Due to some renovations that have been made on the RZD website there is now impossible to use SEAT MAP. For detailed instruction you can use this one that was provide by Tripadvisor forum.
If you'd like to buy the tickets for the Russian trains and do not want to pay additional fee for travel companies, then here you will find step-by-step instruction of how to buy tickets using official website of Russian RailRoads. I tried to make it as simple as it was possible. All the translation was automatic by Chrome, so if you do not want to use Chrome you can just print these screenshots and use them as guide when buying tickets. If you still have any questions you can feel yourself free to contact us using Request Form.
: Go straight to www.rzd.ru
- it is in Russian and if you haven't got Chrome that could translate for you this website in attachment you'll see screenshots of this website in English. Now find in the upper right coner word "Регистрация" that means "Registration".
: Fill in the registration form. Note: You don't need to enter real info but your email has to be verifiable (it will be used to send you e-tickets).
: Now you can login, just press the button....
:... and fill in the login information.
: Now you will see the main window again but now you need to press link "Купить билет" which means "Buy The Ticket".
: Some of the users will see now this window because of mistake in the website. If you can see the link in the left table "Buy The Ticket" (like on screenshot for Step 7) then go further to Step 7. If you don't see this link just press link "Войти" ("Login") in the right upper corner (you wouldn't need to enter the information again but just your name will appear instead of link "Регистрация" ("Registration").
: Now press link in the left table "Купить билет" ("Buy The Ticket").
: Now you need to enter from what city are you planning to go to which one. It's a pretty simple set up: From, To, When (and one way ticket or round-trip ticket). Enter the names of the city pairs you want to buy a ticket for in the two boxes, and then the date that you want to select. Be aware that some trains only run on odd or even days, and others might only run once a week. Then press the orange button "Купить билет" ("Buy The Ticket").
: A process-data diagram...
: ...and then all of the trains that are available the day that you've chosen will pop up as below. Tickets go on sale 45 days ahead of time, so if you want to plan ahead use the same weekday and the same type of number (for example, an even Saturday) that is available as far out as possible to get an idea of the schedules. The times remain very stable. On the right, you see the price in rubles and how many spots in each class are open. Important: departure AND arrival times are Moscow time
. Now choose one of the train you'd like to travel by.
: When you click one of the trains, the others disappear. Now hit the button "Продолжить" ("Continue").
: Now you can see exactly what is available for you. The first column is which wagon it is in, and the category tells a little bit if there are extra services available. Sometimes wagons are marked with MF which indicate wagons with gender segregation. If you're traveling with someone of the opposite gender you'll want to avoid those, since you'll end up in different cabins. 1st class (suite) has two beds per cabin, 2 class (compartment) has four beds per cabin, and third class (economy-class) has an open layout with no distinct cabins. To see more about this click here
: Select the category you'd like to travel and hit the orange button "Продолжить"
: Next, you could decide where in the wagon you want to be. It's been recommended to avoid the cabins at either end because of the proximity to the bathroom and the wheels. In order to get a middle cabin, you should enter a "border area". You can either specific which spots you'd like (for example, 31-32) or give a range and it will find a set that will work. There's also a great layout of the trains over at this website
: Next up, personal information. For ID, you'll want to use a "33 - Иностранный документ" ("ZZ Foreign Instrument" or Your passport). Once you enter your information and it is filled right, then you'll see green table. Note: When fill table with your passport number just put only numbers, no signs like # or № and you passport information must
match your real passport. Now you can hit orange button "Продолжить".
: After hitting the button, the system gives you a chance to review all the data once again. This is the what was entered in Step 5. Check the information carefully. It will be very difficult to change your tickets if there will be any mistake after you buy it. Hit the check mark, and then the orange button...
: The system will churn for a moment and then come back with spots based on your preferences. If you get a red error message, it's because your searching for spots (for example the desired location) that are already taken. You'll need to go back and change the search parameters. Otherwise, you'll get a page like this with prices, places, and everything else. Once you click on the next link, it will take you to payment. Check your details and dates here once again! It will not be shown on the next page!
: You'll need to enter your card information here. First line: Card Number. Second Line: CVV (on back of card). Third line: Cardholder's name. Fourth line: Expiration Date. You will need to have your card be part of Verified by Visa or MasterCard Secure code. It's also a good idea to call your bank and let them know you're buying tickets from them. This part is from SeattleFlyerGuy's blog
. If everything went right, you'll see a confirmation as below with the word: "Одобрено" (OK). Hit the button "Ok".
: Congratulations. You've purchased a ticket. Now you can sign up for the electronic ticket (so you can just get on the train and go. Not shown, but it's a matter of clicking a box and hitting the orange button) and print out your information by clicking on the little paper/documents icon called "Order Form". You will also have access to this information later via your RZD account.
PS: Would like to thank SeattleFlyerGuy
which blog gave me idea to make this step-by-step instruction.
Seat Maps For Russian Trains
Odd numbers - low bunk, even numbers - upper bunk
Couchette car (with compartments) - 2d class
Odd numbers - low bunk, even numbers - upper bunk
Couchette car (with compartments) - 1st class
Only low bunks