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Author Topic: First trip to Russia  (Read 7905 times)

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Online Jamesukjames

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Re: First trip to Russia
« Reply #25 on: December 26, 2018, 02:16:33 AM »
About the girls and visa travel agent scam.  I only know about belarus.  But please remember these women you date hopefully they are as naive as you are about the dating a foreigner process.  Many have had truly horrible first marriages with some form of abuse .  They have heard about nice western guys who treat women well.  They start to investigate travel plans with the travel agents as they don't have the same internet freedom as the western man.  The travel agents and visa agents tell these women a load of bull to make money out of them including telling them they must buy a ticket before applying for visa.  These women are used to beaurocratic ways and just do as they are told by the agents.  So a bit more understanding of the situation guys please.  So always best you visit her first or meet in a country she needs no visa for or you are throwing her into the wolf's lair.  Also as much as you are in a new sweety shop so is she. 

Online msmob

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Re: First trip to Russia
« Reply #26 on: December 26, 2018, 03:03:34 AM »
as they don't have the same internet freedom as the western man. 

??

They can subscribe to lots of sites and see the deals and they take you to  "do you need a visa ?" )

Here's TUI for example:

http://www.tui.ru/services/visas/


Online Jamesukjames

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Re: First trip to Russia
« Reply #27 on: December 26, 2018, 03:16:41 AM »
Thanks msmob.  2 Belarusians and 1 Ukranian I know do everything through travel agents.  Although maybe I'm being played.  And yes I met my present gf at the tui desk in Cyprus. 

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Re: First trip to Russia
« Reply #28 on: December 26, 2018, 03:20:08 AM »
Every time I think I'm on top of this fsu dating I find myself wondering if I'm at the top or the bottom of the hill

Offline rwd123

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Re: First trip to Russia
« Reply #29 on: December 26, 2018, 03:35:25 AM »
I have decided to head to see my lady for our first meeting on a long weekend. Unfortunately I can't make it longer trip, but I can't wait anymore to meet her. She said she would want a longer time for our first meeting but would be excited to see me. She is still planning on coming the end of March.
This will be my first time traveling internationally. Getting a visa, did you guys just use the Russian consulate web site? How long did it take? Is there a better airline to use? I was looking at a Delta/Aeroflot combo flight. Is there more than one airport in Moscow? DC has three is the reason I ask. Any other useful information will be helpful. Thanks
Re visa,

Purchase a letter of invitation and apply for a tourist visa - quick and easy. You can apply for a 3 year visa but IMO make a trip first before doing so. I send my passport by mail/courier and do not attend the consulate. I assume you have a passport! (that is valid for at least six months beyond your planned stay in Russia). If you are not sure of the process just read a howto guide on other websites on how to obtain a tourist visa.

Re airports,

For a long weekend your best option is to fly via New York. There are four airports servicing Moscow, though you will not end up in Zhukovsky so essentially three. It really doesn't matter which one you end up with.

Each are connected via rail to the city or for you it may be better to order a ride via Uber or Yandex Taxi (I've had issues with Uber and my credit card in Russia so carry rubles in case you need to pay in cash.

Remember to give enough time for connections - it is easy to get held up by TSA queues or with winter flight delays.

Re accommodation,

If you want an apartment book with airbnb.com, if you want a hotel book with booking.com. I would suggest if this is your first trip to Moscow and it is for a long weekend then just book a hotel room. I like to stay near Bellorusky Station, I like the area and it's on the ring metro line which comes in handy. But anywhere on the ring metro line or inside it near a metro station is easy to navigate.

You could try and stay close to where she lives but IMO is not worth the hassle. If anything work out which side of the city she lives in (e.g., east) and stay somewhere central (e.g., inner east).

Re Moscow,

Dress warm but just check the forecast before you leave. A lot of people just wear regular clothes and have a really warm jacket and hat when outside. Wear clothes that fit you well, nothing baggy. And nice shoes!

Learn some basic Russian, even learning the alphabet may serve you better than you realize. Take some small random gifts from DC, not just for the girl you are meeting but also in case you meet other people. I don't think your first trip will be quite as adventurous as mine but I'm sure you will have fun!





Online msmob

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Re: First trip to Russia
« Reply #30 on: December 26, 2018, 03:48:30 AM »

Each are connected via rail to the city or for you it may be better to order a ride via Uber or Yandex Taxi (I've had issues with Uber and my credit card in Russia so carry rubles in case you need to pay in cash.

There isn't  UBER in Russia - it's Yandex taxi, now - and if you choose CASH as your payment option - chances are you'll jump the queue in getting a prompt ride.

PROBLEM - you need internet to find the taxi driver outside and to use WhatsApp  - so they can contact you ..

So if you're going to go for a long weekend  - buying a local sim seems out - so can you get a daily 'as at home'  calls / internet allowance from your home provider - when abroad ?


Offline rwd123

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Re: First trip to Russia
« Reply #31 on: December 26, 2018, 06:06:12 AM »
There isn't  UBER in Russia - it's Yandex taxi, now - and if you choose CASH as your payment option - chances are you'll jump the queue in getting a prompt ride.
When did uber cease operations in Russia? I used them in September.

Online msmob

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Re: First trip to Russia
« Reply #32 on: December 26, 2018, 06:11:38 AM »
When did uber cease operations in Russia? I used them in September.

They didn't 'cease' they came to an amicable agreement with Yandex ;)

The App still works - but I'd recommend using Yandex and use the CASH payment option

Offline DCcowboy

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Re: First trip to Russia
« Reply #33 on: December 26, 2018, 06:50:36 AM »
Great information, I appreciate you guy's experience. We know it is a risk for her to get a visa. She didn't go through a agency that I know of.

Online GenMish

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Re: First trip to Russia
« Reply #34 on: December 26, 2018, 07:30:53 AM »
Re visa,

Purchase a letter of invitation and apply for a tourist visa - quick and easy. You can apply for a 3 year visa but IMO make a trip first before doing so. I send my passport by mail/courier and do not attend the consulate. I assume you have a passport! (that is valid for at least six months beyond your planned stay in Russia). If you are not sure of the process just read a howto guide on other websites on how to obtain a tourist visa.

Re airports,

For a long weekend your best option is to fly via New York. There are four airports servicing Moscow, though you will not end up in Zhukovsky so essentially three. It really doesn't matter which one you end up with.

Each are connected via rail to the city or for you it may be better to order a ride via Uber or Yandex Taxi (I've had issues with Uber and my credit card in Russia so carry rubles in case you need to pay in cash.

Remember to give enough time for connections - it is easy to get held up by TSA queues or with winter flight delays.

Re accommodation,

If you want an apartment book with airbnb.com, if you want a hotel book with booking.com. I would suggest if this is your first trip to Moscow and it is for a long weekend then just book a hotel room. I like to stay near Bellorusky Station, I like the area and it's on the ring metro line which comes in handy. But anywhere on the ring metro line or inside it near a metro station is easy to navigate.

You could try and stay close to where she lives but IMO is not worth the hassle. If anything work out which side of the city she lives in (e.g., east) and stay somewhere central (e.g., inner east).

Re Moscow,

Dress warm but just check the forecast before you leave. A lot of people just wear regular clothes and have a really warm jacket and hat when outside. Wear clothes that fit you well, nothing baggy. And nice shoes!

Learn some basic Russian, even learning the alphabet may serve you better than you realize. Take some small random gifts from DC, not just for the girl you are meeting but also in case you meet other people. I don't think your first trip will be quite as adventurous as mine but I'm sure you will have fun!



All good information, some questions. BUT first GOOD LUCK DCCOWBOY!

1) In the past I was able to get Business Visas directly with the consulate, I had the direct number of the man in charge. Could you clarify which Tourist Visa website offers the best method? Is there one where you don't have to send them your passport?

2) Isnt better to get an invitation from the lady DCC will visit? I mean making her part of the process, starting to work together

3) IAD has few non stops to DME, so what is the advantage of NYC? Even if she lives next door to SVO, there are plenty of one stops from WAS

4) What do people that meet one lady here do? I would ask her to meet me at the airport. Especially Moscow, its not easy getting around your first time


Other ideas; Bring thermal underwear
I would avoid Aeroflot, and not just because of the Tupolev Horror stories I could share, but even on their long hauls they will let people smoke(but yes the stewardesses are awesome)
Check with the lady apartment vs hotel. Hotels were taboo 25 yrs ago as nice girls wouldn't go
« Last Edit: December 26, 2018, 08:02:03 AM by GenMish »

Offline rwd123

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Re: First trip to Russia
« Reply #35 on: December 26, 2018, 01:35:43 PM »
1) In the past I was able to get Business Visas directly with the consulate, I had the direct number of the man in charge. Could you clarify which Tourist Visa website offers the best method? Is there one where you don't have to send them your passport?

I obtain business visas so it's a bit different. You can call the consulate and ask which company to obtain a tourist visa from. Whichever company you pick for a letter of invitation the process is the same (unless they forward your passport on your behalf).

2) Isnt better to get an invitation from the lady DCC will visit? I mean making her part of the process, starting to work together

No. A private visa is not easier to obtain, a tourist visa is by far the easiest. And if asked the reason for travel simply "tourism" is the answer! That is sufficient.

3) IAD has few non stops to DME, so what is the advantage of NYC? Even if she lives next door to SVO, there are plenty of one stops from WAS

If there were daily direct flights then I would recommend, but flying via NYC provides the most options/flexibility.

I have flown Aeroflot, never had problems or smokers and found their food to be better than higher rated airlines. The only rider is that leg room can be a little cramped on a long flight if you are tall. You can use this site to check leg room: http://www.seatguru.com/

4) What do people that meet one lady here do? I would ask her to meet me at the airport. Especially Moscow, its not easy getting around your first time

It is fairly straightforward to a) book a hotel online before leaving and b) getting a car from the airport using uber/yandex taxi straight to the hotel. Just have a mix of notes (rubles) before jumping in the car - 100USD worth will be more than enough. Once in town the metro is definitely worth taking just to stop off at some stations to see the architecture.

He could tell her the flights/accommodation details and let her decide if she wants to meet at the airport. Will tell him something about her personality.


If you want to invite a lady back to your place then definitely get an apartment, no ifs no buts. Just be warned it can be a game sometimes to find and meet your host as even with an address you'll struggle to find where you are staying. I only suggest a hotel as the OP is going overseas for the first time.

Online Jamesukjames

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Re: First trip to Russia
« Reply #36 on: December 26, 2018, 01:52:47 PM »
The difficulty of  finding of an apartment address can not be overstated.  Best to ask for a cafe or shop and route from there.

Online GenMish

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Re: First trip to Russia
« Reply #37 on: December 26, 2018, 05:02:14 PM »
1) In the past I was able to get Business Visas directly with the consulate, I had the direct number of the man in charge. Could you clarify which Tourist Visa website offers the best method? Is there one where you don't have to send them your passport?

I obtain business visas so it's a bit different. You can call the consulate and ask which company to obtain a tourist visa from. Whichever company you pick for a letter of invitation the process is the same (unless they forward your passport on your behalf).

2) Isnt better to get an invitation from the lady DCC will visit? I mean making her part of the process, starting to work together

No. A private visa is not easier to obtain, a tourist visa is by far the easiest. And if asked the reason for travel simply "tourism" is the answer! That is sufficient.

3) IAD has few non stops to DME, so what is the advantage of NYC? Even if she lives next door to SVO, there are plenty of one stops from WAS

If there were daily direct flights then I would recommend, but flying via NYC provides the most options/flexibility.

I have flown Aeroflot, never had problems or smokers and found their food to be better than higher rated airlines. The only rider is that leg room can be a little cramped on a long flight if you are tall. You can use this site to check leg room: http://www.seatguru.com/

4) What do people that meet one lady here do? I would ask her to meet me at the airport. Especially Moscow, its not easy getting around your first time

It is fairly straightforward to a) book a hotel online before leaving and b) getting a car from the airport using uber/yandex taxi straight to the hotel. Just have a mix of notes (rubles) before jumping in the car - 100USD worth will be more than enough. Once in town the metro is definitely worth taking just to stop off at some stations to see the architecture.

He could tell her the flights/accommodation details and let her decide if she wants to meet at the airport. Will tell him something about her personality.


If you want to invite a lady back to your place then definitely get an apartment, no ifs no buts. Just be warned it can be a game sometimes to find and meet your host as even with an address you'll struggle to find where you are staying. I only suggest a hotel as the OP is going overseas for the first time.

Thank You for the follow up rwd123, because I would go Russia over Ukraine. I don't know what it is, I am just more comfortable going with Russia despite the extra hassle. Maybe because I have been to Russia and not Ukraine? Its weird, because I have this incredibly beautiful lady in Ukraine that still messages me(I considered seeing her back in summer but decided against it) often and something told me not to go, and continues to tell me that despite sweet texts like the Merry Christmas texts last night

I hope DCCowboy can give us a followup when he returns, as so many of these issues are a moving target and change quickly

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Re: First trip to Russia
« Reply #38 on: December 27, 2018, 12:10:11 AM »

1) In the past I was able to get Business Visas directly with the consulate, I had the direct number of the man in charge. Could you clarify which Tourist Visa website offers the best method? Is there one where you don't have to send them your passport?

I obtain business visas so it's a bit different. You can call the consulate and ask which company to obtain a tourist visa from. Whichever company you pick for a letter of invitation the process is the same (unless they forward your passport on your behalf).

 

I gave the site preferred by Russian consulate, ILS USA. There are many others with different pricing, cheapest is using ILS site but you do all the work.
Currently no possible way to get visa directly from a consulate. Always have to send your passport with paperwork to obtain visa.
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Re: First trip to Russia
« Reply #39 on: December 27, 2018, 12:28:07 AM »


 

 

4) What do people that meet one lady here do? I would ask her to meet me at the airport. Especially Moscow, its not easy getting around your first time

It is fairly straightforward to a) book a hotel online before leaving and b) getting a car from the airport using uber/yandex taxi straight to the hotel. Just have a mix of notes (rubles) before jumping in the car - 100USD worth will be more than enough. Once in town the metro is definitely worth taking just to stop off at some stations to see the architecture.

 If you want to invite a lady back to your place then definitely get an apartment, no ifs no buts. Just be warned it can be a game sometimes to find and meet your host as even with an address you'll struggle to find where you are staying. I only suggest a hotel as the OP is going overseas for the first time.

I agree very easy to book a hotel online but not strightforward getting uber/yandex or gett or any other taxi you call to pick you up. very difficult to find taxi in a sea of vehicles especially at DME where you have hundreds of vehicles running around in front of you. More expensive ~~2200 rub is airport taxi but you are led directly to taxi can pay with CC and off you go. Either way, should get russian sim card. Then you can always have WiFi when you are out and about. 200-500 rub.


If you have developed a close relationship, a woman will come up to your hotel room. No ifs no buts. Its a case by case decision. Most woman would only come to lobby area if they don't feel comfortable with you yet.


An apt can be a hassle trying to find correct address. I have had a couple in Moscow where I had to keep asking people where 'this' address was, plus arranging time to meet host.
I now mostly stick to bigger hotels with gym/jacuzzi/pool.
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Online GenMish

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Re: First trip to Russia
« Reply #40 on: December 27, 2018, 05:53:17 AM »
I agree very easy to book a hotel online but not strightforward getting uber/yandex or gett or any other taxi you call to pick you up. very difficult to find taxi in a sea of vehicles especially at DME where you have hundreds of vehicles running around in front of you. More expensive ~~2200 rub is airport taxi but you are led directly to taxi can pay with CC and off you go. Either way, should get russian sim card. Then you can always have WiFi when you are out and about. 200-500 rub.


If you have developed a close relationship, a woman will come up to your hotel room. No ifs no buts. Its a case by case decision. Most woman would only come to lobby area if they don't feel comfortable with you yet.


An apt can be a hassle trying to find correct address. I have had a couple in Moscow where I had to keep asking people where 'this' address was, plus arranging time to meet host.
I now mostly stick to bigger hotels with gym/jacuzzi/pool.

Im surprised this topic doesn't come up, especially in the Ukranian threads. Its not the man the woman is worried about at the hotel. They are worried about appearing as a prostitute

In fact with the high levels of Prostitution with HIV rates now so high among Ukrainian prostitutes, I would be worried about one that was willing to go to a hotel room

anyways, 25 years ago, there is no way I would get a hotel
« Last Edit: December 27, 2018, 05:56:13 AM by GenMish »

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Re: First trip to Russia
« Reply #41 on: December 27, 2018, 08:51:13 AM »
Im surprised this topic doesn't come up, especially in the Ukranian threads. Its not the man the woman is worried about at the hotel. They are worried about appearing as a prostitute

In fact with the high levels of Prostitution with HIV rates now so high among Ukrainian prostitutes, I would be worried about one that was willing to go to a hotel room

anyways, 25 years ago, there is no way I would get a hotel


At the larger hotels with large lobby's there can be hundreds of people walking back and forth, multiple elevators, do you actually think you and your lady are going to stand out??? I can understand in smaller hotel where you walk by desk where no one is around and the person/s working there looks at you and your lady..... then I can see her being uncomfortable. I have been in some hotels where there is security at elevators checking for room entry card. Apparently there must be some kind of hanky panky there. I did find out later there is dance/strip? club at hotel.
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Re: First trip to Russia
« Reply #42 on: December 27, 2018, 11:33:05 AM »

At the larger hotels with large lobby's there can be hundreds of people walking back and forth, multiple elevators, do you actually think you and your lady are going to stand out???

YES...

Especially, if you are a foreigner ..  bringing a lady back..

Unless she's checked in with you and they have her ID - esp in Russia - 'Good luck' ..

I'm basing my experience on staying in large Moscow, and Sochi hotels -

You get 'known'




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Re: First trip to Russia
« Reply #43 on: December 27, 2018, 11:52:24 AM »
apartments are more discreet for this kind of thing of course...
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Re: First trip to Russia
« Reply #44 on: December 27, 2018, 12:20:57 PM »
I got around the problem by registering as a couple when booking the hotel.  If things didn't go well at the first meeting, my date would simply have gone to her sister's place.  If things went well, there was no issue regarding hotel staff perceptions with her joining me in my room.))

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Re: First trip to Russia
« Reply #45 on: December 27, 2018, 11:39:28 PM »
The difficulty of  finding of an apartment address can not be overstated.  Best to ask for a cafe or shop and route from there.

This is absolutely true, I have got into a couple of bad situations with apartments. They came good in the end but it was hassle I didn't want. One was trying to find one the other was apotential disagreement over which apartment I was having. Fortunately cold weather was not added to either situation. I also found restaurant & also hotels greatly helpful in helping me out. It's a pain though, almost embarrassing to have to rely on others who need not feel obliged to help at all. I've asked strangers on the street but that is a less good option as generally less safe and more chance restaurant/hotel staff will speak English and be predisposed towards you DC.

Thing is Apartments can have weird set ups that makes sense to the owners but not to the customers. You can end up with office address, other apartments address, different apartment address, apartment no longer available, and of course as soon as they see you are a potentially nieve westerner, apartment swaps for a less good deal.
No Deal is Ideal :)

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Re: First trip to Russia
« Reply #46 on: December 27, 2018, 11:57:51 PM »
I got around the problem by registering as a couple when booking the hotel.  If things didn't go well at the first meeting, my date would simply have gone to her sister's place.  If things went well, there was no issue regarding hotel staff perceptions with her joining me in my room.))

Some girls can still have issues. This question I have brought up on here before as it vexed me that some girls would bring up the whole ' No I 'will not go into a hotel' I would be regarded as a Prostitute!' While other girls would be 'No problem, why would going up stairs make me a prostitute?'. I think in the end with the help of forum members we limited it down to areas where there was a lot of western men visiting small cities particularly those with AFA tours as they gain a bit of a 'reputation' in those places.

DC echoing what those above have said I would definitely ask her first (I wouldn't mention prostitution in doing so though). Don't ask her for a preference just say about staying at a hotel and meeting there and see if there is any abrupt response against.

You'll need a pretty big hotel to avoid the all too cosy lobby feel. I wouldn't go too posh like the Four Seasons in Red Square, it's huge but you'll want less attentative staff and of course its expensive. One problem with Moscow of course is that I think they are still short on hotels from Soviet time which pushes up the price and limits available options. You'll Nedd a pretty big hotel or at least a lobby area which isn't focused/you can bypass easily without too much attention, somewhere laid back and not too bothered about what's going on.
No Deal is Ideal :)

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Re: First trip to Russia
« Reply #47 on: December 28, 2018, 12:45:09 AM »
This is absolutely true, I have got into a couple of bad situations with apartments. They came good in the end but it was hassle I didn't want. One was trying to find one the other was apotential disagreement over which apartment I was having. Fortunately cold weather was not added to either situation. I also found restaurant & also hotels greatly helpful in helping me out. It's a pain though, almost embarrassing to have to rely on others who need not feel obliged to help at all. I've asked strangers on the street but that is a less good option as generally less safe and more chance restaurant/hotel staff will speak English and be predisposed towards you DC.

Thing is Apartments can have weird set ups that makes sense to the owners but not to the customers. You can end up with office address, other apartments address, different apartment address, apartment no longer available, and of course as soon as they see you are a potentially nieve westerner, apartment swaps for a less good deal.

Trench,

you are still a babe in the woods at this

1/ If you are on a WM, then chances are you'll be relying on yourself - those on a VO will have had the help of your 'host' to find a suitable place.

2/ Finding aprs in the FSU?  Hardly difficult with Yandex Navigator... enter the HOUSE and Street number and it'll take you right there..

If you speak little Russian and you don't know the city - then - by all means - book a hotel, for a couple of nights ... those with more confidence can use airbnb / booking.com or ask on here ... LOADS of local knowledge and help available.






Online Jamesukjames

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Re: First trip to Russia
« Reply #48 on: December 28, 2018, 12:55:58 AM »
Apartments.  Address board on the building the size of a car rear number plate some times missing some times damaged.  So even locals don't build up subconscious knowledge of apartments.  Multiple doors in corridors with keys.  Lifts that don't stop at all floors.  A bashed up looking outside can lead to a fantastic apartment.  All very random at -10 with a unfriendly taxi driver.  Ukraine.  Maybe Moscow is different.

Online msmob

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Re: First trip to Russia
« Reply #49 on: December 28, 2018, 02:05:10 AM »
Apartments.  Address board on the building the size of a car rear number plate some times missing some times damaged.  So even locals don't build up subconscious knowledge of apartments.  Multiple doors in corridors with keys.  Lifts that don't stop at all floors.  A bashed up looking outside can lead to a fantastic apartment.  All very random at -10 with a unfriendly taxi driver.  Ukraine.  Maybe Moscow is different.

Once again

Yandex Navigator

works in offline mode - no internet - if you have downloaded the map of the area

Then, there's Maps.me  .. Same principle - works in Ukraine, Russia, Belarus ...

 

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