The train and bus network is extensive and largely efficient, with up to twenty trains a day in each direction connecting the two main cities. Express trains such as Sapsan, Aurora and Er-200 whisk passengers from one city to the other in under five hours in the early evening, but cheapest, and most atmospheric, are overnight trains, a quintessential Russian experience, which take around eight hours. Trains are generally safe, reliable and cheap (one-way from approx R600 seated only, R1000 in a couchette). Buy tickets in advance from Leningradskiy station in Moscow or Moskovskiy station in St Petersburg. City transport in Moscow and St Petersburg centres on the punctual metro; overground transport includes buses, trams, trolleybuses and minibuses (marshrútki). Official taxis can be very expensive, whereas unofficial ones are not necessarily safe. Bike rental in St Petersburg offers a pleasant way to see the city’s quieter outer corners, but cycle around Moscow at your peril.

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