From Helsinki to St. Petersburg

Helsinki to St. Petersburg is not just a popular route for the citizens of Finland. Many travelers use Helsinki as a stop on their way to St. Petersburg. Why? Because this gives them an opportunity to explore St. Petersburg and not waste time and money on obtaining the Russian visa. Visa-free Helsinki to St. Petersburg tours are so popular that we have designed all-inclusive tour packages for those who come to St. Petersburg from Helsinki, Tallinn or Stockholm on board of a ferry. 

Say, you’ve decided to go to Europe and you have got your visa (or may be you don’t even need one). St. Petersburg is just a few hours’ drive from Helsinki so it might be a good idea to add St. Petersburg, the cultural capital of Russia, to the list of cities you’d want to visit.

There are many ways to get from Helsinki to St. Petersburg: by car or bus, by plane or train, or on board of an international cruise ship or a ferry. If you choose the latter, you won’t need to worry about a visa! There is a law in Russia that allows a visa-free regime for the passengers of cruise ships or ferries. It is an ideal means of transportation from Helsinki to St. Petersburg for short-term visits (no more than 3 days). However, if you would like to go to Moscow as well as St. Petersburg or if you prefer to stay for more than 72 hours, then no matter how you get to St. Petersburg, you will have to apply for the visa at the Russian Consulate.

helsinki panorama

Bus ride from Helsinki – the cheapest way to get to St. Petersburg

The buses run from Helsinki to St. Petersburg daily, three times a day. The ride takes about 7.5 hours. The bus goes from the bus station Kamppi, Helsinki to the bus station in the center of St. Petersburg. The bus also makes stops at Karhula (Kotka) bus station and Rajahovi (Virolahti) bus station. The tickets cost about USD 20 per person (one way). Keep in mind, that Russian visa is essential for your visit.

Travel from Helsinki to St. Petersburg with comfort by Sapsan fast train or plane

Train ride is the most convenient and fast way to come to St. Petersburg from Helsinki or the other way around. The ride in a fast train takes about 3.5 hours, the train is modern, comfortable, with the internet access. You may buy e-tickets online at the web site of the Russian Railroads Company or we can book the train tickets for you if you like and send them to you via e-mail. You have to have a proper Russian visa if you choose to come to St. Petersburg by train.

Taking plane is an option too, there are several flights between Helsinki and St. Petersburg every day, but it is the most expensive means of transportation. Even though the flight takes less than an hour, you will still lose a lot of time on registration, customs as well as the road from the airport to the center of St. Petersburg. Again, don’t forget to get a Russian visa before your trip.

Ferry ride – best way to come to St. Petersburg without a visa.

ferry helsinki to st petersburg

More and more people choose ferries to get from Helsinki to St. Petersburg. Ferry leaves Helsinki at 7.00 pm and docks at St. Petersburg at 9.00 am. Now only one ferry works on this route – St. Peter Line’s Princess Anastasia. They will issue a special cruise visa for you on board of the ferry so you do not need to get Russian visa beforehand. They charge about EUR 25 for this service. Keep in mind, that if you come to St. Petersburg on board of a ferry, you’ll have to go back to Helsinki on board of a ferry as well. You may find more information about the visas to Russia here. The ferry also makes stops at Tallinn and Stockholm. You can book your ferry ride on line (no commission) and then choose one of our Helsinki to St. Petersburg day trips if you come for one day or send us a request via e-mail for a three-day tour package with hotel accommodarion.


Keep in mind, that no matter which way you choose to get from Helsinki to St. Petersburg, we would be happy to help you if you face any difficulties. We can book the tickets and provide you with the visa support service that will help you obtain Russian visa at the Consulate. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or need more information.