Do you spend several days in Finland or stay their for work or studies and want to visit other countries? How about a fast and convenient trip from Suomi to Russia? The best and fastest option will be to visit St Petersburg, as it’s the closest to the border large city of Russia, actually, its former capital.
First of all, to travel to Russian you should have a visa. In October 2019 a new option for travellers appeared – you can now take full advantage of an electronic visa, if you are a resident of 53 eligible countries. Read more about e-visa to St Petersburg here >
To get from Helsinki and some other Finnish cities on the route to St Petersburg, you can take a bus. But the fastest and most comfortable means will be a train.
There is a direct high-speed train from Helsinki to St Petersburg, called “Allegro”. There are several stops on the way: Tikkurila, Lahti, Kouvola, Vainikkala and Vyborg. The overall way from Helsinki to Petersburg will take only 3,5 hours.
As there are four trains per day – morning, day and evening options – you can pick the best time and travel at your comfort. All trains are equipped with a restaurant, toilets, wi-fi. There are also four trains going in the opposite direction, so returning back to Finland will not be a problem. However, you are highly recommended to buy a ticket in advance, especially during the weekend trips. The price of the ticket also depends on the time you purchase it, so better plan a journey in advance.
Tickets can be purchased online at vr.fi (from Finland to Russia) or at the station.
If you travel from Vainikkala, the customs and passport control will take place already at the station. Don’t forget to have an open Russian visa and fill in the migration form when crossing the border. You’ll be given a form on board before the customs check. Make sure you have it, otherwise address a conductor on a train.