Experience with the train
One of the ways to reach the Petrozavodsk is using the train from Sankt Peterburg.
Our experience was not so much good.
When we went there, travel was overnight, from 10 pm to 6 am next day.
We took sleeping coupe, and we couldn't sleep all night. Why?
Tic-tac sound of train was constantly and monotonous, until the heating inside of the coupe was over normal level.
In return, we used the early morning train, and during the day, we've seen a nice winter scenery of forests of Karelian pines, and many stations and villages near the route.
Čaj, (tea) served in train was fine. And commandant woman of wagon has been very culture and helped to us in serving the tea. Thanks!
- Business Travel
Mini bus (marshrutka)
When moving around, you have two options, get the official trolley bus or those called mini bus (marshrutka).
Regarding the first option i must admin it is not so much used by locals, instead they prefer to take mini bus.
Even in the case of mini bus, keep in mind that there is no official schedule, sometimes you can get them really fast, other times you have to wait some 10 minutes.
Those mini bus of course are not official, but soon you will realize that they are used as a common transportation by locals, so don't worry about taking them, they are really common.
You pay when you get out of the mini bus.
Russian people are mostly used to travel by train, and it doesn't surprise me since the train system in Russia is well developed, comfortable and for sure less expensive than taking an airplane.
For people who are interested in experiencing Russian culture, a trip using the train is a must !
This website (http://www.poezda.net/en/index) offers an English version of timetables, this will tell you where you can purchase the ticket (departure station), but the online purchase is only in Russian.
Here's another site for timetables: http://www.waytorussia.net/Services/TrainTickets.html
Here are some different prices compared with airlines: http://www.sras.org/guides_russian_travel_budget
Diufferent kind of tickets:
Kupe tickets: (compartment) will allow you to have a bed in a closed compartment, compartment to be shared with other 3 people.
Platzkart: (economy class) will allow you a bed in an open carriage with about 25 other people.
In both cases (Kupe or Platzkart), you will find fresh bed linen, the only difference it's that in the Kupe your bed will be ready by the time you arrive, and in Platzkart you have to make your own bed.
Honestly, having used both, i suggest Platzkart, "private compartments" (kupe) are sooo hot in winter that you will really swet and probably have difficulties sleeping because of excessive hot.
Here's a brief description of what you will find written on your ticket:
1 - Train Number
2 - Date of Departure
3 - Time of Departure (MOSCOW TIME)
4 - Wagon Number
5 - Class
6 - Departure City 7 - Destination City
8 - Seat Number
9 - Passenger Name
10 - Date of Arrival
11 - Time of Arrival (MOSCOW TIME)
Important: When you get the ticket, make sure you check all your personal information on it (miswriting) !
Before entering the train the ticket lady will check your ticket and passport, and before the train leaves, the lady will again come and collect a copy of your ticket.
Don't worry if you have friends coming on the train to say bye to you, before the train leaves, the lady will make sure that all non-passengers have left the train.
Feel free to bring food and water on the train, of course you can decide to eat at the train restaurant, but maybe expect it to be expensive.
Something else i found really nice, is that it doesn't matter which ticket you choose, you always have the possibility to take hot water from a kind of samovar to make your own tea.
To end, it's a great experience, Russian trains are clean and well organized, no worries at all.
Around Petrozavodsk you can use so-called mini-bus "Marshrutka" (there are also in other Russian towns and cities)
The price is as usual bus and trolleybus about 30 cents (12 rub.)
There are a lot of different marshrutka, and there is almost none schedule (in rush time they are in a minute), but other time you can wait till 10 minutes!
Warning! almost all drivers are crazy :) and drive really fast, so if you're afraid for your life I recommend you to choose another means of transport...
Marshrutkas start work from 6-7 a.m. till midnight (latest at 1 a.m.)
You pay before leave it (in Saint-Patersburg and Moscow you'll pay when you enter it)
- Road Trip
Train to and from Petrozavodsk
Petrozavodsk has direct train connections to both Moscow (around 14 hours) and Saint-Petersburg (around 8 hours).
We took train #018 from Moscow. It comes in highly recommend, because the other low-numbered train (#016) left in the middle of the night. If you're open to higher-numbered trains, which we were told are less efficient, there is also train #382. Please note that the #016 and #382 trains continue all the way to Murmansk, so it is important that you do not miss your stop!
From Saint-Petersburg, the only low-numbered year-round option is train #022. Summer travellers can also take train #012, which operates daily from late May to early September. Both the #022 and #012 trains go on to Murmansk. Finally, there is train #658, which takes you to Petrozavodsk in one hour more than the low-numbered trains.
For southbound travelling (to Moscow and Saint-Petersburg from Petrozavodsk), look up the odd number equivalents of the above-mentioned services: #017, #015 and #381 to Moscow, and #021, #011 and #657 to Saint-Petersburg.
- Budget Travel
One-way night train ticket to Petrozavodsk costs about 300 rub (about 9 euro), and from May till September the price is higher.
This train goes every day, leaving St-Petersburg at 22.15 and arriving in Petrozavodsk at 6.53.
Also there are other trains to Petrozavodsk from Moscow and St-Petersburg.
But!!! If there is vacation time of holiday try to get ticket at least 2 weeks before (or 5 days before - when there is one more wagon)
Getting around Petrozavodsk
Taking a ride in a so called marshrutka was a real experience for me. What a fun. The vehicle is almost solely a crappy dirty smelly uncomfortable van, offering about 8 or 10 seats (it is not recommended to stand otherwise you do not mind being bent). If you intend to get off at not a frequented bus-stop, you have to shout at driver to stop. You pay when you are getting off.
It is better (but not such an adventure) with normal buses and trolley-buses, there are conductors on board who come to you and sell you a ticket after you get in.
A classical russian train to Petrozavodsk
The most common way to get to Petrozavodsk is to take a train from Moscow or St.Petersburg. In both cases it is approximately one night. The trains are quite comfortable. You can choose among SV, KUPE and PLATZKARTNIY. I travel mostly with plaztkartniy, the price from Moscow is about 20 euro and from St.Petersburg about 15 euro. If you want to have it more comfortable, choose KUPE or SV. The trains start mostly in the evening and come to the town in the morning.
These are the mainstay of transportation in and around Petrozavodsk. The cost to use is 6pyb at this time (2005) although the price is expected to increase. There are well defined routes that these buses service and numerous stops to catch them at. At peak times don't even expect to be able to sit down. Also it is expected that you give up your seat to Mothers and old people. The level of crowding at times is increbible.
On my trips I used these buses to see all around Petrozavodsk. Paying my fare and travelling from terminus to terminus. Watching out the windows for anything interesting, then leaving the bus to explore.
1st Class on the Sleeper train
Traveling fromSt Petersburg to Petrozavodsk you have a choice of three classes of cabin. This is a 1st Class Cabin which consists of two separate bunks with bed linen already made up. The ticket cost is around 895pyb. Once the train is under way the carriage warden comes along to check your ticket and also collect the money for your bed linen (50 pyb). They also offer drinks and some chocolates and such at a variety of prices. Also when the train pulls into the stations along the way the locals will be on hand to sell you a wide variety of food stuffs, drinks, newspapers and such.
- Budget Travel
- Luxury Travel
Mini Bus Terminus
This picture is of the minibus terminus at Ptitsfabrica. These minibuses are popular methods of transport and cost about 8pyb a trip at this time. At peak travel times be prepared to be like a sardine in a tin if you want to use them :-) quick and cheap. The minibuses all have well defined routes with aa number displayed. Just read the signs to see if your destination is on the list, or if your russian is good enough just ask the driver.
The railroad trains to Petrozavodsk
¹18 MOSCOW – PETROZAVODSK
Departure time from Moscow - 18.30
Arrival time in Petrozavodsk - 8.00
¹657 ST.PETERSBURG – PETROZAVODSK
Departure time from St.Petersburg -21.50
Arrival time in Petrozavodsk - 6.46
- Budget Travel
- Business Travel
1. Airplane: Regular flights...
Regular flights from Helsinki, Finland to Petrozavodsk and back three times a week. Flying time is about one hour. Round trip costs about 320 USD.
Trains from Moscow and St Petersburg and back go every day. Trip time - 14 and 9 hours. Comfortable 2 bed compartment costs about 27 USD per place (St. Petersburg - Petrozavodsk train).
From Finland, through international auto transport cross-border stations - Vartsila, Vyborg and Lutta. Driving time from Vartsila to Petrozavodsk is 4-6 hours.
Scheduled minibus: from Helsinki (38$)and Joensuu (23$), and back, one time a week.
4. Cruisers in summer.
Car, bus, trolleybus, regular minibus, tourist motorcoach, walking.
Karelia is a part of the 'Blue...
Karelia is a part of the 'Blue road' going through four countries - Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia
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