DIY St Petersburg Metro Tour – [LESS THAN USD 1]

As is the case with Moscow, St Petersburg metro is much more than a means of commuting. The artsy, classy decor of the Russian underground had me gawking! Nowhere in the world have I seen such eye catching metro stations. Travel within the Russian cities was a blissful experience, thanks to the spectacular designs and decor at the stations.

The best part is that you can explore the lovely Saint Petersburg metro stations on your own. A DIY St Petersburg metro tour is way easier than you think.

With so many myths revolving around tourists and travels around Russia, if an Indian solo female traveler with NO Russian language skills can do it for less than USD 1, so can you!

Here’s How!

Well, first off – costs. Well this is the best part.

Pro Tip – You can travel in the Russian underground for as long as you want till you “Exit”. So if you want to see all stations in one day, without exiting any, all you spend is the cost of one single pass which is just 45 RUB (Just 0.67 USD) in St Petersburg and 55 RUB in Moscow.

Spend as much time as you want and keep clicking 😉

You can stack up on some Pringles and water and pretty much stop at every tiny station if you so please. My metro tour lasted 2.5 hours but you can very well stay all day long.

Effective Route for St Petersburg Metro Tour

Avtovo metro station

The stunning ceiling at Avtovo metro station

I must admit, this was quite intimidating at first. Almost every other station seemed so pretty and all online guides gave some excellent suggestions on ‘must – see St Petersburg metro stations’. Needless to say, I was spoilt for choice.

What helped was reading a few articles online and zeroing in on my favorite stations.

Next, I took a St Petersburg metro map and jotted down where exactly those stations were and on which metro line. After a lot of head banging, I figured it was fairly simple. The prettiest metro stations were ONLY on two lines – Red and Purple.

So even if you don’t do your homework and see all stations on those two lines, your job is done. You can also choose to get off on a station you like when the train stops. You get a glimpse on what’s there on offer , click a few pictures, and jump right back on the next one.

Rinse and repeat.Easy, isn’t it? 

However, here’s a list of my favorite metro stations in St Petersburg for guidance and inspiration

If you want to see just these stations and are already on one of the two lines, it should not take you more than 1. 5 hours to cover them all. However, keep some buffer time for getting lost in your exploration spree.

Red Line (Line Number 1)

Red line of the St Petersburg metro is the oldest started in 1955. Each station is an architectural delight but my top picks are –

Avtovo Metro Station

The grandeur of Avtovo made this my favorite Saint Petersburg metro station, hands down. I had to stop and wonder if I was in a palace but lo behold, a train passed by bringing me back to reality. I was indeed in the St petersburg underground and yes, they have organised metro tours too! That’s how popular Russia’s metro system is and you can clearly see why.

Avtovo metro st petersburg

The grandeur of Avtovo

Narvskaya Metro Station

Surprisingly Narvskaya does not top all pretty Russian metro station lists but let me tell you this is a MUST visit stop on your St Petersburg metro tour. Why? Well, this Soviet themed station brings all professions to life, quite literally. Splattered across the pillars are doctors, sailors and all amazing professionals. Makes for quite a pretty sight, doesn’t it?

Narvskaya Metro station in St Petersburg

The lovely Narvskaya Metro station in St Petersburg

Narvskaya metro

Closer look at the pillars of Narvskaya

Kirovsky Zavod

The grey marble clad pillars of Kirovsky Zavod are very eye-catching and the walls depict the various industries of the Soviet era. So much history and culture lies behind these engravings and design.

Kirovsky Zavod metro station

Institutional walls of Kirovsky Zavod

Tekhnologichesky Institut

This stop on the red line was pretty spectacular for me. Again, its not on your usual popular “top metro stations of St Petersburg” lists but I quite liked it. The walls boost of 24 portraits of Soviet scientists.

Tekhnologichesky Institut

Tekhnologichesky Institut

Purple Line (Line Number 5)

Once you are done exploring the best stations on the red line, simply skip to the line number 5 which is lilac or purple on the map.

After being awe-stuck by the opulence of the red line stops, I wasn’t expecting to be further amused.

I was wrong.

These two stops totally make it to my top St Petersburg metro station list and are a great add on to any tour.

Sportivnaya Metro Station

As the name suggests, this is a sports themed station. With murals depicting athletes and Olympic flame type lamps all around, the over all sports theme is very apparent on both the levels.

Sportivnaya metro

Olympic flame styled lamps at Sportivnaya

Admiralteyskaya Metro Station

Last on my list but surely not the least is the popular Admiralteyskaya. Dedicated to sailors and navy officials, this station is named after Admirality. This is also one of the deepest stations in the world to 86 meters underground. You can imagine the escalator rides can be quite long. No wonder Russians never walk/run on the escalators and just stand on one side. With such deep stations, it will be quite exhausting to actually climb. Yes, I did try and I didn’t make it down even one without running into a sweat.

Admiralteyskaya metro

Sailing themed mural at Admiralteyskaya

Other Must-See St Petersburg Metro Attractions

Apart from the stunning metro station interiors, there are few other things you can add to your St Petersburg metro tour.

Check out Gorkovskaya Exteriors

I was quite impressed by the UFO-like design of gorkovskaya station. Of course you need to exit to see it but a big plus is the station is right next to one of cities top attractions – Peter and Paul fortress.

gorkovskaya

UFO like gorkovskaya exteriors

Unfortunately, I could not see Gorkovskaya at night but this picture on Instagram made me want to go in the first place. So my tip would be – go at night 🙂 –

Travelator at Sportivnaya

At the Sportivnaya subway station, there is a 300 meter underwater travelator, which passes under Neva river. This is one way to exit the station which means you need to pay again to re-enter but worth it, I would say.

Other mention-able metro stations – Pushkinskaya, Mezhdunarodnaya and Ploshchad Vosstaniya also attract many eyeballs solely for their architectural charm.

If you can’t be bothered to run around on your own or need some insightful insights and fun facts about the St Petersburg metro, I would highly recommend taking a guided tour. They cost less than 1100 RUB and are surely a better history lesson than just stopping and taking some random pictures, like I did.

Since you are in St Petersburg, don’t miss out on other popular attractions either. Check out these kick ass top-rated tours at costs that don’t break the bank –

st petersburg russia: Get Your Guide

Also ReadHow to get a Russian visa for Indians EASILY!

So have you done a St Petersburg metro tour yourself or in a group? Share your thoughts about the spectacular Russian underground in comments below.

2 Comments

  1. OMG! This is so good! History and architecture delight in one shot!

    All the pictures are excellent matching with the stations.

    I wonder how you could manage a near empty station everywhere?

    Any tips for that.

    We are planning to there next month. Any other tip? 🙂

    • Hey Nisha, Happy you liked the pictures and post 🙂 You will LOVE the Moscow metro stations too.
      You know when I saw the near empty stations in other pictures online, this was the exact question I asked my Russian friends. They told me to go in the afternoon – it helps a lot. Almost all trains were empty too. Also, using a gopro helps as it gives a wider angle and doesn’t show people in the distance.
      Have a blast!!!! 🙂

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