The Extra Mile

How do I get from Moscow to St Petersburg?

Jessica Evans does the research for those planning a trip to Russia

14 January 2018 - 00:00 By Jessica Evans

Q. I am looking for some assistance with travel options between Moscow and St Petersburg and back to Moscow (Domodedovo International Airport).
I would appreciate some recommendations on the best type of travel - train, coach or air - and a cost guidance referring me to relevant websites.
The trip is May 13 - 27. - Raj Lochan
A. Booking a bus between the two cities is difficult since you can only do this in Russian. You can, however, easily book train tickets online at and other sites.
Although travel by air will be significantly faster (it is only 90 minutes), using a train could make for an overall more rewarding experience. Not only would you see more of the country this way, but the train stations in both Moscow and St Petersburg are in the centre of the city, whereas the airports are on the outskirts and require a drive to the city centres, adding time to your commute.
Take into account the locations of your accommodation as well as the sights you would like to see.
If your interest is budget, train travel is cheaper, costing from R421 whereas flights are approximately R3,389. 
Booking either train or plane tickets is more affordable online and in advance, with plane tickets being available months in advance and train tickets 45 days in advance. is worth remembering.If you enter the airports between which you would like to travel - in this case Domodedovo International Airport and St Petersburg Pulkovo - and the dates you will be travelling, it will show you a range of flights with different airlines and filter them by price.
There are two options for travelling by train. You could use Sapsan, which is during the day and only takes about four hours, or you could book an overnight train, which takes between eight and nine hours. The high-speed daytime option is cheaper than the night train.
Sapsan trains depart nine times daily throughout the day, the first leaves Moscow at 5.40am and the last at 7.40pm, so you can find a time convenient for you.Night trains are run by Red Arrow and Grand Express. Both depart close to midnight and arrive around 8am, giving you two full days to explore both cities on either side of the journey.
They are more expensive options but become cheaper if you book in advance.
Take note that since the overnight trains arrive so early, you will not be able to check in to a hotel when you arrive - unless you arrange something with them - and will need to take your luggage into consideration.
All train bookings may be done on It is Russia's user-friendly rails website and can show you the time tables for the commute to a number of destinations. is another helpful website.
If you would like a totally different option altogether, there are cruise ships that operate on the river between the cities. They take about six days in total. is your friend when it comes to finding and booking a cruise should you choose this option.
Whichever mode of transport you choose, may you have happy travels.MORE TRAVEL FAQS:

This article is reserved for Sunday Times subscribers.

A subscription gives you full digital access to all Sunday Times content.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Registered on the BusinessLIVE, Business Day or Financial Mail websites? Sign in with the same details.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00.