How to say “Where is the restroom?” in Russian?

Written on:March 5, 2013
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Public restrooms in Russia

“Где здесь туале´т?” [gd'eh zd'es' too-ah-l'eht] – Where is the restroom? More often than not, the answer to this trivial question turns out to be life-saving. Especially when you find yourself in a big foreign town and your hotel is miles away – a catastrophe! No, it isn’t, because even in Moscow, a city that sometimes seems to be a little user-unfriendly, there are plenty of these heaven-sent places, if only one knows where to look for them.

This post is prepared by Ruspod, a podcast hub specializing in teaching Russian through audio podcasts, text lessons, and exercises. Visit Ruspod for free and premium podcasts.

McDonalds and Co.

Cafés and restaurants: McDonalds is especially famous for its hospitality in this respect: Sometimes the line to a McDonalds restroom is longer than the line to the counter. In other cafés, it’s advisable to order something before using the restroom: The restrooms are usually accessible only to the patrons.

Shopping malls

Shopping malls: In Russia, they are called “trade centers” – “торго´вые це´нтры.” In Moscow, you can find them in the vicinity of many subway stations. Usually, the restrooms are situated on every floor, so it’s easy to find an unoccupied one.

Street toilets

Blue-colored cabins – “каби´нки“: You’ll see them near subways, railway stations, or just on the street. They are the least appetizing of all the options, so use them only in extreme emergencies. They cost around 20 rubles. Still, it’s better to find a restroom in a public building for the same price: The experience will be far less traumatizing.

Useful links

This is a Google map of Moscow public toilets (with opening times, restroom type, and price.)

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