Moscow Vnukovo airport: review, transportation options.
Vnukovo, VKO is the oldest, smallest (Zhukovsky does not count as airport yet) and closest to Moscow airport. Vnukovo has three terminals: one for commercial airlines, one for private and business jets and one for official delegations. Vnukovo handles government flights, so that official delegations terminal serves that purpose and it is closed for general public. Terminal for private and business jets(called Vnukovo-3) is located on the far end of Vnukovo airfield. It’s a small terminal designed for handling relatively small number of flights and passengers. All further information is about main Vnukovo terminal — Terminal A, that takes all commercial airline flights. There is old terminal D that is adjacent to terminal A, it serves only few domestic flights.
Vnukovo is one of the first Moscow airports, built in soviet times. In the past ten years or so, the airport went through a major rebuild, including airfield infrastructure extension and renewal, building of the new passenger terminal.
Design of Vnukovo terminal is nothing very special. It’s a practical piece of airport architecture, new, spacious, convenient, very clean. Vnukovo terminal A offers all usual airport amenities: food, shops, toilets, business lounges and other passenger services.
Vnukovo has capsule hotel inside terminal A (third floor, nearby VIP lounge), opened in 2018. Across the street from terminal A, there is DoubleTree hotel, also opened in 2018.
In my experience flying through Vnukovo airport, it has less passenger traffic compared to Domodedovo and Sheremetyevo. This means less crowded terminal and quicker security checks.
Transportation to Vnukovo airport
Vnukovo is connected with Moscow by rail; aeroexpress train runs from Kievskaya station. Unlike trains to other airports, that run twice an hour, trains to Vnukovo run ones every hour. Train station in Vnukovo is underground and connected with terminal by a short walkway.
If you travel to Vnukovo by car you have a choice of two freeways: Kievskoe or Borovskoe. The airport is located in between these freeways. For drop-offs Vnukovo has elevated ramp and a separate drive for arrival pick-ups. It is very convenient and since passenger traffic through Vnukovo is less compared to other Moscow airports, ramps and driveways in Vnukovo never seem to be congested. Vnukovo also has parking, located next to the terminal.
Vnukovo is the only airport that is easily accessible by city bus, due to its proximity to Moscow. Sheremetyevo (SVO) also has city bus routs, but because of distance and traffic they are not that convenient. For Vnukovo you have two city bus options — from Yugo-Zapadnaya or Salaryevo subways stations. Salaryevo is closer to the airport and also it avoids traffic bottleneck on Kievskoe shosse. This option is good if you are on budget, have enough time and no bulky luggage. Same bus will take you from the airport, back to subway.
Bus number 911 gets you to Vnukovo from Salaryevo subway, running every 15-25 minutes and 611 runs from Yugo-Zapadnaya every 25-40 minutes. The bus 611 from Yugo-Zapadnaya takes about 30-40 minutes if traffic is good. The bus takes you to Vnukovo in 20 minutes almost for sure as it avoids most traffic bottlenecks. From Yugo-Zapadnaya you also have an option of marshrutka, paid in cash only.
As usual, taxi is also a good option traveling to/from Vnukovo airport. Beware of traffic congestions on the intersection of Kievskoe shosse and MKAD. It’s a good idea to check traffic situation when traveling to airport, especially in the late afternoon and evening.
Check out Russia Simplified article on Domodedovo DME airport in Moscow.