Transport system in St Petersburg is well-developed. The centre of the city where main attractions can be found is quite walkable and not too big, but you may need public transport to get to/from the airport, to reach train stations, not too central places of interest or just to save time. Keep in mind that you can pay only in cash in public transport and small bonds ( 50, 100 rubles) are preferable especially in ground transport as the driver may not have enough change.
Metro is the fastest and most effective mean of public transport in St Petersburg and, what is more, some stations are real pieces of art. The entrance to the metro is marked with M sigh.
There are many ticket options, but I will name the most useful for a short stay:
- A token ( жетон, pronounced like «jeton» in Russian) is used for a single journey. You need to insert it in a small coin-like window in the automat to go to the trains. Price is 28 rubles – about 1$ (may be subject to change)
- 10 trips for 7 days card ( kartochka na syem dney). Is valid for a week from the date of purchase and can be used for 10 metro rides only.
You can buy tickets in the vestibule of each metro station. Metro is the favorite means of transport in St petersburg, so it’s quite busy, but trains arrive one after another.
The working time of metro stations varies ,but in general, metro functions from 5:30 or 06:00 till 0:30
NB: The next station is announced right before arrival to the previous stations. There are plans of metro lines inside the wagon, but no indicator panels that show the next stop, so listen attentively!
The metro map is below:
Trams, buses and trolleybuses in St Petersburg
Trams and buses in St Petersburg generally run from 05:45 till midnight. The price of the ticket is 25 rubles. You buy tickets from the conductor. Here is a site that can help you to find the right route of public transport , but you need to know the name of the streets in Russian or English http://spb.rusavtobus.ru/en/ But keep in mind that sometimes routs may change because of construction works, etc.
Commercial buses (marshrutka) – popular alternative means of transport
Commercial buses are called «marshrutka» by citizens and they are one of the most popular means of transport in St Petersburg. They are often marked with K sign before the route number , but run more frequently than state buses , don’t stop at every stop if nobody wants to get in or out and are more expensive than normal buses. You pay directly to the driver at the entrance. The stops are not announced, so you need to warn the driver beforehand LOUDLY where you want to exit. To be sure ask other passengers to help you as the driver won’t most probably speak English, but in any case marshrutkas are really helpful, especially if you are a budget traveler and want to get to the suburbs such as Peterhof.
For more information on transport in Saint-Petersburg check these posts:
metro in St petersburg
Discover St Petersburg underground palaces with our Metro tour