For St Petersburg airport transfer, there are 3 main solutions that I will describe in detail below. Here they are in summary for how to do a transfer from St Petersburg airport to hotel:
- using St Petersburg public transport
- take a taxi from Pulkovo airport
- book a private transfer in advance
Pulkovo Airport is the only international airport in St. Petersburg (Russia).
St Petersburg airport transfer by public transport
Public transport. There is no direct transport from the airport to the city centre of St. Petersburg: first take the bus and then the metro. The closest metro station to the airport is Moskovskaya (line 2). To learn more about public transportation, my article on public transportation can be useful: Transport in St. Petersburg: how does it work, fares and map.
Please note! To transfer by public transport from the airport to downtown St. Petersburg, you need to have some roubles in cash on you. The bus ticket can be paid only at the bus controller in cash (or possibly by Apple Pay or Google Pay with the phone). In the metro, you will be able to pay by card. For information, there is an exchange office at the airport (near the baggage claim), but also cash machines. To learn more about payments in Russia and foreign exchange, here is our dedicated article: How to pay in Russia? and Where to buy rubles?
Step 1: get to St. Petersburg Moskovskaya metro station
In order to make the transfer from St. Petersburg airport, you must first go to Moskovskaya metro station. You then have 4 possible options.
Getting to Moskovskaya by bus №39
Bus 39 follows a regular city route and therefore makes several stops between St. Petersburg airport and Moskovskaya metro station. It is necessary to have roubles in cash to pay the bus controller directly for the trip. The bus conductor is the person who rides the bus for the whole trip. There used to be a terminal installed in front of the bus stop, but it was not seen during the last trips.
- Price per person: 50 rubles
- Price of a suitcase: 50 rubles
- Travel time: 35 min.
- Bus frequency: 12 to 20 minute intervals
- Good to know! Bus 39 does not run between 01:30 and 5:30.
Getting to Moskovskaya by bus №39-E(Express)
Bus 39-E is then faster, as it is direct to Moskovskaya station. In order to pay for the trip, the process and prices are the same as for the classic bus №39. Now with free wifi on the bus. For the transfer from St. Petersburg airport, the bus 39-E is the fastest public transport to Moskovskaya station.
- Price per person: 50 rubles
- Price of a suitcase: 50 rubles
- Travel time: 30 min.
- Frequency: 25 to 30 minute intervals
- Good to know! The 39-Express bus does not run between 00:20 and 5:30.
Getting to Moskovskaya by minibus №K-39 (private transport)
There is a private transport network that you will see later in the city: the marchrutka. These are mostly minibuses with a capacity of about 15 people. However, the marshroutka stops only on request. Comfort and safety level is a little average.
Getting to Moskovskaya by taxi
You can go to the subway station by taxi. The procedure is the same as going directly to the city centre by taxi. I describe it in this article below in detail. Price level: going to Moskovskaya by taxi is not interesting.
Step 2: take St. Petersburg metro from Moskovskaya station
Once you arrive at the Moskovskaya metro station, you must first buy the ticket to get off at the platforms. I invite you to read the “metro” part of my article on how to get around in St. Petersburg to get more information on fares and transport cards.
Good to know. According to the official website of the St. Petersburg metro, the first train from Moskovskaya to the city center is at 5:41 am.
Useful mobile application. For your travels in the city, I advise you to download an application that is then really useful (not only in St. Petersburg by the way): Citymapper. By indicating your destination point, the application offers you several possible routes: it’s very useful. You can also use it for the transfer from St. Petersburg airport in order to better orient yourself. It requires, however, a Wi-Fi connection.
How to return to the airport by public transport from St. Petersburg?
The return journey is in the other direction: by metro to Moskovskaya station, then by bus 39 or E-39. Two things you should know:
- Take the right metro exit (towards the airport: it will be indicated on the walls of the station platform).
- Go all the way to the end of the underpass, because the bus is now going the other way.
St Petersburg airport transfer to hotel by taxi
At the airport, you will meet all types of taxis. I advise you not to take any risk for the beginning of your trip, nor, for that matter, for the rest of your journey. Once in the arrivals hall, you will be approached by taxis which are not necessarily all in order.
To take a taxi safely, you have three options:
- the counters of the official taxi partners of Pulkovo Airport.
- mobile apps
- airport transfers booked in advance (example: KiwiTaxi)
Taxi counters for St. Petersburg airport transfer
Between the hall where you collect your suitcases and the reception hall there is a counter for official and partner airport taxis. After collecting your suitcase, you pass through the customs corridor. At the exit of this corridor, the official stand is right in front of you.
- The fares charged are much higher than the mobile apps fares and airport transfer via KiwiTaxi.
- You will need to prepare your hosting address in advance, ideally in Russian.
- You pay at the counter either by credit card or cash.
- At the counter you will be given the vehicle number and colour. You should then go outside, look for your taxi by looking for the car color / license plate. You hand the receipt to the driver and that’s it.
Mobile apps for St. Petersburg airport transfer
In St. Petersburg, as in Europe and, indeed, worldwide, the taxi market has been shaken by the arrival of new players offering applications for direct contact between the customer and the driver or taxi company.
The process is simple:
- You enter the address of the destination.
- An estimated price is given to you.
- You know exactly where the taxi is, the license plate number and the name of the driver.
- Payment is made by credit card or cash.
- The airport transfer price depends on where you stay in St Petersburg.
YandexTaxi, Gett or Taksovitchkov
Uber has a presence in Russia, particularly in St. Petersburg, but in 2019 Uber launched a special application for Russia, accessible from Russian AppleStore or GooglePlay only.
Yandex Taxi is the most used application in Russia. The operation is the same with the additional option of cash payment (to be checked or unchecked). The application is now in Italian. So this is the application that we recommend to you first.
Same operation with the Taksovitchkoff app, or Gett.
You can then use them to make the transfer from St Petersburg airport. On the other hand, if you are not at all comfortable with the mobile apps, take public transport (explanation above) or order a transfer from St Petersburg Pulkovo airport in advance.
Estimated price. About 20 euros, but can vary a lot, depending on traffic, schedule and demand.
Note. In general, Russian drivers speak very little English.
Book an airport transfer from St Petersburg airport to hotel
You can also book an airport transfer in advance, some hotels offer the service. There is also the KiwiTaxi site which allows you to book a taxi in advance. The prices are quite correct: it takes € 20 for a taxi up to 4 people to go into the city center. Payment can be made in advance, by bank card, and the driver waits with a sign at the airport, convenient. It is also possible to book larger cars if you are traveling in a group.
It is the easiest way to take a transfer from St Petersburg airport to hotel: no stress, everything is booked in advance, and not expensive.
This post about St Petersburg transfer airport is finished! Hope the information has been clear and will help you when you arrive at Pulkovo airport.
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