How to Find Apartments for Rent in Moscow, Russia

Author: Dmitry Paranyushkin (on 08 Mar 2020)
Finding a private apartment for rent in Moscow is a great way to experience the city life. You will have a real authentic experience of living in Russia, save some money if you are more than one person, and also cook your own meals. In this article we will explain how to rent an apartment in Moscow for short- or long-term, where to look for one, how much it should cost, and what you should watch out for.
 
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How Much is the Average Rent in Moscow?

The real estate prices are steep in Moscow. If you are renting an apartment for a short term in Moscow you’re looking at something like €100-€120 per night for renting a relatively decent apartment in the center of the Moscow. If you are ready to compromise with iterior and location, you can bring that price down to €60-€80 a night. If you are ready to live in a small apartment in Moscow suburbs, you can find options for €30 a night. Anything cheaper than that is suspicious.
 
Such studio apartment in the center of Moscow would cost you about €100 a night

Long-term prices start at €400 per month for a small studio in the suburbs and at €1000 per month for a studio or a 1-bedroom apartment in Moscow center. If you are looking for a prime location and want a nice 2-bedroom apartment with all the amenities included, you'll pay about €2000 a month for something decent.
 
Keep in mind that when you are renting long term you will usually need to pay a deposit that equals one month rent and sometimes also the first and the last month as the first downpayment. If you go through an agent you'll also have to pay a commission that equals one month rent. So your best case is to go directly through the owner, make them like you, in which case you can just be OK with a deposit. You'll still have to pay your rent at the beginning of each month though. Also, for legal reasons landlords prefer to sign contracts that are not longer than 11 months (dogovor naima), otherwise they have to register them in a special organization. So don't be worried about that: you can sign an 11-month contract that prolongs itself and this usually works just fine. 
 

 
More of a Soviet style Moscow apartment: special but not so bad

Rooms in shared apartments cost from €300 per month. When renting an apartment be prepared to see a lot of really weird Soviet-style interiors, but that could be an advantage if you are looking for something authentically Russian.
 
There are different ways to find apartments for rent in Moscow (or the whole Russia) and here we present some of the more effective methods.
 

Apartments for Short-Term Rent in Moscow 

 


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Renting an Apartment or a Room in Moscow for a Long Term via a Facebook Group 

If you are renting an apartment or a room for a longer period, starting from 3 months, the best way to start searching is to go on Facebook. The first thing we recommend you to try is to join the Flat for Friends group on Facebook. You will see several offers daily for long-term rent directly from the owners there, which means you bypass the agencies and can save some money. 
 
The best way to make sure you get the apartment you like is to write to the owner directly and to arrange a viewing as soon as possible. Don't worry if you don't speak Russian: just use Google translate and double your message in English. Russians like foreigners, so this does not diminish your chances.
 
A typical apartment for rent from the Flats for friends Facebook group
 
Another way is to try www.thelocals.ru — this is a well-respected site and you can find lots of good options there directly from the owners.
 
Finally, the most popular way is to use the online database of apartments on CIAN (Moscow real estate central) — www.cian.ru — there you can find thousands of options, so if you are picky or didn't find anything on Facebook, this is the way to go. But there are a lot of listings from the agents on there, so it might cost you more eventually.
 
 

Renting an Apartment or a Room in Moscow for Short Term

AirBnb is a an obvious choice, but it's too expensive.  We recommend you to first look through our hotel booking site that aggregates all the available offers for short-term apartment rentals in Moscow. We saved a special link to the search results that filter only the top rated apartments and shows you how much they cost on different booking sites. If you can't find anything on there, you can also look on AirBnB, but, please, make sure you really check the reviews and make sure those reviews are not only from Russians, because many of them are fake. Once I rented an apartment in Moscow in the very center for a very attractive price, but when I arrived it really sucked because it was too small, noisy, construction all day long, it was stinky... So AirBnB is not always the best choice in Russia. That's why going through a booking site can be better because the reviews there tend to be more objective.
 
A cute apartment from AirBnB - but something like that is hard to find

If you want to risk and save money, go to any train station and look for the notes posted on the walls and for cell phone numbers graffitied to the floor.  You may find some odd babushka who rents her crib for very little money to the local tourists who need a place to sleep, eat and fuck, but that may as well turn into the most adventurous part of your trip.

 

What's the Best Area to Live in Moscow?

The best area to stay is Kitai Gorod - central, residential, lots of cool bars and clubs around, a real Moscow feeling to it. It's located around the metro stations Kitai Gorod, Chistye Prudy, Taganskaya, Kuznetsky Most — inside that rectangle. The only downside is that there's no park, but the area around Chistye Prudy is nice to walk because it's actually ponds with a small park, so at least some nature there... 
 
Also the area near Tverskaya street is great for accessibility and there’s lots of nice restaurants and bars around and it's also very central and easy to get to.
If you really need nature close by, try Sokolniki area or Izmailovsky Park — both are slightly outside of the center, but only 20 minutes by public transport, which is not that far.

A hipster flat in Moscow: this also exists :)
 

 

Apartments for Short-Term Rent in Moscow 

 




 

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