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Public transport in St. Petersburg


I plan to take public transport in St. Petersburg during my stay. So what is the best and cheapest way for me to buy tickets and where can I buy them?

Take my word - you will use ONLY metro. Buses, trolleybuses and trams exist but they pass rarely and their schedule is unpredictable. You can take a ride in the local tram for fun but I would not recommend you consider seriously anything but metro for the transportation.

So let us concentrate on how to pay for the rides in it. You need to choose between following options:

  • Tokens: 1 token - 1 ride without time limit.
  • Contactless electronic smart card: You buy a card and then can load it (you can get a small discount by purchasing a number of journeys with a fixed time limit.)
If you live in the city very center I would advise you to buy the tokens. If however you need to use metro every day, a card with time limit would be more convenient.

How to buy the card for several rides in the metro?

In every metro station there are at least 2 if not more windows where the women sell tokens and cards. Be prepared to explain yourself in Russian. To get what you want you have to make clear for the poor woman:
  • do you want token(s) or card?
  • if a card, then for how many trips?
  • with time limit or without?
Unfortunately one-day or 3-day cards for all types of transport do not exist - they are only available for 1 month periods, so are unsuitable for normal tourists.

Try to pronounce the following (' means a stress):
  • Odin zhet'on (one token)
  • Tri zhet'ona (three tokens)
  • K'artochka d'esyat po'ezdok s ogranich'eniem (a card for 10 trips valid for 1 week)
If you feel helpless to communicate with lady who does not understand you try to find someone young around and ask for an assistance.

To use the metro card simply place it against the reader situation on the turnstile. A green light will be displayed and you can pass through.

If you have problems of any kind with passing through the turnstiles, every station has a person on duty responsible for assistance in such cases. Go to the person in the booth next to the turnstiles and try to explain your problem. The person will speak no English of course but most probably will have a pity to poor foreigner and let you pass at no charge through the passage next to the booth.
 +Tatiana Collins+