) and then down 100 meters along the fence to the direction opposite of the airport until you see a bus stop (just a yellow plate with a letter "A" on it). There are buses #817 and #851; #817 takes longer and it goes to Planernaya metro - not a very nice area, suburbs; the bus #851 reaches in 30 minutes to Rechnoi Vokzal metro station. It's likely that you'll wait for the bus for 20-30 minutes. The last bus (#817) is scheduled to leave at 0:44, but schedules in Russia rarely work.
When you want to get to Sheremetyevo II airport by bus, it's better to go to Rechnoi Vokzal metro (green line, north). The shuttle-marshrutka stand is in front of the metro exit, just a little to the left.Marshrutkas depart every 15-20 minutes, and there's a queue to get into them. So think about 30-60 minutes to get to the airport from the metro station.
You can also take a car from Rechnoy Vokzal for about $7-$10, but you'll have to share it with the other passangers, and make sure it's safe.

Sheremetyevo - Domodedovo Airports

We'd say if you have 4 hours between the flights, you'll barely make it. There are a few options.
Since 2009 you can take Sheremetyevo airport Aeroexpress train to the Moscow center (about 40 mins), get into the metro (another 20 mins) and take the train express to Domodedovo (1 hour), but if you're not lucky, you might end up waiting for hours for changes. Check it beforehand, so you're sure you'll make it for the connecting flights. 
Another option: in 2005 Domodedovo airport launched the new 24-hour bus service between Domodedovo and Sheremetyevo (terminal 1 & 2) airports. The journey takes about 2 hours (depending on traffic) and one ticket costs 200R ($8), children under 7 travel for free. The tickets can be purchased at Domodedovo airport (domestic Arrival hall) or from the bus driver.
If you need to be really quick, you could also take a cab, but depending on the traffic it might take anything from 1 h 30 mins to 4 hours. 


Contacts: +7 (495) 232-6565 (English-speaking operator), 956-4666, 578-9101. 


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