|Trains in Russia are, for the most part, safe and reliable, although the interiors will never win any design awards. It is possible to travel to St Petersburg from most European capitals via Warsaw, Berlin, Helsinki or Moscow:
- There are daily services to Moscow (journey time - 8 hours)
- Berlin (journey time - 36 hours)
- Warsaw (journey time - 26 hours)
Entering St. Petersburg by overnight train from Moscow is one of the most romantic things you can do in Russia. St Petersburg's principal stations include:
- Moscovskii Station: for Moscow, Novgorod, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Volgograd, Kazan, Samara, Rostov-na-Donu, Ufa Sochi and others cities.
- Vitebskii Station: for Pushkin (formerly Tsarskoe Selo), Pavlovsk, Belarus, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Moldova, Bulgaria, Poland, Germany, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia.
- Baltiskii Station: Vitebsky vokzal, Zagorodny prospect 52, for Petrodvorets (Peterhof), Lomonosov (Oranienbaum).
- Ladozhskii Station: for various destinations including Murmansk, Ekaterinburg, Cheliabinsk, Omsk, Novosibirsk, Astana (Kazakhstan), Helsinki.
- Finliandskii Station: located at ploschad Lenina, now used again for trains to Finland. The luxury express trains Sibelius and Repin for Helsinki. Also trains to Vyborg.
Travellers should always bring their own toilet paper, drinking water and a light snack. Overnight trains, however, particularly between St Petersburg and Moscow, have become quite pleasant - with fresh linens, hot tea and a packaged breakfast included with the price of a ticket. On overnight trains, travellers should purchase a kupe (a four-bed compartment) or lyuks (a two-bed compartment) ticket rather than the platzkart option, which is for a six-bed compartment, often with no door.
If you are entering Russia from a European Union member country, you will need only a Russian visa. But if you enter through Belarus or Ukraine, you will need transit visas for those countries. Be aware, too, that rail passes that serve the rest of Europe do not include Russia.
The rail service is operated by divisions within the Ministry of Railroads, however, it is difficult to obtain rail information from any one source.
The Central Railroad Ticket Office provides some times and fare information, otherwise, travellers should contact the individual stations or visit the stations to view the schedules.