on March 10, 2009
I'm only giving it 2 stars because the history and the neighborhood descriptions are very detailed. Otherwise, it's a terrible guide. It claims to be updated as of 2009 but:
1. the price for a visa in the US is listed as $100. It's been $130 for a little over a year
2. it says -like most guides- that you can't get rubles in the US. Tell that to Bank of America, who just sold me 3000 of them.
3. talks about buses from Sherm. airport to the city but makes no mention of the train from Sherm. airport into to the city which has been operational for a year +
4. just glances on the fact trains go to Vladimir (where I'm headed)and talks mainly about the buses. Trains leave both Kursk and Yaraslov stations, express, commuter/local trains all day but you wouldn't know it from this guide
I could go on.
Also, it plugs certain websites, tour guides and even a laundromat, rather than giving a range of options.
The maps are few and not terribly helpful, esp. as all the (non major) streets are not labeled (this is where Lonely Planet is good)
Very few (budget)hotel and restaurant reviews. While it provides about a dozen accommodation websites, don't use this book to find a hotel/hostel/B&B (again LP is the better guide book here)
While it lists the train destinations from the various stations (as if you couldn't figure it out from the name of the station) it doesn't list stops along the way so you'll have to do some on-line research to find out which station you need to go to if you plan on taking a train out of the city.
Luckily I'm only in Moscow for a few days. I would have been super irritated if I planned on staying in Moscow longer and had bought this book. Unfortunately, it's the most "updated" of the guides, which is why I bought it. All in all, this guide is useless. If only Lonely Planet would update its 2007 edition.
on May 7, 2009
I've been travelling to Russia regularly since 1979 & have read all the guidebooks. Edition after edition, I still find the Rough Guides the best overall. Yes, there are a few errors, like the cost of applying for a Russian visa, but anyone who is contemplating a non-escorted tour to Moscow really ought to buy more than one guidebook. I will say that the Rough Guides offer more details about the cities than the 1st-time or casual traveller might be able to absorb or appreciate. But for repeat visitors, Russian history lovers and off-the-beaten trackers, it's superb.