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How to get to the World Cup 2018

Are you planning your Interrail trip for this summer? Remember that the world's most-watched sporting event is happening right next door in Russia. The FIFA World Cup kicks off in June, and with your Interrail Pass you can get pretty close to the action. So why not take a little detour for a once-in-a-lifetime experience of going wild with football fans from around the world? We'll tell you the best ways to get to Russia by train and throw in some travel tips from our experts!

 

Can I get to Russia with Interrail?

There are several ways you can combine your trip to Russia with your Interrail trip. Start your journey by exploring Scandinavia, do a stop in Russia, and then continue to mainland Europe, or vice versa. Although your Pass will not get you into Russia, you can get very close indeed and switch to one of the many convenient trains, busses and ferries available. And if you travel with a flexible Interrail Pass, you won't lose any travel days!

 

How to get to Russia?

Option 1: Finland to St. Petersburg

There is a plethora of trains, busses, ferries and trains available between Finland to St. Petersburg. With the cheapest ticket to St. Petersburg costing only €13 (bus), this trip will not make you go over your travel budget. Use your Interrail Pass to get to Helsinki, Lappeenranta or Imatra and then plan your transportation to St. Petersburg with companies like GoEuro or Rome2Rio.

 

Option 2: Europe to Russia

Any Europe – Russia trains can be found at Russian Rail. You can travel to either Moscow or St. Petersburg from Warsaw, Prague, Berlin, Budapest and many other European cities. Remember that these trains do not run every day. Also, don’t let the long train rides scare you – enjoy a cup of tea, relax and prepare to explore.

 

Option 3: Sweden/Norway/Finland to St. Petersburg

Check out the ferries between Sweden/Norway/Finland and St. Petersburg at St. Peter Line Ferries. It's a magical thing to watch Scandinavia disappear in the fjords and enter the city of Peter the Great by water. Other benefits of travelling by ferry is getting a visa-free journey into Russia as part of organised excursion group up to 3 days. Make sure to look up the exact regulations.

 

Option 4: Flying

Don't forget that flying is also an option, if you're looking for a quick way of getting around, consider taking a plane.

 Coupe compartment in a long-journey train
Coupe compartment in a long-journey train

Long journey trains in Russia

To buy train tickets between different cities in Russia, visit the official Russian Rail website. You can also buy tickets at the train station, or at one of the many specialised ticket stores. The convenience and comfort of Russian night trains will surprise you. Most Russian long-journey trains have three classes:
 

  1. The third class is called platzkart. Platzkart is an open couchette car with upper and lower level berths. It is perfect for journeys that take less than 24hr.

  2. The second class is called coupe. Coupe is a private 4 people compartment, with two upper and lowers berths. It's great if you are looking for more comfort and quiet time. This class is most convenient for travelling with family, or when you're doing a long journey across Russia.

  3. The first class is called the SV. There are only two beds in this private compartment, and depending on how long the train ride is, there are showers as well. It's not common to use them, thus not every train has a SV compartment.

Travel Tips: How to travel Russian style

Russian Train drinking tea
  • Take some coffee/tea, instant noodles, and snacks. Every long-journey train in Russia has hot water available at all times and there most likely will be a restaurant wagon to eat at as well.

  • Also bring cups, plates and utensils.

  • Bring some comfortable clothes and slippers for longer journeys.

  • Don't forget playing cards and a book so you can entertain yourself.

  • Most importantly – socialise with your fellow train travellers and enjoy the ride.

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