Getting around in Russia
Russia is a big place. The eight hours it takes by train from Moscow to St Petersburg is hardly a long journey by Russian standards … not when you consider that a trip on the famous Trans-Siberian Railway takes almost 7 days! So what’s the best way to travel long distances and discover this fascinating country? Here are the options.
Trains are often the best way of travelling around Russia. Rail travel in Russia is well developed, and even the most far-flung parts of the country can be reached by train. And it’s generally about half the price of flying. There are three options available, depending on your route: the latest high-speed trains which can reach speeds of up to 250 kilometres per hour and which mainly run from Moscow and St Petersburg; long-distance trains, the ‘workhorses’ of the Russian railway system with their sleeping cars, Pullman and dormitory cars, and seat-only option (super-cheap, but uncomfortable for long journeys); and the extensive network of electric trains, the ‘flesh and blood’ of the suburban commuter.
Planes are ideal for tourists with limited time who want to see as much as possible. A flight lasting 5-8 hours would take two or three days by train. Of course, air travel is more expensive, but with around 300 airports all over the country and a huge range of flights to choose from, travelling by air is generally the quickest way to get around.
Russia's inter-city coach network is also well developed. Almost every major city has several bus stations for coaches to the suburbs and more distant cities. Coaches between major cities are regular, while some small towns have coaches 2-3 times a week. Slower than trains, they’re generally quite a bit cheaper, and provide a great way to get to small towns with no railway station.
For all your travel needs, there’s only one place to go – RNTO. Check out the website for details.