Several suggestions to help you enjoy your trip: When you arrive, you'll be VERY happy to have someone meet you. I used youarewelcome.su (NOTE the SU at the end, NOT RU!) and they were wonderful. I got a text message while I was going through customs telling me the driver was waiting for me; he helped me get some money from the cash machine; and when I went back to the airport, I emailed them and they actually arranged for an inexpensive but reliable taxi cab service to pick me up. Other prep suggestions: 1. Read Robt Massie's Peter the Great, Catherine the Great and if you have time Nicholas and Alexandra, Russia. Also A Concise History by Ronald Hingley and Suzanne Massie's Land of the Firebird (last two are out of print but you can get on Amazon or Abe's Books second hand) 2. Go to YOUTUBE and take a few "Russian World Lesson"s, which are fantastic. The first 6 teach you the Cyrillic alphabet, along with some impt words (you can skip over the cursive writing sections). Believe me, you won't be sorry you learned it. I wrote the letters, sounds and words I learned at each lesson and took them with me to refer to. You'll be amazed what you'll remember -- and how much fun it is to sound out the words in cyrillic when you get to Russia. NOTE that most people do NOT speak English -- so it's quite impt to learn a very few of the essential ones: The most impt words you should know are: Where is (Ga-DEE-ya); Here (z-DYES) and there (Tahm) (helpful when you're in a subway stop and not sure of which station you're at, or when you want to get out at a particular street); Exit (VWEE-chut) and entrance (v-CHUT) (The CH sounds like the Jewish CHAI, not like the English Church). Also use YouTube for documentaries on Lenin, Stalin, Trotsky and lots of other people/history you're interested in. A great way to learn Russia's background. The subways are a snap, esp if you can pick out the cyrillic letters. The green and brown lines have lots of great stops; the blue line has a couple worth checking out. All you have to do is get on at any station on either line and just go from stop to stop, getting off to check it out and the on to the next. Trains come every 2-3 minutes, even at nite, so it's very fast. If you get some info from TA on the lines, take the info with you and just read it as you go. The subways have signs in the middle of the platform and on both sides telling you which direction they're going in (the right side of the sign shows you the stops/direction of the trains to the right, and the left side tells you the direction/stops to your left. They're also on the wall on each side. That's why knowing the alphabet is so helpful -- you'll never feel lost. You can prob do all the stations on each line in 1-1.5 hours max, so it's a great thing to do at nite or during your free time.