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St Petersburg Russia - Tallinn Estonia Train Review

New York City, New...
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St Petersburg Russia - Tallinn Estonia Train Review

If you're heading from St. Petersburg to Tallinn, the most convenient way by far is to take the train.

This particular train service started in July 2015. It originates in Moscow, departing from St. Petersburg's Moskovski station daily at 6:25 am, making 5 stops before arriving in Tallinn at 1:43 pm. The border crossing takes some time - 40 minutes on the Russian side, 45 minutes on the Estonian side - but is relaxed and convenient. Immigration and customs officers come to you while you lounge on the train. The timetable can be found here: http://www.gorail.ee/en/timetable/

While 7 hours and 18 minutes may seem long, the alternatives are just as bad, but can include the need to transfer. For example, taking the high-speed train from St. Petersburg to Helsinki, transferring from the train station to the Helsinki-Tallinn ferry, then actually taking the ferry can take longer and be very strenuous if you're bogged down with lots of luggage. A workable alternative is taking the bus, which I've heard is pretty good, but leaves late at night with the dreaded long stop at the border.

There are 3 classes of train service, 3rd class (essentially a seat), 2nd class sleeper cabin with 4 births (2 lower and 2 upper), and 1st class sleeper cabin with 2 lower births. We were 3 persons, my wife, mother and me, with a massive amount of luggage, and chose 2 x 1st class sleeper cabins. Yes, the cost was a bit higher as we had to pay for 4 spots, us being 3 travelers, but this allowed us to properly store all our luggage while comfortably settling in for the long 7 hour train ride. Note: there are no washrooms in the cabins, just one shared on each train carriage.

The ride included meals and unlimited hot water, however you had to pay for coffee, a nominal approx. 86 rubles (I can’t recall exactly). Weirdly, they have a strange calculations on how many meals you get: 1 meal for 2 persons, 3 meals for 4 persons. Not the best food though - we had our hotel prepare us a breakfast box which came in handy.

We thoroughly enjoyed the ride. It was comfortable, and the staff was great. Border crossing was an breeze, and we arrived rested for our stay in Tallinn. If you’re going from St Petersburg to Tallinn, or vice-versa, this is a great way to make that journey.

8 replies to this topic
Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: St Petersburg Russia - Tallinn Estonia Train Review

Thanks for the report, useful and interesting information.

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2. Re: St Petersburg Russia - Tallinn Estonia Train Review

Don't be put off with 3rd class on this train! If I were travelling between St Petersburg & Tallinn I would go for the seat as you get to see more and have more interaction with fellow travellers.

The sleeping compartments are really aimed at the through traffic to Moscow which is an overnight train.

Out if interest where did you / how did you buy your ticket?


New York City, New...
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3. Re: St Petersburg Russia - Tallinn Estonia Train Review

Purchased the tickets on the official Russian railroad site: http://pass.rzd.ru/main-pass/public/en. Takes some fiddling around, but it works just fine.

Wales, United...
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4. Re: St Petersburg Russia - Tallinn Estonia Train Review

Interesting review. May want to post a link on the Tallinn forum as well.

Thanks for sharing.

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5. Re: St Petersburg Russia - Tallinn Estonia Train Review


I saw your write on this and wanted to check with you on some finer detail. I have bought my tickets for my family of 3 from St Peterburg to Tallinn. My worry is getting to the right departing station / platform on time at Moskovski station. Any advice or guidance you can give? I have a 4 years old with me so I need to be sure I get to the right place earlier to avoid missing the train. Thanks for your help. Appreciate. Pua

Moscow, Russia
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6. Re: St Petersburg Russia - Tallinn Estonia Train Review

The guidance is simple. YOu arrive to Moscovskiy station in St. Petersburg, walk through the station building, and look at the departure board. Departures are shown in Russian, English and Chinese, you train has a universal language number and departure date, same as in your ticket. The board will show departure platform. Then you walk to your train, reach your carriage and board. You need a passport to show to the attendant while entering the carriage. Enjoy!

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7. Re: St Petersburg Russia - Tallinn Estonia Train Review

do the trains generally run to time?

Do you need to get to the station about 30 min early.

Is it safe for a woman travelling on her own at that time in the morning at the station.

Thanks for your help

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8. Re: St Petersburg Russia - Tallinn Estonia Train Review

do the trains run on time generally from St Petersburg to Tallin?

Is it safe for a woman on her own at 6.00am at the station? I imagine there would be a lot of people about at that time.

Also is 30 mins before the train sufficient time prior to departure

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