Arriving in Russia
Arriving by plane
There are 2 airports which serve the city of St Petersburg, Pulkovo 1 (mostly local flights and a few international flights to Eastern Europe) and Pulkovo 2 (main international flights). Both airports are located approximately 16km south of the city.
Pulkovo 1 has very few shops but there are a few bars and cafés, foreign currency exchange and ATM machines. There is also a new child care room to keep children, up to 7 years old, occupied.
Information: (+7812) 104-3822
Business lounge: (+7812) 123-8545
Official Delegations Suite: (+7812) 123-8663
Pulkovo 2 was renovated in 2003 and includes several shops, bars, cafés, foreign currency exchange and ATM machines.
For information call: (+7812) 104-3444
Business lounge: (+7812) 104-343
Free wireless Internet is available in all areas of the airport.Airport transfers
There are several options to get from the airport into the city.Taxi:
Don't use the taxi drivers who wait outside the terminal as they charge extremely high prices. We recommend you booking a transfer with Express to Russia in advance. This is the safest way to avoid being overcharged.City Bus:
This bus runs from both arrival halls to Moskovsky metro station.
From Pulkovo 1 the bus stop is directly opposite the arrivals hall and you want Bus 39. The bus runs every 12-20mins from 5.30am-1.30am. The trip takes 30-35mins and costs 30roubles.
From Pulkovo 2 the bus stop is the one closest to the arrivals hall and you want Bus 13. The bus runs every 13-20mins from 5.40am-0.47am. The trip takes 20-25mins and costs 23roubles.Metro:
The nearest metro station to the airport is Moskovsky. It is on the blue line and you can get right into the historical heart without having to change lines. A single trip on the metro costs 28roubles.
Arriving by train
There are 5 train stations in St Petersburg: Moskovsky Vokzal (Vokzal means station in Russian), Vitebsky Vokzal, Ladozhsky Vokzal, Finlandsky Vokzal and Baltisky Vokzal. The first 4 all serve long-distance passenger traffic as well as local service, but the last station only offers local services to nearby suburbs. All stations have foreign currency exchange booths and ATM machines.
This is the main long-distance train station in the city and is located on Nevsky Prospect, right in the centre of the city. All major trains to Moscow leave and arrive here. The station also services the far north, the Crimea, Central Asia and the Caucasus. Transport from/to the station is very easy as the metro station Ploshad Vosstaniya is located in the station.
For information call: +7812 457 44 28
This is located on the edge of the centre of the city and has trains serving Europe, the Baltic States and the Ukraine. Transport from/to the station is very easy as the metro station Pushkinskaya is located in the station.
For information call: +7812 457 59 39
This modern station is located on the outskirts of the city and serves Finland and other northern directions e.g. Murmansk, Archangelsk, Petrozavadsk, Kostomuksha, etc. Transport from/to the station is very easy as the metro station Ladozhskaya is located in the station.
For information call: +7812 436 53 10
Located in the north of St. Petersburg, this station is the famous arrival place of Lenin to St. Petersburg in 1917. Nowadays it serves Vyborg, Finland and other northern destinations. Transport from/to the station is very easy as the metro station Ploshchad Lenina is located in the station.
For information call: +7812 436 67 46
Arriving by ship/ferry
The St. Petersburg Sea Passenger Terminal is located on Vasilevsky Island. This is where you'll arrive if you are travelling from Helsinki, Stockholm or Tallin. There is no metro station near the port, but if you go to the first bus stop on Bolshoy Prospekt then you can catch a marshrutka (minibus), any of K154, K183, K275 and K346, to Vasileostrovskaya metro station. This station is on the green line and if you go one stop to Gostiny Dvor you will be in the city centre.
For information call: +7812 322 66 31
The River Station, which is where all river cruises to/from Moscow and Northern Russian will arrive/depart, is located in the south east of the city. The easiest way to get into the centre of the city from here is to walk to Proletarskaya metro station. It is a 10 minute walk and to get there you turn left off the boat and it's about 400m down the road. This station is located on the green line and to get to the city centre, go 5 stops to Gostiny Dvor.
For information call: +7812 262 02 39
Arriving by bus
The newly renovated bus station is located in a central area of St. Petersburg and has a café, if you happen to miss your bus. To get from the bus station into the centre you can either catch a taxi, but don't pay more than 150roubles, or walk 15mins to the nearest metro station, Ligovsky Prospekt, which is on the orange line.
For information call: +7812 766 57 77
Arriving by plane
There are 4 passenger airports in Moscow. Sheremetyevo, Bykovo, Domodedevo and Vnukovo.
There are 6 terminals: Terminal A is for business and private flights, B is for domestic low-cost flights, C is for international charter airlines, D is mainly for flights by the company Aeroflot, E unifies terminal D and F and has a few Aeroflot flights, F is the main international terminal.
The main option to get into the city centre from Sheremetyevo is to use Aeroexpress; an express train service that operates every half hour between Sheremetyevo terminals DEF to Belorussky railway station. There is also a free shuttle bus service to terminals B and C. The journey takes 30-35mins and costs 320roubles for a single trip.
Bykovo is a very small airport, and it will be extremely unlikely that you will have to use it. There is a train line to the city centre, Kazansky Voksal. For information call: +7495 558 49 33
Domodedevo is the farthest airport from the city centre. It's a fairly new airport and therefore has good quality services. For information call: +7495 933 66 66.
There are a couple of options to get into the city centre from the airport. There is a train service which takes 40minutes to get into Paveletsky Station. The trains depart every half an hour and a single trip costs 320roubles. Tickets can be purchased from the ticket desk in the terminal.
Another option is to get a shuttle bus to the nearest metro station, Domodedovskaya. The bus departs from outside of the arrivals exit of Russian airlines. The journey lasts approximately 30minutes and costs 120roubles. Tickets are bought on the bus.
Vnukovo serves mainly domestic flights but some international flights, mainly from Eastern Europe. For information call: +7495 436 28 13
This airport is also served by an Aeroexpress line to Kievsky station. The train departs on the hour and a single adult ticket costs 320roubles.
Of course from every airport you are able to catch a taxi to the centre, but be careful because they will be extremely expensive and will charge more because you are foreign. To be extra careful, we recommend you booking a transfer with Express to Russia in advance. This is the safest way to avoid being overcharged.
Arriving by train
All of the Moscow stations have a connected metro station so are easily accessible from all places in the city.
Metro Belorusskaya (ring brown metro line, north), phone: +7495 266 93 33
Metro Komsomolskaya (brown ring line or red line, north-east), phone: +7495 264 65 56
Metro Kievskaya (blue or brown ring line, west), phone +7495 240 70 71
Metro Kurskaya (blue or brown ring line, east), phone: +7495 916 20 03
Metro Komsomolskaya (red or brown ring line, north-east), phone: +7495 262 91 43
Metro Paveletskaya (green or brown ring line, south), phone: +7495 950 3700
Metro Rizhskaya (orange line, north), phone: +7495 266 85 12
Metro Savelovskaya (grey line, north), phone: +7495 285 90 05
Metro Komsomolskaya (red or brown ring line, north-east), phone: +7495 266 63 00
Arriving by bus
Schyolkovsky Bus terminal is located next to Schyolkovskaya metro (the last station to the east on the dark blue line). The terminal is fully equipped with amenities and is open from 6.30-23.00. For information call: +7495 468 04 00
First of all in order to be able to drive in Russia it's necessary to have the following documents: National and International driving license, car insurance, passport and Russian visa. If you fail to show any of these documents upon crossing the border into Russia then you will not be allowed in. There are a lot of borders that you may choose to cross in order to get into Russia, but here are some of the more popular ones. Ukraine and Belorussia: These borders seem to be stricter than some of the other European borders, and people say that they have to pay extra money. Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia: These borders are far more civilised, yet it's still not wise to upset the border control guards. Finland: This border is by far the most relaxed, but because of this knowledge it is also the most popular and therefore you must be prepared to queue.
When you cross the border make sure that you receive an immigration card and that it is stamped, otherwise you will have to pay penalty in order to get out of the country on your return!
Driving in Russia is different to driving in the rest of Europe so here are a few pieces of advice:
- Speed limits: 60kmph in major towns, 40kmph in small villages and from 90kmph to 110kmph on the highway (depending on the highway type).
- You need to look out for, ДПС, ГИБДД, ГАИ, who are the traffic police!
- Make sure you don't overpay any penalties. Here are some of the official fees: for driving 20-40kmph too fast you will be charged 500roubles, 60kmph over the limit is between 1000 and 1500roubles, driving through a red light is 1000roubles and not wearing a seatbelt costs 1000roubles.
- Don't follow the Russian drivers as models on how to drive in Russia. Stick to what you know.
It's extremely important to know what you can/can't import or export from Russia. The following items must be declared by filling in a declaration form upon crossing the border and you may be taxed.
- Any foreign currencies which value $3000 or more.
- More than 100 cigars, 200 cigarillos, 400 cigarettes or 0.5kg of tobacco.
- More than 2 litres of alcohol.
- More than 250g of caviar.
- Stocks and securities, including travellers' cheques.
If you have less than the allowed amount of the items listed above ($2000 US in currency, 100 grams of caviar, 1 bottle of vodka etc.), then you do not need to declare it when you arrive/leave Russia and you don't have to pay extra money. You can still bring in more than $3000 (or its equivalent) but you need to declare it, so when you leave the country you can prove you're not taking the money out of Russia.Special Permission
The following items are necessary to declare and you must have special permission (from Russia) or your doctor's prescription, when bringing in (and out): guns, explosives, ammunition, strong medicines (anaesthetics, sleeping pills, etc.), psychotropic medicines, items that have a cultural value in Russia (usually antiques that are more than 70 years old), poisons, strong sedatives, radioactive materials, wild flora & fauna which is rapidly becoming extinct, technical telecommunication devices (radio phones, stations, cable TVs with a frequency of more than 900Ghz (except cell phones), printed materials (of fascist, racial or pornographic content), merchandise for production or commercial activities. If you have any of the above-listed items you need to obtain special permission at the point of sale in Russia or through the appropriate ministry (e.g. Ministry of Culture for items of cultural value).