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Moscow Is World's Worst When It Comes To Taxis, Friendliness, And Shopping

Get in and shut up.
Get in and shut up.
Hey, Moscow! I've got some good news and some bad news. What do you want to hear first?

The bad news? OK.

You place dead last in four key categories of's latest Cities Survey, a review of 40 of the world's top cities based on 75,000 responses solicited from savvy global travelers and knowledgeable locals by Brainbox Research.

You beat out -- if that's the right word -- London and Hong Kong for least-friendly locals; you came out on top of Beijing and Brussels for least-friendly taxi drivers; and you destroyed Beijing and Kuala Lumpur when it comes to worst taxi services.

As for shopping, you beat out Oslo and Punta Cana (in the Dominican Republic) for the worst places to spend your money.

Great shopping? Nyet.
Great shopping? Nyet.
(Wondering who placed first in those categories? Cancun scored for friendliest locals; Tokyo for friendliest taxi drivers and best taxi services; and New York City for best shopping.)

Moscow was also next-to-last in the Best Value For Money category, and third from the bottom for ease of getting around. It was also No. 5 on the list of Most Dangerous Cities (Punta Cana was No. 1).

Sure, that's pretty depressing. But cheer up, Moscow! You haven't heard the good news yet!

You placed No. 2 on TripAdvisor's 10 European Destinations On The Rise list:
The political, scientific, historical, architectural and business center of Russia, Moscow displays the country's contrasts at their most extreme. The ancient and modern are juxtaposed side by side in this city of 10 million. Catch a metro from one of the ornate stations to see Red Square, the Kremlin, the nine domes of St. Basil's Cathedral, Lenin's Mausoleum, the KGB Museum and other symbols of Moscow's great and terrible past, then lighten up and shop Boulevard Ring or people watch in Pushkin Square.

Sure, you're behind Kyiv ("the proud capital of Ukraine"), which placed first. But you beat out St. Petersburg, which came in fourth among on-the-rise cities. (Kyiv placed third on the list of 10 Global Destinations On The Rise, while Moscow came in at No. 9.)

And Moscow, here's another bit of good news.

In a result that will likely surprise the parka off anyone who's ever visited Moscow, the Far Eastern Siberian city of Khabarovsk emerged in a survey by the Public Chamber state oversight organization as the most expensive city in Russia.

Moscow placed fourth, behind Yekaterinburg (2nd) and Krasnoyarsk (3rd). The survey was based on an index that measured the price for transportation and gasoline, housing, utilities, and food.

-- Grant Podelco

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at

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