Getting to Russia

By | July 2, 2021


Arriving by plane

The national airline is called Aeroflot Russian Airlines (SU). (Internet: Direct connections with Moscow from some German airports (Berlin, Dresden, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hanover and Munich), from Zurich, Geneva and Vienna daily or several times a week; also direct connections with St. Petersburg. Aeroflot also operates flights between Moscow and most of the major cities in the former Soviet Union.

Orenair (R2) offers direct flights from Düsseldorf to Omsk twice a week.

Yakutia Airlines (R3) connects Munich with Irkutsk.

S7 Airlines (S7) flies weekly from Vienna via Moscow to Novosibirsk. S7 Airlines (S7) also flies to numerous German cities.

Lufthansa (LH) flies from Frankfurt and Munich to Moscow and from Frankfurt to Rostov. Germanwings (4U) flies to Moscow from numerous major German cities as well as from Vienna and Zurich.

Air Berlin (AB) flies from Berlin and Vienna to St. Petersburg and Moscow as well as from Düsseldorf, Hanover (from September), Munich, Stuttgart (until the end of August) and Zurich to Moscow. During the summer flight schedule, Air Berlin will also be flying from Düsseldorf to St. Petersburg.

Austrian Airlines (OS) flies from Vienna to Moscow, Yekaterinburg, Nizhniy Novogrod, Sochi, St. Petersburg, Rostov and Krasnodar.

Swiss (LX) flies from Zurich to Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Air Astana (KC) flies from Frankfurt to Novosibirsk via the Kazakh capital Astana.

Ukraine International (PS) flies from Geneva and Zurich via Kiev to Moscow.

Ural Airlines (U6) flies from Cologne / Bonn to Moscow. There are good feeder connections from several German cities through the Rail & Fly agreement.

Flight times

Frankfurt – Moscow or St. Petersburg: 3 hours; Berlin – Kaliningrad: 4 hours (via Warsaw); Vienna – Moscow or St. Petersburg: 2 hours 45 minutes; Zurich – Moscow: 3 hours 30 minutes; Zurich – St. Petersburg: 4 hours 35 minutes (with changes).

Average flight times in the former Soviet states:
Moscow – Almaty / Kazakhstan: 4 hours 20 minutes;
Moscow – Baku / Azerbaijan: 3 hours;
Moscow – Tashkent / Uzbekistan: 3 hours 45 minutes;
Moscow – Samarkand / Uzbekistan: 3 hours 50 minutes;
Moscow – Bishkek / Kyrgyzstan: 4 hours;
Moscow -Dushanbe / Tajikistan: 4 hours;
Moscow – Chisinau / Moldova: 2 hours;
Moscow – Yalta / Ukraine: 2 hours;
Moscow – Simferopol / Ukraine: 2 hours
Moscow – Donetsk / Ukraine: 1 hour 30 minutes;
Moscow – Odessa / Ukraine: 2 hours;
Moscow – Kharkov / Ukraine: 2 hours;
Moscow – Kiev / Ukraine: 1 hour 30 minutes;
Moscow – Lvov / Ukraine: 2 hours 15 minutes;
Moscow – Minsk / Belarus: 1 hour 30 minutes;
Moscow – Tbilisi / Georgia: 2 hours 30 minutes;
Moscow – Yerevan / Armenia: 2 hours 45 minutes.

Arrival by car

Bus: Eurolines buses (Internet: travel to the Russian Federation. Timetable and tariff information is available from the Eurolines representatives in
Germany (Deutsche Touring GmbH, address: Am Römerhof 17, D-60486 Frankfurt / M. Tel: (069) 79 03 50. Internet:
– Austria (euro Lines Austria – Blaguss Reisen GmbH, Internet: and
– Switzerland (Alsa + Eggmann, Internet:

car:Tourists can enter with their own car or use rental cars (see Travel – National). The following border crossings are available: From Finland: Vaalima – Torfyanovka, Nuijamaa – Brusnitshnoje, Varitus – Kostomuksa, Raja / Jooseppi – Lotta; from Poland: Bartoszyce – Bagrationovsk, Branevo – Mamonovo, from Norway: Storskog-Murmansk.

Upon entry, the traveler must undertake in writing to take the vehicle back out. The nationality code “D” must also be affixed to the vehicle with EU license plates. Travelers with their own car must enter “Autotourist” in their visa application as the purpose of the trip.

The import of fuel in reserve canisters is prohibited.

Anyone entering with their own car should have their visa registered the first time they spend the night in a hotel, motel or campsite. The license plate should be entered on the visa.

The international green insurance card serves as international proof of liability insurance (the large green card, which is subject to a fee, must be applied for). Otherwise it is advisable to insure your car with the state insurance company Ingosstrach. There are branches at all border crossings and in larger cities. When leaving the country, the duplicate of the document must be returned to the customs authorities.
Short comprehensive insurance should definitely be taken out. The protection letters of the automobile clubs are only valid in the European part (mostly only reimbursement of costs, no practical help).

Visitors are only allowed to drive on routes that have been approved in advance by a tour operator (see Travel – National).

The supply of petrol stations and service facilities is best guaranteed on the main routes (European roads); two of the most important European routes are the routes Brest – Minsk / Belarus – Smolensk – Moscow – Tver – St. Petersburg – Vyberg and Shegini – Lwow – Rowno – Kiev – Odessa – Leusheny / Moldova.
More information about documents and regulations for traveling by car from tour operators.

Distances: Moscow – St. Petersburg: 704 km; Moscow – Rostov: 1065 km; Moscow – Minsk / Belarus: 720 km; Moscow – Kiev / Ukraine: 878 km; Moscow – Odessa / Ukraine: 1346 km. Tour operators can provide a car guide.

Note on arriving by car

At the moment, the border to Azerbaijan (Samur) is not crossable for foreigners without a special permit. Visitors who want to enter the country by car should find out about the relevant border crossings at the embassy before starting their journey. Considerable waiting times can be expected in some cases.

According to areacodesexplorer, the border crossing between the Russian Federation and Georgia in the Darial Gorge is open. All other border crossings between the two countries remain closed.

Arriving by train

On the route from Paris to Moscow, the train operated by the Russian State Railways (the route is part of a cooperation between the French SNCF and the Russian RZD) stops in 19 cities, including Minsk, Warsaw, Berlin, Strasbourg, Hanover, Fulda and Frankfurt am Main. (Journey time 38 hours). The train runs three times a week in winter and five times in summer.

Connections from Berlin to Moscow and St. Peterburg via Warsaw, Szczecin, Minsk (Belarus) or Brest (Belarus) (travel time 29-35 hours). From Vienna there are connections via Budapest, Kattowice or Warsaw as well as via Brest (Belarus) (travel time 30-37 hours).

Night train connections:

Moskva-Express Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays: Berlin – Moscow.

Brussels and others – Cologne – Düsseldorf – Dortmund – Hanover – Moscow.

D-night: Basel – Freiburg – Offenburg – Karlsruhe – Mannheim – Frankfurt – Fulda – Warsaw – Moscow.

D-night: Munich – Ingolstadt – Nuremberg – Würzburg – Fulda – Warsaw – Moscow.

Euro Night: Amsterdam – Duisburg – Düsseldorf – Cologne – Dortmund – Hamm – Warsaw – Minsk – Moscow.

More direct trainsor through coaches run from other western and eastern European cities as well as from Turkey, Iran, Mongolia and China. The Allegro high-speed train, for example, runs from Helsinki to St. Petersburg several times a day in just 3.5 hours (Internet:

The Trans-Siberian Railway (Internet: begins in Moscow, travels to the Siberian Pacific coast and continues by ferry to Japan. Another route runs through Mongolia (Ulan Ude, Ulan Bator) to Beijing. Trains run daily, but the ship from Nakhodka to Yokohama usually only runs once a week. The journey from Moscow to Yokohama takes 10 days and is the longest uninterrupted train route in the world (7 time zones and 9288 km from Europe to the Pacific, 89 stops between Vladivostok and Moscow). Bed linen and towels are provided in first class, and there is a toilet with a washbasin at the end of each compartment. Tea from the samovar is served at a low price and there is a train restaurant (although no alcohol is served).

The Trans-Mongolian Railway drives from Moscow to Irkutsk (Siberia), past Lake Baikal through Mongolia to Beijing.

The special train Zarengold (Internet: runs between May / June and September / October from Moscow to Beijing. The trip takes 16 days.

Arrival by ship

The club ship AIDA (Internet: operates the Warnemünde – Tallinn – St. Petersburg route. Sea Cloud Cruises (Internet: sails from Rostock via Sweden, Finland to St. Petersburg. Costa (Internet: drives to St. Petersburg on various routes.

Finnlines (Internet: offers ferry trips from Lübeck / Travemünde via Sassnitz to St. Petersburg.
A train ferry (Internet: connects the Kaliningrad Baltic port of Baltijsk (Pillau) twice a week with Sassnitz / Mukran on the island of Rügen (travel time: 16 hours).

Getting to Russia