New ‘cultural passport’ helps tourists save money on Moscow’s museums

The new pass will help tourists to save their money in Russia's capital. Source: Sergei Karpov / TASS

The new pass will help tourists to save their money in Russia's capital. Source: Sergei Karpov / TASS

Visitors to the Russian capital now have a new way to see its cultural landmarks that allows them to save a few pennies – a pass known as the “cultural tourist passport”. According to the developers, this pass will allow tourists to save up to 80 percent off the original price of tickets to museums and exhibitions in Moscow.

Visiting Moscow’s museums and exhibitions has just got a lot cheaper for visitors to the Russian capital, thanks to the introduction of a special “cultural passport” for tourists.

The passport, already available for purchase, is a “season ticket” of sorts that is valid from one to five days and gives a discount of 40 to 80 percent on 74 museums and over 100 events in Moscow.

There are three passports to choose from: the “Tourist” passport, which offers three visits for 590-990 rubles ($13-$22); the “Traveler” passport, which provides six visits for a price of 990-1,690 rubles ($22-$37); and the “Discoverer” passport, which gives 12 visits for 1,690-3,690 rubles ($37-$82). Without the passport, entry to the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts alone costs 300-450 rubles ($7-$10).

There are two ways to obtain the passport. The first is to buy a plastic card at one of nine tourist information centers in Moscow, which can be found at the Belorussky, Leningradsky, Kievsky, Paveletsky, Kursky, and Kazansky railway stations; the Sheremetyevo and Vnukovo airports; and the State History Museum. After buying the card, tourists need to activate it on the website of the company Voxxter, which developed the passport.

The second way is to choose one of the three options on the website, pay online, and print the ticket or save it on any electronic device. The museum clerk will then scan the QR code upon entry to the museum.

Mikhail Dubrovsky, press officer for the Moscow Committee for Tourism and the Hospitality Industry, explains that a unique feature of the passport is that it can be used to visit temporary exhibitions. “Other cards don’t offer that option,” he says. “In addition to that, you don’t have to stand in line for tickets thanks to the codes on the cards.”

Competitors

Before the cultural passport was developed, Moscow offered two similar cards for tourists: the MoscowPass and the PrimePass. According to Voxxter’s consumer relations manager Vitaly Pustobayev, the advantage of the new pass is that it allows tourists to choose among a large number of museums, the list of which continues to expand.

Among the museums on offer, the list currently includes the Pushkin Museum, the Moscow Museum of Modern Art, the Gulag History Museum, and the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center. The organizers have unfortunately not yet come to an agreement with the Tretyakov Gallery.

The PrimePass, which costs 1,099 rubles ($24) and is valid daily, allows tourists to visit just five sites, but they do include the Tretyakov Gallery, as well as the Moscow Zoo, the Moscow Planetarium, and the Documentary Film Center. In addition, the card acts as an unlimited ticket for all types of city transport.

The MoscowPass offers three rates – for one day, for three days, and for five days, costing from 999 to 2,499 rubles ($22-$55). It also includes a walking and bus tour, a cruise on the Moscow River, entry to 14 museums, and discounts at several restaurants.

The PrimePass and MoscowPass have an advantage over the new tourist passport – visitors can get information about and order them in English. The MoscowPass has an English-language website, while the PrimePass has a mobile app and promises to launch an English-language website in December.  

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