Russia is not as far away as it seems. It's only a 2-hour flight from Berlin and a bit more than 3 hours from London. The price of a return ticket from most European cities to Moscow is somewhere between €150 to €300. There are also many flights daily from major US cities, and you can get a return flight to Moscow from New York for about $450-$700 normally, depending on the season and how far ahead you book.
There are also several budget airlines
that fly to Russia from major European cities. For example, Utair
airlines flies from Berlin to Moscow for €70 one way
and you can use the local low-cost airline Pobeda
(a subsidiary of Aeroflot) and fly to Moscow from many European cities for €50 one way (but they are very strict with extra luggage, so watch out). You could also use budget flights to Baltic states (for example, Riga in Latvia with Air Baltic) and then take a train or a bus to Russia. If you go for one of these options, you'll be able to make it to Russia for about €60 one way. Read more about that in our Budget Travel
If you're traveling within Russia
, sometimes taking a flight may be cheaper and certainly faster than taking a train. For example, a one way flight from Moscow to Irkutsk (Baikal lake
) costs the same as a 2nd class train. The difference is that the flight takes 6 hours, and the train takes 4 days (although of course you're losing out on the unique Trans-Siberian experience and tons of free vodka from your co-travelers).
Finally, Russia is a good stopover point if you're traveling to far-out Asian destinations
. There are some cheap direct flights to Bangkok ($400 return) and to Dehli ($400 return) with Aeroflot, for example.
Another airline we can recommend is Utair. This is a smaller national airline but their service is great and their prices are low. You can get a ticket from Berlin to Moscow for €50 one way (with no check-in luggage), so it's great for short trips. They also have an extensive network of flights within Russia, so if you're traveling to smaller cities, they're a good choice.
Pobeda is a Russain low-coster owned by Aeroflot. They have very low prices but very bad service and very strict luggage rules. So avoid them at all costs unless you want to fly to Moscow for something like €30 one way.
S7 (former Sibir Airlines) is not particularly cheaper than others, but they have an extensive flight network, so you might want to use them if you're planning to go to Siberia.
Aeroflot Russian Airlines
Usually cheapest tickets to/from Russia. Good service (despite what many people think), quite safe (there’s a rumour that many pilots are former military, so if they managed in Afghanistan…), and a wide selection of food (must be prebooked).
Contacts: +1 (888)686-4949 (Washington, USA), +44 (0) 20 7 355-2233 (London, UK), +7 (095) 753-5555 (24 hours, Moscow, Russia)
Offices: Moscow Russia: Petrovka St., 20/1 (metro Teatralnaya, Okhotny Ryad) | London UK: 70, Picaddilly St.
Second most important in Russia, after Aeroflot. Based in Novosibirsk. Strives to provide good service for less money than Aeroflot. Has great offers for domestic flights in Russia, as well as some international flights, especially to Germany and Asia (China, Korea, Mongolia).
Internet: http://english.s7.ru/ (Russian, English, German)
Contacts: +7 (095) 777-9999 (Moscow, Russia), +7 (3832) 59-90-90 (24 hours, Novosibirsk, Russia), +44 (0)870 60 80 737 (UK), +86 10 651-207-09 (China)
Offices: Moscow, Russia: 1st Tverskaya-Yamskaya str., 15 (metro «Belorusskaya»)
Working hours: 10:00 - 20:00, Domodedovo Airport (24h) , Paveletsky Railway Station (10.00-21.00)
Good prices, great branding, and very friendly staff, although the planes are a bit older and crammed. They have an extensive network throughout the whole Russia and very cheap flights to Europe.
Contacts: +7 (095) 241-76-76 (Moscow, Russia)
For Students - STA Travel Offices in Russia
These offer great deals for people under 26, and if you miss your flight or exchange a ticket, you can get a new one for a very small fee. So they are highly recommended. Besides, they have offices in all major Russian cities, so if you need an agent and even if you're not a student or above 26, go there, because probably you'll get the most travel-friendly service than anywhere else.
Student STA travel agency.
Offices in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Ekaterinburg, Kazan, Krasnodar, Nizhnevartovsk, Nizhny Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Rostov-na-Donu, Toliatti, Tumen, Ufa, Volgograd.
Moscow phone: +7 495 797-9555, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Internet: http://www.startravel.ru/about/regions.shtml (Russian)