The whole stay in Moscow was incredible, but it’s time to move on. Tonight I’m catching the night train from Moscow to Kazan, which is not exactly on the famous Transiberian/Transmongolian route, but is worth of seeing.
Thanks again Moscow for breathtaking views and beautiful people (especially from the Star Wars hostel- Asia, Slava and the whole team) for making me feel like home.
This morning I went to the train station to buy a ticket as I had some problems doing that online. The cheapest you can buy online is at https://pass.rzd.ru (this one often gives errors), and it’s in Russian. This one is bit more expensive but is in English and easy to use http://tutu.travel/.
There is nine train stations in Moscow (below is the map with all of them) and train to Kazan is leaving from Kazansky Moscow train station. As you can see all train stations are really easy to reach by metro.
After getting to Kazansky train station, located at Komsomolskaya metro (Lines red and brown, you go straight from the metro to train station by tunnel), I headed to касса( kassa)-ticket window. No worries there are signs in English also, but some of them a bit confusing – like the one about where is luggage storage. So, just follow the signs “Long distance tickets”. To prevent terrorism, all metro and train stations in Russia have security gates at the entrance, just like at the airport. You have to drop your bags to the belt and pass through it. There is also a lot of police all the time, just for your safety.
Once at the ticket window, even tho the lady didn’t speak English so well, there was no problem with buying a ticket and she was extremely nice and helpful too. You can pay by cash or credit card. Remember to take your passport with you, copy of it or at least to have a pic on your phone (I had a pic on phone and there was no problem). Every time you buy any bus or train ticket in Russia you’ll need to give them your passport, as they will need to put your data into the ticket. When getting into the train you’ll need to show your ticket and the passport as well.
My biggest question before this whole journey was: which bed to choose in the train?! Upper or lower? Will I have enough space for my luggage?! Corridor or side bed? “Is it safe to go third class”? Well, I have read lots of posts about Transiberian trains and still were really confused. Everyone would say, they prefer to get the upper bed, as “your luggage is safer” or “people won’t bother you by sitting on your bed”.
Finally, I decided to take the third class ticket with the lower bunk bed (they are bit more expensive than upper ones!). Mostly because of my heavy bags that I would never in my life put on the shelf above the upper bunk bed! Trying to buy ticket online, I was about to take the one at the corridor, so I won’t have “3 other companions so close to me”. Don’t take the one right next to the bathroom either (there are four in each car-two on each end), people will go there often to change etc., so it can disturb a bit. But as I forgot to tell that to the lady, I got the side, lower bed next to the bathroom. Kaboom! Total Disaster!
Just kidding, it wasn’t that bad, I was actually happy of..her choice (minus the bathroom location). The train left at 20:48 local time, so until 22.00/23.00 everyone was sitting, talking and eating. If you want to go sleep early, you can ask politely the person sitting on your bed, if you can make the bed (for the lower one) or simply book the upper one. You can bring your own food, tea bags, coffee (only ask for hot water in a glass) etc. or simply buy it from the provodnik- the conductor.
The guys from the other three beds next to me were cool. Tried to talk some English, giving me some food or asking if I want them to order a coffee or tee for me :). In general , the train is very clean, beds/sits are comfy, as you get your own mattress, pillow and clean sheets. Bathroom is bearable, but could be worse. And most important thing- there is a lot of space for big backpacks under the bed. I’ve seen as well two policeman passing by along the train, so it’s safe too. The only disturbing thing was “el gordo” next to me, snoring like there’s no tomorrow!
Wifi and sockets at the train.
There is no wifi at the train! But, if you remember my first advice about it, you’ll get the Russian SIM card. It will work along the way, however not always in between the train stations. If it’s about the sockets in the train, to charge your phone, camera etc., there is on outside the bathrooms and one in each bathroom as well. For charging your stuff, I recommend you to take an external battery with you (check my travel gear!).
Train ticket Moscow to Kazan cost: 2059 RUB (if you buy it few days earlier it can be half cheaper)
In the end, the first train ride was a good experience!! Can’t wait for more…and you? SIGN UP to my newsletter to get further info from my trip.