Arriving in St. Petersburg

 

Arriving by Plane
International flights arrive in St. Petersburg at Pulkovo-2, while internal flights arrive at Pulkovo-1. Both are about 17 kilometers south of the city center, the trip in to the city centre usually takes an hour by public transport and a half an hour by taxi. If you need to get from one terminal to another, there is a bus that takes 20 to 30 minutes to make the trip.

Pulkovo-2 has frequent, direct service flights to most major European capitals, and several daily flights to Moscow (a 1 1/2 hour trip).

By far the cheapest way to get into the city is to catch the No. 13 bus, which stops at the bus stop located between the separate arrival and departure buildings of international terminal Pulkovo-2. It's a normal city bus, which (after several stops and about a 15-20 minute ride) will stop at the nearest metro station, Moskovskaya. Additionally, a marshrutnoye taksi runs frequently to and from Moskovskaya С meaning that for only a couple of rubles more, you'll be guaranteed a seat on a minibus.

Taxi drivers are always available, though chances are it will cost you big bucks. It is better to have someone meet you or arrange to send a car in advance, especially for early morning flights. As for taxi fares, much will depend upon your level of Russian, familiarity with the city, general ability to haggle with the driver in a good-spirited manner, as well as which airport you're coming from. From international Pulkovo-2 into the center, the vulture-like taxi drivers that tend to hover around day and night might charge any amount they please, especially if it's late at night or early in the morning and buses aren't running. Here, prices could range from $30 at the door of the terminal, to a more reasonable $5-$7 if you successfully hail a driver on the road nearby. From domestic terminal Pulkovo-1, an average taxi might run about $12-$15, though similarly it would be cheaper to hail a cab from the road.

Arriving by Train
There are five major train stations in St. Petersburg and all of them are easily accessible by the metro. International trains will have had customs check at the border, and not at the station С this means you should double check in advance for particular requirements, including transit visas and the like, as successfully buying a ticket does not guarantee a successful arrival.

Moskovsky Station (Metro: Ploshchad Vosstania or Mayakovskaya) Daily trains to Moscow run frequently, and most take approx. 7-8 hours, with overnight sleepers being the recommended choice. There is one train by the name of ER200 which will do the trip in about 4 hours, though it is rumoured not to be for those with weak stomachs. In general, be advised to buy tickets well in advance, especially for weekend travel, as this is always a popular route. The station also serves the Far North, Central Asia, Crimea, and the Caucuses.

Finlandsky Station (Metro: Ploshchad Lenina) Trains running to Helsinki another destinations in the north-western area.

Varshavsky Station (Metro: Baltiskaya) Serving Pskov, the Baltics, and Eastern Europe.

Baltiysky Station (Metro: Baltiskaya) For local/suburban services only.

Vitebsky Station (Metro: Pushkinskaya) Serves Belarus, Kiev, Odessa.

Arriving by Bus
Bus Stations
There are two main bus stations in St. Petersburg. Avtovokzal 1, located at 118 Naberezhnaya Obvodnogo Kanala (Metro: Baltiyskaya), has services to northern destinations such as Vyborg,and Karelia.

Avtovokzal 2 at 36 Naberezhnaya Obvodnogo Kanala (Metro: Ligovsky Prospect) servicing cities to the south, east, and the Baltics, including Moscow, Novgorod, and Pskov.

To/from Finland
Several busses run daily to and from Helsinki from the Oktyabrskaya Hotel, opposite the Moskovsky Station, and cost only about $10 (a bargain).


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