Private English Speaking Driver - Moscow

Can you read these directions in Russian? Well, neither could we, that's why we hired a driver in Moscow that spoke English when we visited a historical site outside of the city limits this past week.

Yes, you can venture out on the Metro and then connect to the public bus system to reach these sites, but if we had done this, we would have never found the place or discovered it's various stunning porcelain exhibits, for we could not read any of the signs.

In comes Igor, the taxi driver we hired for a few hours from the hotel. He was our life saver! (the Taxi stand is located in the lobby of our downtown layover hotel). We hired him by the hour for about $45 dollar an hour and he drove us in comfort in a car large enough to fit five. He found the Estate we wanted to visit with out a problem with the aid of his modern GPS. Once we got there, he asked all the million dollar questions like "where's the entry door"(this is always a tricky one in Russian tourist sites), "how much do we have to pay to enter" and "what else is there to see in this site". Honestly, there's no way that we could of figured out any of this by ourselves, I mean it. No one at the estate spoke English and you can see for yourself what the signage looked like in the photo above!

We visited that day The Arkhangelskoe Country Estate, home of the "exceptionally wealthy Prince Yusupov". The property is located about 30 minutes away from Moscow's downtown by car, depending on traffic.

The charge for his services ( through the hotel) were $45 dollars per hour, but if you call him ahead of time, he claims that he can rent a private vehicle and then charge us less - $30 to $35 dollars per hour instead. For this, one must call him ahead of time on his private phone number so he can rent a car ahead of time and get the day off. His number if you decide to call him from Moscow is 8-906-052-9597. His rates when shared between two or three people, can be real deals. We ended paying about $50 dollars each between three, including a tip.

When we visited The Yusopov's Estate, the main home was closed for renovations and we did not find out about this until we got to the property. Actually, we were not even advised of this closure at the gate when we purchased our full price entry tickets. Amazing, but so Russian, I'm afraid. Fortunately, there were a couple of other pretty amazing exhibits on the property and with Igors' help, we were able to locate them. Thanks Igor!

If you choose to hire Igor for an excursion, you'll have a wonderful time with him. He's a very tall, gentle, professional young man who studied music in college and he has lived in Moscow since he was 15 years old, so he knows the city very well. Don't forget to tip your driver at the end of your excursion please. Russians make very little money and Moscow, as you know, is a very expensive city.

Dosvitania! (see you later..)


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