Buying railway tickets Moscow - St. Petersburg

Here is the copy of a letter which I've written to my friend from Brazil when he asked me how to buy tickets to St. Petersburg because he wanted to see both cities.

Buying a ticket for a train is really easy for a russian person but let us see what you can do without knowing russian... First, you can search trains online with google translate. Our main government website is very bad in usability, has no payment option on the english version and crushes its search in russian when using google translate as I knew when trying to find a right link for you. This is it: Also, it could have problems processing foreign bank cards as I see in google search. So this option is nearly impossible to use, shame on Russian Railways' web strategist if there is any.

We have many websites in russian of agencies where you can buy a ticket with nicer interface but you have to pay fee (about 200-400 rubles per ticket I think) or you could just see how many trains are there. For example, this link can show you list of average trains. But I really am not sure if they would take foreign bank card to make a payment or if the using of google translate will not crush the page too because I haven't tried to pay with google translate there.

Second option is to go to the railway station in Moscow but I am not sure if babushkas selling tickets speak English well. Maybe you could write dates and destinations on the paper to show them. This way you not pay any additional fee. Three main railway stations, including Leningradsky which you will need to catch a train to St. Petersburg, are on square Komsomolskaya (metro station Komsomolskaya) but it could be tough experience to walk there. A lot of rush, thieves, drunk or homeless people you should expect near every railway station in Moscow. It's better in St. Petersburg because we have less people.

Third option seems to me the simplest above all mentioned: while walking through Moscow, keep an eye on ticket agencies (with train and airplane signs and word БИЛЕТЫ=tickets) and ask if they sell tickets. They will take a fee but the possibility they know English and you feel better while checking out is much higher. Another reason to choose this way is that agencies often buy tickets in advance for their clients so they have spare tickets even if railway ticket offices have sold everything they had. We have holidays in the beginning of May so people tend to use local tourism options and buy tickets in advance. Many people go from Moscow to St. Petersburg and vice versa as a way to spend there interesting week-end because some tickets are very cheap (though their seats are not so comfortable).

Also, I googled your question and found some english websites selling tickets. Maybe you could try them as a first thing because it could be even more useful (but I never used those):, and the ticket search on

I hope I didn't make your choice harder :)
Good luck!

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