Mastering the St. Petersburg metro

Mastering the St. Petersburg metro
27 September 2021

When I first arrived in Saint Petersburg, the metro seemed too intimidating, and I managed to get around the city by foot to start with. As a result, during my first week here, my step count was regularly double the recommended 10,000 steps. While my fit-bit was happy, the September rain was starting to show, and I decided it was time to try a new mode of transport.

I downloaded the app ‘Yandex Metro‘, which a local had told me about, and I cannot recommend this enough to anyone trying to get around St Petersburg by metro. Once you have this app, all you need to do is enter which station you are going from and where you want to get to, and the app will do everything else for you. You can see which train(s) you need to get on, where to change, the length of your journey, and even where on the train is best to get on. Since having this app, getting anywhere in Saint Petersburg seems simple! With location services on, Yandex will even automatically show which station you’re nearest to at the time.

St Petersburg metro

Here’s a screenshot from the Yandex app, showing my journey from my apartment to school

The St Petersburg metro consists of 5 lines, connecting 72 stations. The lines are different colours, which makes it easy to see where you need to head if changing lines at a station. Here is a list of the 5 lines…

(V)1 – Kirovsko-Vyborgskaya (red)

(V)2 – Moskovsko-Petrogradskaya (blue)

(V)3 – Nevsko-Vasileostrovskaya (green)

(V)4 – Pravoberezhnaya (yellow)

(V)5 – Frunzensko-Primorskaya (purple)

Metro history

The stations themselves are very impressive, and worth seeing not just for transport reasons. They are much more spacious and cleaner than the underground in London, and the escalators are extraordinarily long (which makes sense as the Saint Petersburg Metro is one of the deepest metro systems in the world). The deepest station, Admiralteyskaya, is 282 ft below ground. The idea of an underground road or transport system in Saint Petersburg was first suggested as early as 1820, but construction didn’t properly begin until around 1940. The first line (Kirovsko-Vyborgskaya), officially opened in November 1955.

Ticket options:

For a single journey, you can buy a ‘жетон’ (zheton), which is a coin token, costing 60 rubles, and will allow you to complete any journey. In Saint Petersburg, the cost of any journey is the same, no matter the route or distance.

If you are staying for a while, it is worth buying a transport pass, and then each journey will cost 40 rubles. Alternatively, you can get a monthly pass, which costs 2400, and lets you take unlimited journeys for a month. However, this is only really worth it if you plan on getting the metro twice a day on average (so if you commute via metro every day for example).

I hope you now feel brave enough to use the metro in St. Petersburg, and soon you’ll realise how useful it is to get around this large city!

Alice, currently studying at Liden & Denz St Petersburg

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