Travel St. Petersburg - Trondheim
via Oslo, Stockholm and Helsinki
by Vadim Makarov
Fly by SAS: fast and convenient
You can fly on any day (or almost any day) by
They have flights St. Petersburg - Copenhagen and St. Petersburg - Stockholm.
There is no direct flight, but connections through these airports are
convenient: you buy a single ticket and don't wait too long in the airport.
My only complain is that the plane to Copenhagen departs from Trondheim too early
in the morning: in winter, you will see dawn in midair (photo at right).
SAS service is excellent.
If you want, you can fly to Oslo instead of Trondheim, spend the evening wandering
around the nice historical center of the city and take a night train to Trondheim
(NSB railroad; ask for
A round-trip ticket always cost me a little more than NOK 4,000 (one-way would cost exactly
half of that; Oanda currency converter).
Don't forget to ask
for student discount and also sign up to the EuroBonus frequent flyer program before
you board the plane. In St. Petersburg,
Sindbad Travel used to be the cheapest
place to get SAS tickets.
Although the baggage allowance is 20 kg per passenger, it seems SAS employees
in the St. Petersburg airport are allowed to check in up to 40 kg for
free. You might have to ask nicely, beg, remind them you are a student, say you don't
have money and finally promise them to fly Aeroflot for the rest of your
life - it works! Just don't abuse it.
Always book tickets to your preferred flight as early as possible.
Fly by Aeroflot: cheaper
Aeroflot no longer flies from Oslo to St. Petersburg,
only from Oslo to Moscow.
You can fly or take a train between Trondheim and Oslo.
Tickets can be purchased through Aeroflot office in Oslo
or booked through some travel agencies
(e.g. Flyspesialisten at NTNU).
Ground travel: see some of Sweden and Finland in two days
This is somewhat cheaper (a student can travel for less than 1000 kroner one-way).
I would recommend anyone to take this route at least once when you have time.
The views are beautiful and the trip is interesting in itself.
You don't need any additional visas, because Scandinavia now belongs to the Schengen zone.
A Norwegian visa (Schengen visa, in fact) or Norwegian residence permit will be sufficient.
The holders of Norwegian residence permit do not need any kind of travel
insurance in Scandinavian countries, because the gratis Norwegian health insurance (E111)
covers them in these countries as well.
- Train Trondheim - Stockholm. Tickets can be purchased from Norwegian NSB railroad
(including round-trip tickets) or from Swedish SJ railroad.
Ask for student discount.
You can also fly this leg of your journey if you think the train leaves you too much time to
My favorite activity in Stockholm on my way back to Norway is to visit the Royal Opera
(and then go to the night train). Too bad some plays are just too long to catch the train in time.
- There is no ferry Stockholm - St. Petersburg (there used to be one
before the Russian economics crisis in 1998). You'll have to travel via Finland.
- Ferry Stockholm - Helsinki: Silja line |
Don't forget to ask for student and other
discounts and sign up to the frequent traveller program (it can be done aboard
the Silja line ferry). Before I boarded the ferry, I couldn't imagine that a
whole shopping mall, ten restaurants, a big hotel and an observation desk at ten-storey elevation can
smoothly sail the sea.
- There are daily express buses Helsinki - St. Petersburg
(Pietari in Finnish; there should be a timetable somewhere on the site).
Note: there are also departures by other companies, not included in the timetable on the Pohjolan site.
The Pohjolan express bus line is served by Russian Sovavto buses on every other day,
and you can get a lower price and student discount if you buy directly from the Russian bus driver.
Sovavto calls it a "legal discount for Russian citizens," to the displeasure of their Finnish partners
who want to charge more.
You don't need to book a ticket for the bus from Helsinki.
In St. Petersburg, tickets must be purchased in person at Sovavto office in Pulkovskaya hotel
(new phone numbers: 1403985, 1403986). They think you come to St. Petersburg just to spend
half a day getting the return ticket. What a bullshit.
Last time I called and lied that I'm taking a night train from Moscow:
they let me book over phone and pay in the bus at departure. Just how it should be :)
To get from the ferry terminal to the bus station, take a tram to the city center
(few stops on tram #3 from Silja terminal).
If you really want to feel entered Russia as soon as possible :-) and drive
a bit slower, try to get onto one of the several Russian buses
hauling hordes of shuttle traders (read: smugglers) to Helsinki. They go few times a week, not every day.
The fare from Helsinki to St. Petersburg is only USD/EUR 10.
The buses usually wait on some street not far from the bus station, to the right and a bit behind it.
Any Russian will show you the way.
They depart around noon and make several brief shopping stops on the way to the border. Service quality is low.
Still, if you book a seat on one of the the abovementioned shuttle buses in Russia
(their offices are located in the Oktabrskaya hotel), it could be as little as FIM 40 for
a round trip! Just don't take that night bus to Helsinki: there may be mayor delays
at the Finnish customs.
- Trains Helsinki - Russia (see site of Finnish VR railway).
There are three trains daily: "Repin" and "Sibelius" to St. Petersburg, "Tolstoi" to Moscow.
It's more expensive and comfortable way of travelling (you stay on the train at the customs, there is a dining car, etc.).
If you take "Repin", it leaves you time to see Helsinki between the ferry and train.
- Ferry Helsinki - St. Petersburg: Silja line promised to sail a ferry twice a week in the summer 2002.
Feel free to combine the above
A travel agency will always try to put you on the plane all the way
to the final destination, regardless of how inconvenient and expensive that might be.
Don't overlook better routes that you can arrange yourself.
Example: take the night train to Stockholm (have a good sleep).
It stops right at the Arlanda airport just before arriving to the city.
Get off and board the morning flight to St. Petrsburg.
Note: it may be a bit hard to buy a discount fare ticket Stockholm - St. Petrsburg in Trondheim.
I'd try to talk Kilroy Travels Sweden into mailing me one.
- Russians: contact the nearest Norwegian consulate.
- Norwegian Embassy in Moscow - visa information and contact info of the Norwegian consulate in St. Petersburg.
- Norwegians and foreigners staying in Norway: contact the Russian embassy in Oslo, and also see the links section below for info on visa support and obligatory invitation/registration.
- Russian Embassy in Oslo - visa information.
Russian version of this page contains some additional details, mostly to answer questions of those who travel from St. Petersburg to Norway for the first time: how to better book tickets, etc.
Last updated in January 2004
1) One of our friends flew by SAS, but purchased the ticket directly from SAS instead
of Kilroy Travels. It was about 1000 krones cheaper.
2) There are express buses Nor-Way Bussekspress
Trondheim - Oslo and Oslo - Stockholm.
-- Albert Lysko (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 25, 2000
I was threatened by gun to have me post this comment. To travel from
St.Petersburg to Trondheim, you can also buy tickets directly from SAS (their
office is in the Nevsky Palace Hotel, metro station Mayakovskaya). This turns out to be
cheaper than from Sindbad Travel (by 20 or 30 bucks).
-- Artem Vakhitov (email@example.com), August 1, 2000
I travelled from Trondheim to St. Petersburg in December 2000 and I think
I spent about NOK 1,000: NOK 330 for
train to Stockholm (with student discount), 300 Swedish kronor for cheapest ticket
on Viking ferry to Helsinki, around $10 for overnight express bus to St. Petersburg.
A little bit tiring, but I saw a lot of great things along the way.
Make sure to bring some water and food with you on the bus.
BTW, I came back through the Baltic states on the way back
and spent just around $10 for each bus fare between St. Petersburg-Tallinn-Riga-Vilnius.
There is a ferry from Riga
to Stockholm but only during certain times of the year,
unfortunately not while I was there.
-- Matt Carper (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 12, 2001
Trondheim to St. Petersburg by car
There is a program called Microsoft AutoRoute Europe 2002
that allows to plan a journey within Europe (and in the rest of the world, but with less precision).
I've played with it and found that Microsoft thinks the most convenient route to St. Petersburg is this one:
(large map and detailed timeline)
however, you can also trace it via Stockholm:
(large map and detailed timeline)
Amazingly, it generates a down-to-the-minute timeline of the journey.
There are ferries Umeå - Vaasa (for the first route), and they are not very expensive:
An inexpensive ferry Stockholm - Turku:
If somebody's interested in other routes by Microsoft (to Ukraine, to China, etc.), write me and I'll check it out.
-- Vitali Milekhine (Vitali.Milekhine@material.ntnu.no), July 3, 2002; comment translated from Russian
I actually drove via Umeaa-Vaasa and then on the country roads in Finland to Vyborg. It was quite OK.
-- Alexei Rudakov; comment translated from Russian
I travelled from St. Petersburg to Trondheim in January 2004, and it cost me NOK 1000 in total.
Sovavto bus to Helsinki cost €21 (with student discount). Viking line ferry cost €42 (not the cheapest cabin).
Train to Trondheim cost NOK 480. A dining car is not always available on this train; take at least some drinking water with you.
Add a comment
-- Mikhail Chizhov (email@example.com), February 3, 2004; comment translated from Russian
Add a link
- Ways to Travel from Oslo to St. Petersburg and Moscow (in Russian)
- Go to St. Petersburg by train, from Helsinki by Timaham
- Russian Visas - international service - service to most countries for tourist and business visas to Russia. Online forms, addresses of Russian Embassies and Consulates worldwide.
- Russian Visas - info and on-line forms (UK site).
-- added by Howard (firstname.lastname@example.org), latest on October 7, 2002
- St. Petersburg International Hostel - Cheap accomodation ($10-24 per night),
visa support (regardless of where you stay), great links page
for visitors to St. Petersburg and Russia
- Guide to St. Petersburg - the best one I've seen so far, albeit a bit obsolete
-- added by Albert Lysko (email@example.com) in August, 2000
- Lodging in St. Petersburg - Renting apartments in St. Petersburg, Russia. Furnished, full-equipped, serviced apartments much cheaper than hotels.
Most are in the center of the city. Reservation online. Other services such as driver, guide, interpreter, etc.
-- added by Denis (firstname.lastname@example.org) on June 27, 2001
- Escorted St. Petersburg Tours - Custom-tailored tours of St. Petersburg, Russia for independent and business travellers.
Accommodation in private apartments, airport transfer, guided tours, car rental, visa support.
-- added by Dmitri Razmyslovich on July 2, 2001
- St. Petersburg and Moscow Apartments and Service - apartments for rent.
Services like sending invitation, airport transfer, translator, guide, renovation of apartments...
-- added by Regina Noack (email@example.com) on August 7, 2001
- Alliance Travel - accommodation in rented flats in the historical center of St. Petersburg
at competitive prices (from $45 per night); Russian visa support, car rental and guided tours.
-- added by Svetlana Salovska (firstname.lastname@example.org) on November 5, 2001
- Russian Tours - Russian visa online, hotels, apartments, train tickets, transportation, tours,
excursions and guide services for travel to St. Petersburg and Moscow.
-- added by Dmitry Clabel (email@example.com) on November 14, 2001
- Art Travel - tour service in St. Petersburg and Moscow; tours, transfers, hotel booking, interpreting service, conference arrangements, theater tickets etc.
-- added by Olga (firstname.lastname@example.org) on December 31, 2002
- Roxana - holiday apartments in the center of St. Petersburg for rent from the owner. Modern design, nice view.
-- added by Roxana on January 15, 2003
- Alexandra Breslav - personal travel guide and business interpreter in St. Petersburg. Support for tourism, excursions, airport transfer, visa and business trips. Translation Ensglish-Portuguese-Russian.
-- added by Alexandra Breslav (email@example.com) on February 21, 2003
- Apartments, vacation rentals in St. Petersburg, Russia - advantageous alternative to hotels and hostels. Selection of apartments for rent at the historical centre of St. Petersburg with description, photos and prices.
-- added by Alexey Torov (firstname.lastname@example.org) on June 5, 2003
- Travel category in Russian-Norwegian directory.