Curious Facts About Moscow Metro
Once you plan your trip to Russia, we definitely recommend you to visit the Moscow Metro. Our subway is more than just public transport. It can be called the underground palace, where 44 stations are considered as cultural heritage sites. You can see bronze statues, impressive mosaics, stained glass, columns, and chandeliers that will boggle your eyes. No doubt, why Muscovites are proud to say that they have the most beautiful underground in the world.
Moreover, it is also the place that tells a lot about the Soviet past – from propaganda to denunciation of Stalinism. If you take the Moscow Underground tour your local tour guide will explain how complicated and fascinating Russian history is hidden by the stations. Moscow Metro hides many secrets that are difficult to notice on your own. Today we want to share 6 interesting facts about Moscow Metro.
Trains can look like an art gallery
Moscow Metro has not only themed stations but also themed trains. You definitely would love to take a ride. Depending on the occasion, it can be devoted to the Olympic Games, the World Cup or any other big event happening at the time. We regularly have trains devoted to poetry, history, art, cinema, and science. Our favorite has paintings inside. Yes, a train can look like an art gallery!
Photo: RIA News
Not many people know that recently a new cafeteria was opened in Moscow Metro. You will find it on Arbatskaya station where the original cafeteria opened its doors in 1968. Today you will see a new version of it, although it still has a retro spirit that reminds of a typical Soviet canteen. The Soviet snack to try is belyash (fried pastry with meat). We also have a new cafe at Vystavochnaya station where you can get tea, coffee, pastries, salads, and deserts.
A place to get lucky
Russian people are pretty superstitious. So if you were invited into a Russian house, please do not whistle. Otherwise, you will make people think that you want them to lose all their money! In fact, we can find superstitions in everything. Ploshchad Revolyutsii (Revolution Square) station is famous for getting lucky. It has 76 statues with hidden meaning. Your tour guide will explain which one you need to touch if you want to find the love of your life, get rich, pass an exam or to get help any other situation in your life.
When you are on a train, you will have access to free Wi-Fi. And it has been available since 2013. Even though today most of people have mobile Internet, you can not use it underground. Therefore, free Wi-Fi. Is widely used, especially by millennials who constantly need access to all the social networks. Another interesting free service you can find in the new trains is to charge your smartphone. Plus, around 30 metro stations also have gadget charging points.
You may not find that many street musicians around the city, except for specific streets. But the Moscow Metro is the perfect place to see various performances. Think about it, our winter is very long, so it is wiser to stay inside. We have special spots for the musicians around Moscow Metro – Vorobyevy Gory, Polyanka, Kurskaya, Borovitskaya and many more. Officially musicians are allowed to perform only after an audition. Therefore, some of the concerts could become one of the highlights of your trip. The genres are absolutely different – from folk to electronic music. On special occasions, you can meet famous Russian musicians, like Polina Gagarina who participated in the Musical Contest Eurovision, or Russian conductor and violinist Yuri Bashmet with his orchestra.
Literature is a big part of our culture. Many Russian are really proud of our writers that are famous all around the world. Plus, we read a lot! According to an online poll conducted by GfK, only Chinese read more than us. So no surprise, that Rasskazovka station was opened as an online library. Everyone can download books on his phone for free or read them online. To do so you should scan a QR code using a special application. Metro Library contains over 100 books by famous Russian and foreign writers. There are four more stations with online libraries – Pushkinskaya, Chekhovskaya, Dostoyevskaya and Biblioteka Imeni Lenina. In case you prefer a printing version, in the metro, we also have book exchange spots to swap books for free.
Photo: RIA News
Once you are in the Moscow metro you might find there a mysterious black container. What is it? Every day hundreds of Muscovites pass them by and do not realize the purpose of these barrels.
Safety and security play a very important role in the Moscow metro. So once there is found a suspicious object, it will be placed into this container before emergency services will come. In fact, it is an explosion-proof container, so even in case of a powerful explosion, it will be able to protect the citizens. Next time you are in the Moscow Metro, pay attention to the black barrels, you can find them on every station!
by Tanya Neyman, local guide