Travelling to St. Petersburg

By Plane:

Pulkovo international airport in St Petersburg services direct flights by Air France, Lufthansa, Air berlin, KLM, British Airways, Finn air, Austrian Airlines, SAS, Alitalia, Aeroflot, Czech Airlines, Swiss, Icelandair, Iberia, and some other mostly European airlines. It is likely that your flight to St. Petersburg from America, Asia, or Australia will be connecting via one of the European cities.

Examples of flight times for some direct routes to St Petersburg
from Helsinki Moscow Stockholm Copenhagen Berlin Prague Vienna Amsterdam Frankfurt Zurich Paris London Rome
time 1h 1h 20m 1h 25m 2h 2h10m 2h40m 2h45m 2h50m 2h50m 2h55m 3h15m 3h20m 3h50m

You can book your flight to St Petersburg on Expedia, Skyscanner, Travelocity, Kayak 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 reasonable prices (EUR 150..300 round-trip from Europe).

From the airport:

Pulkovo airport is about 20km from the downtown St Petersburg. A train line directly linking Pulkovo to downtown is currently in construction, so 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. The stuff at the desk should speak English. Taxi desks usually accept major credit cards, airport–downtown fare is around RUR 700..1000 (~EUR20..25), depending on your destination. In case you need to pay in cash – this can only be done in local currency – Russian Rubles. There are several ATM machines on the ground floor of the arrival hall. 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 (subway) station Moskovskaya. Subway is cheap and could be faster than a taxi during rush hours, but this could be a bit complicated and is not advised for people arriving to Russia for the first time.

By train form 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, walking distance from one of the suggested conference hotels. 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-tickets 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 tickets 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.

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 EUR 84 one-way. The train arrives to Finlandsky Railway Station next to metro Ploshad Lenina. 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.

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 Tallinn. 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: