Are you looking to book a ticket with the Trans Siberian Railway but don’t know how to book the tickets? No worries because I’ve been in the same situation before, so I will be sharing the most easiest way to book them for very cheap prices.
FYI: Always be sure to bring one of these adapters with you if you want your phones and laptops working 🙂
How Much Does Trans Siberian Actually Cost?
Depending on what class you are traveling with and where you are going the prices vary. But for some understanding, the general estimate is ~2500 rubles from Saint Petersburg to Moscow vice versa.
~3500 rubles if your train ride takes about 20 or so hours of travel.
~6000 and up rubles if you are taking a long ride from Western Russia to parts of far East Russia.
You can use this currency converter to check the actual prices in your local currency.
Why Not To Book With Travel Agencies
To be honest you don’t actually have to go through local travel agencies or go through 3rd party vendors. Although they may be making it a bit of a less hassle for you, they still add their commission on top of the actual ticket fare and you are getting charged more.
What Times Are The Most Cheapest To Book?
I found usually booking tickets for late night trains which are during the weekdays to be the most cheap. It makes logical sense because most people will prefer to travel on Friday or the weekend on manageable times, which leaves more tickets for unusual times.
The closer you get to the date of travel though, it does get more expensive, so if you want the cheapest tickets available, it’s always a good idea to book one in advance.
Is It Cheaper To Buy Tickets At The Counter?
Instead of booking tickets through travel agencies, yes you can buy tickets straight at the counter when you are traveling, but you are at the mercy of your luck. Also, the ticket officers won’t be able to speak English at all so there might language barriers you will have to deal with as well.
Sometimes the tickets will be sold out and you might end up stranded worst case scenario.
The best solution is to buy your tickets through the official website online and print your ticket at the station.
Booking Tickets Through The Official Website
If you have Cyrillic keyboard, then it should be easy for you otherwise you should install Cyrillic keyboard on your computer before proceeding. Although you could use Latin script, the official Trans Siberian Railway website gets finicky with Latin and English.
However, the most easiest way probably is to use an online virtual Cyrillic keyboard and then copy and paste.
If you don’t understand Russian, use Google Translate. It shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
Step 1. Register on the website
Go to the official website: http://www.rzd.ru/
Step 2. Enter Your Destination
Once you are done registering, go back to homepage and enter your destination.
Pick a good time to travel and the class you would like to travel with. I usually recommend 2nd class it’s the best of both worlds. It’s not too expensive and somewhat comfortable.
Step 3. Login
You should have registered already and verified your account via email address.
Step 4. Enter your personal information
Take your time and be careful with this one, because if you make a typo or a mistake, then you will not be able to board your train, so double check. You can actually use the English version on this for easier understanding. There is a UK flag on the top right hand corner.
Step 5. Add any additional services you might need
It will ask you if you want any insurance and additional baggage services. Depending on your needs, choose whichever is appropriate.
Step 6. Check Out With Credit Card
Now that you are at the final stage, check out by inputting your credit card details. Once done you should be able to download the PDF version of your ticket which you will be able to print out.
Final Thoughts & Conclusion
It might be a little of an annoying process to be honest, to book on the russian railway website. But if you want to get the best prices, it’s the best way.
Just remember to use Google Translate well and try not to click on other things that don’t make sense when booking your ticket.