Our plan was to take an early train from St Petersburg to Veliky Novgorod, visit the sights and continue on to Moscow on the night train.
Train to Veliky Novgorod
Leaving St Petersburg from the Moskovsky Station we were on a slow train to Novgorod, leaving at 8 a.m. and arriving at 10:55 a.m., giving us 9 hours plus to explore Novgorod before our 9:20 p.m. departure to Moscow. For us this was more than enough time. I would recommend taking a bit later train, although sights do close around 6 p.m.
Left Luggage at Veliky Novgorod Train Station
Left luggage via self-service lockers at the Novgorod station is pretty easy. You pay the attendant, who gives you a card that locks and reopens the locker. Although the attendant did not speak English, she was kind enough to demonstrate the process for us.
Lunch near the Kremlin Wall
Café Telegraf is located outside the west Kremlin wall, towards the train station. Although there is very little English is spoken and the menu is only in Russian, there are helpful pictures. They offer a general selection of well-prepared food in a pleasant dining room overlooking a wooded park. We had two soups, chicken and borscht, followed by the beef tongue salad and chicken panini.
Night Train to Novgorod
The small Novgorod station is easy to negotiate but there is no information given in English. The departure board, Russian only, is difficult to read with letter codes for various information.
Thankfully the helpful security guard will tell you which track the train to Moscow is leaving from. Be sure to note your car number, listed on your ticket, to know where you should board the train.
Deluxe Sleeping Compartment
We had the deluxe sleeping compartment, a private room for two with a foldout – almost double bed – with a smaller upper bunk as well. The compartment also had a private bathroom including a shower, Not a separate stall but rather a shower head on one side of the small room.
A short overnight with a 9:20 p.m. departure and 5:15 a.m. arrival we didn’t do much more than try to sleep. The train makes many stops along the way and is a bumpy ride, waking up all but the soundest of sleepers. Still it was a fun experience and a great introduction to Russian trains. The attendant in this car was a nice, very tall young man who spoke good English.
I purchased tickets online, click here, about a month and half in advance for an early October departure.
Arrival in Moscow
Arriving at 5:15 a.m. in Moscow we took a taxi from in front of the train station. Despite the official badge around the taxi driver’s neck this was probably not the best choice as the taxi did not have a meter and there was a bunch of stuff in the back seat. One of us had to sit in the front seat. Little English was spoken. Everything worked out fine but you may want to arrange a pick-up with your hotel or be more selective when choosing a taxi.
October 7, 2019
For links to all the posts in this series see the Russia page.