Saint Petersburg is the most visited city in Russia and is known worldwide for its museums, churches, and architecture. Unlike Moscow, the Saint Petersburg Metro is not as well known as a tourist attraction. The metro in Saint Petersburg is not as tourist-friendly, the trains are quite old and worn out, and the crowds are quite intense (there are not as many stations as compared to Moscow). Despite all this, the metro is well worth a visit and some of the stations are can’t (and don’t) miss!
Saint Petersburg Metro Information
The metro was built in the mid-1950s and is much smaller than its Moscow counterpart. There are 5 lines with approximately 77 stations in total.
To ride the Saint Petersburg metro you can buy individual tickets that cost 55 rubles each (€0.70). Alternatively, you can buy a card called the Podorozhnik card. This costs 60 rubles (€0.77) and each journey will be about 38 rubles (€0.50). Although this sounds like a good deal, if you are traveling as a couple it doesn’t work out so. You see, unlike the Moscow metro card (and numerous cards around the world), the Podorozhnik card is not couple friendly. After one person goes through the card gets “locked”, so the second person cannot make it through. You then have to buy a separate 55 ruble ticket to get through. Also, be aware that the metro has sensors that can detect if you have a bag with you – you need to pay extra for the bag and may get locked out. This, combined with the fact that you won’t need to use the metro often to visit tourist sites, means that steering clear of the metro card is probably advised.
This guide is intended to advise the reader on the best metro stations that we visited during our stay in Saint Petersburg. We didn’t use the Metro often (on two different days in fact), so this isn’t a comprehensive guide. If you wish to pack in the highlights, however, follow this guide.
This is, by far, the most impressive metro station in either Moscow or Saint Petersburg. The stand out feature are the impressive columns, which go the full length of the station. There are also marble walls and chandeliers – its no wonder this station is known as a palace.
The theme of the station is the Siege of Leningrad – when the Nazis laid siege to Saint Petersburg during World War II.
This station translates as Kirovsky Factory – due to the factory located in the vicinity. It is quite apt then that the theme of this station is the development of the socialist industry. There are numerous depictions of Soviet Union industries located throughout the platform – such as coal and oil production.
The station is quite breathtaking at first, with the grey marble arches dominating the platform. The station is also extremely bright. Apparently they were trying to depict actual real sunlight by making sure the station is so well illuminated. You certainly wouldn’t think you were so far underground!
One more stop on the red line takes you to the station of Narvskaya. This station is dedicated to the hard work of the people of the USSR. You can see numerous depictions on the walls around you of the different professions that were instrumental in making the USSR a success – doctors, farmers, and builders amongst them.
This station is named after Russia’s most famous poet – Alexander Pushkin. Pushkin died after losing a duel with a man he claimed was having an affair with his wife. This aside, Pushkin is a hero in Russia and there are numerous attractions around baring his name. The Pushkinskaya station contains a statue to Pushkin at the end of the platform.
Zvenigorodskaya is perhaps not a “must visit” station – but it is a good way to get on to the purple line (and visit the station below and get back to the center of the city). Zvenigorodskaya shares a building with Pushkinskaya but is the newer of the two. One particular highlight is the mosaic of Peter the Greats regiment.
Admiralteyskaya is one of the most central and famous stations in Saint Petersburg. The station is located next to the Admiralty building, and that is where it gets its name from. As such the theme of the station is sailing and there are numerous mosaics throughout the station.
The reason Admiralteyskaya is so famous however is that it is the second deepest metro station in the whole world. It is 86 meters below the ground, and you need to take two escalators just to get there. Believe me when I say that it takes about 10 minutes just to get out of the station!
Admiralteyskaya was the final stop on our Saint Petersburg tour but there are plenty of other stations to discover. Some other stations which come highly recommended are Ploschad Voostaniya(Red), Sportivnaya(Purple), Mezhdunarodnaya(Purple), Spasskaya(Orange).