Travelling to St Petersburg by bus is simple and convenient if you have acquainted yourself with everything and prepared all the documents properly.
When planning a trip to Russia, please read the visa requirements before buying the bus tickets.
Keep your passport at hand already when buying bus tickets because in addition to contact information, your travel document (passport) information is also required.
Because of Lux Express dynamic ticket pricing we advise to plan your trip as early as possible to ensure bus tickets with better price and a greater chance to choose your seat according to your preference.
Lux Express Lounge seat ticket has the following advantages for more convenient travelling:
• Complimentary 0.5l bottle water
• Larger, more comfortable seats and plenty of legroom
• In case of available seats, you can choose a separate single window seat
• Overhead headphones for watching films or listening to music on LuxTV screen
• Complimentary meal on Tallinn-St Petersburg-Tallinn route:
Breakfast on Tallinn-St Petersburg route for travellers with Lounge ticket includes a sandwich, yogurt and a small sweet snack. Breakfast is guaranteed only for travellers who have purchased their ticket by latest of 11:59 pm on the day before departure.
Dinner on St Petersburg-Tallinn route for travellers with Lounge ticket includes salad, a sandwich and a small sweet snack. Dinner is guaranteed only for travellers who have purchased their ticket by latest of 1:59 pm on the day of departure.
Meals are freshly prepared on the day of departure.
Starting from October 1, 2019, nationals of 53 foreign States (among others including Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland, Poland) may be granted an e-visa to enter the Russian Federation through air, naval, automobile, and pedestrian checkpoints located in the territory of Saint Petersburg and the Leningrad region.
Estonian citizens can visit St Petersburg both with a visa stamped in the passport and with an electronic visa. Preparing the visa in passport is a paid service and you need to visit the embassy or consulate for this. You can prepare the electronic visa for free online. Pay attention to the visa deadline and term so your trip would take place during the visa validity period.
• E-visa is not valid when travelling by train.
• E-visa is valid only on the assigned border points. All Lux Express St Petersburg travels go through the Ivangorod border point in Estonia or Torfyanovka border point in Finland, both of them allow travellers with e-visa to enter Russia.
• Processing of an e-visa application may take up to 4 calendar days, however we recommend applying for it a bit earlier prior to the travel.
• However, the e-visa is valid only for 30 calendar days as of issuing the visa, meaning you cannot apply for it too early before the travel.
• Person travelling with e-visa can stay in Russia for up to 8 calendar days and it is important to note that it does not mean 192 hours (8 days x 24h), but the start of your stay in the country is at 00.00 of the date you arrive and by 23.59 of the 8th day at the latest you must already be out of the country. For example, if your visa is valid from 15 July to 13 August and you pass the Russian border point on 1 August at 9.00 then you must leave the country at the latest by 23.59 on 8 August, and not by 9.00 on 9 August.
• When filling the visa application, pay attention that you enter all data correctly and on the right fields. Names, dates and document numbers must be in the exact same format as in the passport.
• If characters of the national alphabets (such as Ñ, É, Ü or Ç etc.) are used in the names it is necessary to indicate the transliterated meanings that are presented in the first machine-readable line of your passport when filling in the relevant fields of the application form. For example, if the names in the visual area of the passport are “Séo Türre” then you are required to use names from the machine-readable line “Seo Tuerre” when filling in the application form.
• There have been instances where a person has been sent back from the border just because the fields of first and last name have been mixed up. With the document number, pay extra attention that the letters and numbers would be correct. For example, mixing up letter O and the number 0 can hinder getting a visa or crossing the border.
• While filling the visa application, a personal application number is displayed for you which should be written down because you can later access your visa with that number.
• Although electronic visa is valid also when shown from a smart device screen, we recommend printing it on paper just in case of a technology failure, for instance.
More information on the electronic visa and application is available here: http://electronic-visa.kdmid.ru/spb_home_en.html
More information in Estonian about travelling to Russia and the option to register your travel to Russia is available on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.
When travelling to Russia, it is mandatory to have health insurance and recommended to have travel insurance.
Lux Express travels depart in Estonia from Tallinn bus station at Lastekodu 46, from Tartu bus station at Turu 2, Narva bus station at Vaksali 19 and Jõhvi bus station at Narva maantee 8.
Lux Express travels depart in Latvia from Riga bus station at Prāgas iela 1 and in Lithuania from Vilnius bus station at Sodų g. 22. All Lux Express travels to St Petersburg pass through Estonia, thus the following information about border crossing between Estonia and Russia also applies to travels departing from Latvia or Lithuania.
When entering the bus you must present to the bus driver:
• A bus ticket, either on paper or as an e-ticket shown from smartphone screen;
• A visa, either on paper or electronically shown from smartphone screen;
• A valid passport.
If your documents are in order, the journey to St Petersburg can begin!
When arriving to the Narva border point, all travellers need to get their passports ready. The first check is at the Estonian border point, where a border point employee enters the bus and collects all the passports to run them through a system. This control is done on the bus and the travellers do not need to exit the bus.
Once the Estonian border point is passed, the bus heads toward the Russian border point. There are three checks on the Russian side.
The first check is done also without the travellers leaving the bus and the official enters the bus and checks the passports again.
The second check on the Russian border is more thorough and the travellers need to exit the bus with personal belongings, both carry-on and from the compartment. During this check the official checks the traveller’s passport and visa and issues a migration card for the traveller which the traveller signs during the border control. You have to keep your migration card until you leave the country. The official also stamps the traveller’s passport with the date of entering the country. The same time the travellers go through the border control, the bus is also inspected. Therefore, it is not permitted to immediately board the bus, but you need to wait for the bus driver’s permission.
The third and final Russian border control is done onboard the bus. The official enters the bus and checks the stamps in the passports.
After the third check on the Russian border is finished, the journey to St Petersburg continues.
Lux Express stops at two places in St Petersburg – first at the Baltic train station (Балтийский вокзал), which is next to the Baltiyskaya (Балтийская) subway stop; and the final stop at the St Petersburg bus station at набережная Обводного канала, 36, Санкт-Петербург.
In St Petersburg, the Lux Express buses depart only from the bus station located at набережная Обводного канала, 36, Санкт-Петербург. There is no stop at the Baltic train station on the way back.
Be sure to arrive at the bus station in good time, because there is a security check when entering the bus station that every traveller needs to go through and which can take some time during high seasons. Place your luggage on the line next to the door and go through the security gate, just like at an airport. Usually, the security check takes less than 15 minutes, but we nevertheless recommend arriving at least 30 minutes before departure. During quieter times, the security check can be passed immediately.
Once the bus arrives at the platform and starts boarding travellers, the platform number is announced on the speaker in Russian and English and also visible on the screens inside the bus station and above the exit platforms. To get to the platform in the bus station you also need to present your ticket.
You need to present your ticket, a valid visa and passport to the bus driver. If your documents are in order, the journey to Estonia can start!
The first document check on the Russian border takes place a few kilometres before the border. During this check, the official enters the bus and checks everyone’s passports. Then the bus continues towards the border point.
The second check on the Russian border is more thorough and the travellers need to exit the bus with personal belongings, both carry-on and from the compartment. During this check the official checks the traveller’s passport and visa and the migration card which the official keeps after the check. The official also stamps the traveller’s passport with the date of leaving the country. The same time the travellers go through the border control, the bus is also inspected. Therefore, it is not permitted to immediately board the bus, but you need to wait for the bus driver’s permission.
The third check is done without exiting the bus and the official checks the stamp in the passport.
The fourth check is at the Estonian border point where the travellers need to exit the bus. The bus driver will announce right before exiting whether the travellers need to take their personal belongings and luggage or not. During this check the official checks the traveller’s passport and also visa, if necessary. Once again, you need to wait for the bus driver’s permission to board the bus.
After the fourth check on the Estonian border the bus continues towards its destination, whether it is Tallinn, Tartu, Riga or Vilnius.