The first thing that comes to mind then you think about purchasing such a ticket is to buy a daily or weekly pass and be done with it. And there won't be anything wrong about doing it. The Metro has recently tried to set prices for them to a relatively reasonable level, and in general Moscow Metro fees are among the lowest in the world. So that even if you overpay slightly, it wouldn't really feel like that much of a damage.
But if you have more than one person in the group, you're not sure how many days will you stay here, and how many times will you use the metro - in all those cases there are ways to make purchasing those tickets even cheaper and even simpler.
Here are the best options to go with for each different situation and group size.
1. All-round, universally best option - Troika Card
This will serve you better that a daily pass and a 1-pass tickets 98% of the time. It's the most popular way to buy tickets among local residents themselves, and not without a reason. So if you just don't want to bother reading the rest of the article, just buy this one. Period.
Troika is a refundable, contactless electronic card that you can put as much money on as you actually need.
Each time you use it to get in, it charges you about 25% less than a regular 1-time ticket.
It doesn't have any expiration dates or time limits. The money you put on it will safely lie there and be active and usable at any moment for as long as you want.
And, most importantly, it doesn't have any cooldown times between passes unlike unlimited daily tickets. Which means that not only it is better suitable for quick exit-enter situations, but also for letting inside bigger groups of people all at the same time.
So, it's cheaper in every case except needing only 1 ride or more than 40. It's more versatile, as you can use 1 card for the whole group. And you can use it over any period of time. It's perfect!
The card itself only costs 50 RUB. Every time you use it, it deducts 38 RUB (as of 2019) from the existing card balance.
How do you buy it?
You can only do that in official metro tickets offices and special souvenir stores (if you want it to look weird or be in a shape of a bracelet or a ring).
Just get to any of the ticket windows and say that you need a Troika card. And then tell how much money do you wan to put on it. 38 RUB per ride.
You can also try to just say how many rides do you want to have on it instead of their ruble equivalent hoping that she'll calculate it for you. But based on my personal experience, they almost never look happy about doing it (even though they will). So to make things faster, better do the math in advance.
2. The best option for one-time pass or one-time pass for several people - Your Bank Card or 1-pass Card
Yes, it's not a one-time ticket for one-time pass. It's your bank card with an NFC chip or your mobile phone with Apple Pay or Google Pay functions.
If you have any of that, don't even bother physically buying anything. The metro's official site promises that, as of today, ALL of the existing turnstiles have been equipped with at least one special gate that instead of a regular yellow scanner (first image) has a contactless reader of bank cards (second image).
Seriously, personally haven't seen a single station without them over the last year or so. Those special black card readers are usually found at of the ends of the main line of turnstiles leading to the station.
You'll even save some money getting in like that. Not as much as with Troika, but still. One ride is 42 RUB (as of 2019). And regardless of what currency you card uses by default, it'll automatically convert it to the equivalent of 42 rubles by the current rate of your bank (read - fair rate).
So if you don't have any prejudice about using your bank card as a payment method here and you have that chip in there, then we can say that you already have your Moscow Metro card with you.
If you refuse to use your card, or those chips are not yet as popular in your country. Then buying the good old 1-pass card will be the best choice for one-time use for 1-4 people.
You can buy those in the same ticket offices as Troika cards or use those wonderful, fully translated automated tellers.
It's 55 RUB per card, and you can throw it away as soon as you get in. Moscow Metro doesn't check your tickets when you go outside.
3. Best for a really big group with undetermined number of potential rides - 60-ride Card
The absolute record holder of the cheapest metro ticket available is and at all times has been the 60-ride Card. As of 2019, the price is 1900 RUB, which makes every pass worth about 31,6 RUB. Nothing beats that.
The card also has no cooldowns between uses making the most perfect solution for big groups that are certainly going to need that many rides and more.
Yes, I suggest you to use one card for all of you in this case. Because if you travel with a group; most likely, you'll be with it most of the time anyway. Also, if it's an organized group with a guide, group leader or just at least one responsible person, it's even easier to have him/her as a single card-keeper than have all of you suddenly starting to look for your personal cards every time you go down the metro.
The good thing about it is that now all the 60-ride cards come on Troikas. So the overall price will be 50 RUB more expensive than announced in the price list. But it's great for you because if you run out of those 60 rides, you can always just put exactly as much more money as you need on that Troika and get additional passes at the second greatest rate possible of only 38 RUB per ride. Or you can put another 60 rides for 1900 RUB in case you have a really big group that really enjoys using the metro.
You can buy those cards at the same ticket offices as regular Troikas.
Note: if you decide to put more money there after those 60 passes are gone, you can use both automatic terminals and tickets windows if you want to put any random amount. But if you want to load it with that 60 for 1900 special deal once again, that you can only do in the ticket offices.
What's wrong with Daily Passes?
Technically, nothing. They will get you places for as many days as they promise. But if you're a group of people, it can end up being significantly more expensive than regular passes and especially Troikas and make your experience potentially less smooth.
Because they have those infamous cooldowns between uses. And it used to be 7 minutes for all of them until recently, when they cranked it up for 1 and 3-day cards to 20.
20 minutes (!!!) of waiting between two passes. There isn't much of a chance that it could be an issue. But say you suddenly remembered to do something outside right after you got in. You go out, do it, try to get back to the metro, and at the gates it tells you, 'wait 19 more minutes!' That could be troublesome.
Plus, it means that by no chance you'll be able to share those cards. And buying those for everyone for groups of 4 and more people is a rip-off.
And if that wasn't enough, those cards have expiration dates. That unlimited period of the set number of days will start counting down from the first time you use it. But if you decide to start using it later, like going somewhere else and then returning back to Moscow, it'll just expire in 10 days without being used.
There's one particular situation, however, where that card can save you some money. And that is when you're travelling alone, and you really need to use the metro a lot. But keep in mind that in order to make it valuable you have to use 1-day card more than 4 times and 3-day card - more than 8.
If that's not the case, just stick with a Troika or your bank card.
I hope this will help you to buy the best metro tickets in Moscow. If you like the article, pleas, share it anywhere you can online. Also, check more fresh blog pages in the suggestions below.
Thanks for reading!