Buying train tickets from Moscow to St Petersburg, now or later?
Replies: 2 - Last Post: Mar 12, 2012 12:01 PM Last Post By: frugal_traveler
Mar 10, 2012 11:03 PM
My friend is going to Moscow this mid-April and would like to visit St Petersburg as well. He doesn't speak English well so I am helping him to post some questions here, hope you can share your thoughts?
We know tickets can only be bought 45 days before the departure.
He is flying to Moscow on April 17, then plan to go to St Petersburg on April 21-23.
Is it the sooner we buy the tickets, the cheaper they are?
He followed the instructions on this link: http://www.seat61.com/Russia-trains.htm#Using the Russian Railways
But cannot book any ticket on here: http://rzd.ru
Should he wait to buy the ticket in Moscow, or book through an agent and pay the mark-up price now?
He also would like to visit the Baltic States after St Petersburg.. does he need to buy all the tickets in advance in order to save more money?
Sorry if his questions were covered before and any information/help is deeply appreciated.
Thanks a million!
Mar 11, 2012 10:26 AM
1Tickets are no cheaper now than on the day of departure.
There is information on my website on how to check the prices and the ticket availability. Checking ticket prices
Given that your friend wants to travel in mid to late April, those date should already be available to view.
If your friend wants to buy the tickets in advance for travel from Moscow to Petersburg on the rzd.ru, it isn't difficult. In order to buy them he needs to register first. See below.
There is NO train from Petersburg to Tallinn. Only bus service on this route. Check eurolines and ecolines. There are trains to Riga and to Vilnius though be sure that the latter does not pass through Belarus as some do and some don't.
The rzd.ru website is primarily in Russian. You cannot use the limited section in English to purchase tickets. Tickets are available 45 days prior to departure. If you don't want to buy tickets, but just to check availability, you don't need to register and there are instructions on my website: here. For additional information I suggest that you read this thread: Buying tickets on the rzd.ru website
Read the instructions for purchasing on this page: http://www.ticket.rzd.ru/wps/portal/pp
A tt user named miky76 has a website that will help you translate the pages and guide you through the process. See How to Register and book tickets on rzd.ru in translation
It will ask you in which number wagon or train car you want to reserve a tickets and then for which range of berths within the car. Certain numbers are often avoided. In kupé people often don't want 1-4 or 33-36 as they are at the ends near the samovar or toilet. In platskartney they usually don't want the side berths 37-54 as they are shorter and more likely to be bumped. Also, berths no. 35,36 are a bit shorter, 33-36 are near the toilet.
Note that not all credit card companies allow you to purchase on Russian internet sites. The website requires that your VISA card be Verified by VISA and that your MasterCard have a security code. Some cards appear not to be able to purchase these tickets even though the site itself is quite safe.
And finally, you do not always get an e-ticket. More often you receive a receipt with a barcode and fourteen digit identifier. To obtain the tickets present this receipt with your passport and the credit card you used at a train station window with an @ sign or use one of the self-service kiosks at almost all train stations. Instructions should be available in English.
Mar 12, 2012 12:01 PM
2thank you so much for providing so much detail. My friend said he's eternally grateful.
sometimes I find it hard to find information I want, coz everyone's looking for something a little different...
perhaps it's normal to be intimidated by visiting a non-English speaking country, that's why we fear we have to do everything before departure.
Me and my friend will surely study your website
All the best to you!!
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