Here is a random selection of Moscow prices for everyday commodities and necessities to help you, an active budget traveller, in planning your Russian adventure. Disclaimer:  Some items here may be listed for their informational, educational, and entertainment value only. Their presence in the chart below does not necessarily imply that I consider them essential for everyday living, or suggest you buy these products or services. Please note that I will answer questions related to this region of the world and particularly to Russian travel free as a public service as long as I can do that off the top of my head or by making 1-2 phone calls. Unless your question is of private or urgent nature, please use my MESSAGE BOARD



How much will your Russian trip cost? 


Invitation/voucher for tourist one month visa - $40

Invitation for one year multi-entry visa - $350

Consulate fee for the visa - $120-150

Airplane tickets - These can be very inexpensive, eg. under $1000 both ways from teh US, or under $100 from Brussels in February.

Registration upon arrival - $60

Taxi fare from the airport to the center of Moscow  - $60-80. Beware of taxi scam and other ugly things that happen to the disoriented freshly arrived travellers. Try to arrange to be met by someone you know. If somebody quotes you less than $40, expect to be charged extra for parking ($6-7) and waiting.

Sheremetyevo to the center of Moscow by public transit - $5-10.

Domodedovo to the center of Moscow by public transit - $10


A bottle of OK vodka - $7-8

A bottle of vodka that will make you sick without officially poisoning you - $4

Fortified wine, the beverage of choice of the rural poor - $1.20

Detoxification services, minimal - $10. The procedure may include a few complimentary punches by the police. If you don't get the ugly treatment you expect, tell them they are "kozly" (goats) and their recently acquired veneer of civilized and professional behaviour will likely fall down.

Detoxification, VIP - $100+

Domestic beer, bottle - $1

Fine for drinking beer in the street - from a reprimand to $10

Relieving your bladder on the street, per act - $4-10. If you firmly insist that there were no washrooms in the area and what an act you can't avoid can't possibly be an offence, you will be let go with a reprimand.

Table wine, cheapest drinkable variety, bottle - $5-9

Prices vary greatly. Figures given here are based on my own shopping preferences, and I usually opt for convenience and quality rather than "best deal". 

A loaf of break - $1

Rutabaga, in the winter - $1/kg

Rutabaga, in the summer - 50 cents/kg

Sauerkraut - $3-5/kg

Cabbage, fresh, in the winter - $1-3/kg

Potatoes - From under $1 for local dirty slightly rotten to $3-4 for fresh clean imported.

Mineral water, per bottle - 70 cents to about $1. Lots of substandard substitutes. Buy only in reputable stores. Ask locals.

Rice - From $1 for local stuff that turns mushy to $4/kg for edible Indian, Thai, or Pakistani rice

Bean sprouts - $5/kg

To-fu - $8 per small block unless you buy it at a secret illegal Vietnamese market, in which case it will be $2 for a much larger block.

Broccoli, in the winter - $5-8/kg

Eggplant, in the winter - $5/kg

Eggplant, in the summer - $1/kg

Corn oil - $2.50 for a one liter bottle



If you see it, grab Pershin (made in Ryazan). Of commonly available Kvases Ochakovo and Nikola are OK. Avoid "kvas beverages" that are imitations. Imitation kvas will be cheap and have "kvasnoy napitok" (kvas-like beverage) on the label.

under $2 for a 2 liter bottle 

Tangerines, good quality




Spaghetti, domestic

Under $1/kg 


$1-2 per kilogram 



Yucky public washroom access in a small town

10-15 cents 

Yucky public washroom access in Moscow

40 cents 

A roll of toilet paper, plain, about 50m

20 cents 

Activated charcoal

Recommended against meteorism.

10 cents 



Room in Moscow, to rent, long term

Usually in the more distant/less convenient areas of the city.


Room in Moscow, to rent, short term

Usually in the center of the city.


Apartment in Moscow, short term rental

While on the subject, take a look at my apartment that is available for short term rent. The location is as good as they get, fully equipped (including computer with Internet access, printer, and scanner), air conditioned etc. etc. DETAILS


Apartment in Moscow, long term

These will usually be located in the outskirts of the city and can't be easily compared to the cost of short-term rental.

$600-700 for a basic small one-bedroom 


25 to 50 cents a piece 


$100-180 per cubic meter 

"Social hotel" in Moscow. These are good and won't charge you for the furniture of the entertainment centers for flat screen TVs that are already in the room- watch out some places do that!

The only requirement to get in is that you are sober and well-behaved. See the list of these hotels at my

Free of charge, meal included 

The most expensive hotel I know of (Balchug-Kempinsky)

Located 200 yards from my apartment that you can rent for $120 or around that.


Apartment to buy in Moscow, average

Around $2800 per square meter (10 sq. feet)


Budget room in a typical hotel anywhere other than Moscow & St. Petersburg.


Room for rent from a babushka in a nearly abandoned village.

$20/week may suffice. Or in exchange for carrying water and chopping wood. 

A winter-grade insulated tent with a oil stove and folding furniture.

More info soon on my From Moscow to St. Petersburg via small towns and villages.

You can still camp just about anywhere on public or private land. No need for permit of any kind.

$2-3 thousand for the whole set.  

Accommodation in exchange for English tutoring or other work

...And the opportunities are many if you are willing to do your homework. Check out the Homestays section of my

Free, contribution to paying utilities, or perhaps even some pocket cash. The average utility bill for a 2-room apartment will be $100/month. 



Theatre tickets


Museums, of touristy "must see" type


Museums, out of the way sort

Under $1 or put something into the donations box 

Church access

Nothing *required" but something like 50 or 100 roubles ($2 or $4) put into the donations box will be appropriate.  

The Moscow Times, the leading English language newspaper

Free at "touristy" hotels and other foreigner hangouts 

Newspapers, local

30-70 cents 





Housekeeper, half-time. No English, personal hygiene needs improving, etc.

$150 per month 

Housekeeper, full-time, takes her job as seriously (Russian standard of seriousness)

Starting at $600/month 

Driver, your car or his, with your paying for gas and current upkeep

About $800/month 

Cooks, average qualifications, full-time


English teachers, native speakers, private, in Moscow


Russian tutor

 Free "language exchange" opportunities are many.


Street sweepers, full time, in Moscow




Tutoring, private, in Moscow

$10-15/hour in Moscow

$3-5/hour in a small town 

University tuition

Varies greatly, expect to pay $2-3 th. a year on the average.     



Bike, standard, functional quality


Scooter, 49cc.

No license, no documents required.

I'm thinking of getting one in the spring for the guests who rent an apartment from me in Moscow. The only condition is that you pay your bills in advance and leave clear instructions on what to do when things go wrong.


Horse, average working animal type


Usually sold by live weight, $2-something per kilo ($1/lb). 


3-10 cents/kg 

Feed oats (unprocessed)

10-15 cents/kg 

Saddle & associated tack, Russian-made

$250-350 minimum while the comfortable amount is $500-600 

Car that will make it from the place of purchase to the nearest garage


Car that you could be useful if not for the Moscow traffic

$2500-3000 at least 


60 cents/liter (regular) 

Traffic fines for minor offences (not fastening seat belts, speeding as long as it is not too serious, forgetting at home your insurance policy etc.)

$2 to $30 


$800 for something basic 

Subway or tram ride

30-70 cents 

Folding push scooter



30-50 cents/km or $15-18/hour 

Overnight train ride, eg. to St. Petersburg

$15 to $60
$200 for the most expensive ticket 

Small airplane, 250kg capacity

No more than $500-700 to get the license. Details coming up.

$12-15 th. 

 Glider with motor

$2-3 th. for something capable of taking off and offering a good chance of controlled landing 



Dental, one filling

I do my dental work in Staritsa. Dr. Lugin's office is on the humble side or even scary for the inexperienced, but the quality of dental work is as good as elsewhere and prices are beyond low. See my Starista page for details. 

$10 (small town)
$50 (Moscow)
>$100 (in a clinic that caters to westerners) 

Emergency medical care, eg. broken arm, stretched tendon, poisonings, bullet wounds....

Free in most cases. Tips to nurses are appropriate.  

Local drugs

Beyond cheap 



Sex services

$50-150/hour range 

All-around check for all STD known to humanity

$110-160 in Tver, probably close to $200 in Moscow 

Cure for one typical STD, consultation & medicines

The full list of STD statistics for each region, and the cost of treatment is coming up.


Non-premeditated murder committed in an affected state, first offence by an otherwise "respectable" person.

4-5 years of "regular" prison 

Heroin, one good doze




A ticket to somewhere to the middle of Siberia, plus local transportation to get to a 3 persons per square mile type of place.

est. $100 for the train ticket, another $100 to transport you 1000 miles north from the train station. 

Shotgun, classic double barrel


The license to acquire one

approx. $100 plus a bit of running around 

Shotgun cartridge, 12 gage

20 cents to $1 

Funeral, economy class

Hint: You can save a bundle by getting yourself buried in a country cemetery where often no permit/no plot fee will be required. Speaking of the Russian countryside, consider a visit to the Village of Dubrovki, where the author of this site sits in self-imposed exile.


Burial service in an Orthodox church

Expected donation around $20-50 

Having your name mentioned in a prayer for the repose of the dead

Under $1



Back to
Accommodation on Moscow, from cheap to "budget-yet-decent"
Horseback Riding
Chauffeurs, airport transfers etc.
Errands and services



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