Trains from Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia: Timetables, Prices and Live Availability

Author: Dimitry Paranyushkin (on 25 Feb 2015)
Moscow and St Petersburg are about 800 km away from each other and it's one of the most popular train routes in Russia. The fastest train takes 4 hours to travel from Moscow to St Petersburg and costs about €80 for a 2nd-class one way ticket. There are also about 10 overnight trains, which take about 8 hours to travel. The price range for those trains is from €30 (for 3rd class common carriage) to about €50 (for 2nd class 4-berth sleeper) or €100 for the 1st class (2-berth sleeper). They usually leave Moscow at about 11 pm and arrive to St Petersburg the next day at about 7 to 8 pm. If you need to save money, you can take standard overnight seater trains, which can cost as low as €15 per seat, but you won't sleep...

You can use the online form below to see the live train schedule and prices for trains between St Petersburg and Moscow.
 

 
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Map of Moscow to St. Petersburg Railway

Moscow to St Petersburg Train Railway Line

St. Petersburg is quite close to Finland and Estonia, so it's very easy to get to from Northern Europe (Helsinki and Tallin). From there you can either travel directly to Moscow (about 800 km) or make a stopover in one of the destinations along the main railway line (see the interactive map below with short descriptions of each place). You can also take a different train line that goes through Novgorod Veliky, which is a great place to stop for 1 or 2 nights along the route. 
 

We can especially recommend the area around Borovichi town (about half-way between Moscow and St. Petersburg), which is easiest to get to from Okulovka station, where all the cheaper slower seater trains stop. This is a great area for camping or if you want to discover the Russian Taiga without having to venture to Siberia.
 

 

Selected Trains from Moscow to St. Petersburg: Red Arrow, Sapsan, and Cheaper Trains

All direct trains leave Moscow Leningradsky station and arrive to St. Petersburg Moskovsky station. Below we list the recommended direct trains we personally like. It's good to know that there are basically 3 types of trains. The first is daytime express ones (like "Sapsan" train), which take about 4 hours, cost a bit more, and only have seaters. The second one is overnight trains, like "Red Arrow", which are "firmenny" (that means they have a higher level of comfort) - those are comfortable sleeper trains. The third type are cheaper trains that pass through Moscow and St. Petersburg en route to another destinations. Those will be not as clean but surely the cheapest you'll find. Note, that the train prices change depending on the volatile ruble exchange rates and season, the information below is up-to-date as of March 2015.
 
Daily Train #064 "Dve Stolitsy" firmenny (recommended for price / quality):
Moscow [22.10] - St. Petersburg [next day 6.20] 
Travel time: 8 hours, Price: €60-70 for 2nd class bed in a 4-bed compartment, €30-40 3rd class bed in the common carriage
Note: one of the few trains that has low-cost "platzcart" 3rd class carriages
  
 
Daily Train #006 "Nikolaevsky's Express" (recommended for price):
Moscow [22.50] - St. Petersburg [next day 6.44]
Travel time: 8 hours, Price: €30-40 for 2nd class (a bed in a 4-bed compartment)
Note: this is a double-decker train, so the level of comfort is a bit lower, but it has the cheapest sleeper beds    

 
Daily Train #002  "Red Arrow" (recommended for the experience):
Moscow [23.55] - St. Petersburg [next day 7.55]
Travel time: 8 h, Price: €100-120 1st class bed in a 2-bed compartment, €60-80 2nd class in a 4-bed compartment.
Note: this is one of the more kitschy trains, so the "comfort" you get in this case is something a Russian railway official would like, rather than how this term is usually understood. Expect red brothel-like curtains, lots of shiny plastic, heaps of tabloids, and bag tea and exorbitant prices. Having said that, it's one of the most reliable and legendary trains, definitely worth a ride!
 
Daily Express Train #764 "Sapsan" (recommended for speed):
Moscow [13.30] - St. Petersburg [17.40]
Travel time: 4h, Price: €65-90 for a seat in the 2nd class
Note: This is a relatively expensive train, but very convenient if you want to quickly get from Moscow to St. Petersburg in time for your hotel check-in.
There are three more Sapsan trains daily (at 6.40 am, 16.40 and 19.30). 

 
Daily Train #30 (recommended: latest departure + lowest price):
Moscow [1.20] - St. Petersburg [09.40]
Travel time: 8 hours, Price: €20 3rd class, €40-€50 2nd class, €75-90 1st class
Note: This is a very simple train, no excess, but the price and the convenient time of departure make it our favorite choice.

 
Daily Train #032 "Lev Tolstoy" firmenny (fastest overnight train):
Moscow [23.00] - St. Petersburg [5.46]
Travel time: 6h 46m, Price: €60-€70 2nd class beds in 4-bed compartment, €100-120 1st class (bed in 2-bed compartment)
 
 
If you find yourself stuck in Moscow late in the night one day, there are also two trains leaving to St. Petersburg on odd dates from Kursky railway station at 3.33 am (bypassing train from Volgograd) and at 04.41 am (bypassing train from Voronezh), which cost the same as the cheapest direct trains below.


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Selected Trains from St. Petersburg to Moscow

All direct trains leave St. Petersburg Moskovsky station and arrive to Moscow Leningradsky station . Below we list the recommended direct trains we personally like – they are the same trains as above, but the number is minus 1 (e.g. train #159 instead of #160).
 
Daily Train #063 "Dve Stolitsy" firmenny (recommended for price / quality):
St Petersburg [23.01] - Moscow [next day 6.40] 
Travel time: 8 hours, Price: €60-70 for 2nd class bed in a 4-bed compartment, €30-40 3rd class bed in the common carriage
Note: one of the few trains that has low-cost "platzcart" 3rd class carriages  
 
Daily Train #005 "Nikolaevsky's Express" (recommended for price):
St Petersburg [22.50] - Moscow [next day 6.44]
Travel time: 8 hours, Price: €30-40 for 2nd class (a bed in a 4-bed compartment)
Note: this is a double-decker train, so the level of comfort is a bit lower, but it has the cheapest sleeper beds    

Daily Daytime Train #059 "Volga" firmenny (good for stopovers):
St Petersburg [16.50] - Moscow [1.45]
Travel time: 8h 55m, Price: €30-40 for 3rd class compartment, €60-€70 2nd class beds in 4-bed compartment, €100-120 1st class (bed in 2-bed compartment)
Note: This train goes all the way to Nizhny Novgorod through Vladimir, so it's a great way to visit more smaller towns around Moscow

Daily Train #001  "Red Arrow" (recommended for the experience):
St Petersburg [23.55] - Moscow [next day 7.55]
Travel time: 8 h, Price: €100-120 1st class bed in a 2-bed compartment, €60-80 2nd class in a 4-bed compartment.
Note: this is one of the more kitschy trains, so the "comfort" you get in this case is something a Russian railway official would like, rather than how this term is usually understood. Expect red brothel-like curtains, lots of shiny plastic, heaps of tabloids, and bag tea and exorbitant prices. Having said that, it's one of the most reliable and legendary trains, definitely worth a ride!
 
Daily Express Train #763 "Sapsan" (recommended for speed):
St Petersburg [13.30] - Moscow [17.40]
Travel time: 4h, Price: €65-90 for a seat in the 2nd class
Note: This is a relatively expensive train, but very convenient if you want to quickly get from Moscow to St. Petersburg in time for your hotel check-in.
There are three more Sapsan trains daily (at 6.40 am, 16.40 and 19.30). 
 
Daily Train #55A (recommended: latest departure + lowest price):
St Petersburg [00.44] - St. Petersburg [09.53]
Travel time: 8 hours, Price: €20 3rd class, €40-€50 2nd class, €75-90 1st class
Note: This is a very simple train, no excess, but the price and the convenient time of departure make it our favorite choice.
 
 

 

 




 

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