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Public Transport in St. Petersburg

How to get around the city and the wonders of the Metro worth seeing
Public Transport in St. Petersburg
How to get around the city and the wonders of the Metro worth seeing
One of the busiest cities in Europe can boast a very efficient and reliable public transport system: ecological trams and trolleybuses and the "the palaces for the people" or simply the Metro, convenient and stunningly beautiful. Learn how to navigate the city and do a bit of sightseeing on the way!

Metro is the most efficient and fastest transport in St.Petersburg. Why is it so good?
  • 5 lines and 72 stations serve around 2 million passengers daily in 2020.
  • In rush hours there will be trains every 2 minutes, but even in the middle of the day, it won't take more than 4-5 minutes to wait for another train. You can forget about the traffic jams with it.
  • The good news is that it is very easy to navigate and has a lot of maps and schemes in Russian and in English.
  • The price is very attractive too: you pay less than a dollar for the entrance and you can go wherever you want. You don't have to pay extra for the length of the journey or if you need to change lines. As long as you stay in the underground you can explore all the stations and spend the whole day there sightseeing and contemplating amazing Soviet-style stations with heavy chandeliers and elaborate mosaics at the price of just 55 roubles.
  • And yes, chandeliers and mosaics! St.Petersburg metro is very clean and the oldest stations that date back to the 1950s look simply magnificent with all the marble, sculptures and other rich decorations. New stations keep opening every few years and the modern ones are also beautiful and each of them has its own distinctive style.
Did you know?
The Metro in St.Petersburg is the deepest in the world. Admiralteyskaya station is as deep as 86 metres below ground. It was a miracle of an engineering thought to provide the city with the underground system as there are so many rivers and canals and the soil is quite swampy in the area. So you might want to prepare an interesting book for your long journeys up and down endless escalators in St.Petersburg or at least you may be sure you'll have enough time to check your e-mail, Instagram and Facebook.

Unlike in Moscow, there are still metal tokens for the entrance in the Metro in St.Petersburg (as well as travel passes). They look like metal coins. It was a conscious decision to stick to the tradition and it adds some charm to traveling through the Soviet-style stations.

Useful information:
  • You can find a Metro station in St.Petersburg if you look out for a sign with a blue M letter in the white background.
  • The working hours of the majority of stations are from 5:45 a.m. - 00:45 a.m.
  • On public holidays public transport can function overnight, like on the New Year's Eve, May 1st-2d, May 9th-10th or such huge St.Petersburg events as the Scarlet Sails Festivals and the Night of Museums.
  • There are different doors for the entrance and the exit so that people don't bump into each other in rush hours.
  • You can buy a token for one ride in a Metro or a travel pass from a cashier at the entrance or from a ticket vending machine (there are instructions in English).
  • There is a huge variety of travel passes. The most important thing to remember is that you are most likely to need the one for all kinds of transport: the Metro and the surface transport like buses, trams and trolleybuses:
  1. All-transport travel pass from 1 day — up to 7 days that will cost from 185 roubles - 705 respectively.
  2. Only Metro Travel Card for 10/ 20/ 40/ 70 Journeys within a period of 7/ 15/ 30/ 90 days respectively - 370 / 705/ 1350/ 3850 roubles.
  3. «Podorozhnik» card or the Standard Electronic Ticket is the most popular - it allows passengers to use the public transport as many times as the amount of money held on the card allows. Note that the more you travel, the less money is withdrawn for each journey. You can replenish the card at the cashier's at any Metro entrance or with the help of a ticket vending machine.
  4. Monthly all-transport pass (tram, trolleybus, bus, Metro) - 3 015 roubles. This kind of a pass for students who study in St.Petersburg will be considerably cheaper - 1 075 roubles.
  5. If you need to, you can buy a monthly pass only for buses, or trams, or trams and buses, so you can choose any combination possible with the means of transport available in St.Petersburg.

And another bit of useful information:
  • You need to put a token into a slit at the right side of a turnstile to get in or validate a travel pass again at the right side of a turnstile.
  • There will always be maps of the area around the stations, the overall map of the metro in the city and of the line with all the possible interchanges in English and Russian with all the train stations and the airport marked. However, it is always nice to have a map of your own either in paper or in your smartphone.
  • If you have trouble finding your way, you can ask the staff wearing blue uniforms or other passengers for help.
  • +7-800-350-11-55 is the telephone number of the Metro help desk. Passengers with reduced mobility can dial the number and call or ask the staff for help and the necessary support will be provided at all the required stations. Information will be sent over to the staff of the station of destination or the interchange station.
  • Every platform is equipped with an emergency button and a touchscreen that you can use to find any necessary information.
  • When you need to choose the direction at a platform, pay attention to the name of the stops at the end of this line and take the one you need. There are always lots of maps around with all the stations of the line on them so that you don't get lost. If you can cross over to another line at some stop, it will be marked with a different colour on a map.
  • The names of the stations are announced at every stop.
  • The doors on trains open and close automatically.
  • Free wi-fi is available.
Metro stations in St.Petersburg can be real works of art!
Go on a challenge and try to see as many of them as you can!
They can be roughly divided into three categories:
1. Splendid early-Soviet stations from the 1950s with elaborate decoration:
especially the ones down the red line №1: Pl. Vosstaniya, Pushkinskaya, Technologichesky Institut, Baltiyskaya, Narvskaya, Kirovsky Zavod, Avtovo with ornamented glass columns, mosaics, marble and heavy chandeliers, everything that we expect from an old-Soviet chic.
Vladimirskaya on the orange line №4 and Moskovskiye Vorota on the green line №2 are also very beautiful.

2. More modest but still very stylish late-Soviet stations:
Ozerki, Udelnaya, Chyornaya Rechka that belong to the blue line №2;
Ploshchad Alexandra Nevskogo, named after a medieval Russian hero with a golden decoration reminding of a chain armor, Ladozhskaya and Novocherkasskaya (orange line № 4);
Akademicheskaya on the 1st red line and many-many others.

3. The richly decorated modern stations built throughout the last 20 years that very often highlight some specific historical local detail. Each of them has its own decoration «theme»: history of the navy or early years of Russian aviation:
Begovaya and Novokrestoskaya on the 3d green line are the newest, they were opened right on time for the World Cup;
the purple line № 5 is very new and it is on this line that you can find the deepest station in the world - Admiralteyskaya and many other elaborately decorated modern stations: Komendantsky Prospekt, Obvodny Kanal, Zvenigorodkaya, Mezhdunarodnaya, Bukharestskaya, Prospect Slavy.

The surface transport is quite varied in St. Petersburg. You can choose a tram, a bus or a trolleybus to explore the city. One of their greatest advantages is that you can do a bit of sightseeing while getting around the city.

Important to know:
  • Since the 2018 FIFA World Cup that took place in Russia all bus stops are provided with maps of all the routes of trams, buses and trolleybuses that you can take at this particular bus stop. You can find similar maps inside transport too.
  • To easily navigate around the city you can use Yandex Transport App that will recommend you the best route and will show how close or far away this or that bus or tram is from you.
  • Pay attention to the signs at the public transport stops - if it is the one for buses, trams or trolleybuses. Sometimes stops for different kinds of transport are 5 metres away from each other, sometimes you'll have to walk for a minute, especially if it is a stop for a tram.
  • If you have an all-transport «Podorozhnik» travel card, you'll have to validate it inside your transport at a special orange card reader. A conductor may check your card later.
  • If you don't have any kind of pass or travel card, you can buy a ticket from a conductor wearing an orange uniform vest.

Whatever transport you choose, we are sure that you will enjoy your time exploring St.Petersburg!