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Saint-Petersburg: Arrival & Departure

By Train. See also arrival and departure
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Traveling by train is quite popular and most convenient way to travel in Russia. It allows you to relax or work and move about. International train passengers undergo custom inspection at the border (not at the railway station) of three to four hours, while the wheels are exchanged to fit the narrower gauge of European railways. It is advisable to check in advance your visa, passport and other documents.

St. Petersburg has five major train stations. All of them have a connecting subway stop and can be easily reached by public transportation.

  • BALTIYSKIY STATION (Baltic Station)
    Suburban trains to Gatchina, Kalishche, Luga, Oranienbaum (Lomonosov), Petergof (Petrodvorets), Strelna.
    Address: 120, nab. Obvodnogo kanala, Metro: Baltiyskaya
  • FINLANDSKIY STATION (Finland Station)
    Long-distance trains to Moscow, Petrozavodsk, Helsinki.
    Suburban trains to Zelenogorsk, Vyborg, Sestroretsk, Priozersk, Primorsk.
    Address: 6, pl. Lenina, Metro: Ploshchad Lenina
  • MOSKOVSKIY STATION (Moscow Station)
    Long-distance trains to Moscow, Almaty, Adler, Archangelsk, Volgograd, Ekaterinburg, Ivanovo, Kazan, Murmansk, Perm, Nizhniy Novgorod, Samara, Chelyabinsk.
    Suburban trains to Volkhov, Malaya Vishera, Mga.
    Address: 85, Nevskiy pr., Metro: Ploshchad Vosstaniya
  • VITEBSKIY STATION (Vitebsk Station)
    International trains to Kishinev, Minsk, Kiev, Odessa, Brest, Derbent.
    Long-distance trains to Dnepropetrovsk, Smolensk.
    Suburban trains to Novolisino, Oredezh, Pushkin (Tsarskoe Selo), Pavlovsk.
    Address: 5, Zagorodny pr., Metro: Pushkinskaya
  • LADOZHSKIY STATION (Ladoga Station)
    Long-distance trains to Petrozavodsk, Nizhniy Tagil, Ekaterinburg, Murmansk, Sharya.
    Suburban trains to Budogosch, Nevdubstroy, Volkhovstroy, Voibokalo, Mga, Pupishevo. Metro Ladozhskaya

Train tickets may be purchased through the tourist bureau in your hotel or directly on this site. Tikets for all railway routes are also available at the Central Railway Booking Office (Address: 24, nab. Kanala Griboedova (adjacent to the Kazan Cathedral), metro Nevskiy prospekt).

Agency transfer a claim for railway tickets reservation by telefax in the following terms:
- for groups - no less than 10 working-days prior to departure of the train;
- for individuals - no less than 2 working-days prior to departure of the train.

In case of cancellation after the reservation has been confirmed the Agency suffers losses: - more than 1 day before departure 20%; - 1 day and less before departure 50%.

The trains always leave on time with a broadcasted warning five minutes before departure-and that is all! So do not miss the train! First class has two berths to a compartment and second class has four. This is an excellent way to meet Russians. A personal car attendant will bring tea (brewed in the car's samovar) and biscuits, and wake you up in the morning. Remember to turn off the radio at night or the National Anthem will blast you awake at 6 am. The compartments are not segregated. If there is a problem, the attendant can usually arrange a swap. It is difficult for foreigners to buy train or plane tickets direct from local stations or ticket counters. Tickets are usually bought through Intourist or a hotel service desk. You have to travel on an Intourist train ticket or risk being fined by the railway. The busiest branches of St.Petersburg railway network are to Moscow and Helsinki.

When you board the train, the conductor (provodnik) will check your ticket and your passport. If you have lots and lots of baggage, expect to pay a surcharge of about (R=$5.00/bag). On night trains the conductors will collect a small sum of money for the bed linen, and towel ($1.00-2.00 in rubles). They should also offer you tea at night and in the morning. Some will have a selection of alcohol, cold beer, soda and snacks for sale. For good service, a small tip ($1.00 in rubles) at the end of the trip is appropriate.

Porters (nosilshchik) expect no less than $4.00 in rubles from foreigners for one or two bags. Indulge yourself, because "Wagon Number 1" usually is a long way down the platform. Agree on a per bag price before they start helping you.

To make your trip more pleasant bring food, water, non-alcoholic drinks, and a pocket knife (to prepare food). Of course you can enjoy a meal in the restaurant-car. On overnight trips bring slippers, light clothes to sleep in, a small towel. You are also advised to have your own supply of toilet paper.

Be alert around railway stations, especially the Moscow, Warsaw and Baltic stations!


    Daily trains to Moscow run frequently, and most take approx. 7-8 hours, with overnight sleepers being the recommended choice. There is one train by the name of ER200 which will do the trip in about 4 hours. In general, be advised to buy tickets well in advance, especially for weekend travel, as this is always a popular route. You can purchase tickets directly on this site. The fare includes linen, tea and coffee, lunch-box (hot dinner in train 159/160 "Aurora"). Variation of prices is executed according to change of tariffs established by Ministry of Ways of Communication. The Red Arrow trains between St Petersburg and Moscow is a wonderful way to travel. Board the sleeper at night and arrive the next morning for a full day of sightseeing. Since there are several train stations in each city, make sure you know which one you are departing from. In St Petersburg, trains for Moscow leave from Moscow station (Moskovski Vokzal). (Vokzal stems from the London station, Vauxhall.) In Moscow, trains for St Petersburg leave from the Leningrad station (Leningrdski Vokzal).
    From Finland there are two daily train connections to St.Petersburg: The Finnish Sibelius and the Russian train Repin.

    The Sibelius train and its crew are Finnish. The blue high-standard day coaches of the train are specially designed for you as well as its elegant saloon compartment, where you may just relax or conduct business negotiations.

    The Repin train and its crews are Russian. All coaches have their own coach attendants. The price of a 1st class ticket in the Repin train includes a refreshing soft drink with a sweet snack that are served at your seat.

    Both trains have a cozy high-standard restaurant-car. Aboard the Sibelius train the restaurant bills may be paid by using currency (EUR, SEK, GBP, USD are accepted) or credit card (American Express card, Diner's Club card, Eurocard, MasterCard and Visa card are accepted). In the Repin train in Finland the restaurant bills may be paid with Euro and in Russia with Russian rubles.

    In St.Petersburg you can buy tickets for St.Petersburg - Helsinki railway line at the Finland Railway Station's Intourist Ticket Office or you can purchase tickets directly on this site.
    Check what station and Railway station do you need for visiting:
    Petergof (Petrodvorets) (you should buy the ticket to Noviy Petergof station), Pushkin (Tsarskoe Selo) (Detskoye Selo station), Pavlovsk (Pavlovsk staion), Oranienbaum (Lomonosov) (Oranienbaum-I station), Gatchina (Gatchina station), Sestroretsk (Sestroretsk station), Strelna (Strelna station), Zelenogorsk (Zelenogorsk station), Sablino (Sablino station), Vyborg (Vyborg station).
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