Getting to Russia on Budget - For the Price of a Restaurant Meal

Author: Dimitry Paranyushkin (on 29 Jan 2010)
Way to Russia Guide presents a new section that shows how it is possible to travel on budget from Europe through Baltic States to Russia and back, without having to spend on accommodation, using budget airlines and best overland options for transport.
 

 
With our suggestions, it is possible to see Estonia, Russia and Latvia (going through Tallin, St. Petersburg, Moscow and Riga) in four days for only £160 from London and back or for 200 EUR from Berlin and back, including full transport, accommodation (on trains), and Russian visa expenses!

You won't need to spend anything on accommodation, because we designed our routes in such manner that allows you to sleep in overnight trains (or buses). Of course, you can also decide to stay longer at some place you like, in this case the cost of your trip will be slightly higher.

You can leave London at 6.45 Friday morning and be back on Monday evening at 23.55! Your friends will not even be able to imagine that while they were enjoying their normal weekend, you saw three countries, traveled through dozens of cities, went into Hermitage, and walked on the Red Square, spending the same as it would cost to spend this weekend in London.

Alternatively, it is possible to make the same journey from Berlin, leaving Schoenefeld airport at 7.00 Friday morning and coming back to Berlin on Monday evening at 22.55. In this case the journey will cost only 200 EUR, including transport and Russian visa expenses.

If you are a EU or USA national you won't need a visa for Latvia and Estonia, as they are part of EU and Schengen. To obtain a Russian visa, you need to first get a Russian visa support (available online $30). The Russian visa itself costs from €50 to €80 (EU nationals can get it in any EU country, while US nationals can only get it in the US). The whole process takes from one to two weeks.

We suggest getting a visa for a longer time than you plan to travel in case you miss your train or just decide to stay longer. If you order a Russian visa support through WayToRussia.Net you will get the kind of visa that allows you complete freedom of travel, without having to book accommodation or have rigid travel dates.

 

 

Here is the current list of our recommended routes:

If you want to see all available routes, please, scroll at the end of the page.

London (UK) -> Tallin (Estonia) -> St. Petersburg -> Moscow -> Riga (Latvia) -> London (UK)

1) EasyJet flight departing London Stansted daily at 6.45, arriving to Tallin airport at 11.35. Journey time: 2h55m, Price: from £23 (or 34 EUR) with taxes.
2) Eurolines bus departing Tallin bus station daily at 23.40, arriving to St. Petersburg at 8.00. Jorney time: 7h20m, Price: 14 EUR. There are four other buses departing Tallin daily at 7.00, 11.00, 14.30 and 23.00.
3) Russian Railways train #27 (Red Arrow) departing St. Petersburg Moskovsky station daily at 22.47, arriving to Moscow Leningradsky at 7.55 the next day. Journey time: 8 hours, Price: 35 EUR (2nd class)
4) Russian railways train #003 departing Moscow Rizhsky station daily at 21.02, arriving to Riga at 12.40 the next day. Journey time: 16h38m, Price: 35 EUR (3rd class) or 55 EUR (2nd class). There is also a Eurolines bus departing Moscow daily at 18.30 arriving to Riga at 9.00, price: 20 EUR
5) RyanAir flight departing Riga airport daily at 22.50 arriving to London Stansted at 23.25. Journey time: 2h35m, Price: from 50 EUR with taxes.
Total travel time: about 39 hours, Total transport costs: 155 EUR

 

Berlin (Germany) -> Moscow / St. Petersburg

1) GermanWings flight departing Berlin Schoenefeld daily at 10.30 (8.35 on Sundays), arriving to Moscow Vnukovo airport at 15.10 (local times). Journey time: 2h40m, Price: from 65 EUR one way incl taxes, a return trip will cost from 130 EUR incl taxes.
There are also two flights weekly to St. Petersburg, but the return trip will cost about 200 EUR incl taxes.

 


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Berlin -> Riga (Latvia) -> St. Petersburg -> Moscow -> Tallin (Estonia) -> Berlin

1) EasyJet flight departing Berlin Schoenefeld daily at 7.00, arriving to Riga airport at 09.40. Journey time: 1h40m, Price: from 21 EUR with taxes.
2) Russian railways train #038 departing Riga train station daily at 19.30, arriving to St. Petersburg Vitebsky station at 09.10 Jorney time: 12h40m, Price: 10 EUR (3rd class seater) or 50 EUR (2nd class).
3) Russian Railways train #2 (Red Arrow) departing St. Petersburg Moskovsky station daily at 23.55, arriving to Moscow Leningradsky at 7.55 the next day. Journey time: 8 hours, Price: 35 EUR (2nd class)
4) Russian Railways train #034 departing Moscow Leningradsky daily at 18.15, arriving to Tallin at 8.28. Journey time: 15h13m, Price: 43 EUR for 2nd class. There are also two Eurolines buses departing daily at 17.30 and 19.05, journey time: 18h 35 m, price: 25 EUR
5) EasyJet flight departing Tallin airport at 21.55 arriving to Berlin Schoenefeld at 22.55. Journey time: 2h00m, Price: from 21 EUR with taxes.
Total travel time: about 39 hours, Total transport costs: 112 EUR
 

Oslo (Norway) -> St. Petersburg

1) Norwegian Air Shuttle flight departing Oslo 3 times a week (Mon, Wed, Fri) at 9.50, arriving to St. Petersburg airport at 13.30. Journey time: 2h00m, Price: from 56 EUR one way with taxes.
 

All other budget routes to Russia:

 
Route 1: "Tate Gallery - Hermitage"

(Available from 23 November 2004)
Way there: London (UK) -> Tallin (Estonia) -> St. Petersburg (Russia)
1) EasyJet flight departing London Stansted daily at 6.45, arriving to Tallin airport at 11.35. Journey time: 2h55m, Price: from £23 (or 34 EUR) with taxes.
2) Eurolines bus departing Tallin bus station daily at 14.30, arriving to St. Petersburg at 23.35. Jorney time: 7h55m, Price: 14 EUR. There are four other buses departing Tallin daily at 7.00, 11.00, 23.00 and 23.40.
Total journey time: 10 hours 50 minutes, Total price: from 48 EUR

Way back: St. Petersburg (Russia) -> Tallin (Estonia) -> London (UK)
1) Eurolines bus departing St. Petersburg daily at 23.15, arriving to Tallin at 6.40. Journey time: 8h25m, Price: 14 EUR. There are four other buses departing St. Petersburg daily at 6.45, 10.30, 13.15, 16.10.
2) EasyJet flight departing Tallin airport at 12.05 arriving to London Stansted at 13.00. Journey time: 2h55m, Price: from £28 (or 42 EUR) with taxes.
Total journey time: 11 hours 20 minutes, Total price: from 56 EUR
 
 

Route 2 "London Bridge - Red Square"

Way there: London (UK) -> Tallin (Estonia) -> Moscow (Russia)
(Available from 23 November 2004)
1) EasyJet flight departing London Stansted daily at 6.45, arriving to Tallin airport at 11.35. Journey time: 2h55m, Price: from £23 (or 34 EUR) with taxes.
2) Russian Railways train #034 departing Tallin train station daily at 17.00, arriving to Moscow Leningradsky at 9.20 next day. Jorney time: 15h20m, Price: 43 EUR for 2nd class. There are also two Eurolines buses departing daily at 15.15 and 20.05, journey time: 18h25m, price: 25 EUR.
Total journey time: 18 hours 15 minutes, Total price: from 77 EUR (from 59 EUR if traveling by bus from Tallin to Moscow)

Way back: Moscow (Russia) -> Tallin (Estonia) -> London (UK)
1) Russian Railways train #034 departing Moscow Leningradsky daily at 18.15, arriving to Tallin at 8.28. Journey time: 15h13m, Price: 43 EUR for 2nd class. There are also two Eurolines buses departing daily at 17.30 and 19.05, journey time: 18h 35 m, price: 25 EUR
2) EasyJet flight departing Tallin airport at 12.05 arriving to London Stansted at 13.00. Journey time: 2h55m, Price: from £28 (or 42 EUR) with taxes.
Total journey time: 18 hours 10 minutes, Total price: from 85 EUR (from 67 EUR if traveling by bus from Moscow to Tallin)

 

Route 3: "Alexanderplatz nach Nevski Prospekt"

(Available from 25 November 2004)
Way there: Berlin (Germany) -> Riga (Latvia) -> St. Petersburg (Russia)
1) EasyJet flight departing Berlin Schoenefeld daily at 7.00, arriving to Riga airport at 09.40. Journey time: 1h40m, Price: from 21 EUR with taxes.
2) Russian railways train #038 departing Riga train station daily at 19.30, arriving to St. Petersburg Vitebsky station at 09.10 Jorney time: 12h40m, Price: 10 EUR (3rd class seater) or 50 EUR (2nd class).
Total journey time: 14 hours 20 minutes, Total price: from 31 EUR

Way back: St. Petersburg (Russia) -> Riga (Latvia) -> Berlin (Germany)
1) Russian railways train #037 departing St. Petersburg Vitebsky daily at 21.50, arriving to Riga at 9.40 the next day. Journey time: 12h50m, Price: 10 EUR (3rd class seater) or 50 EUR (2nd class).
2) EasyJet flight departing Riga airport daily at 10.05 arriving to Berlin Schoenefeld at 10.50. Journey time: 1h45m, Price: from 21 EUR with taxes.
Total journey time: 14 hours 35 minutes, Total price: from 31 EUR

 

Route 4: "Ich Bin Ein Moskauer"

(Available from 25 November 2004)
Way there: Berlin (Germany) -> Riga (Latvia) -> Moscow (Russia)
1) EasyJet flight departing Berlin Schoenefeld daily at 7.00, arriving to Riga airport at 09.40. Journey time: 1h40m, Price: from 21 EUR with taxes.
2) Russian railways train #002 departing Riga train station daily at 16.15, arriving to Moscow Rizhsky station at 09.41 Jorney time: 16h26m, Price: 65 EUR (3rd class) or 95 EUR (2nd class).
Total journey time: 18 hours 6 minutes, Total price: from 86  EUR

Way back: Moscow (Russia) -> Riga (Latvia) -> Berlin (Germany)
1) Russian railways train #003 departing Moscow Rizhsky station daily at 21.02, arriving to Riga at 12.40 the next day. Journey time: 16h38m, Price: 65 EUR (3rd class) or 95 EUR (2nd class).
2) EasyJet flight departing Riga airport daily at 10.05 arriving to Berlin Schoenefeld at 10.50. Journey time: 1h45m, Price: from 21 EUR with taxes.
Total journey time: 18 hours 23 minutes, Total price: from 86 EUR
 
 

 
Route 5: "London to Moscow through Riga"

(Available from 25 November 2004)
Way there: London (UK) -> Riga (Latvia) -> Moscow (Russia)
1) RyanAir flight departing London Stansted daily at 14.40, arriving to Riga airport at 19.15. Journey time: 2h35m, Price: from 50 EUR with taxes.
2) Russian railways train #002 departing Riga train station daily at 16.15, arriving to Moscow Rizhsky station at 09.41 Jorney time: 16h26m, Price: 65 EUR (3rd class) or 95 EUR (2nd class). There is also a Eurolines bus departing Riga daily at 15.30, arriving at 8.30 to Moscow, price: 20 EUR
Total journey time: 18 hours 6 minutes, Total price: from 115 EUR (from 70 EUR when going by bus from Riga to Moscow).

Way back: Moscow (Russia) -> Riga (Latvia) -> London (UK)
1) Russian railways train #003 departing Moscow Rizhsky station daily at 21.02, arriving to Riga at 12.40 the next day. Journey time: 16h38m, Price: 65 EUR (3rd class) or 95 EUR (2nd class). There is also a Eurolines bus departing Moscow daily at 18.30 arriving to Riga at 9.00, price: 20 EUR
2) RyanAir flight departing Riga airport daily at 22.50 arriving to London Stansted at 23.25. Journey time: 2h35m, Price: from 50 EUR with taxes.
Total journey time: 18 hours 23 minutes, Total price: from 115 EUR (from 70 EUR when going by bus from Moscow to Riga).

 
You can book a train ticket online from Riga (Latvia) to Moscow or from Tallin (Estonia) to Moscow at the Train Tickets section or buy it directly at a railway station when you arrive.
When in St. Petersburg, we recommend you to go on a walking tour with our friends Peter's Walk -- these guys will show you the best of the city and will be able to give tons of useful tips -- see their daily schedules here.

 

How to Book These Budget Trips to Russia

WayToRussia.Net is not a travel agency, so we cannot provide full trips with the itinerary above. We reckon it is even better that way so that you don't have to pay a mark-up.
However, you can order the following additional services through our website:

Russian Visa Support for $30 - no need for reservations, flexible dates.
Train Tickets between Riga, Tallin, Moscow and St. Petersburg
Walking Tours in St. Petersburg and Moscow
Budget Hostels in Moscow and St. Petersburg


 



 

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