Everything you need to Know about Saint Petersburg Metro

The etiquette, the fares and the most beautiful stations. 

It is an old and well-developed subway network.  There are 5 lines and 72 stations.  The longest distance between the stations is 3.6 kilometers (Obukhovo – Rybatskoe).

The Map of Saint Petersburg Metro

The official map of Saint Petersburg metro in English can be found on the Metro website.

Although the Metro system is quite extensive, certain areas such as Kolomna or some parts of the Vasilievsky Ostrov appear underserved.

It is common for locals to use the Metro and then transfer to a bus, tram, trolleybus or marshrutka, or take a 20-minute walk. 

Is the Saint-Petersburg Metro Efficient?

Yes, the Metro is very efficient. Trains run every few minutes. During the weekends and late hours, the intervals are longer but usually do not exceed 10-15 mins. The time to the next train is displayed above the tunnel.

The Metro is often the most reliable and quick way to get from A to B in the city, especially when traffic is heavy. Interruptions are relatively rare in the Saint Petersburg metro.

What are the opening hours of the Saint-Petersburg metro?

The Metro opens at approximately 5-30 am. The stations close between midnight and  12-40.  Each station has its own schedule.  

You can check the exact opening and closing times for each metro station on the St. Petersburg metro website.

The Metro is open between 1 am and 5 am for special holiday nights:

  • New Year’s Eve (from December 31 to January 1)
  • Orthodox Christmas (January 6-7)
  • Easter 
  • May 1-2
  • May 9-10
  • The “Night of Museums”
  • The “Day of the City” Celebration
  • The “Scarlet Sails” Festival

Saint Petersburg Metro Fares

In 2020, the price of a single ride ticket (token) was 55 rubles ($0.75).

There is no time limit. The price is per 1 ride of any length.

You can buy single tokens or pay for a transport pass (50 rubles) that you can later top-up at the machines using coins, notes, and bank cards.  The luggage fare is 55 rubles as well.

Here is a quick video on how to purchase tokens and transport passes.

Metro cards are available for 10 to 70 journeys with time limits:

As of 2020, the prices are as follows:

  • Pass for 10 rides within a period of 7 days – RUB 370;
  • Pass for 20 rides  within a period of 15 days – RUB 705;
  • Pass for 40 rides  within a period of 30 days – RUB 1,350;
  • Pass for up to 70 rides  within a period of 90 days – RUB 55 per rides ,
    The full price of a 70 ride pass – RUB 3,850.

Metro cards can also be bought for unlimited travel (tram, trolleybus, bus, subway) for 1 to 7 days.

  • For 1 day – RUB 185;
  • For 2 days – RUB 265;
  • For 3 days – RUB 355;
  • For 4 days – RUB 440;
  • For 5 days – RUB 530;
  • For 6 days – RUB 620;
  • For 7 days – RUB 705

If you are staying in Saint Petersburg long enough, you can invest in a monthly transport pass for 3,015 rubles ($40).

You can use St. Petersburg Card to pay the fare on public transport. The card can be loaded and it gives 20% discount on metro, buses, trolleybuses and trams.  You can top up the St. Petersburg Card in the metro or online

I find that if you in a small group of 2 to 4 people, it is often cheaper to use an app taxi like Uber or Yandex taxi to move around the city center.

Is Saint Petersburg Metro Safe?

Yes, the Metro is quite safe.

It can get very crowded especially during rush hour. There is a risk of pickpockets in the metro. Another popular scam is charging your contactless cards with a card machine. Do not keep contactless debit and credit cards in outer pockets.

I find these safety rules to be essential for using the metro:

stand on the right hand side facing the direction of travel and hold on to the handrail firmly.  When you arrive at the end, get off the escalator quickly, in order to not inconvenience other passengers behind you.

inform a Metro employee or a police officer immediately. It is absolutely prohibited to jump off the platform to retrieve your things.

inform a Metro employee or a police officer immediately. Should this happen directly in front of an arriving train, signal the approaching train by moving your arm in a circular motion in clear view of the train driver.

get up immediately.  Do not approach the edge of the platform, instead walk quickly towards the end of the platform. You should be able to see a black-and-white bar by the tracks, approach this. Cross the bar and stand behind it, and you will be safe! Now wait for a Metro employee who will take you out of the tunnel.

lie flat in the trench between the rails, face down, with your head facing the oncoming train. If you follow these instructions, the oncoming train will not hurt you. Stay in that position until the train driver or on-duty staff come to help you. Do not try hiding under the edge of the platform or climbing out onto the platform. Along the edge of the platform, there is a power rail, which has an extremely high voltage of 825V; touching it or even approaching it can kill you. Don’t touch any parts of the train itself – they may also be under some voltage.

The full safety instructions can be found here.

Please note that the Saint Petersburg metro does not have elevators.  Escalators are not everywhere.  It would be difficult for people with limited mobility to move around.  However, there is an assistance service which can be arranged on request. 

Which Saint Petersburg metro Stations are the most Beautiful?

  • Avtovo
  • Bukharestskaya
  • Zvenigorodskaya
  • Kirovsky Zavod
  • Mezhdunarodnaya
  • Narvskaya
  • Obvodny Kanal
  • Pushkinskaya
  • Spasskaya
  • Sportivnaya

The best time to enjoy the metro is a morning on a weekend. Some metro stations are very deep. For example, Admiraltejskaya is 83 meters deep.  

Are there Saint Petersburg metro Tours?

Yes, and these tours are quite exciting.  You will learn the secrets of the Saint Petersburg metro, all about its history, and see the beautiful stations.

Why are there no toilets and no trash cans in the metro?

Originally, when the metro was first planned in the middle of the 20th century, toilets were not part of the plan. It would require significant investment to install washroom facilities at 72 stations.  As a result, fares would have to be substantially increased.

There are no trash cans in the metro as a measure against terrorism.  As well, since the metro transports millions of people per day, the trash removal would be quite an effort and would affect the ticket prices.

Can I take the Metro to the airport?

No.  You can get to metro station Moscovskaya and take a bus 39 and 39э (express) from there to the airport. See bus schedule from Moskovskaya to Pulkovo airport here.

Can I take the Metro to the Catherine Palace or to Peterhof?

No.  Metro does not take you to the palaces and parks outside the city. You can transfer to buses and trains though.

See other options on How to Get to Tsarskoe Selo (the Catherine Palace) in my article.

Is there WiFi in Saint Petersburg Metro?

Yes.  There is a free WiFi connection in St. Petersburg metro.  You will need to obtain the code by SMS.  You need to have a working phone connection.

To connect, follow these steps BEFORE entering the Metro as you will need phone service:

  1. Select MT_Free network
  2. Through your browser open www.wi-fi.ru
  3. Choose the registration method by phone.
  4. Enter your cell phone number.
  5. You will receive an SMS with an access code valid for 24 hours.
  6. Input the code and hit the GO button.

My article on How to Buy Mobile Internet in Saint Petersburg may be useful as well.

Is there Special Etiquette in Saint Petersburg Metro?

  • When on the escalator stand to the right and keep the left side clear for those wishing to pass.
  • Do not run on the escalator.
  • Do not block the door and let passengers exit the train before trying to board.
  • In Russia, giving a seat to women, kids and senior citizens is a gesture of politeness.
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