The Russian Railways website will book domestic trains within Russia, and direct international trains too, including Paris-Moscow, Moscow-Warsaw, Vienna-Moscow and Prague-Moscow.  You can also book intermediate journeys on the Russian-run trains, for example Paris to Berlin or Nice to Vienna on the Paris-Moscow and Nice-Moscow trains.

UPDATE:  RZD changed the way their website booking system works in April 2017, and the instructions below are now out of date.  At the time I write this, the new system reverts to Russian even with the English version selected.  You could try using Google Translate, or wait till RZD fix it as I'm sure they will, or simply use instead in plain English with English after sales support, and accept paying a mark-up.

1.  Go to

  • Click 'ENG' top right for English.


  • Then click Passengers


2.  Use the journey planner...

  • It's pretty self explanatory... 

  • Remember Russian domestic trains only open for booking 45 days before departure.  International ones to and from Europe may open further ahead than this, usually 60 or 90 days.

  • Remember that some international trains don't run every day.  You'll need to run an enquiry for a day that they run, or hunt for them.

  • You select a train then a class.  You can even select an exact berth or seat from a car plan.

  • Classes...

    1-cl sleeping comp. = 1st class 2-berth = spalny vagon.

    2-cl sleeping comp. = 2nd class 4-berth = kupé.

    3-cl open sleeping = platskartny open-plan bunks.

    De Luxe = VIP deluxe 1 or 2 berth with shower & toilet.

  • You may also see this terminology: 

    1/1 = 1st class with single occupancy.

    1/2 = 1st class bed in shared 2-berth.

    2/4 = 2nd class bed in shared 4-berth.

  • In the De Luxe sleepers you always get sole occupancy, whether you book one passenger or two.  

  • In all other classes, one ticket = one bed and you will share with other passengers unless you book '1/1' which means sole occupancy, if it's available.  If it's not available, just buy two tickets in 1/2.



4.  Is your train e-ticketable?

  • This is important, as it could save you wasting money...

  • If the train you want to book has an '@ ticket' logo or a 'ЗР' under the train logo, the train is e-ticketable and you'll get a print-at-home e-ticket.

  • If there's no '@ ticket' or 'ЗР', you have to collect a conventional ticket at a Russian railway station, meaning in Russia.  Which is fine if your journey starts in Russia, but not fine if your journey starts elsewhere, as you won't be able to collect the ticket and will waste your money if you buy direct from RZD.

  • So if there's no '@ ticket' or 'ЗР' and your journey starts outside Russia, buy using the Real Russia online system instead, accepting that there'll be an agency mark-up, but that tickets can now be posted to any address worldwide.


e-ticket symbol

3.  Register...

  • You can use the journey planner before registering, but need to register to buy tickets.

  • It's fairly straightforward.  Like many sites, you need to validate your account by clicking on the link in the confirmation email.



3.  Enter passenger details...

  • You'll need the name, passport number, date of birth and place of birth for each passenger.

  • Select foreign document not international passport if you are non-Russian.



4.  Pay and print your ticket...

  • You pay by Visa or MasterCard

  • should accept overseas cards (it accepts mine), but occasionally may be fussy with non-Russian cards, but give it a try.  Feedback would be appreciated.

  • Due to sanctions, it may not accept US-issued credit cards.

  • You print your own ticket (for e-ticketable trains) or collect the tickets at any RZD station in Russia (for non-e-ticketable trains).



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