We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Train Tickets

Idaho Falls, Idaho
Level Contributor
36 posts
11 reviews
Save Topic
Train Tickets

Hello,

Any advice on how to book tickets from the US? I have tried but the RZD site won't take my credit card. Do I need to go through an agent? Is so, any recommendation?

Thanks

New York
Destination Expert
for Moscow
Level Contributor
3,993 posts
38 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Train Tickets

Ask a friend in Europe if you have one to book it for you on RZD

Bethesda MD
Level Contributor
1,749 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Train Tickets

tutu.ru and Paypal. I haven't tried yet but by all indications that should be a decent work-around. I was looking at tutu's markup on one route just yesterday, and it was under 20%, significantly lower than the tourist-oriented resellers. The catch is that tutu is in Russian only, but it you use it in conjunction with the English section of the RZD site and sprinkle in some Google Translate, it's pretty straightforward.

Plymouth, Minnesota
Destination Expert
for Moscow
Level Contributor
5,518 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Train Tickets

While I can't prove anything, I would not count on TuTu being consistently only 20% higher. We have other folks report some other third part sites were not that bad, only to find that there may have been an exception, and that typically the mark-ups run more like 30-40%.

But, all here would be happy for me to be proven wrong...I may give this a whirl just to test out and see...

Long Island, NY
Level Contributor
138 posts
12 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Train Tickets

This morning i was looking at a train from Vladivostok to Irkutsk on May 6th (143Y). These are the following rates I noticed, for Kupe:

RZD: 8581

TuTu: 9218

RealRussia: 10946

By my calculations TuTu has about a 7% increase. I haven't completed the transaction -- so I don't know if they add on fees at the end.

I am going to try to purchase tickets on TuTu with my paypal account later this week and will report back.

Plymouth, Minnesota
Destination Expert
for Moscow
Level Contributor
5,518 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Train Tickets

I will confess that from one experiment, saw similar lower uplifts, so as per my previous post, happy to be proven wrong. If nothing else, I would say for sure start with TuTu, and if the mark-up is more than 10-15%, maybe check around further. But, for sure, to date, pretty much all other 3rd party sites have shown 30-40% mark-ups.

So, again, happy to be proven wrong!

Long Island, NY
Level Contributor
138 posts
12 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Train Tickets

Just a quick update on this. I tried to make a purchase today using paypal on TuTu. Unfortunately Tutu requires that you Paypal account be verified, which mine is not and I am unable to do that now. So I will have to find another means of purchasing my tickets.

However, it looks like Paypal will work if your account is verified!

Bethesda MD
Level Contributor
1,749 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Train Tickets

Another recommendation I've seen is to try to establish and fund a Yandex account. That's sort of the Russian Paypal. If you can, I think RZD, or Intourist or tutu, would take Yandex.

Plymouth, Minnesota
Destination Expert
for Moscow
Level Contributor
5,518 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Train Tickets

I have played around with a lot of stuff, but | would hardly encourage a more casual person to try to set up and fund a Yandex account. As in, not for the week of stomach...

I guess if one can fund via PayPal (possible these days I assume), to me, it is still not worth the hassle - vs. paying a few extra bucks for a ticket...

Bethesda MD
Level Contributor
1,749 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Train Tickets

Yeah, and that's how the 40% markup keeps getting traffic. But I don't think our situation last summer was rare: 4 passengers * 3 segments * maybe $80 US/ticket = about $1000, so a 40% markup was about $400 US.

Plymouth, Minnesota
Destination Expert
for Moscow
Level Contributor
5,518 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Train Tickets

I hear you...let me rephrase...I still would not suggest the average, casual tourist try to figure out Yandex money. Not sure I understand the previous poster's issues with PayPal?