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Real Russian Train Journeys

For many Russians, train is the only practical and cost effective method of travelling within a country that spans eleven time zones and two continents, for foreign travellers it is a unique way to view the grandeur of Russia and experience real Russia and its people first hand.

As a fully licensed, bonded specialist tour operator with direct contracts with the Russian Railways, Real Russia can obtain your Russian rail tickets and have these delivered to the UK, within Russia, anywhere in the world or as an e-ticket. As you would expect, our service is on-line, trackable, competitively priced and managed to the highest standards.

We can help with single, return or multi-leg journeys within Russia, classic journeys such as the Trans-Siberian and also with journeys involving European countries that border or have direct rail links with Russia such as Finland, Poland or the Ukraine.

Winter time changes may affect your train ticket schedule. For more information see our Service status page

What sort of journeys can you get tickets for?

We can get tickets for any train journey where the origin or destination is Russia, and also to, from and within many countries that border Russia including countries such as the Baltics and Finland in the west, Kazakhstan and Mongolia in the east and Georgia and Turkey in the South.

To start planning your journey fill in the form and search, check the train schedules or click on any of the links below for Trans-Siberian journeys.

Click on map to enlarge

Can you help with classic train journeys through Russia?

Yes, some of the most popular trips are those that follow the world's longest single rail journeys; from Moscow to the Pacific city of Vladivostok on the Trans-Siberian, from Moscow to Beijing through the mountains of the old Silk Route on the Trans-Manchurian or the classic Moscow to Beijing via mysterious Mongolia on the Trans-Mongolian.

To start planning your classic journey click on one of the links below.

Click on map to enlarge

And what about European countries that have direct rail links or border Russia?

We can assist with journeys starting or ending in many countries that border or have direct rail links to Russia from Europe, including:

  • The Baltics - Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia
  • Belarus
  • Finland
  • Germany
  • Poland
  • Ukraine

Click on map to enlarge

What is the difference between the ticket classes?

Generally there are three different ticket classes for overnight or long distance trains, these are:

  1. First class, a private cabin with two separate beds, a small table and a luggage storage area.
  2. Second class, a four berth private cabin with two sets of bunk beds, a small table and a luggage storage area.
  3. Third class, an open carriage with up to 50 "shelves" for sleeping.

You may also on certain trains opt for "with services" - this means that you will have bedding prepared for you and on some trains you will receive a meal in your cabin and on some routes free alcoholic and soft drinks. For a full explanation of what services are available on specific trains, please contact our Travel Team at travel@realrussia.co.uk

In some cases, women travelling alone prefer to be in the third class rather than in a private compartment with strangers.

How does it work?

Getting your train tickets through Real Russia is a simple four step process:

  1. Select the type of journey from one the options above
  2. Enter the details about your trip
    Our system will then search the live Russian Railways database and present the results to you with available trains, tickets and current prices.
  3. Select the trains and ticket types you want from the results of available trains
  4. Enter the passenger and delivery details.
    You may then securely pay using a range of options including online, by phone, fax, bank transfer and cheque.

We will then book your tickets and arrange for the delivery. It's that simple!

Why are some of the prices "from" and "to"?

On certain international trains the price is not available through the Russian Railways live database, and we obtain the ticket prices for the exact route, dates and cabin class that you request ensuring that you get the best prices not a standard fixed high price as other companies do.

As the ticket prices change through the year, and in some cases foreigners are charged a different rate, we update our database with this information when people request these routes to show you the range that you can expect to pay.

Further, please be aware that for international trains such as the Trans-Mongolian, the costs of the ticket are considerably cheaper if we can obtain these on an "International Tariff" than the individual domestic leg costs shown in the database.

How can I pay for my tickets?

You may pay for your tickets and delivery online, by phone or fax with your Credit or Debit card, by cheque, postal order, cash or bank transfer. All services must be fully prepaid before we book your tickets and are subject to our standard booking terms and conditions.

Tickets may also be purchased directly from our Moscow office, payment there may be made by Credit or Debit card in Pounds Sterling, or by cash in Russian Roubles.

Sounds good, how can I get my tickets?

We can deliver your tickets in a variety of ways to suit your travel needs, including:

Delivery method Time Cost
Electronic registration by email, ticketless travel (click here for details) 10 Minutes Free
E-ticket by email, ticket on departure(click here for details) 10 Minutes Free
Delivery to a UK address by combined courier and Royal Mail Special Delivery up to 10 working days £12.00
Delivery to a European address by combined courier and Royal Mail Airsure up to 12 working days £15.00
Delivery worldwide by courier 1 to 3 working days POA
Delivery by our driver if you have booked a transfer through us in Moscow or St. Petersburg Delivery on the day Free
Delivery in Moscow or St. Petersburg by city courier to your hotel or apartment As you request £10.00
Collection from our offices in Moscow, St. Petersburg and up to 20 other Russian cities As you request Free
Collection from European booking offices By arrangement POA

Do I have to buy the tickets if I requested them?

No, a request for ticket prices and train options is not a commitment to purchase, we will only obtain your tickets when you instruct us to do so.

Can I cancel tickets I have already purchased and get a refund?

Yes, you can cancel the tickets and you will be refunded based on the following schedule:

  • Before 14 days of travel - 100% less £10.00 per ticket
  • Between 13 to 7 days of travel - 75% less £10.00 per ticket 
  • Within 6 days to 26 hours of travel - 50% less £10.00 per ticket 
  • Within 26 hours of travel – 50% less £25.00 per ticket ** 
  • After the time and day of travel - no refund is possible 

If physical tickets have been issued then we must have these in our possession to issue a refund. If you have the tickets in your possession and you wish to cancel them then you must return them to our Moscow office at your cost, and when we receive them we will use this as the date for calculating the refund, not the date you inform us that you wish to cancel your tickets.

If the booking was made using the e-ticket option and you have not your collected tickets, or, your booking was made with e-registration then we can cancel the booking on receipt of your written request; email, fax or letter. Cancelation requests received by email outside of our Moscow offices working hours (including Russian and other national holidays) will be calculated from the opening time of the next working day and not the date and time you sent your request.

Please note that any courier or postage costs used are not refundable.

** Where the cancellation request is received within 26 hours of travel, we are required to prepare a specific cancellation request and hand courier this to the relevant department in the Russian railways. If we have less than 8 working hours from the time we received the request to lodging it with the Russian railways then we cannot guarantee successful cancelation.

The standard refund schedule is listed above, though for some tickets, especially on international trains, there is a sliding penalty for cancelling them that is dependent upon a wide range of factors including the route, train and railway network operator which means that there may be between a 100% refund to none at all.

When can I book my tickets?

For Russian rail tickets including domestic services such as Moscow to St Petersburg and international services such as the Trans-Mongolian Express, it is not possible to confirm prices or issue the tickets more than 45 days before departure of the train.

Currently the Russian railways are issuing tickets for journeys on or before: 07 June 2014.

If your journey is within 45 days, if they are available we can issue your tickets immediately, however if your journey is more than 45 days away to help you with budgeting and planning of your trip we offer the following facilities:

  • You may reserve a ticket up to 180 days before departure of the train without payment.
  • Within 75 days of departure of the train we will confirm in writing the current ticket price(s) for your requested journey.
  • Within 60 days of departure full payment at the current ticket price is required to maintain the reservation or your request will be automatically cancelled.
  • On day 45 before departure (the day the tickets become available for sale) we will book and issue the ticket and an adjustment of the ticket price paid may be made, that is either you will need to pay or we will refund the difference between the pre-payment and the final price.
  • Refunds of pre-payments and cancellation of ticket requests may be made up to the point we actually book your tickets without penalty. All such requests must be made in writing and be acknowledged by us in writing to be effective.

Such a mechanism is extremely useful especially when booking popular routes such as the Trans-Siberian or specific trains such as the Nicolivsky Express during the summer months when the tickets can sell out within days.

How to read a Russian train ticket

You can now view our guide on how to read a Russian train ticket here.

Is there such a thing as a "Rail Pass" that allows me to hop on and off trains as I want?

Unfortunately there is no such ticket or option in Russia, if you are planning a multi-leg journey or travelling along a classic route such as the Trans-Siberian then you may either need to book each ticket as a separate leg in advance or as a single journey with nominated stopovers.

Unless you speak good Russian and are familiar with the notoriously unfriendly government booking offices or have a real "spirit of adventure" we don't recommend that you attempt to buy your tickets as you go.

What about time zone differences?

Almost (yes almost!) all trains in Russia are quoted on Moscow time, which depending where you are in Russia can vary by up to 8 hours from local time! We quote Moscow time as dictated by the train schedules, though you also have the option to view the times in local time. We will confirm with you when you request your tickets both the local and Moscow times for train departures.

Also, please note that many hotels and apartments have set check in or check out times, usually around midday. So, if for example you are taking the midnight train from Moscow arriving in St Petersburg in the morning, your hotel may require you to check out up to 12 hours before your train departs and you may need to wait up to 6 hours before you can check in on arrival at St. Petersburg.

In such cases you may either book the hotel or apartment for a half day, allowing early check in or late check out, or see if the hotel has an area you may place you luggage. Another alternative is to ask us to book you a sauna on arrival where you may freshen up before going onto your accommodation.

Can you help me with my visas as well?

Yes, of course we can. Real Russia is the number one independent Russian visa processing company in the UK and our service is fully inclusive with no hidden "extras" such as invitation/visa support document costs.

If you need multiple visas, for example if you are travelling overland from London to Beijing on the Trans-Mongolian, then we can process all required visas "back to back" and return your passport with all visas when they are complete.

Further, if required, for example due to your travel plans, our office in Moscow can provide a one stop shop to process Belarusian, Chinese, Kazakh and Mongolian visas for most nationalities. Please see the links above, contact us directly or email moscow@realrussia.co.uk for details.

How do I find the station, my train, the carriage or even read the ticket?

A very good question we are often asked! If you book a transfer to the station in Moscow or St. Petersburg with us, then our driver will take you directly to the station to make sure you get on the right train. Please note that we offer discounts on transfers to those who have also booked train tickets through us as well.

However, if you are making your own way there then please see the following guide for further information:

Emergency Assistance

If you’re in need of assistance whilst travelling we offer a dedicated 24 hour telephone support service.. 

For all emergencies you can call us on +44 (0) 207 100 7370 where our operators are available to provide help 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

If you experience problems whilst away, our team can offer guidance and support. If for example you have mislaid your passport, you are experiencing difficulty boarding a train or any number of other travel issues, call our emergency helpline for immediate assistance.

I have further questions, can you help me?

Yes, while we try to make the information and services on our site as clear, complete and honest as possible, if you have further questions please feel free to contact us and we will be happy to help, or browse through our forums and ask others who may have the answers you are looking for.

London 19:13
Moscow 22:13
Vladivostok 05:13