Traveling from Europe to Russia by Bus in 2024

Traveling from Europe to Russia by Bus in 2024

Sovavto  bus between Europe and Russia

Traveling from Europe to Russia by bus is an economical and practical choice. This guide covers the best bus companies operating from Finland, Estonia, and the Baltic countries to Saint Petersburg and includes my personnal preference.

Important : you will find up-to-date information about the Russia – Finland border crossings bellow.

Last updated : 20/05/2024

3 bus companies to travel from Europe et Russia
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RUssia travel insurance

It’s mandatory to have an insurance to travel in Russia and apply for a russian visa (including the e-visa)

I recommend Attollo Assistance (24/7 assistance, medical expenses up to 35 000 €, repatriation)


Don’t want to read the whole post ? Here’s the most important :

  • LuxExpress for direct bus Tallinn/Riga – Saint Petersburg
  • Ecolines for direct bus Helsinki – Saint Petersburg
  • Sovavto for cheaper (so they say) direct bus Finish cities/Helsinki – Saint Petersburg

Key bus companies and routes

LuxExpress : direct buses from Tallinn/Riga to Saint Petersburg

LuxExpress, an Estonian bus company, offers multiple daily buses to Saint Petersburg from Tallinn, Riga, and other Baltic cities. Tickets can be purchased at bus stations or on the company’s website.

Tip: If Saint Petersburg doesn’t appear on the English version of the website, switch to Russian, type “Санкт Петербург,” select your route, and then switch back to English to complete the booking. For MIR cardholders, tickets can be bought on Tutu.ru.

My Experience: I traveled from Saint Petersburg to Riga with LuxExpress. The journey was more comfortable than an economy flight, with spacious seats, free high-speed Wi-Fi, and a friendly driver. Highly recommended.

LuxExpres bus between Europe and Russia

LuxExpress official website

Book with a MIR Card on Tutu.ru

Ecolines : direct buses from Helsinki to Saint Petersburg

Ecolines is a Baltic bus company operating routes from Central Europe (Germany) to Eastern Europe, Finland, and Russia. They offer direct buses from Helsinki to Saint Petersburg and from Riga to Kaliningrad.

Routes :

Helsinki to Saint Petersburg: Direct via Vaalimaa/Torfyanovka.

Tallinn to Saint Petersburg: Direct via Narva/Ivangorod border.

Important: Due to the ongoing crisis, the Finland-Russia border is currently closed until further notice.

Note: Ecolines has a bus route from Minsk to Moscow but third-country nationals cannot legally cross the Belarus-Russia border by land. Air travel is required for proper immigration checks.

Sovavto : budget-friendly buses from Finland to Saint Petersburg

Sovavto, based in Saint Petersburg, offers daily services between Finland and Russia’s cultural capital. They serve seven Finnish cities, including Helsinki. Tickets can be booked on Sovavto’s website (for Russian cardholders) or on Matkahuolto (with Visa/Mastercard).

Availability: Sovavto is cheaper than LuxExpress and Ecolines (or so they say).

Important: Due to the ongoing crisis, the Finland-Russia border is currently closed until further notice.

Sovavto bus between Europe and Russia

Sovavto Official Website (with a MIR bank card)

Matkahuolto Booking Platform (with a Visa/Mastercard)

Border crossing information

Current status of key border crossings

Narva – Ivangorod (Estonia – Russia): Open for pedestrians only since February 1, 2024. Passengers on LuxExpress buses cross the border on foot and board another bus on the other side.

Vaalimaa – Torfyanovka (Finland – Russia): Closed until further notice.

Note: Third-country nationals with valid visas can cross these borders. Nationals of Finland, Estonia, or Russia should confirm with local authorities.

Crossing with vehicles

For private vehicle (car or motorcycle) crossings, use the following points:

Burashki – Terekhova (Latvia)
Kunichina Gora – Koidula (Estonia)
Shumilkino – Luhamaa (Estonia)

All these crossings accept e-visas.


Bus between Europe and Russia border crossing situation

Alternatives for reaching Moscow

For travelers heading to Moscow, I recommend traveling to Saint Petersburg first by bus, then taking a high-speed train or an overnight train to the Russian capital. Tickets can be booked on Russiantrain.com with foreign Visa/Mastercard.

Saint Basil Cathedral, Moscow, Russia
3 bus companies to travel from Europe et Russia
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