Metro, Saint Petersburg
As to be expected with any European city St Petersburg has a comprehensive public transport system. This comprises: buses, trolley-buses, water taxis and as the jewel in its crown the Metro.
During my three days, this visit, I used the Metro extensively, at all sorts of times of the day including late at night. I found it simple to navigate, the trains were frequent and reliable, and despite sometimes being very busy it is clean and comfortable. It also felt very safe.
There are five radial lines, with a sixth under construction, with interchanges around the city centre. The Metro starts up at 05.45 and runs until 00.30, with the last connections in the city centre about 00.15. Trains run roughly every two minutes and because the stations are about a kilometre, or more, apart the trains travel at a decent speed.
The St Petersburg Metro is quite a recent construction, with its first line opening in November 1955. Because of the city's rivers and geology the system had to be built deep underground and further because of the then "Cold War" the stations were constructed at sufficient depth so that they could double up as nuclear bomb shelters, complete with blast doors and air filtration systems - it is in fact the deepest metro in the world with its deepest station, Admiralteyskeya 86 metres below ground.
The stations are often a delight in their own right with several of the older ones ornately decorated in the Stalinist/Soviet style such as Prospekt Veteranov in the main picture. Another interesting feature of some of the stations is the use of "Platform Screen Doors". St Petersburg was the first metro to use these, whereby the track is walled off from the station. The doors from the platform align with the train doors and only open when the train has arrived. These were intended partly as a safety feature to prevent accidents and suicides, and in planning for future driverless trains. These however proved to be expensive to install and maintain and their use in St Petersburg was discontinued.
The idea though was well-ahead of its time and many modern transit systems around the world have installed, or retrofitted, variations of platform screen doors.
At the time of writing, June 2014, a single fare was 28 roubles, valid for any length of journey, including line changes. Entry to the system is by means of tokens, or smart cards, which are available from the cash desks or machines. I've only used the tokens which I've bought from the token machines. The machines take rouble coins and notes up to 100 roubles and dispense the required tokens, plus change if applicable.
Finding your away around is very simple. The stations are well signposted in Cyrillic and Latin characters, along with plenty of schematic maps and direction signs to the various exits and interchanges. The only thing to be aware of is that where there is an interchange the stations have different names, depending on the line.
Also note that photography is now permitted in the Metro, but without flash or tripod use.
Using the metro is very easy. Cost 28 roubles. You are given a voucher that you place in slot as you walk through. Note there is a separate entrance to the exit. There are plenty of signs indicating stations in the subway station and in the train itself. (See photos)It is all very easy. Trains seem to run every minute or 2 minutes so Russians don't hurry to catch the train. The escalators to and from the station itself are unbelievably long and high or low depending on which way you are going.(see video)
The metro in Saint Petersburg is very easy to use, safe, and some of the metro stations look like art galleries Inside.
The metro is very cheap and you can travel pretty far with it, so it is very practical if you want to get out of the city centre. We used it for instance to get to the island Krestovsky, and to get to the Alexander Nevsky Monastery.
The bad thing about the metro is that there are often great distances between the stations, so you must be prepared to walk.
There are no day cards. like in other big cities, but you can buy tokens. For one token you can travel wherever you want, what-ever the lenght of your journey.
Prices: 28 Rub. per token, 10 tokens for 265 Rub. or 20 tokens for 485 Rub.
It is useful to have a metro map which is written in both cyrillic and latin letters as well as a map that shows the city itself with metro stations on it. There are plenty of maps that you can print out from the Internet.
Frankly, in terms of public transport, I wasn't that impressed. The metros just didn't take me anywhere close to where I wanted to go that I couldn't walk to or close enough to a destination without a gigantic walk at the other end! But that might just be me!
The metros run on tokens. Buy your tokens and then 1 token per journey into the barrier.
The metros are deep because they go under the river. You know they are going to go under the river when there are protective barriers along the platforms! Great - if the tunnels burst those o the tubes die because they cannot excape but at least those in the stations get a fighting chance!!!
Fare is 27 rubles. You pay just for passing through turnstile. You needn't to pay for distance. If you are planning a single trip you should buy a token. If you are planning to use metro a certain times, you can buy a special card, where number of admissions will be fixed.
More you can find on our site in Travel info section, "Metro in Saint-Petersburg"
During my stay in SPB, I was staying on Vasilyevsky Island and used the subway often to travel between the Primorskaya, Vasileostrovskaya, and Gostiny Dvor stations on the Green Line 3. The Nevsko-Vasileostrovskaya Line opened in 1967 and since 1994, it has been officially designated as Line 3.
In my view the subway was the cheapest and fastest way to get to different sections of SPB. It was 27 rubbles for a token and if you are regular user there were larger purchase options. If you are new to the subway, don't mistake your access token for change. I did that on my first visit :-(
I timed my trip from Primorskaya to Gostiny Dvor one day and it took 7 minutes. I was very impressed with this. If you are in a run, you can general walk faster down the escalator and the trains were coming every couple of minutes. On your way out of the subway it appears you have to wait and enjoy your ride up!
Obviously at different times of day it will be busier than others but on all my trips I generally always got to take a seat. It felt very safe and fluid as you navigated the system. There were plenty of metro maps with intuitive directions.
I also felt that culturally, you got to observe many everyday people commuting. I found that interesting! LOL Enjoy your ride.
Saint Petersburg is one of the deepest subway system in the world and the deepest by the average depth of all the stations (105 m below ground) For one day it serving 2,5 million passengers and it is the 12th busiest metro in the world. The metro is open since November 1955 and has 5 lines and 64 stations. Some of the station are very beautiful decorated (Line 1 has the most beautiful stations)
For one ride you will buy token – 25 roubles (about 0,60 EUR)
For 10 rides card- 210 roubles
Subway in St.Petersburg is one of the deepest subways in the world, 105 m down!
Convenience - YES. Without any but. Metro is using by thousands of people daily.And YES, this is my favourite type of transportation in this amazing city!
5 lines, 64 stations. Whole length - 110 km.
Fee: 25 RUB
Working hours: from 05.30 AM - 00.45 PM
But in every station time is different so you can check it on sthis webpage.
St.Petersburg metro is 50 years old. It contains 60 stations - the last new station "Parnassus" was opened before the new year 2007. The 1st line is the oldest and the longest one. It connects 4 railway stations. It's very interesting to see old stations "Avtovo" with glass columns, "Baltiiskaya" with mosaic picture and others.
You can buy tickets (look like a coin) at the ticket-office at the station. Price for one trip is 25 roubles (0,55 euro). You can buy trips on the smart cards (like Oyster card in London) with 30 roubles as deposit. You can get money back for the empty smart card at the ticket office. You can buy additional trips on your card any time.
See the scheme of metro lines on the link below (only in Russian).
Take in mind that it's not aloud to make photographs in the metro stations. If you want - do this without paying attantion of metro staff :-)
St Petersburg is fast and regular, must be at one or two minutes intervals on the metro. A token is bought for 22 RUR at office window. The token goes in slot at gate which then opens, the token is retained by machine, so you can travel has long has you like. Going down the escalator must be the longest in europe and deepest, i timed the escalator ride at 2 and quarter minutes. Some stations the platforms can be seen as you arrive at the bottom of the escalator, others the trains are behind a wall and closed door which opens has train arrives. Plan your journey with the help of metro map, counting the stops, the stations are not very clearly named. On metro map look for end station direction to make sure you are going the right way. Try and remember the first 3 or 4 letters in a name in russian. The lines are colour coded this helps when more than one line. A station with two lines will have two different names example Ploschad Vosstania Line 1 and line3 is called Mayskovskaya. The metro can get very crowded watch your pockets, Saturday and Sunday was the easiest to get around. It all sounds very difficult not really but i enjoyed travelling on the metro several times.Taking photo on the St Petersburg metro IS allowed but not with flash by a ruling in August 2009, the metro is well lit.
SPB has a very wide metro network. With 5 different lines, it is very easy to get from one point to another. Normally, any address is described by its closest metro station. So you can easily plan your trip by determining how to get this metro station. 1 trip is 20 rubles ($0.65). If you are noticed with your luggage, you pay an extra one ticket.
With over 100 kilometers tunnels (and with many 100 meters underground) the Saint Petersburg Metro are a good way to get around cheaply and efficiently.
In 2004 the metro token costs 12 rubles, or about 45 cents US.
In 2008 - 17 rubles.
They can be crowded at rush hour. Between 6-7 pm can be quite a crush.
Do not wear a backpack in the crowd,
give seats to seniors and women,
and be quick entering and exiting.
Most lines start at 6 am and start the last run at midnight.
One uniqie feature is that the design and art in each Metro undergound station is unique. Some have really beautiful soviet era art, especially the old stations on the blue line.
Be warned that it is against regulations to take pictures in the Metro. I got caught and chewed out, but was allowed to keep my pictures after some stern looks and harsh warnings.
These deep chambers have strategic importance and all such things cannot be photographed. Also, there can be seen at the bottom of the escalators doors that can be closed to seal these stations as bomb shelters.
Above ground trains are also strategic and technically you are not supposed to photograph them.
Open since 1955.
And it is more stations now then in 2004 metro map
I only took the Metro once. It scared the be-jesus out of me. The escalator down was like a 10 minute ride- like straight down. I have no claustrophobic issues but I did that day. The St. Petersburg Metro is the deepest in the WORLD, people. Did you hear me? It runs from 5:45 a.m. until 12:15 a.m. Luckily it wasn't too busy when I rode on it but it's supposedly super busy all the time. My picture does not do it justice.
Pay big attention to the Metro stations in St.Petersburg. Some stations have correspondents on several main lines. The big problem comes this way: Even if it is the same station, it will have different names on each main line. So if you know you want to reach Gostiny Dvor on the green line, pay attention as you might be travelling on the blue line. You would have to descend at Nevski Prospekt station which is in fact the same station as Gostiny Dvor.
Not to mention that most of the signs are in Cyrillyc alphabet.
The best and the quickest way of traveling around the city is by the underground called the Metro, especially if you have a map of it in English and know the stations.
It's pleasant to travel by underground trains and to admire its marble palace-like stations.