Moscow - St. Petersburg Recommended Trains, Timetables, and Prices

Author: Dimitry Paranyushkin (on 11 Jun 2019)
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 ("Sapsan" express) takes 4 hours and the train ticket from Moscow to St. Petersburg costs about €50 for a 2nd-class one way ticket if you buy it early (€60 to €100 for last-minute trips).
 
There are also about 10 overnight trains, which take about 8 hours to travel. The train ticket price range for those trains is from €20 (for a bed in a 3rd class common carriage) to about €40 (for a bed in a 2nd class 4-berth sleeper) or €90 for the 1st class (2-berth sleeper). They usually leave Moscow at about 23.00-2.00 and arrive to St Petersburg the next day at about 8.00-10.00. Those trains are pretty comfortable, but you're better off taking the more expensive "firmenny" (фирменный) trains, which have air conditioning and are cleaner. There are also a couple of day trains in summer, which take about 8 hours for the whole trip and those are quite cheap: from €20 to €40 one way for a seat.  
 

Click Here to Reserve Your Train Tickets Online

 
You can use the online form below to see the live train schedule and prices for trains between St Petersburg and Moscow and read more information about this train route below.
 

 

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).  If you want to see the Russian countryside, you can stop at Okulovka, half-way between the two cities (almost all the trains stop there) and book a couple of nights in a real a coulple of nights in a real Russian village Gorneshno, situated in Valdai national park. 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. 

 

Also, the area around Borovichi town (about half-way between Moscow and St. Petersburg) is really great for camping. The easiest way to get there is from Okulovka station, where almost all the trains stop. This is a great area to enjoy the nature and village life or if you want to discover the Russian Taiga without having to venture to Siberia. Check out the camping at Karobozha lake or Borovno lake in Valdai.
 
 

How to Get a Train Ticket and Which Seats are the Best?

To get the train ticket, you can use our online train e-ticket reservation service (budget option) or the premium travel agency service (if you need English-speaking support). In both cases you'll get an e-ticket by email instantly after you book and you can show this ticket, along with your passport, when you board the train. The ticket has an English translation, so you can see which carriage and the place you have. Please, double check the departure train station.
 
When choosing the seat, consider your travel plans. If you want to sleep all the way through the top berth in a 4-berth compartment is probably your best bet as nobody will disturb you and you can tuck in your luggage at the overhead storage areas. If you have big bags or plan to talk to your friend then the lower berth is a better choice as you can hide your big bag under it and also use it to sit / work at the table. We recommend you to get the wagon with air conditioning as during the summer it can be quite hot on the train. Every wagon has a toilet, some premium ones have a shower, but don't count on it as it will be most likely too busy during the morning.
 
If you want to save money or if you're a woman traveling alone you might want to consider the 3rd class common carriage. These have less privacy but are very safe (because people are around) and are still relatively comfortable: it's just that the beds are smaller, so if you're tall you probably won't really fit. Although it's fun because you meet people and get to hang out with everybody else on the train.
 
A 3-rd class common carriage — the cheapest train ticket
 

 

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

All the 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 have comfortable seats. The second one is overnight trains, like "Red Arrow", which are "firmenny" (that means they have a higher level of comfort) - those are the 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 / arrival makes it our favorite choice.
 
Daily Train #60 (recommended: price / comfort / departure):
Moscow Kursky train station [0.44] - St. Petersburg [09.05]
Travel time: 8 hours, Price: €20 3rd class, €40-€50 2nd class, €75-90 1st class
Note: This is a "firmenny" train, which has both budget and more comfortable 2nd class sleepers with air conditioning. Note that it departs from Moscow Kursky train station, not the Leningradsky one

 
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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