Only one currency can be used to pay at all stores and restaurants in Russia – the Russian rouble. The rouble is made up of 100 kopecks. Circulating coins exist in denominations of 1, 5, 10 and 50 kopecks, as well as 1, 2, 5, and 10 roubles. The rouble is also printed on bills in denominations of 10, 50, 100, 500, 1,000 and 5,000 roubles. It is possible to exchange roubles immediately upon arriving at the airport, though the exchange rate at such offices is not always the most favourable for tourists.
It is possible to pay with a card in many stores and cafes, and the same concerns official taxi services and Aeroexpress trains to the airports. One will not, however, be able to pay for souvenirs on Red Square or buy flowers on the boulevard without cash.
In all three airports (Domodedovo, Sherementievo, Vnukovo) you can find cash machines once you pass the customs. Taking roubles from cash machines gives you better exchange rate comparing to any other option.
Currency can be exchanged at any bank branch in the city, but it is necessary to present your passport for this. Near the Higher School of Economics, there are a number of banks along Myasnitskaya Ulitsa.
The most reliable banks with offices on Myasnitskaya Ulitsa are listed below:
VTB 24 (the Higher School of Economics’ banking partner)
35 Myasnitskaya Ulitsa
Monday-Friday: 9:00-21:00, Saturday: 10:00-19:00
13 Myasnitskaya Ulitsa, building 1
Monday-Friday: 10:00-21:00, Saturday: 10:00-19:00
22/2/5 Myasnitskaya Ulitsa, building 1
Monday-Friday: 10:00-20:00, Saturday: 10:00-17:00
17 Myasnitskaya Ulitsa
Monday-Friday: 8:30-19:30, Saturday: 10:00-18:00
For those who are in a hurry or simply forget their passport in the morning (which we really do not recommend doing), the simplest way of transferring money into roubles is at ATMs. All ATMs have a menu to select a language, and roubles can be withdrawn using any MasterCard or Visa card for a transaction fee. There are ATMs of two banks mentioned above (VTB 24 and Sberbank) in the hall of the Higher School of Economics’ main building at 20 Myasnitskaya Ulitsa. There are also ATMs at all Moscow metro stations.
The sign 'Банкомат 24 часа' (ATM open 24/7) at the entrance to the bank branch means that you can use the ATM there at any time but only if it is an ATM of the same bank that issued your card (Citibank for Citibank ATM or Raiffeisen for Raiffeisen ATM). All bank branches can exchange euros and dollars, though other currencies may not be easily exchanged at all banks. To be sure you do not end up with no money, it is best to check online where you can exchange a certain currency.
Here is a directory of Moscow pharmacies with phones, addresses and opening hours https://aptekamos.ru/magaziny/apteki/na-karte
Here is a map of pharmacies nearby the dorm on Studencheskaya ulitsa
Moscow has several major chains of supermarkets you can use.
1) Pyaterochka (Пятёрочка) — national economy class chain
2) Auchan (Ашан) — global economy class chain
3) Perekryostok (Перекресток) — national mid-level chain. Some of the Perekryostok shops are open 24/7
4) Perekryostok Zeleny (Перекресток зеленый) — premium-level chain
5) VkusVill (ВкусВилл) — national mid-level chain specializing in healthy food.
6) Azbuka Vkusa (Азбука вкуса) — premium level chain, delivery available. Most of Azbuka Vkusa supermarkets are open 24/7
Cultural note: cashiers seem to really have a thing for consumers making it easier for the cashier to give back change. For example, if something costs 137 rubles and you can't pay exactly 137 rubles, pay 157 rubles rather than 150 rubles so the cashier just needs to give you two 10 ruble coins or bills as change instead of 13 rubles.
The largest online supermarket in Russia. Sells groceries, home appliances, household products, cosmetics, toys etc. The prices are reasonable. Next day delivery is usually available. Payment can be made online, in cash or with a bankcard on delivery. Delivery costs about 150 roubles, minimum order 2000 roubles. Unfortunately, the website is only available in Russian.
Sells organic food from local farmers, including meat, fish, dairy products, fruit & vegetables, marmalade etc. Delivery is usually 2 to 5 days after the order. Delivery within Moscow costs 300 roubles. The website is available in English.
Online supermarket for farm food. Delivery is usually the next day or even the same day if you order before 1 am. Express delivery within 3 hours is available. Regular delivery costs 99 roubles, and for orders over 2500 roubles, delivery is free. Payment can be made online, in cash or with a bankcard on delivery. The website is only available in Russian.