Helsinki to St Petersburg by fast Allegro train      Helsinki to Moscow by train

Russian & Finnish Railways (RZD & VR) have formed a joint venture to run a high-speed Helsinki-St Petersburg train service called Allegro.  From 12 December 2010, two daily Allegro pendolino tilting electric trains started linking central Helsinki with central St Petersburg in an airline-beating 3 hours, down from the 5 hours of the old Sibelius and Repin.  This was increased to 4 daily departures in May 2011 and in due course the service will be speeded up to 3 hours flat.  The 130 mph tilting trains use the existing track, the time is saved by track upgrading, tilting into curves, no longer requiring a time-consuming locomotive change at the frontier, and streamlined border checks.  See the photos.

 Helsinki ► St Petersburg

 

 

 

 St Petersburg ► Helsinki

 Daily 

Allegro

Allegro

Allegro

Allegro

 Daily  

Allegro

Allegro

Allegro

Allegro

 Helsinki

depart

 06:12*

 11:00*

 15:00*

 20:00*

 St Petersburg Finlandski

depart

06:40

10:25

15:25

19:25

 St Petersburg Finlandski

arrive

10:48

14:36

18:36

23:36

 Helsinki

arrive

10:16

14:01

19:01

23:01

The Russian border station is Vyborg.  Since 2006, these trains have been once again using St Petersburg Finlandski station.  Check latest times at www.vr.fi.

* IMPORTANT:  Russia is now GMT+4 all year round, but Finland is GMT+2 in winter, GMT+3 in summer, so the Helsinki times shown above vary by an hour between the last Sunday in October and the last Sunday in March, always check at www.vr.fi.

Fares...

How to buy tickets...

On board Allegro trains...

The Allegro trains are electric tilting pendolino trains, with 1st & 2nd class, plus a proper restaurant car.  There's a children's play area, wheelchair spaces, and a conference room.  The first class fare includes a snack or light meal, newspapers and tea or coffee from a self-service counter.  Allegro trains are all non-smoking.  The place of entry into Russia is Vyborg.  See Russian news video.

Allegro train from Helsinki to St Petersburg   2nd class seats on the Allegro train from Helsinki to St Petersburg

The 130mph tilting Allegro train from Helsinki to St Petersburg.  Photo courtesy of VR

 

2nd class seats on the Allegro train from Helsinki to St Petersburg.  Photo courtesy of VR

2nd class seats on Allegro train Helsinki-St Petersburg   An Allegro train from Helsinki just arrived at St Petersburg

2nd class seats on the Allegro train. 

Photo courtesy of Mark Pascoe

 

An Allegro train arrived at St Petersburg.

Photo courtesy of Mark Pascoe

1st class at-seat meal on an Allegro train   Bistro car on an Allegro train from Helsinki to St Petersburg

1st class complimentary meal on Allegro. 

Photo courtesy of Railbookers.com

 

The bistro car on an Allegro train.

Photo courtesy of Hilary Onno.

 



Helsinki to Moscow on the sleeper train Tolstoi...

The direct overnight train called the Tolstoi is easily the best way to travel from Helsinki to Moscow.  It's safe, cheap, civilised and comfortable.  The train has been completely refurbished, there are comfortable sleepers, a restaurant and even business class sleepers with private shower.  Border controls have been streamlined.

 Helsinki ► Moscow

 

 

 

 Moscow ► Helsinki

 The Tolstoi 

Mon-Fri, Sun

 The Tolstoi 

Mon-Fri, Sun

 Helsinki

depart

  17:23*

 Moscow Leningradski

depart

19:53

 Moscow Leningradski

arrive

09:19

 Helsinki

arrive

  10:56*

* IMPORTANT:  Russia is now GMT+4 all year round, but Finland is GMT+2 in winter, GMT+3 in summer, so the Helsinki times shown above vary by an hour between the last Sunday in October and the last Sunday in March, always check at www.vr.fi.

The Tolstoi no longer runs on Saturday nights in either direction since 5 September 2015.

Visa entry-exit dates:  Travelling to Moscow, you enter Russia the day before you arrive in Moscow.  Travelling from Moscow, you leave Russia the day after you leave Moscow.  Make sure your Russian visa shows the dates you enter and leave Russia, not the  date you arrive in or leave Moscow.

Fares...

How to buy tickets...

On board the Helsinki-Moscow Tolstoi...

Second class sleeper on the Helsinki to Moscow train 'Tolstoi'.   Special business class sleeper on the Helsinki to Moscow train 'Tolstoi'.   Restaurant car on the Helsinki to Moscow train 'Tolstoi'.

A 2nd class 4-berth sleeper on the Tolstoi...

 

A business class en suite sleeper on the Tolstoi...

 

The Tolstoi's restaurant car.

All Tolstoi photos courtesy of Finnish Railways VR.


Find hotels in Helsinki, St Petersburg or Moscow

 

◄◄ Hotel search & price comparison.

www.hotelscombined.com checks all the main hotel booking sites at once to find the widest choice of hotels & the cheapest seller.  It was named as the World's Leading Hotel Comparison Site at the World Travel Awards 2013 and I highly recommend it, both to find hotels in even the smallest places and to check that another retailer isn't selling your hotel for less!

www.booking.com is my favourite booking site.  It's really clear and you can usually book with free cancellation and so confirm your accommodation at no risk months before train booking opens.


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