Arriving to St.Petersburg, Russia

By plane: Pulkovo international airport in St Petersburg services direct flights by Air France, Lufthanza, Airberlin, KLM, British Airways, Finnair, Austrian Airlines, SAS, Alitalia, Aeroflot, Czech Airlines, Swiss, Iberia, and some other mostly Eurepean airlines. In our experience, Airberlin offers particularly competitive fares to St. Peterburg (as low as €60 one-way from Berlin). It is likely that your flight to St.Petersburg from America, Asia, or Australia will be connecting via one of the European cities. Due to proximity of St Petersburg to Helsinki, connections by Finnair could be particularly convenient.

Examples of flight times for some direct routes to St Petersburg
fromHelsinki Moscow Stockholm Copenhagen Berlin Prague Vienna Amsterdam Frankfurt Zurich Paris London Rome
time 1h 1h 20m 1h 25m 2h 2h 10m 2h 40m 2h 45m 2h 50m 2h 50m 2h 55m 3h 15m 3h 20m 3h 50m

You can book your flight to St Petersburg on Expedia, Travelocity, Kayak, Dohop, or at your local travel agency. Note that in the summer St Petersburg is quite popular with tourists and you should book your tickets early in order to find convenient connections at reasonabe prices (€60 to €150 one-way for direct flights from Europe).

From the airport: Pulkovo airport is about 20km from downtown St Petersburg. A train line directly linking Pulkovo to downtown will be finished only by 2013. Currently, we recommend to take a taxi. The airport's arrivals hall has taxi desks where a taxi can be instantly arranged at a fixed rate (around €30). The stuff at the desk should speak English. Taking a first random taxi outside the airport could be a rip off and should be avoided. A taxi transfer from the airport could be also pre-arranged with your hotel. In this case the driver should meet you (with your name tag) at the exit from the customs. There is city bus 13 connecting the airport to the nearest metro station Moskovskaya. This option is cheap and could be faster than a taxi during rush hours, but this could be a bit complicated for people arriving to Russia for the first time. In any case, the conference venue (Radisson) is only 5-7 minutes walking distance from metro Mayakovskaya, see our local hotels map.

By train from Finland: One interesting alternative way to arrive to St Petersburg could be a fast train service from Finland to St Petersburg (3h 20min from Tikkurila station near Helsinki's airport). Train ticket from Tikkurila to St Petersburg costs around €82 one-way. Discount arlines like EasyJet have cheap (as low as €30 one-way) flights to Helsinki from some European cities. Thus, taking a train from Finland may be an economical way to get to St. Petersburg. Moreover, the train arrives to Finlandky Railway Station near downtown and next to metro Ploshad Lenina (2 stops to Radisson on red metro line M1 or 10 min by bus). You can reserve a ticket for this train by calling or emailing the Finish Railways directly. The tickets can be picked up at the train station. Note that Russian passport control is done on a moving train.

By train from Moscow: In case you plan to visit Moscow (before or after the conference) it might be useful to know that taking a train to/from St. Petersburg could be a good alternative to flying between the cities. There are fast trains between Moscow and St Petersburg that go downtown-to-downtown in around 4h. The trains from Moscow arrive to Moskovsky Railway Station in downtown 12-14 minutes walking distance to the conference venue. Given extra travel time required to get to and from the airports, as well as time for registration, this fast train service makes a lot of sense. You can also use one of many over-night sleeper trains that take around 8 hours, but you save a night. E-tickes for the Russian trains can be purchased through travel agents. The tickets can be bought 45 days before the journey. It is cheaper to buy the tickets directly from the Russian Railways, but this could be a bit tricky as they sell tickes only on their Russian language site that requires registration and login (use Google translate) before the right "buy a ticket" link becomes available. You can enter login name, password, and all other passenger information in English, but the train stations must be entered in Russian (Moscow = Москва, Saint Petersburg = Санкт-Петербург). A few noticed Google Translate glitches: "Rubles" may appear as "£" and "foreigner passport" is translated as "foreign instrument".

Other info and links: There are several other ways to arrive to St Petersburg that are worth mentioning: a ferry from one of Scandinavian countries, a bus or a train from Riga or Tallin. We do not have any specific recommendations for these options. Further potentially useful travel tips for St Petersburg could be found in the following links: