By far the easiest and most pleasant way to get around Moscow is on the underground metro. It is considered to be one of the finest transport systems in the world and many of the 150 stations are superbly decorated with sculptures, chandeliers and mosaics. It is inexpensive, very efficient, and easy to use, even considering all signage is in Russian, but it's still a good idea to have the destination written in Cyrillic characters to help identify the correct station. The metro runs until 1am and fares are standard regardless of the distance travelled, allowing unlimited transfers. Strips of tickets can be bought for numerous journeys and are valid on all forms of public transport. Overland transport is less efficient than the metro, but an extensive network of buses, trams and trolleybuses covers the areas not serviced by the metro until about 11pm. They can get unpleasantly crowded during rush hour. Tickets must be validated in machines immediately on boarding and are valid for one ride only. Alternatives to the bus are the passenger vans called 'marshrutka', which follow the bus routes and stop on request. There are also scores of official metered taxis and unofficial cars that can be flagged down on the street, but fares must be negotiated before entering the vehicle, especially as foreigners are likely to be overcharged. Although taxis are generally safe, tourists should be cautious and single women are advised to avoid them at night. Driving in the city is not recommended.
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