On my way to Paris, I will have an 8-hour layover in Moscow (SVO) in Russia from 5 in the morning until 1 in the afternoon.

Will I have enough time to leave the airport and spend a few hours in Moscow and still be able to get back, clear security and make my connecting flight in time, or should I just find ways to keep myself occupied at the airport?

I will be traveling on a US passport


3 Answers 3

  1. If you don't have Russian Visa, you wont be able to get out to the city.
  2. Moscow have huge traffic jams ;) It's can take few hours to get into the center, and few hours back. I wouldn't risk to miss my flight, even though I'm Russian.

However you probably can make it and see Moscow for 1-2 hours, but I don't think it worth it to spend time/money for visa, and to be in such a hurry :)

P.S.: Moscow never sleep.


8-hour layover is completely enough to see some sights in the center of Moscow. To avoid traffic jams just use "Aeroexpress" (airtrain). It departures every 20-30 minutes and it takes about 40 minutes to get from SVO to Belorusskaya railway and metro stations - which is not far from the center of Moscow. So, you'll have about 4-5 hours for sightseeing.

I used to travel a lot and I haven't noticed any difficulties during passport control in SVO. So, I think you have a good chance to wander in the center.

  • As above, worth adding that US citizens require a visa to enter Russia. The cost of the visa is in excess of $100 and it takes some time to obtain.
    – Aleks G
    Jun 20, 2016 at 20:50
  • Yes, of cause. Unfortunately it is so..
    – CaptainRR
    Jun 21, 2016 at 9:51

You do not need a transit visa if less than 24 hours layover. Passport and plan ticket to you destination is only required.

The only 2 restrictions apply is that if you are going in/out of Belarus or the Crimeana Pennisula.

Look up under Aeroflot visa and passport to back up this claim.


  • 5
    I don't believe this allows you to pass immigration. The Aeroflot link you provided says you can't even change terminals without a visa, and Timatic agrees. You could connect without a visa, but you would need a visa to leave the airport as the OP proposed to do. Sep 24, 2017 at 4:16

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