Getting to and from Russia by Bus, Routes, Eurolines, etc.

Author: Dimitry Paranyushkin (on 29 Jan 2010)
Usually it takes around 35-40 hours of travel time to get from Western Europe to Moscow or St.Petersburg by bus. If you take a bus from Eastern Europe (Poland, for example) it'll take you around 20-24 hours, if you take a bus from Baltic states, it'll take you around 10 hours (Riga - St. Petersburg) or 7 hours (Tallin - St. Petersburg). The average return ticket from western European countries to Moscow if you use a bus, will cost you around $100. The closer you are to Russia the cheaper it is, especially from the Baltic States. For example a bus from Riga (Latvia) to St. Petersburg costs $15, and a bus from Tallin (Estonia) to St. Petersburg costs $10 one way. If you have an international bus pass (for example, Eurolines pass) the price might be much cheaper, depending on the option you choose.
It's going to be even less expensive to get to Russia if you take a flight to Riga or Tallin with one of the budget airlines, see more information in our Russia on Budget section.

Eurolines bus / photo by at_peter_mayr@FlickR
Eurolines bus / photo by at_peter_mayr@FlickR



Bus Routes to and From Russia

Taking a bus to Russia (and from Russia abroad) is probably the cheapest option available.
If you are in Western Europe, it'll be the cheapest to take a bus from Germany, Berlin. But try to avoid Belorussia and Ukraine, because you'll need transit visas through these countries (see more below in "transit visas" and "prices" sections).
Here's a list of bus companies that operate international routes to and from Russia.



Baltic States - Russia

Eurolines. Eurolines is an international bus company, they have many different kind of routes throughout Europe, and also the routes connecting Russia with Baltic States and Europe. Offers discounts for people under 26 years old (-10%).
You can see Euroline's latest bus schedule, prices, and reserve a seat at http://www.eurolines.ru

See information about their routes, schedules and prices at International Bus Schedules and Prices section.

You can also contact Eurolines in Russia and Baltic States directly for the latest timetables, prices, and to reserve a ticket:
Eurolines Russia / Moscow Ticket Office. Address and bus departure: Leningradski railway station Moscow (second floor, where the international ticket sales offices are). Phones: +7 (095) 975-2574, (095) 975-3309, internet: http://www.eurolines.ru.
Eurolines Russia / St. Petersburg. Address: Shkapina street, #10. ticket sales: on the right of Baltiiski railway station, in a row of stalls. bus departs: in front of Baltiski railway station, next to a small square. Nobody speaks English there!!! Phones: +7 (812) 168-2740, (812) 168-2748, internet: http://www.eurolines.ru.
Eurolines Latvia / Riga. Address: Praga street, #1 (autostation). Phone: +37 17 214080. internet: http://www.eurolines.lv - you can get to Riga by a cheap RyanAir or EasyJet flight from London or Berlin.
Eurolines Lithuania / Vilnius. Address: Sodu street, #22 (autostation. Phone: +37 26 800909., Fax: +37 02 25 13 76.
Eurolines Estonia / Tallinn. Address: Lastekodu street, #46. Phone: +372 680 0909, +372 681 3488 internet: http://www.eurolines.ee - you can get to Tallin by a cheap RyanAir or EasyJet flight from London or Berlin.
 


Finland - Russia


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Sovavto Buses. Sovavto is a Russian company, that runs together with a Finnish company daily buses from St. Petersburg to Helsinki (and from Helsinki to St. Petersburg).
The operators in the office don't speak English, so it's better to come to their office directly to reserve / buy a ticket. One way ticket St. Petersburg - Helsinki costs 1100 roubles (260 Finn Marks, or $38 US)

Savavto ticket office & buses depart from: St. Petersburg, Pulkovskaya Hotel, Pobedy square (p`loschad). Metro: Moskovskaya. Open hours: from 10.00 to 12.00 and 13.00 to 19.30 daily. Phone: +7 (812) 123-5125

GoldLine & MurmanskAutoTrans. There's a bus route between Murmansk (Russia) and Rovaniemi (Finland) operated by the Finnish company GoldLine (or FinnBus) and Russian Murmanskautotrans, their website is http://www.goldline.fi/ there's an English version and contacts in Finland. The contacts of Murmanskautotrans in Murmansk are +7 (8152) 421-154 (Russian only).
The schedule can be found at http://www.koivistonauto.fi/aikataulut_kauko/aikataulu_132.html
The bus goes Monday to Friday from Murmansk (Russia) at 8.30am, through Ivalo (Findland, north) and to Rovaniemi (arriving at 20.35).
The price is about 30-50 EUR for one-way trip. You can then get from Rovaniemi to Helsinki by train through Oulu and Vaasa (about 12 hours trip).
 


Germany - Russia


Gulliver Reisen.
Gulliver Reisen is a German company that has bus routes from Germany to Russia, offers discounts for young people.
Gulliver Reisen Germany. Phone: +49 30 10 38 0, Fax: +49 30 10 38 20

Eurolines Germany / Deutsche Touring GMbH. Internet: http://www.deutschetouring.de (in german & english).

Berlin Linien Bus.
A German bus company, offers discounts for young people.
Internet: http://www.berlinlinienbus.de
 
Becker Reisen. A German bus company, runs buses from London, UK through all Europe (France, Germany, Holland, Poland) to Russia. Internet: http://www.becker-reisen.de
 
 

Bus Passes

Eurolines offers passes for 30 and 60 day period starting from the day of your first travel. 30-days pass for youth (under 26) in high season (summer) costs 296 Euro ($330), 60-days pass - 324 Euro ($360). For adults (26+) it's 370 and 430 Euro correspondingly. In other seasons (middle and low) the prices are lower. This pass is valid in western Europe and some Eastern Europe countries and in Baltic States. It's not valid in Russia, but you can use this pass to get to Tallinn, Estonia, for example, and then for $10 take a Eurolines bus to St.Petersburg (3-4 buses daily). Eurolines is the cheapest option (but certainly not the most comfortable) if you plan to travel in Europe to many different countries and to Russia.
Go to www.eurolines.com/europass/ -- it has time schedules, conditions, map of the countries this pass is valid in and pass fares.
 

Transit Visas

Keep in mind that sometimes you will need a transit visa for going through some Eastern European countries and former USSR (now CIS and Baltic) countries.
See Russian Visa / Transit Visas for the list of the countries for which you might need a transit visa.
If you choose a route to Russia that goes through Belarus or Ukraine you'll surely need a transit visa (unless you're a CIS citizen). The transit visa exists to make money on the travellers, so the price of the visa is about $30-$40 and you can get it in the country's embassy, but not at the border.
To avoid extra visa hassles you can go to Russia through Baltic States, it's unlikely that you will need a visa for Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. The Baltic states are very nice countries to visit, and your travel will not cost more (even less, especially if your first destination is St. Petersburg). (See Russian Visa / Transit Visas for the list of the countries for which you might need a transit visa.)
So, the best thing to do is to compare how much time and money you'll spend on direct trave and transit visas, and on indirect travel, and choose the best option. It always depends on where you are now and what travel options you have.

 
 

Trip Duration & Price

(all prices are in US dollars, without discounts. The prices and lengths apply for the back trips as well) Here are some of the bus prices, for more detailed info see International Bus Schedules & Prices section.
WESTERN EUROPE.
Berlin (Germany) - Moscow (Russia): Deutsche Touring GMbH (Eurolines bus). Total price (one way) $55. Total travel time: around 35 hours. Transit visa through Belorussia ($30) is required.
Berlin (Germany) - Latvia (Riga) - St. Petersburg (Russia). Berlin Linien daily bus and a daily Eurolines coach. Total price (one way) around $65-70, if you have a Eurolines pass the price goes down to $20. Total travel time around 36 hours + 50 minutes to change the bus in Riga. No transit visas required.
Or get a RyanAir or EasyJet flight from London or Berlin to Tallin (Estonia) or Riga (Latvia) and then a Eurolines bus from there.
SCANDINAVIAN COUNTRIES.
Tartu (Finland) - St. Petersburg (Russia): A daily Eurolines bus, around $25 one way. Total time: around 10 hours.
Ivalo, Rovaniemi (Finland) - Murmansk (Russia). A bus by GoldLine (see information above), 30-50 EUR one way, Travel time: around 12 hours.
BALTIC STATES.
Riga (Latvia) - St. Petersburg: A daily Eurolines coach, one way price $20, total time: 14 hours.
Tallinn (Estonia) - St. Petersburg: A daily Eurolines coach, one way price $10, total time: 6 hours.
 
   
 

How to Book

Bus companies offer much more flexibility that the train companies to the travelers.
You can buy the bus tickets direcly from the bus company's offices in the city you're in. Or you can reserve a ticket by the phone or internet and then buy it in the day of your departure (1 hour before departure in Eurolines).





 

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