I've enjoyed the convenience of train travel around Europe, and I find it superior to air travel in many ways. Even though I haven't taken the train in Russia, this article has provided some inspiration.
So you explored the Northern Capital of Russia and seen all it has to offer from the romantic canal ways and colorful church of the Savior to one of world's biggest collection of art in the Hermitage Museum? You might wonder what is there left for you to do? We have an answer to that. Hop on the Sapsan high-speed train and make your way to the actual capital of Russia - Moscow. The train is the fastest and most convenient way to travel between the cities and today we would like to tell you why it should be your number one choice for getting to Moscow.
Let's begin with some train characteristics. The train consists of six coach classes, which include Economy, Economy Plus, Dining, Conference, Business and the First classes. The latter category is the experience in itself, as it is the most comfortable type of coach onboard the high-speed train and has many more perks to it. Firstly, the adjustable wide leather seats are not only great because of the high level of comfort they provide, but they also can be turned in the direction of traveling and even reclined to an almost horizontal position, and who doesn't love a good nap on a train? Across all of the coaches, the train can take up to 1100 passengers on one journey. Other essential Sapsan features to mention are large panoramic windows, ample legroom, toilet facilities in each coach, snack carts and the travel assistant at the information desk, who can book transfer tickets or taxi for you. Souvenirs are also available on the train too.
What is also important to note, that Sapsan train is convenient not only in its facilities onboard or the short traveling length but also with the frequent departures throughout a day. The usual numbers of traveling times between the capitals vary from a dozen to fourteen departures. Last interesting fact regarding train information is the departure and arrival stations. Moscow's Leningradsky rail station and Saint Petersburg's Moskovsky rail station were built under the same project and are architectural twins, which helps travelers find their way in both of the destinations.
Now on to the actual traveling experience. You are probably wondering what the scenery is like on the St. Petersburg to Moscow route. Well, it can't compare with the Trans-Siberian journey where you pass by the mountains and lakes, but the view outside the window can is still quite delightful. However, there is more to do than just looking out the window, so make use of the reading materials provided, visit a bar or treat yourself to lunch at the dining class, watch something interesting on your TV set (if you're traveling on the first class).
Finally, if you are still not convinced that including a trip on Sapsan during your Russia vacation is a good idea, let's take a look at the alternatives. The first option is to hop on the bus. While you might save on your ticket (the ticket is usually around 20 dollars), you will lose on time, as you will reach Moscow in 12 hours, compared to less than 4 hours on Sapsan. Your second alternative is to travel by car. While slightly faster than the bus and also giving you the freedom to plan any stops along the way, it strips you of the time you could spend exploring Moscow as driving to the capital will take you about 9 hours (and a lot of your energy too). The third option you have is to fly from one city to another. What might sound like a short, convenient journey (flight is only 1h and 20mins), the time adds up as both of the airports are outside the cities, plus, you need to leave time for check-in and boarding the plane. The hustle is real with every option, so we suggest to consider all of them wisely and make the right choice.
To summarize, if you wish to explore the urban side of Russia then, the most time-saving and convenient way is the high-speed train Saint Petersburg to Moscow. What is more, the departure and arrival stations are identical, so it is easy to navigate them and avoid feeling lost or confused. The train time is less than four hours which makes the journey pleasant and leaves you more time for exploring the cities. Lastly, the quality and price of the experience are unmatched by any other traveling alternative between the Russian capitals.