A new terminal was launched a few days ago at the Pulkovo airport of St Petersburg. The airport is called Pulkovo, and the new terminal is Pulkovo-1.

Starting March 28, 2014, ALL flights will be served by this new terminal.

Peterswalk tested the new terminal and found it a great improvement compared to the old ones. It's simple and convenient. Bilingual Russian/English signage is easy to locate and to follow, check-in desks are right there as you enter, the departure/arrival boards are easy to find. Unlike in the old terminals, there are purpose-built, spacious areas for each step of the arrival and departure processes.

The old (now closed for reconstruction) domestic terminal was built in 1973, before any ideas of modern airport conveniences have made their way into the USSR. The old international terminal (now also closed for reconstruction) was even older, built in 1951 in a heavy post-war Neoclassical style but completely not suitable for an airport. Now at least we've got one that can be called a modern airport.

When you land at Pulkovo-1 the customs/immigration procedure is straightforward, and then you're out at the main Arrivals area. Follow the clear bilingual signs to the bus stop right outside the main entrance. Regular buses and minibuses (number 39) take you to the nearest metro station, Moskovskaya. The fare is 25 rubles for the bus, or 35 rubles minibus. Depending on the size of your luggage and the mood of the ticket conductor you may or may not have to pay extra for the luggage. If yes then it's the same as single passenger fare. Make sure you've obtained smaller denominations of Russian rubles (coins, or small notes such as 50, 100 or maximum 500 rubles) to pay the fare.

The bus drops you off right outside the metro entrance, marked by a stylised blue letter M (for metro). Descend the stairs and follow the crowd. Right before the turnstiles there will be the windows where you buy your metro tokens (28 rubles, flat fare; you get a round bronze coin with a letter M on it). The metro is clearly signposted in English and is colour-coded throughout, easy to navigate.

Travelling the opposite direction from the city centre to the airport: by metro to Moskovskaya (blue line, third last stop southbound). Alight from the train and take the escalator at the head of the train (there's also another one at the tail end of the train, don't take that one). When you're at the top of the escalator, follow the tunnel to the very last exit on your left-hand side, then take the stairs to the street. Look around - you must be standing right next to a McDonald's. There's only one McDonald's in the area. The buses 39 and minibuses 39 collect passengers right there, and they are frequent and reliable. Travel time to the airport by one of them is from 15 min (off-peak) to 30-40 min (peak hours). Fare: 25 rubles (bus 39), or 35 rubles (minibus 39). Minibuses are generally faster.

Metro station Moskovskaya is open 5:30 to 0:40, but last train from there to the centre leaves 0:11. Buses should not be relied upon after around 23:30.

Pulkovo airport and Rossiya airlines web site: http://www.rossiya-airlines.com/en/. Warning! As of March 25, 2014, the information on the web site regarding getting to/from the airport was out of date and not usable.