When choosing your best option to travel to St. Petersburg from Tallinn, there is hardly any shortage of options. Regular buses are departing multiple times per day (around 20€/one way), you can fly directly with Nordica (around 70€ one way), take a cruise or go there by car. However, Tallinn to St Petersburg train is probably one of the best ways to visit the Venice of the North, Russia’s beautiful ex-capital, especially if you wish to travel in comfort.
Tallinn to St Petersburg train is a journey leg of the Tallinn-Moscow train line. Many passengers prefer this route due to the romantic atmosphere that only a train journey can offer. Once you step on-board the train, you will be greeted and serviced as a highly valued guest, not as another passenger.
How to book Tallinn to St Petersburg train tickets?
Your journey starts with purchasing train tickets and making visa arrangements. You have two options to buy Tallinn to St Petersburg train tickets: online or at the Tallinn Train Station ticket counter. Please remember to bring your passport if you’d like to use the second option.
In theory, tickets can be purchased two months in advance. However, I had trouble looking up online tickets further than 1 month from today, the website gave me an error. At the time of writing, the prices were as follows:
4-four-berth coupe– 54€/person/one way
2-two-berth coupe– 111€/person/one way
In square card wagon– 44€/person/one way
In seating wagon– 26€/person/one way
In order to enter Russian Federation, as a European National, you need a valid visa. Visa should be made in advance. Here, in Estonia, you can use the services of one of the local travel agencies, who specialize in visas. I personally have used Go Travel, they have an office at the Tallinn train station and are open on Saturdays. One time visa for 1 week cost me 65€.
In order to apply for Russian visa, you need to bring your passport (valid 6 months after the visa expiry date), filled application (can be filled at the travel agency), 1 passport size photo, travel insurance for the whole period of travel (also possible to buy at the travel agency). Normal application time is min 2 weeks before the trip.
Tallinn and St Petersburg train departure time is 16:51 and arrival time in St Petersburg Moskovski station is 23:54. The good news is the location is very central and it is easy to reach most guesthouses and hostels by foot.
In the middle of your trip you would be crossing Estonian-Russian border, but you don’t need to exit the train for passport check – border patrol will board the train and do the check themselves. Compared to bus option, the train journey is much more pleasant and relaxing, as you get to stretch your legs, move around the train or have a meal at the restaurant on board.
Tallinn and St Petersburg train stations
Tallinn train station is rather small, but functional. It’s an easy walk from the old town and museums, so in case you stay in a centrally located hotel, you may not need any public transport to get there. For some last minute grocery and snack shopping, there is a small supermarket as well as a central market available at the station. Numerous cafes and street food stalls are also located nearby.
Moskovski train station in St Petersburg has also nicely centrally located with lots of shops, cafes and guesthouses nearby. It’s also right at the start of the famous Nevsky Prospekt – the main street with all major sightseeing’s, museums, cathedrals and monuments.
Things to do in St Petersburg
Depending on when you plan to visit, you will find a wide range of activities and things to do in St Petersburg and surrounding towns. I highly recommend visiting in June for the white nights experience – the sun hardly sets during this time and you may experience a true polar day. One of the popular activities during this time is to observe the openings of the bridges at night for the ferries and ships to enter the city.
St Petersburg is surprisingly lively city with active traffic even during night hours. You can feel the energy and get charged with it yourself. Moreover, don’t miss the fantastic summer festivals happening in this amazing city every year – White Nights Festival, Opening Ceremony of Peterhof’s Fountains, The Scarlet Sails and many more!
Have you even traveled to St Petersburg by train? How did you like it?
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