Travelling by train between Moscow and St Petersburg
If you’re studying in Moscow, perhaps you may want to visit St Petersburg for a weekend, or vice versa. The most popular method of transport connecting Russia’s largest cities is the train. There are two types of train that are available: the longer sleeper trains, and the fast train (Sapsan).
These trains tend to be cheaper than the fast train, but take a longer period of time. The most efficient way to utilise this option for a weekend is to take one of the Friday evening trains. This enables you to sleep overnight on the train. You’ll arrive at the destination city early in the morning, giving you a full day to look at the sights without losing a day to travelling. For a cheaper price, there is sometimes the option of purchasing a ticket for a section of the train with seats rather than beds. However, I wouldn’t advise this for the overnight train: it will be more difficult to get a proper nights sleep, making you more tired when you arrive.
This is a faster train – usually around 4 hours. It is more expensive and less frequent than the sleeper trains. If you don’t want to sleep overnight on the train, then this option may be preferable. On board there are seats instead of beds.
Prices and How to buy
Liden & Denz have their own travel agency that can help you to buy tickets. To contact them, email [email protected]; or alternatively, dial (812) 382 0702.
If you want to purchase tickets independently, there are a number of English language websites that sell tickets for the trains. A number of different classes of tickets are available, from the very basic to the more luxurious. The tickets on English language websites tend to be more expensive.
A few sites are listed below. This is not by any means an exhaustive list, so searching online may help you find other sites.
If your level of Russian is good enough, or you have someone willing to help you purchase tickets from a Russian site, you may be able to find the tickets at a cheaper price. Another option is to use google chrome and translate the page into English. The best option however, is to find a Russian speaker who can help you buy them.
Lawrence Toye, currently studying Russian at Liden & Denz Moscow