I’m going to Russia with my sister next year. Shall we organise our own travel and go ourselves or will it be easier to go on an organised group tour? We’d like to travel by train. Barbara, via email 

Good news Barbara, it is pretty easy to arrange this trip independently. St Petersburg to Moscow is one of Russia’s most popular routes so it has a good provision of services. Russia’s trains are the best way to get around this vast country as they are comfortable, relatively inexpensive and services between the two major cities are frequent and efficient.

Trains depart St Petersburg’s Moskovsky station and the first class sleeper carriages for an approximately eight-hour journey are a good option – they’re comfortable and clean with two adult berths. A one-way first class sleeper ticket will cost around £200 per person.

You may prefer to opt for a daytime service and sit in second class – as you won’t need a sleeping car this will be cheaper and the high speed Sapsan trains only take four hours. The cheapest way to book tickets is at the station reservation office, however you can also book in advance with agencies such as Real Russia, who can also arrange your visa for you. 

As the journey is relatively straightforward, a tour isn’t necessary. It would be pricey, too, but the advantage would be that you can concentrate on enjoying the trip rather than the logistics. Cox and Kings have a good Moscow and St Petersburg tour for seven nights from £1250, which includes flights, a high standard of accommodation and some meals.

Lonely Planet’s Laura Lindsay will give you the benefit of her infinite wisdom if you email a question to traveltips@tntmagazine.com.If your question is answered, you’ll win a Lonely Planet guide of your choice.

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