If you’re looking for details on the Moscow to St Petersburg high speed train, this is the post for you!
Nowadays it couldn’t be easier to travel between Russia’s two most famous cities. What’s more is that you can be in either of those in just under 4 hours by taking the high speed Sapsan train.
It’s definitely a premium way to travel and speeds through the Russian countryside like lightening. Here’s a lowdown of how to get tickets (which can be a slightly confusing process) and what the journey will be like.
How to get Moscow to St Petersburg high speed train tickets
As you may or may not know, the process of getting Russian train tickets, or just navigating around Russia in general, is pretty complex.
Not many people speak fluent English and a lot of their signs are in Cyrillic. So, unless you want to be at the station for some time – it is recommended to get your tickets before you ride online before.
There are many providers that will organise you this service but I used Real Russia, who were brilliant and kept me informed every step of the way. They do charge a slight premium but it is so worth it to know that you’ll get the right tickets and end up in the right place!
They will have all the options for Sapsan and times and prices there for you to choose from.
Prices start from around £30 one way depending on the time and season that you go! Note, the prices on their site are ‘predicted’ prices and Real Russia will purchase them for you a few weeks before the train is due to depart. 90% of the time, the price you commit to paying is the same but it may vary.
Once they have purchased the ticket for you, they will email you a PDF copy which you can print off or save down to your smart phone.
What to prepare for the Sapsan train ride
Believe it or not, it’s really not as simple as showing up to the station. You’ll need a couple of bits to travel with you;
Your Sapsan train ticket: I printed off a copy of my ticket just in case and had a copy on my phone. But, when I boarded the train they only needed my passport. They will have a scanning system as you board and they will inform you of your seat number.
A copy of your passport: The most important thing! It is a legal requirements to carry this round with you at all times anyway but especially important to board your train. You will not be able to get on without it.
Snacks: The food service on the train is pretty dire and unless it’s included in your price I wouldn’t recommend it. I’d bring some snacks or a drink for the journey.
How to reach the Sapsan train stations in Moscow and St Petersburg
From Moscow: The train departs from Leningradsky station. To get there by metro, get the Red line or Brown circle line and alight at Komsomolskaya station. Then follow the floor signs to the Leningradsky railway station. Inside the station, there will be screens to let you know the station the Sapsan train will be waiting for you.
From St. Petersburg: The Sapsan station can be accessed by the Central Moskovsky Vokzal train station which is located at the top of Nevsky Prospect. You can catch one of the many buses or trams there, or if you’re centrally located it may be easier to walk.
Finding your carriage and seat on the Sapsan train
You definitely get value for money and you can feel this as soon as you board the train.
The staff will scan your ticket and welcome you on board the service. Even in the economy carriages the seats are spacious and comfortable and they play in-carriage entertainment which you can plug into as you make your way.
Depending on the carriage service that you’ve chosen many provide refreshments at your table with their premium service. You will be allocated a seat number with your ticket and it is important that you stick to it!
Refreshments on board the Sapsan train
There are carts on the Sapsan which stroll up and down the train serving all sorts of refreshments for you to indulge in. cold drinks, coffees, tea and snacks can be purchased.
But if you fancy hot food or just want to stretch your legs, you can walk to the Bar which is located in the middle of the train. They serve hot food including pancakes, fish, suspicious looking meat and other meals.
They also serve alcohol which is limited to Wine and Beer – No Vodka, which I thought strange and even scandalous! They do take cash and card and you can choose to take it back to your seat or sit in the bar area. But, make sure you have good sea legs as it’s rather shaky.
The views from the Sapsan train route
What I liked most about the Sapsan journey from Moscow to St Petersburg was the scenery.
You sail past some of the beautiful Russian countryside, which is a welcome break from the city.
There were some beautiful farm houses, little towns and forests as far as the eye could see as you make your way – so definitely make sure you have access to a window to take in the view
The verdict of Moscow to St Petersburg high speed train
All in all I found Sapsan to be a pleasant, stress free journey across the country.
From the moment you board to the moment you depart you’re in really good hands. The staff couldn’t do enough for you and the train itself is clean, modern, comfortable and spacious.
I would highly recommend Real Russia as they were so accommodating and made sure we were informed on our ticket progress at every step of the way.
They also gave us instructions for where to get the train, where to board and what to expect which was all included in the very reasonable price!
A four hour journey seems like a lot to handle, but with Sapsan you honestly don’t feel like it takes that long. It’s a quick and convenient way to get between the two cities and the short time is perfect if you’re on a limit!
Have you caught the Sapsan train? What did you think? Comment below!
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