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Moscow to St Petersburg High Speed Train – A Detailed Sapsan Review

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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 lightning.

Here’s a lowdown of how to get tickets (which can be a slightly confusing process) and what the journey will be like.

Heading to Russia? Read my tips for securing a visa here. Also, don’t forget travel insurance! Click here for a FREE quote with World Nomads

moscow to st petersburg high speed train

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 beforehand.

There are many providers that will organise 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 smartphone.

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 requirement to carry this around with you at all times anyway but especially important to board your train.

You will not be able to get on without it.


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.

Read more: tips for using Moscow’s Metro

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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.

st petersburg in one day

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 onboard the service.

Even in the economy carriages, the seats are spacious and comfortable. 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!

Moscow to St Petersburg high speed train

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 them back to your seat or sit in the bar area. 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 farmhouses, little towns, and forests as far as the eye could see as you make your way. Make sure you have access to a window to take in the view

Moscow to St Petersburg high speed train

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 of our ticket progress 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 at a 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!

Heading to Russia? Read more of my articles!

Top Moscow Experiences to have in the city

Visiting the Red Square

Why you cannot miss the Red Square at night time

How to spend one day in St Petersberg

The best café in St Petersberg

Why you need to visit the Soviet Arcade Museum!


Saturday 23rd of March 2019

Thank you

Sophie Pearce

Sunday 24th of March 2019

No worries, thank you for stopping by! Sophie x