St Petersburg’s Moskovsky Station is the major rail hub for the city of St Petersburg, and if you travel to or from this must-see tourist city by rail, you are going to spend some time here. The Sapsan train to Moscow departs from here and it is officially the Sapsan St. Petersburg train station. Hopefully you can spend as much as possible elsewhere in the city before boarding – but no traveler completely escapes waiting for their train or plane. So, when you inevitably find yourself in Moskovsky Railroad Station waiting for your train, what’s the best way to make the time pass quickly for yourself and your family? Fortunately, though no train station can be called fun, this one does offer a few ways to fill the time.
Catch a Quick Dinner
In Moskovsky Train Station, as you are waiting for the Sapsan, you can find familiar American restaurants like Subway and Burger King – easy choices for parents with hungry but picky young children. There is also the Italian restaurant Il Patio, as well as a number of cafes and coffee shops scattered around the station to satisfy the appetites of your whole family, young and old, whether they’re just a little peckish or starving.
Check Out the Stores
Moskovsky has a few retail outlets selling apparel, jewelry, souvenirs, and other needs and wants of the average traveler, including Mts (an electronics store), and T & Ko (a bookstore), and a number of others. There is even a used clothing store, Mir. Of special note is Toy Cars, a model car shop that can definitely keep your young ones engaged for a while, displaying models of cars, trains, aircraft and dinosaurs – something for every kid!
Or Check Out the Decor
While its sister station in Moscow, Leningradsky, doesn’t offer much in the way of art or decor, Moskovsky boasts a few exceptional items for you to enjoy and examine during your time here. One of the most striking is the giant gold map of Russia’s rail system covering the west wall of the station. All cites on the rail system are displayed – an impressive array, given the vastness of Russia’s rail network – and it is a unique and impressive piece of art.
And if you are willing to pay the 45 rubles for the escalator – and if you’re not stuck in the station in the overnight hours when the Metro doesn’t run – you can descend to the red line station, Ploshchad Vosstaniya, which connects the Metro to Moskosvky Station. Like most of the city’s Metro stations, this one is a work of art with gorgeous reliefs and ornaments, and a striking red marble foundation. Wander the Metro station for a bit and enjoy the stark artistry of the country’s Soviet era.
Hide Away With Your Child
For those traveling with an infant or small toddler, the Mother and Child Room offers a refuge from the noise and bustle of the station, as well as a quiet private place for diaper changes and napping little ones. With a TV and a few chairs, the room gives parents with a small child a welcome place to rest while waiting for the train – and the schedule of arrivals and departures is displayed in the room, for your convenience so you will be sure to make your Sapson St. Petersburg to Moscow train.
Put on a Show with Videovestochka
Moskovsky station sports a number of blue machines offering a service called Videovestochka, allowing you to record video messages to send back home, giving you a unique and fun way to send messages to loved ones. Record one or several and send each to as many recipients as you like using an email or phone number.
Or Watch a Show on Your Own
Just like the Leningradsky Station in Moscow, Moskovsky Station offers free Wifi. After you’ve toured the shops or gotten a bit at the café or satisfied your artistic curiosity with the station’s classic décor, you can find a seat in the waiting area and occupy yourself on your phone, tablet, or other device as you wile away the time until you can board your train. As most parents know, this is also a great way to keep little ones entertained during the empty time. Given the noise and close quarters of the waiting area, ear buds are a good idea for your privacy and your neighbor’s peace.
The worst part of travel is waiting. Hopefully, you can streamline your schedule to minimize your time in the station – and Russia’s famously prompt train system will hopefully make that scheduling easier. But no matter how efficient your itinerary, you’ll end up spending some time in the train station. For those times, at least know there are ways to occupy yourself and your family in St Petersburg’s historic Moskovsky Station until it’s time for your Russian rail adventure to continue.