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Russian Train tickets
How to read a Russian train ticket (begins from left):
number of train, date of departure, hour of departure, number of carriage, type of ticket;
city of departure, city of arrival, type of train;
place in train;
number of passport/name of passenger in Russian;
total price, time of arrival;
Buying tickets for Russian trains is not such an easy task - even for locals. Russian rail tickets can be purchased from ticket offices directly at the train station or through a travel agency.
In Russia, it is impossible to reserve train tickets - passengers must always purchase their Russian train tickets first in order to secure their travel dates. The tickets go on sale 45 days before the actual train departure. There are also no open tickets for Russian trains - you will have to buy a ticket for a particular train on a certain date. In order to purchase tickets, you have to present your passport - no other documents are acceptable (except for a Russian military pass or Russian civil servant card). It is usually possible to purchase a ticket by only showing a passport copy or even just giving your passport number to the ticket agent, however you must be aware that documents are checked when boarding the train and there will be trouble if your documents do not match what is written on the ticket. There is no double pricing system for foreigners applied to rail tickets as there frequently is with theater tickets, so tickets are the same price whether you are Russian or not.
In summer is the peak season for traveling and it's better to organize your journey in advance. This also applies to late spring and early autumn. If you plan on traveling during these periods, it is important to book your tickets in advance, at least a few weeks but even better - over 1 month ahead of your desired departure date. Moreover, if you want to get the cheapest ticket possible then book even earlier, because prices tend to increase, when there is more demand for tickets. In June, for example, it is hard to get tickets in Moscow a week before you desired departure date. Your only option might be the most expensive ticket in the most extravagant VIP train, instead of having options for something more convenient that fit your personal needs and budget.
Getting your Russian train ticket is quite easy but there are a few things you should know. First, you have to remember to purchase the tickets in advance, especially to the popular destinations such as Southern Russia, Central Russia and the Trans-Siberian route. You can buy tickets at the railway stations and in special ticket offices as well as from travel agencies and some Internet ticket offices. If you choose a travel agency they will save you some time and make the process of getting the tickets very smooth for you, but at the same time they will charge an extra service fee for every purchased ticket. Usually the fee is not high, but the service is very good - it really beats standing in line at the ticket office for up to 3 hours. In Russia, as was stated before, it is possible to purchase a ticket up to 45 days in advance of your trip but not more than 45 days. On the most traveled destination routes like Moscow to St. Petersburg there are lots of trains, which travel back and forth, so it is always possible to get a ticket even on the same day as your desired departure date, but these tickets will probably be the most expensive options. Getting your ticket might also take some time unless you are willing to pay an extra fee by ordering tickets though a travel company. If not, you have to wait in line for at least a half an hour and have your money prepared, because it is impossible to reserve a spot - you must always actually buy the ticket and refunds are possible but you will lose a substantial part of the fare when you return your ticket. Lost or damaged tickets cannot be reissued, so be careful once you receive your ticket and keep it in a safe place. And remember you can take up to 36 kg of luggage with you loading the train. Buy your St. Petersburg Moscow train tickets today.
Read our guide to Russian train tickets and learn how to read your ticket and more
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