S.O.S in Moscow: Emergency Survival Travel Phrases You Need to Know

Are you planning a trip to Moscow, Russia? Whether you're traveling for business or pleasure, being able to speak even basic Russian phrases can make your experience much smoother. From ordering food to navigating the city streets, knowing a few key phrases can go a long way in helping you feel more comfortable and confident during your travels. In this blog post, we'll cover some survival travel phrases in Russian that will help you get by during your stay in Moscow. So let's dive right into it!

Survival travel phrases in Moscow Russia by

Survival travel phrases in Moscow, Russia

Basic Phrases

If you're traveling to Moscow, knowing some basic phrases in Russian can come in handy. It will not only help you communicate better with the locals but also show that you are making an effort to understand their culture and language.

Here are a few essential survival travel phrases in Russian that every traveler should know:


The first thing you'll need to learn is how to greet people. "Zdravstvuyte" (Здравствуйте) is the formal way of saying hello, while "Privet" (Привет) is more informal and used among friends or peers. Saying "Poka" (Пока) means goodbye.

When asking for directions, it's useful to know how to say "Where is...?" which translates as "Gde nahoditsya...?"(Где находится…?). To say thank you when someone assists you with directions, use “Spasibo”(Спасибо), meaning thanks.

Getting Around:
To ask for public transportation like buses or metros, use “Skolko stoit bilet?”(Сколько стоит билет?), which means how much does a ticket cost?

In case of emergencies such as accidents or natural calamities, knowing key phrases like calling emergency services would be helpful: Call police - «Вызовите полицию»(Vyzovite politciyu).


While shopping try using “Mozhno posmotret”? Meaning may I have a look?

Remember these basic phrases before your trip and practice them whenever possible!


When traveling to a foreign country, it's important to know how to properly greet people. In Russia, greeting someone is usually done with a handshake and direct eye contact. When meeting someone for the first time, it's common practice to refer to them by their full name and patronymic (middle) name.

If you want to greet someone in Russian, use "Zdravstvuyte" (zdrah-stvooy-tyeh) which means "Hello". It can be used both formally and informally. For friends or family members, you could also use "Privet" (pree-vyet), which is more casual.

It's also polite in Russian culture to ask about one's health when greeting them. You can do this by asking "Kak dela?" (kahk dee-lah), which means “How are you?” Although this question may seem too personal for Westerners accustomed to small talk about the weather at most, Russians take it as an expression of genuine interest.

Remember that when speaking in Russian culture , always maintain direct eye contact while talking with others as they consider it rude not looking into your eyes while conversing.


Navigating your way around Moscow can be a daunting task, especially if you don't speak the language. But with these essential phrases for directions, you'll be able to find your way around like a local in no time!

First off, it's important to know how to ask "Where is...?" in Russian. The phrase is "Gdye na-kho-deet-sya...?" and then add the name of the place or location you're looking for.

If someone asks you for directions and you're not sure, simply reply with "Ya nye znayu" which means "I don't know". If you do know where they need to go, start by saying "Idyoti napravo/na-levo" which means "Go right/left".

To indicate distance or proximity, use the word "ryadom", meaning 'close' or near'. For instance: Gdye ryadom? (Where is close?)

If someone needs help finding a specific street or address, say “Kak mnye dob-ratsya” (How can I get there?) followed by “Na-ma-gistralskuyoo ulitsy.”(to Main Street)

Make sure to thank them after they've given you directions - just say “Spasibo!”

Getting Around

Getting around in Moscow can be quite a challenge for travelers who are not familiar with the city. However, there are some key phrases that will help you navigate your way through this bustling metropolis.

When using public transportation, it is important to know how to ask for directions. For example, "Kak mne proyti k metro?" means "How do I get to the metro?"

If you prefer taking a taxi, it's essential to know how to ask the driver where they're going and how much it costs. The phrase "Skol'ko stoit do..." means "How much does it cost to go to...?"

In addition, knowing basic numbers in Russian can be extremely helpful when paying for transportation services such as buses or taxis.

If all else fails and you find yourself lost or confused while getting around Moscow, simply approach someone and say "Izvinite menya pomoch" which means "Excuse me, can you help me?" Many Russians are friendly and willing to assist visitors in need of assistance.


Help is an essential phrase to learn when traveling in Moscow, Russia. No matter how prepared you are for your trip, unforeseen circumstances can happen, and it's always better to be ready than sorry.

If you need assistance in finding a specific location or navigating the public transportation system, you may say "Помогите мне пожалуйста" (Pomogite mne pozhaluysta) which translates to "Can you please help me?"

If you lose something while out and about in Moscow, you can ask for help by saying "Я потерял(а) мой/мою (item)" (Ya poteryal(a) moy/moyu [item]) which means "I lost my [item]."

In case of emergencies such as accidents or injuries, it's crucial to know the emergency hotline number. In Russia, the emergency number is 112. You can also ask someone nearby for help by saying "Помогите! Это срочно!" (Pomogite! Eto srochno!) which means "Help! This is urgent!"

It's also important to note that many Russians do not speak English fluently. So if possible, try speaking slowly and use basic words when asking for assistance.

By learning these simple phrases related to seeking help will make your travel experience more comfortable and enjoyable.


Shopping in Moscow can be a fun and exciting experience, but it's important to know some basic phrases when communicating with the locals. Start by learning how to say "how much does this cost?" which is "сколько это стоит?" (skol'ko eto stoit?). This will come in handy when browsing for souvenirs or gifts.

When shopping, it's also important to understand currency conversions and have cash on hand. Learn how to say "do you accept credit cards?" which is "вы принимаете кредитные карты?" (vy prinimaete kreditnye karti?). Many shops and markets may not accept credit cards, so it's always best to have rubles on hand.

Additionally, knowing words such as "small" (маленький - malen'kiy) or "large" (большой - bol'shoy), can help you communicate your size preferences when buying clothing or accessories. If you're looking for something specific, try saying "где я могу найти ___ ?" (gde ya mogu nayti___?) which means "where can I find ___?"

Remember that bargaining is common practice in Russia, especially at markets and street vendors. Don't be afraid to negotiate prices by saying things like “это слишком дорого” (eto slishkom dorogo) meaning “that’s too expensive”. With these basic phrases in mind, your shopping experience in Moscow should go smoothly!


Emergencies can happen at any time, and it's important to know how to ask for help in Russian if something goes wrong during your travels. Here are some essential phrases that you should memorize:

- "Помогите!" (Pomogite!)
- This means "Help!" and can be used in any emergency situation.
- "Вызовите скорую помощь" (Vyzovite skoruyu pomoshch') - This means "Call an ambulance" and is useful if someone is injured or sick.
- "Пожар!" (Pozhar!) - This means "Fire!" and should be yelled loudly if you see flames or smoke.
- "Я потерялся/потеряла свой паспорт" (Ya poteryal/poteryala svoy pasport) - This means "I lost my passport" and is crucial if your documents go missing.

If you need to contact the police, dial 02 from a landline or 112 from a mobile phone. It's also helpful to have the address of your hotel or accommodation written down in case of emergencies. Remember to stay calm and use these phrases confidently if necessary.

Learning survival travel phrases in Russian can make your trip to Moscow much easier and enjoyable. Knowing basic greetings, directions, getting around, help, shopping and emergency phrases can save you from unnecessary stress and confusion during your stay. With this knowledge in hand, you will be able to immerse yourself in the local culture more easily and communicate with locals with ease.

Remember that practice makes perfect when it comes to language learning. Don't be afraid to make mistakes or ask for clarification if needed. The more you use these phrases, the more comfortable you will become speaking Russian.

So why not give it a try? Learn a few survival travel phrases before your next trip to Moscow and see how much of a difference it can make! Happy travels!

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