Moscow airport Domodedovo

Moscow airport Domodedovo was the first modern airport in Russia. I remember the day when me and my family had a first flight from renewed DVO - and it was quite an experience!

You see, before Domodedovo, every Moscow (and Russian) airport was basically a mess. Built in Soviet times, they were not accommodated to handle lots of international flights, plus passengers comfort was the last thing considered by their architects.

Sure, we heard of some renewal going on in the airport, but we didn't really believe things were going to change - and we were soooo wrong!

I remember we couldn't believe our eyes when we got there, because instead of a half-ruined runway with a couple of threadbare Soviet buildings we were looking at a modern, European airport!

The similarity grew even stronger when we got inside - now we couldn't tell for sure if we still were in Moscow - or have already arrived at our destination! It was really hard to grasp that such places can exist in Russia, because all the fancy Moscow shopping malls were yet to come. Boy did we enjoy ourselves back then!

Moscow airport Domodedovo grew bigger ever since. Every time I was paying it a visit, I saw new buildings added and old structures improved. In fact, I have an impression the building just never stops there - and that one day Domodedovo will simply cover the entire Moscow! :)

I'm joking, of course, but seriously - this place constantly evolves, just like Moscow itself. In some way, it can even serve as a symbol of our city - deeply "Soviet" in the past - and thriving these days. Jeez, I might just as well become a poet, don't you think? :)

Anyways, if you ask me which airport to choose - I would advise DVO. I know that since then all of Moscow airports underwent reconstruction, but I guess the sweet memories will always make me prefer Domodedovo airport. However, it may not be only memories, because I would say that the airport outruns its competition in nearly everything.

It's got better parking, more shops, more *working* passport control booths - and overall better infrastructure. This may be due to the fact that Domodedovo is privately owned, while other airports more or less belong to the state.

If you ask me, Domodedovo should always be your number one choice. Of course, you don't always have the opportunity to pick your airport of arrival, but you'll be surprised to know how often you're able to. However, apart from my general sympathy for the airport, there are some other reasons to make that choice.

Moscow airport Domodedovo flight

Moscow, here I come!
(by Andrey Belenko)

First of all, Moscow airport Domodedovo has a very neat and spacious parking. You will be sure to find a spot when you drop off or pick up your friends in the airport. The parking isn’t free, of course, but the rates are more than acceptable.

Unfortunately, since the airport is constantly being expanded, you can expect to get stuck in a little jam before you’re able to enter the parking area, but that’s nothing serious. Plus, there’s no need to enter the parking if you only need to drop someone off – just stop by the entrance, and wave your friends goodbye. Jeez, that sounded evil! :)

When you need to pick someone up, there’s another trick that’ll help you save the parking costs, especially if your flight is delayed. Instead of going to the airport and paying for a couple of parking hours, you can wait at the side of the road. Yes, yes, not long before you approach Domodedovo, you’ll see a long line of cars passing their time on the wayside.

I must warn you though that recently the airport authorities have been trying to force all the “waiters” to use the airport parking area instead. What they do is send over a snow cleaning vehicle (the one that has yellow signal lights on the roof and kinda looks like police) to put some pressure on you.

Don’t be afraid - they can’t really do anything, it’s only a matter of psychology. When a big truck with signal lights stands right behind you and begins to horn – the first thing you’ll want is just to get out of here. However, if you just ignore them – you will see that in a couple of minutes they will leave you alone.

By the way, if you’re coming to Russia and don’t have anyone to pick you up, you can use airport’s official taxi service. The rates are quite low, and you can rest assured you won’t get charged a triple price for a trip to the city. Take my advice – ignore all those guys offering you a ride right in the arrival hall, they are no good!

If I you don’t want to mess with all the driving and parking (and sometimes Moscow roads can be really exhausting) – there’s another great way to get into airport, namely – “AeroExpress” trains.

“AeroExpress” are basically trains that go between Moscow airport Domodedovo and “Paveletsky” train depot about every 40-50 minutes. All you need to do is get to “Paveletsky” either by car or by metro (although by car is better), buy a ticket – et voila, in 40 minutes you’ll be in Domodedovo. No traffic jams, no plans ruined – everything works like a charm.

Before you get on the train, you can even check in your luggage! Instead of dragging all the heavy bags around, you’ll arrive at the airport carrying only your handbag, and be sure to see the rest of your stuff only after you land.

And that means more opportunities to enjoy yourself!

Speaking of which, Domodedovo has gathered probably all the things Moscow can offer! Seriously, you’ll be amazed to see how many duty-free shops there are! You’ll be able to buy pretty much everything, apart from cars and yachts, and that’s only because they are too big to fit inside.

Perfume, jewelry, watches, chocolate, spirits both from Russia and abroad (including the most exotic places) – everything is offered to you for very decent prices. Fan of reading? There’re a couple of places you can buy the latest English books, magazines – and even newspapers. Sure, you’re probably used to that, but keep in mind you wouldn’t have all that service just several years ago.

Hungry? There’re several restaurants and even an Irish pub, where you can grab yourself a free copy of “The Moscow times” – a great English-language newspaper that’s all about Moscow and Russia.

Walked through all the shops? Seen everything? Alright, enough is enough I guess. Just be seated near your gate, and watch those comfortable information screens. Once your plane is ready, you’ll immediately see an according message.

About to board? A little patience and you’ll be taken straight to the plane through the air bridge, without having to get squeezed in those horrible buses. Just show the nice lady your ticket – and you’re ready to go.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to say that Moscow airport Domodedovo is heaven on Earth. Sure it’s got small problems here and there, but overall this airport is still the best one in Moscow – or at least that’s what I believe.

Don’t get disappointed if something was not quite as you expected. Remember, Domodedovo is constantly improving, and judging by the progress it’s made in just several years – soon you’ll be saying that JFK and Heathrow are nothing compared to Moscow airports :)

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