Tickets can be collected at Real Russia's offices in Moscow or St Petersburg, or an e-ticket can be emailed to you so you can collect the ticket from most main stations in Russia. More details.
This page explains how to buy train tickets from Moscow to other European cities at the cheapest prices, buying online direct from the operators, usually with print-at-home or collect-at-station tickets. Click here to buy tickets starting in another city.
Moscow to other destinations in Russia...
Moscow to Warsaw...
An overnight train called the Polonez links Moscow with Warsaw every night, leaving Moscow Byelorruski around 16:50 and arriving Warsaw Centralna around 08:30 next morning. It uses Russian sleepers one night, Polish sleeping-cars the next.
You can check prices and buy tickets using the Real Russia form on this page: Click 'Advanced search' next to 'arrival to' and select the destination country and city. This train passes through Belarus, so you'll need a Belarus transit visa.
Moscow to Budapest, Vienna, Prague, Belgrade, Sofia...
Direct trains or through sleeping-cars link Moscow with Budapest, Prague, Belgrade, Vienna, Sofia. You can check prices and buy tickets using the Real Russia form on this page: Click 'Advanced search' next to 'arrival to' and select the destination country and city. The trains to Vienna & Prague pass through Belarus, so you'll need a Belarus transit visa. The Budapest, Sofia & Belgrade trains travel via Kiev & Ukraine and do not pass through Belarus.
Moscow to Berlin & Paris...
A direct train links Moscow with Berlin & Paris, running on Mondays, Thursdays & Sundays all year round, and daily except Fridays from late May to early October. It leaves Moscow Byelorruski station at 08:42 (07:44 from late March until late October) and arrives at Paris Gare de l'Est at 20:42 the next day (day 2). There's more information at http://moscow-paris.ru/index_en.html.
It has 1, 2 and 3 bed standard sleepers and 1 or 2 bed deluxe sleepers with shower and toilet, and a restaurant car runs throughout (A Russian one between Moscow & Brest and a Polish one between Brest and Paris).
You can check prices and buy tickets using the Real Russia form on this page: Click 'Advanced search' next to 'arrival to' and select 'France' and enter 'Paris'. Remember this train passes through Belarus, so you'll need a Belarus transit visa.
If you live in the UK, you can buy tickets at www.loco2.com with tickets sent by post to any UK address, but make sure you search for a day of the week when the train runs, as otherwise you (obviously) won't see any trains in the search results!
Moscow to London...
See the UK to Moscow page for details of routes, options, fares and how to buy tickets.
Moscow to Helsinki & Stockholm...
An overnight sleeper train called the Tolstoi links Moscow with Helsinki every night, see the Moscow to Helsinki page for details.
Moscow to Copenhagen...
Option 1, which avoids the need for a Belarus visa, is to go Moscow-Helsinki by Tolstoi overnight sleeper (see the Finland page for details), spend a day in Helsinki then sail overnight by luxurious cruise ferry with either www.silja.com or www.vikingline.com. Then catch a fast SJ2000 train from Stockholm to Copenhagen booked at www.sj.se.
Option 2 is to take the Moscow-Paris train as far as Berlin. You can book from Moscow to Berlin using the Real Russia form above, just click 'Advanced search' next to 'arrival to' and select 'Germany' and enter 'Berlin'. Remember this train passes through Belarus, so you'll need a Belarus transit visa. Then simply book a Berlin to Copenhagen ticket at www.bahn.de.
Moscow to Mongolia, China, Vladivostok, Japan, Korea...
See the Trans-Siberian railway page for details.
Find hotels in Moscow & other cities
◄◄ 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.
Other hotel sites worth trying...
www.tripadvisor.com is the place to find independent travellers' reviews of all the main hotels.
www.booking.com is my own preferred hotel booking system (Hotels Combined being a search/comparison system). It has a simple interface, a good selection in most countries worldwide, useful online customer reviews of each hotel, and decent prices, usually shown inclusive of unavoidable extras such as taxes (a pet hate of mine is systems that show one price, then charge you another!).
www.hostelbookers.com: If you're on a tight budget, don't forget about backpacker hostels. Hostelbookers offers online booking of cheap private rooms or dorm beds in backpacker hostels in most cities at rock-bottom prices.
Travel insurance & health card...
Get travel insurance, it's essential...
Never travel overseas without travel insurance from a reliable insurer, with at least £1m or preferably £5m medical cover. It should also cover cancellation and loss of cash (up to a limit) and belongings. An annual multi-trip policy is usually cheaper than several single-trip policies even for just 2 or 3 trips a year (I have an annual policy myself). Here are some suggested insurers. Seat61 gets a small commission if you buy through these links.
If you have a pre-existing medical condition or are over 65 (no age limit), see www.JustTravelCover.com.
If you're resident in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland or the EU, try Columbus Direct's other websites.
If you're resident in the USA try Travel Guard USA.
Get a spare credit card, designed for foreign travel with no currency exchange loading & low or no ATM fees...
It costs nothing to take out an extra credit card. If you keep it in a different part of your luggage so you're not left stranded if your wallet gets stolen, this is a form of extra travel insurance in itself. In addition, some credit cards are significantly better for overseas travel than others. Martin Lewis's www.moneysavingexpert.com/travel/cheap-travel-money explains which UK credit cards have the lowest currency exchange commission loadings when you buy something overseas, and the lowest cash withdrawal fees when you use an ATM abroad. Taking this advice can save you quite a lot on each trip compared to using your normal high-street bank credit card!
You can avoid ATM charges and expensive exchange rates with a Caxton FX euro currency Visa Card, or their multi-currency 'Global Traveller' Visa Card, see www.caxtonfx.com for info.
Mobile phones can cost a fortune to use abroad, and if you're not careful you can return home to find some huge bills waiting for you. I've known people run up a £1,000 bill in data charges just by leaving their iPhone connected during a simple trip to Europe. However, if you buy a global SIM card for your mobile phone from a company such as www.Go-Sim.com you can slash the cost by up to 85% and limit any damage to the amount you have pre-paid. It cuts call costs in 175 countries worldwide, and you can receive incoming calls and texts for free in 75 countries. It's pay-as-you-go, so no nasty bills when you get home. It also works for laptop or PDA data access. A Go-Sim account and any credit on it doesn't expire if it's not between trips, unlike some others, so a Go-Sim phone number becomes your 'global phone number' for life.