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* <listing name="School of Russian and Asian Studies" alt="" directions="" address="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="http://www.sras.org/" hours="" price="">Schools in major Russian cities.</listing>
 
* <listing name="School of Russian and Asian Studies" alt="" directions="" address="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="http://www.sras.org/" hours="" price="">Schools in major Russian cities.</listing>
  
* <listing name= "Infant School" alt="" directions="" address="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="http:www.infantschool.ru" hours="" price=""> Private Preschool and School in Saint Petersburg  that follows British National Curriculum and program "School 2100" in the conditions of the English-speaking environment. It also has a rich experience of helping children to adapt to the Russian culture as well as studying in the multicultural atmosphere.</listing>
+
* <listing name="Infant School" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="http://www.infantschool.ru" hours="" price="" lat="" long="" email="" fax=""> Private Preschool and School in Saint Petersburg  that follows British National Curriculum and program "School 2100" in the conditions of the English-speaking environment. It also has a rich experience of helping children to adapt to the Russian culture as well as studying in the multicultural atmosphere.</listing>
  
 
==Buy==
 
==Buy==

Revision as of 19:30, 6 October 2011

For the Floridian city of the same name, see Saint Petersburg (Florida)
The Hermitage and the Winter Palace across the Neva River

Saint Petersburg (Russian: Санкт-Петерб́ург Sankt-Peterburg; [1]) is Russia's second largest city, with a population of 4.7 million perched at the eastern tip of of the Baltic Sea and the Neva River. The city was formerly known as Petrograd (Петрогр́ад), and later Leningrad (Ленингр́ад). This is one of the most breathtakingly beautiful places on earth, and virtually any building in the large historic center, threaded with canals dotted with baroque bridges, can be considered an attraction—and indeed, it is a UNESCO World Heritage site. This is a magical city, with a long list of major attractions. Its Hermitage Museum, housed in the Winter Palace of the Romanov Dynasty, is both one of the world's greatest and oldest collections of art, treasure, and antiquities, and one of its most beautiful buildings.

Contents

Understand

Saint Petersburg is nicknamed the 'Venice of the North'

History

Founded by Peter the Great in 1703, the former home of the tsars and the center of imperial Russian culture, Saint Petersburg was known as "The Venice of the North" in its heyday. Re-christened Petrograd during the first World War, the city was renamed Leningrad in 1924 in honor of communist revolutionary and founder of the Soviet Union, Vladmir I. Lenin. Bombed, besieged and starved during World War II, the city took a back seat to Moscow during the Soviet-era.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the city has rapidly been making up for lost time and is by far the most cosmopolitan and Western of Russia's cities. Renamed once more in the aftermath of the fall of the Soviet Union, most Russians know it as Piter (Питер), a familiar diminutive of Saint Petersburg.

Climate

April–May sees warmer temperatures, but snow is not uncommon, and the sludge resulting from the melting snow gets tiresome fast. This is also that time of year when you should be wary of giant thawing icicles overhead, which threaten the occasional impaling. 9 May is Victory Day (День победы) celebrating the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany. This day is marked with an opening military parade on Palace Square, directly in front of the Hermitage, visiting various war monuments, giving flowers to war veterans who are dressed in full military outfits, and an evening parade down Nevsky Proskpect which includes survivors of the Leningrad blockade.

Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Daily highs (°C) -3.6 -3.3 1.8 8.5 15.6 20.2 22.2 20.2 14.4 8.1 1.8 -1.7
Nightly lows (°C) -8.8 -8.8 -4.2 1.0 6.6 11.8 14.4 13.0 8.1 3.4 -2.1 -6.4
Precipitation (mm) 37 30 34 33 37 57 77 80 69 66 55 50

Average of Saint Petersburg

June is peak tourist season during the famous White Nights (roughly, 11 June–2 July), when the sun sets only for a brief period of twilight, and the streets stay alive around the clock. The last ten days of June, during the White Nights Festival of all-day performances, concerts, festivals, and parties, are the busiest time of the season and it can be difficult to reserve accommodation and transport. Book early.

July–early September are usually the warmest months, albeit a bit humid. Rain showers usually come and go throughout this time, so it is always a good idea for one to have an umbrella or rain jacket at all times, even on sunny clear days.

Late September—October is a lovely time in the city. The humidity and temperatures drop to moderate with strong winds, and the tourists are all gone. Rain is still common.

While yes, the city gets cold in the winter, there are a couple advantages to a visit November–March: there are hardly any tourists—even domestic tourists, so you won't see the barest hint of the long lines of the summer at the Hermitage; Saint Petersburg's neoclassical streets are also simply gorgeous in the snow. Temperatures can range from relatively mild to very cold. All major tourist attractions are still open and some hotels offer lower prices during this time. But be prepared to dress warmly, as temperatures can easily dip -25C (-13F) with blustery winds. The biggest danger, though, is the ice. The city's lovely marble surfaces, when mixed with snow and ice, create a very real danger of slipping and seriously hurting yourself. Wear good boots, take small steps, and watch your feet!

Keep in mind that New Years is the biggest holiday of the year in Russia. Reserving a hotel room is usually not a problem during this time, but be prepared for very large crowds and noisy celebrations.

Get in

Russian visa requirements are complex but should not be feared. Numerous visa services exist to help in this area. See the Get In section of the article on Russia for information. The visa is not required for 72 hours if you arrive to St.Petersburg by ferry.

By plane

Pulkovo Airport (IATA: LED | ICAO: ULLI) [2] serves a wide variety of destinations both international and domestic. Terminal 1 serves domestic flights, selected international charter flights and low-cost airlines, while Terminal 2 is reserved for international connections. The airport is located approximately 17 kilometers south from the center.

Getting from airport to the city

By public transport

The airport is served by two local bus lines: line 39 from terminal 1 and line 13 from terminal 2. With a frequency of 8 minutes, both run to Aeroport railway station in 7 min from terminal 1 and only 4 min from terminal 2, costing 21 rubles one way. Suburban trains run from Aeroport to Baltijskij rail terminal in the city centre in 18 minutes, csoting 32 rubles. Service is somewhat infrequent, so check out the timetable [3] Откуда = from, Куда = to, enter Аэропорт (Балт. напр.) for Aeroport and Санкт-Петербург Балт. for the city centre and choose your travel date. Klick on Показать расписание и билеты and all departures on that day will appear. The direction is shown on the far right. There are no signs in the Baltijskij rail terminal for trains stopping at Aeroport, so it's absolutely crucial to check this out on the website above

By taxi

Taxis at Terminals 1 and 2 have now joined a structured pricing scheme based on geographic zones, and taxis can be ordered from the service booth in the arrivals hall (Terminal 1 - before baggage claim; Terminal 2 - by the exit door to the street). The fixed price for a taxi to the central district (Nevsky Prospekt/Hermitage area) is 600 RUB, for example, plus luggage surcharges. Traffic is usually quite heavy in the city, so plan on about two hours minimum during the day to get to the city by car. Those who speak Russian and have a cell phone can order a taxi by phone for a lower price than the taxis at the airport. Companies such as 068 or 6000000 (which are also their respective phone numbers) charge about 500-550 rubles for a trip to the city center/Hermitage area. The operator will take the order, then call you back to tell you the license plate number and color/model of the taxi that will meet you. They will also tell you the fare in advance, so there is no need to haggle. If calling from the airport arrival hall, it will take about 15-20 minutes for the taxi to arrive.

Airport facilities

  • Chillout Lounge (Зал отдыха), 3rd floor. Newly renovated, perfectly airconditioned and equipped with automatic coffee machine, some juice and simple snacks, chocolate vending machine, several TVs, several TV-DVD player combos, internet cafe, and even an electric fireplace--all included into base price. For extra charge, there's a shower room (220 RUB). Wifi is the same (BeelineWifi) as elsewhere, not free. Entry fee: 680 rubles per person pays for 3 h of stay.
Some airlines (e.g. S7) provide free stay to passengers of delayed flights. Shower is not reimbursed, but if you have a personal towel and bathing set, you don't need to ask anyway.
  • Children playroom is a part of Chillout Lounge.
  • VIP Lounge: for 24 hours-long stay, it is 4600 rubles if you pay for immediate stay; 3600 rubles if you book at least 24 hours in advance.
  • Wifi: paid, provided by BeelineWifi. Free access also available and working (as of November 2009).
  • Toilets: Good facilities. Look up when you want to see your fellow toilet visitors, there is a mirror!

Lappeenranta Airport

Lappeenranta airport in Finland is a small provincial airport located near the border of Russia and offers a low-cost alternative to Pulkovo Airport. It has become popular among Russian travellers, because it offers low-cost flights to Central Europe and is quite small airport not having the rush problems of bigger airports.

The airport is located only 2 km from the center. It is the oldest in Finland established in 1918. Air Baltic has routes to Tallinn and Riga, and Ryanair started its route between Lappeenranta and Dusseldorf/Weeze and to Brussels South Charleroi (starting november 2010). Both airlines may be adding more destinations in the future.

There is a local bus connection number 4 from center of Lappeenranta to the airport. It serves once an hour. See more information from Lappeenranta local transport timetables [4].

Direct coach connection from Lappeenranta to Saint Petersburg leaves from railway station of Lappeenranta and the duration is about 6 hours. Connection buses from Lappeenranta to Vainikkala railway station offer possibility to use a train from Lappeenranta to Saint Petersburg. More information from Matkahuolto [5].

By train

Saint Petersburg is a major rail hub. The 3.5-hour train ride from Helsinki (Finland) is one of the most comfortable ways to reach the city. Trains also connect to destinations in the Baltics and Central Europe. Alternatively, you can head inland to Moscow.

There are five principal stations:

Note: Varshavskii Station (Варшавский вокзал) is now closed, trains to/from Poland arrive at the Baltic or Vitebsk Stations.

Until recently, you could only buy a ticket for a Russian train at a train station, but now you can purchase an electronic train ticket.

From Finland

The Finnish VR Group provides excellent information on train travel from Finland to St Petersburg [6]. Now operated with slick new high-speed Allegro trains running at up to 220 km/h, there are four daily departures from Helsinki at 06.00, 10.00, 15:00 and 19.00. Tickets can be purchased through some travel agencies and at major VR [7] train stations in Finland, but cannot be purchased online yet. Border crossing formalities are handled on board the train starting immediately after departure from Helsinki, and currency exchange is available. Train is the most expensive way of travel between Helsinki and Saint Petersburg.

From Moscow

The easiest way to get between downtown Moscow and St.Petersburg's heart is by a Sapsan high-speed train. The ride takes between 3h 45min and 4h 45min, there are 6 daily departures in both directions, from Moscow at 6:45, 13:00, 16:30, 16:45, 19:25, and 19:45; some trains stop at Tver, Vyshniy Volochek, Bologoe, and Okulovka. This train boasts a full English-speaking crew. Ticket prices are about 2400 rubles for second class to St Petersburg (3500 rubles returning to Moscow), and about rubles for the first.

Night trains are a cheaper option, a 7-hour ride in 2nd class (roughly equivalent to European sleeping car) would cost you approx. 1700 rubles, though it is slightly more expensive when returning to Moscow. There are 4 beds and a table in an enclosed compartment.

However, if you truly want to an authentic 'Russian' train experience, try the 3rd class 'platzkart' (a distant relative of what's called "couchette" in Europe), which can be purchased for 700 rubles. There are approximately 54 people per wagon, sleeping 9 sections of 6 'beds' each. On one side there are 4 beds (2 lower, 2 upper), and on the other side 2 beds (1 lower, 1 upper); the latter beds are positions such that your head (or feet) move along with the direction of the train.

Be advised that sometimes that there are 2 classes of platzkart. One with sheets and pillows, and one without. The latter '4th class', if you will, may have extra people, as the conductor may have sold extra last minute tickets to cram in a few more people. But this is Russia: don't worry, be happy.

If you can read Russian, the official Russian railways website [8] is available. The website of Rossiskiye Zhelezniye Dorogi (Российские Железные Дороги), or RZD, has timetables for all trains, showing the number of seats available and the price for each ticket. You may purchase tickets online, but the prices may be slightly higher, and you will still have to go to the station to pick them up. Unlike Europe, Russian Railways has NOT adopted e-tickets; failure to pick up your tickets beforehand means you will have to buy another ticket.

Thus, it is better to use RZD as a guide only, and then go to the train station (vokzal, in Russian) to buy them. Know the train number (a two or three digit number followed by a letter) in order to more easily purchase your ticket.

See general information about Russian trains for details.

By bus

The cheapest, although by no means the most comfortable way of reaching Saint Petersburg from neighboring countries are long distance buses. Buses from Belarus, Ukraine, Germany, Finland, the Baltic states and Scandinavia stop at the main bus station (Avtovokzal).

Metro: Ligovskii Prospekt (far away from metro).

From Finland

Matkahuolto connects Saint Peterburg to Helsinki, Turku, Lappeenranta and Jyväskylä. More information from Matkahuolto [9].

For travel from Helsinki (Finland), Russian minibuses depart from the Oktyabrskaya Hotel (opp Moskovsky train station) around 10 PM and arrive behind Tennispalatsi at Eteläinen Rautatiekatu 8, one block away from Kamppi, early in the morning. Departures back start around 10 AM in the morning through 8 PM. The trip costs € 15 to 25 euros, depending on how much the driver wants to charge, making this by far the cheapest option, but the buses are cramped and uncomfortable.

Some people reported that even if your citizenship may not require a visa to enter Russia, the Russian immigration agents may not be aware of it and may refuse you entry into Russia. They only speak russian, and the process is lengthier than when travelling by train or air.

From Baltic States

Two private bus companies also run overnight routes to and from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania as well as to Belarus and the Ukraine:

  • Ecolines [10]: has daily departures to Riga with stops at Luga, Pskov, and Ostrov as well as twice-weekly service to Minsk, Belarus and Kiev, Ukraine. From Riga, one can easily find connections to Poland and from there to most countries of Western and Central Europe. Tickets can be purchased online or through their Saint Petersburg Office at Pod'ezdniy pereulok 3 near Metro Pushkinskaya from 10AM-8PM. Tel: +7 812 314 2550, +7 901 300 6170. Ecolines buses depart from Vitebskii vokzal (near Metro Pushkinskaya) and the Bus Station (Avtovokzal)
  • Eurolines [11] has multiple daily departures to Tallinn with a stop in Narva. They also maintain a daily route to Riga from which buses to most of Western and Central Europe can be found. Connections can also be made to the Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova from Riga and/or Vilnius. Tickets can be purchased online (although their website is rather difficult to navigate) or at their Petersburg office at Mitrofanjevskoe Shosse 2-1, near Metro Baltiskii. Tel: +7 (812) 438 28 39. Eurolines buses depart from Metro Baltiskii.

By boat

Summer cruises and ferry services from Helsinki, Finland and Tallinn, Estonia appear and disappear at irregular intervals, often at short notice. Check with Kristina Cruises [12] if they're running this year. St. Peter line [13] has started 72 hr visa free cruises from Helsinki to St. Petersburg in 2010.

Passenger boats also operate on the inland waterway "Volga-Baltic" which links Moscow, the River Volga and Lakes Onega, Ladoga and Neva.

To get out, you could try your luck for Freighter travel, although the port is very large. It would be easier if you have connections in the port. Try to find a dispatcher [14].

Nearly all the major cruise lines (Princess, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, Holland America, Carnival, Celebrity, MSC, etc.) offer a Scandinavia/St. Petersburg itinerary, and many stay overnight to allow shore excursions to Moscow. Azamara has itineraries that dock for three days/two nights. If you join a cruise tour of St. Petersburg then you don't need a Russian visa, but you have to stay with the tour.

Get around

Note that certain main axes (Gorokhovaya and Bolshaya Konyushennaya ul for example) are completely blocked due to major renovation works. It seems it will last for a while... (April 2011)

Traffic

Most means of transportation stop functioning at night. The subway is closed from midnight to 5:45 a.m., and transfers between lines close (and open) at this time, while the departure of the last (and the first) trains from each station varies slightly. Taxis are always available but are much more expensive at night. Every private vehicle is a potential taxi. Flagging down a vehicle and paying for a ride somewhere is perfectly normal in Russia and quite popular although ill-advised for tourists. Safety is, of course, an issue. As a rule, you should never get in a private cab if it already has passengers inside.

Also, refuse requests from the driver to take on more fares unless you reached your destination; if he insists, ask to stop at a safe-looking place, pay and leave. If the driver stops for gas, step out of the car, along with your belongings, and get some fresh air while he is fueling it. Those traveling alone (men and women) should feel free to wave off any suspicious ride for any reason whatsoever. Gypsy cabs which linger near popular bars and restaurants at night have been known to be especially dangerous, with several instances of druggings and robberies.

At night the city is divided in two by the Neva; all the main bridges are drawn up to allow for boat traffic, except during the winter, when ice makes the river impassable. Remember to make it to your side of the river in time; otherwise, you could find yourself stuck on the wrong side until early morning. One bridge, Volodarsky, closes once per night from around 3:45 a.m. to 4:15 a.m to permit crossing. Most of others are up between 1:45 a.m. and 5:15 a.m.; see below for details. The Big Obukhovski bridge is not drawn up, as it is an important part of Saint Petersburg Ring Highway.

The following table represents a drawn schedule of Saint Petersburg bridges in 2009 (as of 15 April), which may have changed since:

Bridge Drawn (AM)
first second
The bridges over Neva
Volodarsky Bridge 02:00—03:45 04:15—05:45
Finland Railway Bridge 02:20—05:30  
Alexander Nevsky Bridge 02:20—05:10  
Piter the Great Bridge (former Bolsheokhtinsky Bridge) 02:00—05:00  
Liteyny Bridge 01:50—04:40  
Trinity Bridge (former Kirov bridge) 01:40—04:50  
The bridges over Bolshaya Nevka
Sampsonievsky Bridge 02:10—02:45 03:20—04:25
Grenader Bridge 02:45—03:45 03:20—04:50
Kantemirovsky Bridge 02:45—03:45 04:20—04:50
The bridges over Malaya Neva
Exchange Bridge 02:00—04:55  
Tuchkov Bridge 02:00—02:55 03:35—04:55
The bridges over Bolshaya Neva
Palace Bridge 01:25—04:55  
Blagoveshchensky Bridge (former Lieutenant Schmidt Bridge) 01:25—02:45 03:10—05:00

By subway

St. Petersburg Metro

Saint Petersburg's metro [15] is the second largest underground railway system in Russia, second only to Moscow. The subway is arguably the cheapest and most effective way to get around the city, and also a major tourist attraction in itself thanks to the beautiful decorations of the stations. Taking pictures was prohibited in the past, but recently this restriction has been removed.

The trains are fast and run frequently (during rush hours, it can be only 30 s between trains). Since 2011, the metro costs 25 rubles per entry regardless of the distance. Brass tokens (жетон – zheton) can be purchased from kiosks at station entrances and vending machines, and it is good to stock up in advance, since queues can be long and stations occasionally even run out of tokens.

Metro maps can be found in every train car and always have station names in the Latin alphabet. Since 2010, most of the wall signs are translated into English at central stations. Names on other station walls, however, might be in Cyrillic alphabet, so if you are unfamiliar with the language, it may make sense to "count the stops" to your destination or keep your ears open for the conductor will let you know what station you are on. The Saint Petersburg metro can be unbelievably crowded during rush hour. Traveling during this time is a risky kind sport and one should avoid unnecessary journeys if not used to big crowds. Be aware of your belongings and you have to push when you arrive at your stop.

By tram

A more scenic, but slower, way to see Saint Petersburg is by tram (трамвай). In recent years, due to traffic problems, some tram lines were removed from the centre of the city. They cost 21 rubles and are sold by a conductor sitting in the tram.

By bus or trolleybus

Buses (автобус) and trolleybuses (троллейбус) are cheap (21 rubles) and frequent. Tickets are sold by a conductor sitting in the bus. Every bus has its own conductor. If the conductor is absent, tickets are sold by the driver. However, buses and trolleys on main routes are frequently overcrowded. Buses to suburbs cost 19 or 36 rubles within the territory of St. Peterburg (Zelenogorsk, Lomonosov and others). If you do not hold a valid ticket you will be fined but only 100 rubles.

By route taxi

Route taxi (маршрутка - marshrutka) is sometimes the fastest way to get somewhere. Taxis are 14-20 seat vans, usually white or yellow, always with a letter K and route number plate (K-28). Often they are small Chinese or Turkish buses. There are no regular stops; you must tell the driver when you want to get out, or wave while on the roadside to stop one. You must pay to the driver at entry, usually from 20 to 27 rubles. If you cannot reach the driver on your own, pass the money through the other passengers and be ready to pass other's money if you sit close to the driver. The Marshrutka experience may seem exciting sometimes, especially when you see some brave driver counting change while steering with his knees at 70 mi/h (110 km/h). Many marshrutka drivers are illegal immigrants and speak Russian poorly (if any at all).

By local train

A commuter train (электричка, elektrichka) may be an option in areas distant from metro stations, such as the airport. Fares are based on travel distance, a ride within city limits should cost under 30 rubles. Speeds are moderate, but trains may be rare (1-2/h). Informtion available in here: [16].

See

The Historic Center of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments are UNESCO world heritage[17], so definitely worth your while. However, due to plans of the city to build a 403m high Gazprom skyscraper , UNESCO is considering to withdraw this listing. Many natives of St Petersburg are against the construction plans, however, local authorities are quite determined and it would appear that these discrepancies have fallen on deaf ears for the time being .

The Hermitage Museum
  • The Hermitage Museum/The Winter Palace [18] is Saint Petersburg's prime attraction, a massive palace-museum showing the highlights of a collection of over 3,000,000 pieces spanning the globe. The Hermitage is truly one of the world's great museums, with an imposing setting displaying priceless works by Rembrandt, Da Vinci, Michealangelo, Reubens and more. It is recommended, though not required!, to get a tour guide. They can charge as much as $100 but they can tell you more about the building and the items and take you directly to the items you want to see.
Ticketing is complex, but the Hermitage itself is 100 rubles for Russians and 400 rubles for foreigners. Students of all nationalities get in for free, but don't forget your student card with photo! Entrance is free on the first Thursday of every month. Bags aren't allowed in the museum (and while technically neither are cameras without the appropriate ticket, they never check the photo-permission tickets so it's not worth buying them), so stash them in the busy cloakroom.

Getting into the Hermitage
Advice for foreigners visiting the Hermitage Museum: Find a tour group. This may have changed, call the museum ahead of time to find out.: Entry fee is 200 rubles instead of 400, and includes the photography fee and a whistle-stop tour of the museum (but note the free entry for students). Don't accept a tour from the numerous touts hanging around the queue. Instead, march past the queue and in through the main entrance, or the exit opposite if the queue's blocking the entrance (don't worry, you're not queue-jumping). Have a scout around for notices with museum tour times in your native language, or in extreme circumstances, ask at the desk. If you find a good candidate, you're all set to go to the Tours Office to book yourself on it. This is where things get slightly surreal. To get to the Tours Office from the main entrance, go forward past the cashiers, and turn left down the corridor. The Tours Office is in front of you at the end, and may or may not be marked. Get yourself a place on your tour, collect the bit of paper, go to cashier No. 5 (who is not with the rest of them, instead turn left out of the Tours Office and she's in a box at the end of the corridor), pay, get your paper stamped, take it back to the Tours Office and get it checked, stamped again and muttered over and then you're ready to brave the coat dungeon.


TIP - Buy tickets on-line before you go. Same price as the local ticket ($18 including photos), you just walk straight to the front of the queue. Hand your booking confirmation and passport to the lady at the information desk. She will get the ticket office to check your details and issue the tickets. Easily saved us hours of time, May 2011.

  • Russian Museum, Inzhenernaya Ul. 4 (Across Ploshad Isskustv from the Grand Europe Hotel), 595 42 48, [19]. 10AM to 6PM daily ex. Tuesday. An extensive collection of Russian paintings and sculpture. The main building, the Mikhailovskiy Palace houses the main exhibits, and the Russian Museum also oversees the permanent and temporary exhibits at the Stroganov Palace, Marble Palace and Mikhailovskiy Castle. Tickets to each can be purchased separately or as a universal pass. Foreigners 350 RR, Russians 150 RR.
  • Peter and Paul Fortress. You can go in for free, but to enter the church and exhibitions you need tickets. You can get a combo ticket for everything, or you can just enter the church. Other than the church, which is where the all of the Romanov Czars of Russia from Peter the Great (bar two or three) are buried, the other things on the island aren't terribly impressive, so it might be worth it to just see the church. Note that if you buy a combo ticket for everything, you still need to have a 'special ticket' for a lot of exhibitions within the fortress!
  • The Admiralty, North end of Nevsky Prospekt (Next to the Hermitage). Not open to visitors, but worth seeing from the outside.
Bridges by night
  • The bridges on the Neva [20]. Open 2 times per night to allow boats to pass.
  • Museum of Artillery, Combat Engineers and Signal Troops [21]. Housed in old Arsenal fortress-like building near the Peter and Paul Fortress and surrounded by moat. HUGE collection of weapons from the beginning of history until the present, including an extensive collection of Soviet weaponry from WW2 and the Cold War. Tanks, ballistic missiles, Katuscha trucks, countless Kalashnikovs. Personal note: Absolutely awesome, one of the highlights of all my European travels. If you speak Russian and can pass as a Russian, a 2-hour private guided tour costs around 15 euros.
  • Ethnographic Museum, (Next to the Russian Museum Mikhailovskiy Palace). An interesting and educational display of the traditions and costumes of various ethnic groups found in the lands of the former Russian Empire. Foreigners 350 RR, Russians 100 RR.
  • Alexander Nevskiy Monastery. Located at the Eastern end of Nevskiy Prospekt next to the River Neva. The site also has the Tikhvin Cemetery which houses the tombs of some of the world's most famous composers; Tschaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Mussorgsky and Borodin, and also the author Fyodor Dostoevsky, along with many other famous Russian figures.
Church of the Saviour
  • Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood, Canal Griboedova, 2a (Between Nevsky Prospekt and the Neva), (812) 315-16-36. 10am to 8pm daily ex. Wed. A traditional style Russian church built on the spot where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated in 1881. The interior is elaborately decorated with over 6000sqm of mosaics. Foreigners 300 RR, Russians 120 RR.
  • Our-Lady-of-Kazan Cathedral (Казанский собор, Kazansky Sobor), Nevsky Prospekt and Canal Griboedova (Metro: Nevsky Prospekt). Impressive neoclassical exterior, richly decorated interior. Includes the tomb of Gen. Kutuzov, hero of the war of 1812. Free entry.
  • Saint Isaac's Cathedral, St. Isaac's Square, 4, (812) 315-97-32. 11am to 7pm daily ex. Wed. Located near to the Admiralty. It was built in 1818 and is a major attraction in the city. It is the third highest cupola cathedral in the world. There are night time visits, too, and the view from the observation deck (separate fee)is one of the best views of the city, for those who are willing to climb 400 steps. Foreigners 300 RR, Russians 120 RR.
  • Peter the Great's Cabin. Peter the Great's men built the small wooden cabin in a matter of days for him when he planned the city and it has been preserved in a small brick building in the district Petrogradskaya. It is located close to the Cruiser Aurora on Petrovskaya Naberzhnaya.

Vasilievsky Island

The fountain in waters of Neva River at the spit of Vasilievsky Island
  • Andreyevsky Cathedral, 6 line V.O., 11, +7 (812) 323-34-18, [22]. Perhaps the most beautiful religious building on the island, built in 1780. The main cupola is framed by three narrow towers, and is topped by a two-tiered belltower. The gilt, three-layered iconostasis inside is an impressive 17 meters tall.
  • Church of the Assumption of Mary, Naberezhye Leitenanta Schmidta, 27. This five domed church was built in 1897. In 1935, as happened to many churches in Russia, it was converted by the Soviets into a warehouse, but in 1993 it was reopened for services. The ongoing careful renovations began in 1996.
The Exchange Building and the south Rostral Column
  • Exchange Building (Naval Museum), Birzhevaya Square, 4, +7 (812) 328-27-01 (, fax: +7 (812) 328-27-01), [23]. 11AM-6PM Tu-Su. The Exchange Building, which houses the Naval Museum, is the centerpiece of the Strelka ensemble. It was built in 1816 in the Neoclassical style. The Naval Museum, one of the largest in the world, contains historical displays of the Russian navy from its founding to the present day, including weaponry, models of ships, and even some original mastheads. Extensive World War II display, and also (not directly related to Naval history) a diorama box of the storming of the Winter Palace. Foreigners 320 rubles, Russians 90 rubles.
  • Ivan Kruzenshtern Statue, Across from Naberezhye Leitenanta Schmidta, 17. A statue of Admiral Ivan Kruzenshtern, was built in 1870 in honor of the 100-year anniversary of the renowned Admiral's death.
The Kunstkamera
  • Kunstkamera (Room of Curiosities), Universitatskaya Embankment 3 (Close to the Palace Bridge; enter around the corner on Tamozhenny Pereulok), +7 (812) 328-07-12 (), [24]. 11AM-6PM Tu-Su, closed every last Tuesday of the month. This museum is primarily famous for its one-room freak show collection of 300 year-old deformed fetuses in formaldehyde (of which you are not allowed to take pictures). The rest of the museum consists of trinkets from various world cultures (over one million exhibits). It's of interest mainly as it is the oldest state museum in Russia, established by Peter the Great in 1704—consequently it has a very dated feel. Foreigners 200 rubles, Russians 100 rubles.
The Menshikov's Palace
  • Menshikov Palace, Universitatskaya Embankment 15, +7 (812) 323-11-12. 10:30AM-5:30PM Tu-Su. Operated by the Hermitage, this museum displays some art and an exhibition on life in the early 18th century, in a palace built for the first governor of St. Petersburg, and before him Peter the Great. The Baroque palace was built in 1721, and was one of the first grand stone constructions of the city. Look especially for the grand staircase, and the Walnut, Naval, and Chinese rooms.
  • Mikhail Lomonosov Statue, Mendeleevskaya St. A statue of the famous 18th century Russian Renaissance man himself, famous for his contributions to mathematics, literature, painting, natural science, chemistry, physics, mineralogy, history, philology, and art.
  • Mining Institute Museum, 21st line V.O., 2, +7 (812) 321-40-82 (, fax: +7 (812) 327-73-59), [25]. By appointment for group tours only. One of the largest and oldest geological museums in the world, containing more than 230 thousand items, collected from more than 80 countries. Even if you don't make it inside on a tour, it's worth passing by to admire it's imposing 1811 Imperial-style facade.
  • Narodovolets (the People's Will) Submarine D-2, Shkipersky protok, 10, +7 (812) 356-52-66 (), [26]. W-Su 11AM-5:15PM. A small museum aboard a WWII submarine, dedicated to the actions of the submarine throughout the war (run by the Naval Museum).
  • Naval Institute, Naberezhye Leitenanta Schmidta, 17. The oldest naval academy in Russia, founded by Peter the Great in 1701. Some of its most famous graduates include Ivan Kruzenshtern, Rimsky-Korsakov, and many others. The building was completely rebuilt in 1798.
  • Rostral Columns. The first monuments you'll immediately notice on the Strelka, the Rostral Columns are yet another symbol of the city. Constructed in 1810, the columns are each adorned with six rostra (traditionally, the prows of captured ships), symbolizing the might of the Russian Baltic Fleet. At the base of the columns you'll see sculptures representing the great rivers of European Russia, the Volga, Dnieper, Neva, and Volkhov. In addition to their decorative purpose, the columns also served as lighthouses, and to this day the gas flames are lit on holidays.
  • Rumyantsevsky Park and Obelisk, between the 1st and 2nd lines along Universitetskaya naberezhye. The big obelisk in the center of the park was moved here from Mars Field in honor of Count Peter Rumyantsev's victory in the Russo-Turkish War of 1791. On the southern end, look for two statues of the famous Russian painters Repin and Surikov.
  • Russian Academy of the Arts, Universitetskaya naberezhye, 17, [27]. Russia's largest center for advanced study in the arts, founded by Lomonosov and Shuvalov, and was until the 20th century the only school of its kind in Russia. The impressive neoclassical building was built in 1788.
  • Research Museum of the Academy of the Arts, (Inside the Academy of the Arts), +7 (812) 323-35-78, [28]. W-Su 11AM-6PM. A huge collection of drawings, prints, paintings of both Russian and Western artists, as well as casts and sculptures, all on display across three floors of the Academy. The models of great Petersburg architecture, of the Smolny Monastery, St Isaac's Cathedral, Mikhailovsky Castle, etc., are especially worth seeking out.
  • Theban Sphinxes, (across the road from the Academy of the Arts). You wouldn't expect it, but these two granite sphinxes are three thousand years older than the city itself! They were excavated in 1820 in the temple of Amenhotep III near Thebes. Upon seeing them, the Russian writer and diplomat Muravyev wrote to the Tsar, and convinced him to purchase the statues for display in Petersburg. They were installed in 1834. Oddly enough, sphinxes seem to be popular in the city—there are another six made by Russian sculptors lurking about.
  • The Twelve Colleges, Universitetskaya naberezhye, 7/9. One of Domeniko Trezini's many neoclassical buildings in Petersburg, built in 1742. The ensemble is comprised of twelve identical, connected, three-story buildings. The main facade faces Mendeleevskaya St, rather than the Neva, because at the time of construction, there was a canal in place of the street, across from which was the main market on the island. Today the ensemble houses the Geological and Agricultural departments, as well as Admissions.
  • Zoological Museum, Universitetskaya naberezhye, 1, +1 (812) 328-01-12 (, fax: +1 (812) 328-29-41), [29]. 11AM-6PM daily. A wild lesson in taxidermy, the museum contains over 17 million species, stuffed, mounted, and fossilized (although due to constraints of finitude, the building "only" displays some 500 thousand). The collection began at the Kunstkammer, and grew into its enormous state under the later Imperial period. You won't have to look hard, but look for the complete blue whale skeleton, as well as the world's only stuffed mammoth.


Do

Events

May 9, Veterans Parade

Opera and Ballet

No trip to St. Petersburg is complete without seeing an opera or ballet performance. The Mariinsky is perhaps the most well-known institution, but it is by no means the only theater in the city. Tickets are sold throughout the city at kiosks and shops called Teatralnaya Kassa, which charge a nominal (usually about 20 RR) fee for "insurance," which is theoretically optional. The theater box offices themselves sell tickets directly, too, and usually for the same price. Sometimes blocks of tickets sell out at the kiosks but tickets are still available at the theater, or vice versa, so it is worth checking both places if you have your heart set on a particular performance. It is possible to take not-so-small children into some performances if you take a private box, although you will need to ask when you buy your tickets.

  • Mariinsky Theater, Theater Square 1, 326 41 41, [30]. The Mariinsky Theater (formerly the Kirov, which is the name the troupe still uses when touring abroad) is world-class for both opera and ballet. There are English supertitles for operas sung in Russian; operas in other languages have Russian supertitles. Performances are offered in two halls: the main theater, and the newly-built Mariinsky Concert Hall. Tickets can be purchased on the theater's website.
  • Mikhailovskiy Theater, Ploshad Isskustv 1 (Between the Russian Museum and the Grand Hotel Europe), 595 43 05. The exterior is not as recognizable as the Mariinsky, but the interior is nearly as grand, and the theater hosts both Russian and foreign headliners in opera and ballet.
  • St. Petersburg Opera, Galernaya Ul. 33 (West of the Bronze Horseman), (812) 312 3982 (), [31]. An intimate theater (half-sized stage, and only about 150-200 audience seats) which puts on the major repertory operas at a lower price than the major theaters and has a fascinating foyer - one has to see it to believe it.
  • Conservatory Theater, Theater Square 3 (Across the street from the Mariinsky Theater). While the hall itself is not lavish - quite sterile, really - a good option for seeing Russian and repertory operas cheaply, performed by faculty and students of the conservatory where Tchaikovsky (and many other famous figures from the Russian music world) studied.

Concerts

The music scene in St. Petersburg is diverse, with several classical, jazz, and pop concerts to choose from each week. Tickets are available at the same Teatralnaya Kassa locations as ballet and opera tickets, although tickets to pop concerts - especially US and European stars on tour - sometimes use exclusive distributors. For pop and rock concerts, unless you buy tickets for the dance floor (tanzpol), you are expected to sit quietly in your seat as if you were at a ballet - ushers are vigilant about keeping the audience from standing up, dancing, or cheering (polite applause is allowed, but that's about all).

Several of the ballet and opera theaters above also offer orchestral and recital performances, so those are not repeated below. Also, don't forget the many small clubs where up and coming bands play.

  • St. Petersburg Philharmonic Grand Hall, Mikhailovskaya Ul. 2 (Entrance across from the Grand Hotel Europe). A world-class orchestra which records and tours abroad. The Small Hall (Maliy Saal) hosts excellent chamber music performances and recitals.
  • St. Petersburg Philharmonic Small Hall, Nevsky Prospekt 30 (Next to the Metro station on Nevsky Prospekt). The Small Hall (Maliy Saal) of the Philharmonic hosts excellent chamber music performances and recitals.
  • Jazz Philharmonic Hall, Zagorodny Pr. 27 (South of Nevsky Prospekt, use Vladimirskaya Metro Station). Offers a variety of jazz performances several times per week.
  • Ice Palace (Ledoviy Dvorets), (At Prospekt Bolshevikov Metro Station). One of several sports arenas that also serves as a concert hall for pop and rock concerts.
  • Oktyabrskiy Concert Hall, Ligovskiy Prospekt 6 (Near Ploshad Vosstaniya). Pop and rock concerts in an auditorium close to the city center.

Film

Most cinemas in St. Petersburg show Hollywood films dubbed in Russian. Art cinemas like Dom Kino often show independent American or British movies subtitled in Russian. DVDs of American/European films are also often dubbed. There have been crackdowns on sellers of bootleg DVDs, so it may be difficult or expensive to find DVDs in English these days. There are several DVD stores in the city - often near Metro stations - and it is worth asking about films in English.

Annual Message to Man [32] international documentary, short, and animated films festival takes place in June or July, screening many films in English.

  • Dom Kino, 12 Karavannaya Ulitsa (Near Gostiniy Dvor Metro Station), 314 56 14. Sometimes shows films in their original language.
  • Avrora Cinema, Nevksy Prospekt 60.

Canal boat tours

A tour of the canals by boat is a great way to see the city in the summer. The typical tour is through the Moika, out to the Neva to see the Peter and Paul Fortress and the Cruiser Aurora, then in through the Fontanka (sometimes as far as the Mariinsky Theater). Tours start at many points along the route and return to their starting point - hawkers for different boat companies abound - and the boats may or may not have a cafe and toilet on board. Almost all tours are in Russian. 400-600 Rubles seems to be the average price.

  • Anglotourismo Boat Tours, Fontanka Embankment 21, +7 921 989 47 22, [33]. Canal boat tours in English, departing from near the Anichkov Bridge (Nevksy Prospekt and Fontanka) in season (May 2 - Sept 30).

Learn

Universities and private schools offer Russian language courses (individual and group tuition).

  • CREF - Centre of Russian, English & French Studies, [34]. Private language school in Saint Petersburg, Moscow & Nizhni-Novgorod.
  • Center of Russian Language and Culture, [35]. Saint Petersburg State University, Smolniy Campus.
  • Department of Philology/SPSU, [36]. Saint Petersburg State University on Vassilevskiy Island.
  • EducaCentre, [37]. Private school in Saint Petersburg
  • Language Studio, [38]. Private school in Saint Petersburg.
  • Liden & Denz, [39]. Private school in Moscow and Saint Petersburg.
  • ProBa Language Centre, [40]. Private school in Saint Petersburg.
  • Study in Russia (Russian language courses), [41]. Provides details on education in Russia, preparatory training in university, and Russian language courses
  • School of Russian and Asian Studies, [42]. Schools in major Russian cities.
  • Infant School, [43]. Private Preschool and School in Saint Petersburg that follows British National Curriculum and program "School 2100" in the conditions of the English-speaking environment. It also has a rich experience of helping children to adapt to the Russian culture as well as studying in the multicultural atmosphere.

Buy

There are plenty of ATMs and legit currency exchange booths. ATM and big shops accepts usually following kind of card: Visa, Visa Electron, MasterCard, MasterCard Electronic and Maestro. Other card (e.g. American Express) accepted rarely. Do not exchange money on the street: the rate won't be any better, and you run a high risk of encountering any of numerous scams.


Apraksin Dvor is closed to reconstruction at end of 2008

  • Apraksin Dvor (Апраксаин двор) — The Apraksin Market (Apraksin Dvor) is perfect for people watching, but keep your purse and camera close since it is a favorite of both shoppers and pickpockets. You can find almost anything here.
  • Gostiny Dvor (Гостиный двор) — The city's oldest and largest shopping centre, dating to the mid-18th century. The name means "Merchant Yard", as its old role was to provide both shops and housing to merchants from far away. It sells almost everything from Playstations to Saint Petersburg Vodka. The prices of goods are the highest in St.Petersburg.
  • Nevsky Prospekt (Невский проспект) — Saint Petersburg's Champs-Élysées, lined with department stores and fancy shops. A recommended shop for souvenir hunters is Nevsky Gifts on the corner of the road entering Palace Square.
  • Passazh (Пассаж) — The Harrods of Saint Petersburg, a smaller and very beautiful shopping center for the elite.
  • Souvenirs Market sells a huge variety of cheap souvenirs from Matroyshka (матрёшка) dolls to Soviet Memorabilia. It can be found behind the Church of the Saviour next to the Griboedova Canal. There are also some souvenir stalls in the square across from St. Isaacs Cathedral.

Eat

Budget

Nothing, absolutely nothing, tastes better than hot Russian crepes with caviar, mushrooms, caramel, berries, or what have you with a cup of tea on a cold winter street.

  • Chainaya Lozhka (Чайная ложка), Has around 50 restaurants all over city (Nevsky Pr. 44 is one of the most centrally located), [44]. These fast-food restaurants serve blini (Russian crepes) with a variety of fillings - you choose your own at the counter. They also have a wide selection of teas. Some restaurants have wifi. Starts from 29 rubles for a blin, soup, salad or drink.
  • Yolki-Palki Traktir (Ёлки-Палки Трактир), Has 6 restaurants in the city, mainly in the centre (Nevsky Pr. 88 is right on the main street), [45]. Some open until late, some open 24h. . Decent food with very affordable prices, smoking and non-smoking sections. Staff in some restaurants may actually serve you in English.
  • Kroshka Kartoshka (Крошка Картошка), Has over 25 restaurants all over city, [46]. It a big chain of fast food restaurants that offers baked potatoes with your choice of topping but also has salads, soups and deserts. 99 rubles for a meal. From 29 rubles for a salad or soup.
  • Teremok (Теремок), Several locations, [47]. This blini chain began with street-corner kiosks throughout the city (many are quite easy to find), and they have expanded to include counter-service restaurants serving not only blini, but also kasha, salads, and other quick, inexpensive fare. Some central locations are Bolshaya Morskaya Ul. 11, Nevsky Pr. 60, and Nevsky Pr. 106. The restaurants have menus in English if you ask. 100-300 rubles for a filling meal.
  • Samovar (Самовар), Ulitsa Gorokhovaya 27, 314-39-45. This neighborhood blini shop makes blini as good as homemade (so says a native Russian blini-maker). Choose from a wide range of fillings and have your tasty blini made fresh; also has a decent selection of tea. Better lunch than any of the chains. No English; but you can just point at the fillings on the counter if you don't want to bother translating the menu with your guide book. 20 rubles for a blin.
  • U Tyoshi Na Blinakh (У тёщи на блинах), Several locations. Cafeteria-style Russian and Ukrainian food for a reasonable price with faux-rustic decor, not like a Soviet-era stolovaya. Has more than blini: soups, salads, meat dishes, desserts, etc. Those who know the Mu-Mu chain in Moscow will recognize this, although on a smaller scale. One location is near Sennaya Ploshad.
  • St. Petersburg, kan. Griboyedova 7 or 9. Good and cheap food in the very centre (next to the "Saviour on the Spilled Blood" church). Pay attention, there are two restaurants called St. Petersburg next to each other and the second one is more expensive. 45 rubels for a Borsch soup, 140-200 rubels for a main dish, side dishes 35 rubels.


Saint Michael's Castle by night

Mid-range

  • La Baguette, Grazhdanskaya ul 27. Very nice, cosy little tea and cake shop near Griboedova canal with a sweet faux-French atmosphere. You can also have tasty meals there. Mains approx. 300 rubles.
  • 1,001 Nights (Тысяча и одна ночь), ул. Миллионная, 21. noon-23:00 daily, live music & belly dancing F-Su 20:00-23:00. This would be but an ordinary undistinguished Uzbek restaurant, were it not within one block of the Winter Palace. Given location, the place is spectacular in that it maintains decent service and very good food. 300-500 rubles.
  • Acquarel, (next to the Birzhevoy bridge), +7 (812) 320-8600. Right on the water, this restaurant offers Italian food alongside a French/Asian fusion menu. Friendly people, delightful atmosphere, and a wonderful view, Acquarel is a wonderful and delicious dinner option or even a great place to relax and get a drink in their lounge chairs.
  • Cafe Old Tbilisi (кафе Старый Тбилиси), В.О. 4-я линия, 5 (near the Vasilieostrovskaya metro station). 11:00-23:00 daily. You'll probably be the only foreign visitor to this small unassuming place on Vasilievsky Island, but the great Georgian food is absolutely worth the short metro trip. The quality for the price here is just outstanding. 650 rubles.
  • Caravan-Sarai (Караван-Сарай), ул. Некрасова, 1, +7 (812) 272-7153. In a city with plenty of Uzbek food, this may outshine the competition. Not for the service or the decor, but for the very long menu of top-notch Uzbek cooking. 400-600 rubles.
  • Gin-no Taki (Гин-но Таки), пр. Чернышевского, 17. 11:00-06:00 daily. A very reasonably priced Japanese chain restaurant just across the street from the Chernyshevskaya metro station. The interior is very stylish, even if the fashion shows on the TVs are a bit much, and you can control your service with the aid of a call button. The food is good, but the sodas might be even better—free refills! It's also a very solid choice for a place to unwind late-night after a wild night. 150-400 rubles.
  • Gastronom (ресторан Гастроном), наб. реки Мойки, д. 7 (close to Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood; вход с Марсового поля), (812) 314-3849 (), [48]. Sun-Thu: 12PM-12AM; Fri, Sat: 12PM-3AM. Excellent desserts (Tiramissu is really great); good reviews for dinner. Wide selection of international fare: Thai, Italian, Russian, steaks. Rare place with 5 varieties of Caesar salad. Outdoor terrace is comfortable for a baby stroller, but closes before late Sept. Simple salads average at 200, sophisticated salads 300-400. Most soups are at 200. Pasta 300-400. Mains average at 350-400..
  • Jean Jacques (Жан-Жак Руссо), Ул. Марата д.10 (very close to Moskovsky vokzal), +7(812)315-49-03. Decent lower-end French cuisine. Nothing-special breakfasts: either omlet or croissant or porridge.
  • Kafe Ket, 22 Ul. Stremyannaya. Kafe Kat is a tucked into a rather unassuming location, just off Nevsky. This little restaurant serves what might be the best Georgian food in St. Petersburg. There is an English menu and the staff is friendly. 1500 rubles for 2, 3 courses + beer
  • Kafe Tbilisi, Sytninskaya ul, 10 (Metro Gorkovskaya behind the market), +7 (812) 232-9391. Georgian food. The dishes prepared in pots are excellent.
  • The Idiot (Идиот), 82, Moika Emb, +7 (812) 315-1675. Named after the Dostoevsky novel, and offering a wide variety of very tasty vegan, vegetarian, and seafood dishes at prices higher than what you'd expect. All served in a very cozy and attractive cellar stocked with books, ex-pats, and intellectuals.
  • Montana Saloon, 20, Kirochnaya str. or 19, Izmailovsky pr. American cuisine, wonderful steaks (best in S-Petersburg), good wine and pleasant atmosphere. A bit expensive (the best steak costs 850 rubles), but it is worth it.
  • Fasol na Gorokhovoy (Фасоль на Гороховой). Until 1am; kitchen closes at 11:30pm. Artictic minimalism interior; creative fusion cuisine. Avg bill: 1000 rubles per person (3 courses).
  • Harbin, ул. Жуковского, 34/2. 12:30-23:30 daily. Chinese in Saint Petersburg is often better than in most parts of Europe. This restaurant is cozy and overcrowded (show up early or late if you want to ensure that you get a table), and has an extraordinarily long and complex menu. If you have no native speaker with you, bring a food dictionary, or you will have no idea what you are ordering. 800 rubles.
  • Giuseppe Park (Парк Джузеппе), 2B Canal Griboyedova (just next to Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood and Russian Museum), (812) 571-7309; (812) 973-0943, [49]. 11am-1am. One of the rare cases when a prominent location doesn't a tourist trap nor exorbitant prices. Excellent Italian food in a white nearly-luxury setting. In peak hours, choose easier-to-cook dishes to minimize risk of mistake. Great gaspacho, "quatro formagio" pizza. Good for a late breakfast as well (although no breakfast-time menu: only omlets, 170 rubles). Heated outdoor terrace open until at least end of Sep. No wifi, for reason: it's a place to eat :) Average bill per person: 1500 rubles (3 courses, no alcohol).
  • Mama Roma, [50]. A chain of Italian restaurants; free wifi. Malaya Konyushennaya, 4/2: outdoor terrace is open heated until at least end of Sep; terrace perfect with toddler: spacious enough for baby strollers; has children-safe wide couches.
  • Oliva (Олива), 31 Bolshaya Morskaya ul.. Kitchen closes at 11:30pm. Greek restaurant with a genuine Greek chef; popular with expats.
  • Oriental Express (restaurant/buffet) (Восточный Экспресс), ul. Marata 21 (close to Moskovsky train station), [51]. Tourists-oriented and doesn't hide it, the place has a good selection of traditional Russian dishes. Buffet and restaurant share the same building and kitchen and have few common dishes, but are otherwise very distant from each other (at least in prices). Restaurant: pozharskie cutlets are really great. Free wifi (ask waiter for instructions). Restaurant: salads 220..310; soups 210..340; mains: 310-540. Buffet: salads 80, soups 80-130, mains 130-190.
  • Tepló (Тепло), B. Morskaya, 45 (close to Isaakiyevsky cathedral), (812) 570 19 74, [52]. Mon-Thu, Sun 9am-12am, Fri-Sat 1pm-1am. Still TripAdvisor #1, it's currently loosing its charm and excellent service. Still, quite charming good value for money, although drinks are quite expensive. Fireplace in winter and courtyard with umbrellas and flowers in summer. Most staff speak English, those who don't are still helpful at navigating the English menu. Lunch set menu from 1pm. Equally good for breakfast (from 9am, Mon-Fri only) with omlets, pancakes, a weekly rotation of porridges and fritters. Free wifi (ask waiter for instructions); childrens playroom; separate non/smokers; outdoor terrace open until at least 5ths of Oct (but no gas heaters). Same owners as a nearby Zoom Cafe. Dinner: average bill per person: 1000 rubles (three courses, no alcohol). Breakfasts: omlet 110, porridges 80, tea 90.
  • Traveling Sack for a Pregnant Spy (Саквояж для беременной шпионки), ул. Б. Конюшенная, 17 (close to Kazansky cathedral), +7 (812) 570-06-37. M-F 11am-01am, kitchen closes at 11:30pm; Sa-Su noon-02am. A very fun Russian restaurant, that would be worth visiting as a gallery of weird spy-kitsch, but the food is also decent. No wifi. Average bill per person, no alcohol: 800 rubles.
  • Vostochny Ugolok (Восточный уголок), Гороховая ул., 52 (close to Isaakievsky cathedral), (812) 713-57-47 (). 24 hours. Good-quality Caucasian cuisine in a vivid interior. Excellent shahlyki and manty. Average bill per person (3 courses): 1000 rub.
  • Zazhigalka (Зажигалка), Невский проспект, дом 74 (Nevsky Prospekt 74) (Opposite McDonald's (Rubinshteyna Street), next to Red Tower Chinese Restaurant. Walking distance from Anichkov Bridge over Fontanka River), (812) 272-24057, [53]. 24 hours. Located just opposite McDonald's (the one near ul. Rubinshteyna), this restobar is open 24 hours a day. They serve business lunch from 12-5 PM with 3 options. Choose the 250 rubles one, it includes salad, soup, main meal, garnish (a.k.a side dish), berry drink, and bread. The 200 rubles option include no soup and the 150 rubles includes no course/garnish. Food was very good. Looked classy and tasted great. Very great cool, lounge feel atmosphere. Menus have English translation and several staffs can speak English. Great service too. Business lunch - 250 RUB.
  • Zoom, Gorohovaja str. 22 (close to Isaakiyevsky cathedral), (812)448-5001, [54]. Until 24; last order until 22:30. Same owners as Tepló, but much more intimate;not a victim of top TripAdvisor positions. About 1000 rubles per person (three courses, no alcohol).

Splurge

  • Austeria (Аустерия), Iohann Alley, Peter & Paul Fortress (Near the entrance to the fortress). 12:00-24:00. This restaurant, offering a very European setting with mostly Russian food of high quality, nabs a lot of tourists visiting the fortress. But nonetheless, the service and food remain phenomenal—while tourists are trapped here, it is no tourist trap. During off season (particularly in the snow) the place can be almost magical, as you get the beautiful restaurant to yourself. 1150 rubles.
  • Baku, +7 (812) 941-37-56, +7 (812) 571-84-70, [55]. 12:00-02:00. One of the city's more impressive interiors, modeled after the palaces of the Shirvan Shahs (imagine eating in Sheki's Khan-Saray). Only opened in 2006, but has received rave reviews from all quarters since. A great place to try out Azeri cuisine. 1300 rubles.
  • Grand Hotel Europe Restaurant. The Sunday Jazz Brunch here is a "Not to Miss" if you are looking for a real splurge. About $90 USD per person includes a full caviar spread and sushi bar in addition to the normal brunch fare (carving station, omelette station, salads, fruit, baked goods, desserts, the options are nearly endless). There is also bottomless champagne glasses (and the champagne is quite good) and a huge frozen ice sculpture that is tapped where you can refill your glass with iced vodka as many times as you'd like. The jazz is very good and the pace is relaxed and enjoyable. The only caveat: As with most Russian eateries, there is no non-smoking section, so if you are not a smoker, ask for table away from the majority or risk having to inhale cigarette smoke while you dine.
  • Kalinka-Malinka (Калинка-Малинка), ул. Итальянская, 5. Its an overdone and overpriced Russian-kitsch tourist trap for foreigners (Russians wouldn't be caught dead here). But if you're staying nearby, they'll treat you fine and you can eat some bear meat. 1400 rubles.
  • Na Zdorovye! (На здоровье!), П.С. пр. Большой , 13/4 (3 blocks up Bolshoy Prospect from the Sportivnaya metro station). 12:00-23:00. This is the kitschiest kitchen in town, but it's no tourist trap, not by a long stretch. Its way off on the Petrograd Side north of the stadium, and is frequented mostly just by Russians, who come to enjoy the fun over-the-top decor, and the delightful "tastes just like babushka makes it" cooking. Sending the kitsch even further over that top are the performances of Russian/Gypsy folk music and singing 19:00-23:00 daily. Come here for a full meal or the vodka shots + zakuski, and you'll have a memorable night. 900 rubles.
  • Sunduk (Сундук), ул. Фурштатская, 42. M-F 10:00-24:00 Sa-Su 11:00-24:00. A great, small, cozy, and very stylish brick-walled Russian restaurant, with excellent food, and good enough service. Live entertainment comes often, and is often surprisingly good—imagine sitting down and only then seeing a solo jazz guitarist sit down to play some beautiful music. It's been open for more than a decade, and there's a reason why it's a fixture of the local restaurant scene around Furshtatskaya. 850 rubles.
  • Terrassa, Kazanskaya, 3 (Highest floor of shopping center behind Kazansky cathedral), [56]. Offers magnificent view to Kazansky cathedral from terasse. Pastries are well worth the price. Averages: soups 330-380 rub; salads 400-700 rub; pizza 500 rubles; mains 1000 rubles; tiramisu 320 rubles.

Drink

Pubs

The city acts as a beer destination for Moscovites visiting St. Pete for business or vacation reasons--hence its pubs frequently have a much wider choice of beers than an average pub in Moscow (not to mention other cities in Russia). St.Petersburg, beeing the the fatherland of the most popular beer in Russia - Baltica, is considered the beer capital of the country, while Moscow is more of a Vodka Capital.

  • Bristol Pub, ul. Marata, 36/38. Very home-atmosphere and friendly.
  • Dickens Pub, 108 Fontanka Canal (Near Sadovaya & Technologichesky Institute metro stations, just off Moskovsky-Fontanka bridge), +7-812-380-7888. Dickens Pub offers good service, great food, and a wide range of English and other international beers, with over 15 on tap. There are also many superior whiskeys too! Dickens Pub is a good place to eat. Be prepared for a party - especially on Fridays & Saturdays!
  • Tower Pub, Ul. Bolshaya Konyushenaya 14 (Very close to the metro station Nevkij Prospekt), +7 (812) 315 14 31. Open 24 hours. The Tower Pub is a great place to rest, have a quick drink or stay for the whole evening. The bartenders are really nice, do speak English and are in for a chat (on a quiet night). It's located in the basement of a large building but the atmosphere is really nice. No live music.
  • Gordon & MacPhail's Whisky Bar, Nekrasova St 9, +7 812 579 4059. Lovely place where you can have a couple of whiskeys and a pint in the evening. Lots of brands and a cosy atmosphere.
  • Hemingway Bar (Хемингуэй-бар), ул. Ломоносова, 3, +7 (812) 310-7007, [57]. 12:00-05:00. A comfortable, big bar with upscale drinks and cooking. The biggest draw is the cool clientele and live performances: blues, jazz, R&B. One tip though, if you open the door to a DJ blaring Russkaya popsa—leave because you won't be able to hear yourself think. ~1400 rubles to eat.
  • The Other Side Gastro Bar & Refuge, 1 Bolshaya Konyushennaya St (Metro: Nevsky Prospect; a 2-minute walk from The Church of Our Saviour on The Spilled Blood), +7-812-312-9554, [58]. Open 12PM-?; kitchen closes at 11pm on weekdays. A favored spot among foreign visitors and their local friends, The Other Side offers eclectic world food (including hummus and bagels with cream cheese), a solid selection of drinks, fabulous background and live music (on weekends), friendly, relaxed service and a cool, classy atmosphere. Former Management from Red Lion. Great eclectic bands.

Nightclubs

Saint Petersburgers know how to party. There is a wide and excellent selection of great clubs that will satisfy all tourists looking to spend the night out. The city hosts clubs of all music. Rock, pop, jazz, hip hop/RnB, and a lot more. The most popular trend within music and clubbing in Russia at the moment is house/techno.

  • Mishka, Fontanka, 40 (in the basement) (Metro: Nevsky Prospect; Mayakovskaya; Ploshchad Vosstaniya), [59]. A very popular DJ bar/cafe for local scenesters as well as 20something tourists and ex-pats located on the most central intersection (Nevsky prospekt and Fontanka) with very reasonable prices. During the daytime, it is more of a cafe (with free wi-fi!), where one can relax, read and/or chat and enjoy a selection of very good sandwiches and fresh salads. In fact, it's one of the few places that serves in line with the Western understanding of "salad" - a huge bowl of fresh greens with a choice of other fresh delicious ingredients to add, rather than the traditional Russian understanding of salad which is usually a lot of mayonnaise with other ingredients and often without any greens at all. There are two spaces - the entrance space is the "club" side, generally the rowdier side and the perfect place to get boozed up and drunkenly dance the night away, and the second space is more relaxed, more brightly lit, non-smoking, and a comfortable place to grab a bite to eat (even at 4am!) and sit and chat with your friends without shouting over the music from the entrance space. At night there is usually an excellent DJ playing (even on weeknights!) whatever hipsters are listening to these days (rather than typical Russian clubs that only play worn-out house and 90s pop) and the bar can get very crowded on weekend nights. Try one of the dozens of specialty shots to get your night started in the right spirit...or to end your night, if you're on a bender.
  • Mod Club (Мод), Kanal Griboedova, dom 7 (in the courtyard) (Metro: Nevski Prospect), [60]. Cult club in the St. Petersburg center, next to Church of the Savior on the Spilled Blood. Cavernous live music hall with old brick walls and loft bar, separate room with wrap-around bar and small DJ stand, chill-out room with small concerts and a terrace bar for dancing under the White Nights skies. Very diverse music program: from reggae to punk/metal, but mostly rock. Friendly atmosphere. The crowd is made up of students, musicians, artists and expats. The space also includes MOD Gallery with local art on display. Design of the club is worth checking out as well. Menus in English, English-speaking bartenders, inexpensive beer. The entry is 150 rubles on Fridays and Saturdays, with free entry all other days.
  • Trinity Club - now defunct - (ex club two, club one, club zero) (Троица), Ul Lomonosova 5 (Metro: Gostiny Dvor), [61]. Highly advised on Saturday nights for the insane nu-rave/indie parties. The venue is situated in the very heart of the city in the building of XVIII century market. During the first half hour of the evening, girls can enter the club for free. The club is packed with mostly people dancing to the DJ's mixing dance rock with electro. Two dance floors, cheap alcohol, and control preventing stupid people from entering. Most of the crowd speaks at least a little English and are friendly. Entry 50-300 rubles, cheaper with guestlist through their site ($7).
  • Underground (ex-Tunnel) (Undergeound), Zverinskaya Ul (Metro: Sportivnaya), [62]. Reputedly Russia's first techno club and certainly its most legendary, Tunnel is back after an extended shutdown. This unused bomb shelter isn't exactly pretty and the crush and "face control" at the entrance when the doors open at 12 midnight sharp are legendary, but the crowd and the DJs are worth it. Entry 250-350 rubles depending on who is playing.
  • Griboedov (Грибоедов), Voronezskaya Ul. 2 (Metro: Ligovsky), [63]. A suitably spaced out place for a club whose name can also be interpreted as "the mushroom eater" or a famous Russian's poet surname, the acts here are famously offbeat, especially on weekdays when you're as likely to find a poetry reading as live reggae or a DJ spinning psychedelic trance. This club is hidden in an underground bomb shelter with a new performance space/bar/restaurant atop the bunker's hill. Open daily except Tuesday.
  • Metro Club (Метроклуб), 174 Ligovsky Pr (Metro: Ligovsky), [64]. Saint Petersburgs biggest club. Mostly for people from age 16 to 30. Entry prices vary from 180-400 rubles depending on the time of arrival. The club is open between 10:00 p.m-6:00 a.m.ry day. The club boosts 3 floors and 6 bars. The preferred music is techno, trance and house.

Gay & lesbian

  • Central Station [65]. The biggest gay club in Saint Petersburg, it features three floors, plays a selection of house and disco music, performances of drag queens, a dark room and also contains St Petersburg's only all day sushi restaurant. Be aware that gays are not very accepted among the locals and are even targeted once in a while. It is not uncommon for people to wait outside to beat up clubgoers.

The previous gay favourite in St Petersburg was 'Greshniki's', which had a dungeon decor and was considered one of the best gay clubs in Russia. However, it has now closed.

Sleep

Budget

  • Cubahostel, Kazanskaya 5, 4th floor, +7 (812) 921 71 15 (), [66]. A Nice hostel, with modern and inventive decoration, just off Nevsky Prospekt, near the Church of Our Lady of Kazan. Although it's advertised as a party hostel and situated over a nice English pub, noise isn't a problem. 650 RUB. (59.933254,30.322073)
  • St. Petersburg apartments, 60 Moika embankment, +7 (812) 973-37-16, [67]. checkin: 12 AM; checkout: 11 AM. Budget stay in holiday apartments for rent. American owned and operated.4 apartments to choose - from basic to luxery.Downtown location. Dial up Internet access. Airport transfers.Credit cards and Pay Pal accepted on-line. 60 EUR.
  • mini-hotel Krupskiy, ul. Marata, 33, +7 (812) 928-08-12 (), [68]. Located in the very center of the city
  • RedMedved Hostel (From 12 eur. per night), 57 Zhukovskogo str., +7 (812) 272 21 82 (), [69]. REDMEDVED is a fun and party style hostel in St.Petersburg. Its located only 5 min from the main train station. Free towels and bedlinen. Light and spacious rooms. 12 EUR per night.
  • Nevsky Hotel Moyka 5, 5, Moyka, +7 812.6010636 (), [70]. 3 star hotel located in the center near to the Hermitage Museum and Palace Square. Free internet. Buffet breakfest.
  • Nordhostel, 10 Bolshaya Morskaya street, +7 (812) 571-03-42 (), [71]. Located in the very center of the city — a stone's throw from the Hermitage. Free internet access and continental breakfast. A grungy place, but it has an excellent location and is relatively cheap. 888 rubles per night.
  • Sleep Cheap, Mohovaya Ave. Very hard to find (go to number 18, and through the dark tunnel), no internet Access or hot water (for a couple of weeks during the summer). 700 rubles per night.
  • Hotel Safari, Uliza Babushkaya. Good service and you might be able to negotiate a better price. Looks bad from outside, but from the inside is fairly new and clean. 2200 RBL double (includes an extra bed).
  • Location Hostel, Admiralteijskij prospekt 8 top floor, +7 (812) 979-22-33 (), [72]. Good and new hostel in de city centre almost in front of the Hermitage. Great staff and good and clean rooms. You even get a towel with your stay! The showers are ok, worked all the time, but the ceiling in showers is not too high! Free WiFi for all customers and an internet computer to use. Microwave, fridge and washing machine available but no cooking plate available. 24h reception. 600 rubles dorm and 700 rubles for a twin room (1 available).
  • Hostel Avantage, 1 Line, 24. Vasilievskiy Island, +7(960)2581523 (), [73]. 7 min from metro, free WiFi, fridge, microwave. Located in the historical centre of Saint-Petersburg. from 500 rubles per person.
  • Nevsky Express Hotel, 93 Nevsky pr., +7(812) 717-18-88 (), [74]. An affordable 3 star hotel near the central station and the Ploschad Vosstania underground station


  • Soul Kitchen hostel, 1-st Sovietskaya 12 app 1, (), [75]. 2 min from metro, free breakfast, free laundry, free WiFi, free international calls, big kitchen, fridge, microwave, activities. Located in the historical centre of Saint-Petersburg, 2 min walk from main "Moskovsky" train station". from 450 rubles per person.

Mid-range

  • 5th Corner Hotel (Отель Пятый Угол), Zagorodniy avenue 13 (metro: Vladimirskaya or Dostoevskaya, trainterminal: Moskovskiy Vokzal), +7 812 380 81 81 (, fax: +7 812 380 81 81), [76]. checkin: 2PM; checkout: noon. Business hotel in a restored building from the 19th century. Al the rooms are decorated in warm autumn tones and equipped with AC, satTV, free wireless Wi-Fi, safe and mini-bar. (59.92613,30.34198)
  • 5th Sovetskaya 21 on 5th Sovetskaya 21, Saint-Petersburg, 5th Sovetskaya str21, +7(921)957 24 40, cell: 8(921)957 24 40, (), [77]. checkin: 12.00; checkout: 12.00. A cozy Swiss managed Bed & Breakfast in a nice neighborhood off the main drag. Rooms come including breakfast, with TV-sets with satellite channels, tea/coffee free, WiFi, Non-smoking. from 1600 rubles per night.
  • Acme on Malaya Morskaya Str, Saint-Petersburg Malaya Morskaya str, 7-8, +7 (812)600 20 80, cell +(911)127 09 99, fax +7 (812)312 95 42 (), [78]. checkin: 14.00; checkout: 12.00. Stylish, modern design. Rooms come with a fridge, TV-set, tea/coffee makers, and WiFi. Non-smoking. from 1500 rubles.
  • Acme on Rubinsteina str, Saint-Petersburg, Rubinsteina str 23-81, +7(812)575 82 33, cell: 8(911)008 00 99, fax: +7(812)575 86 53, [79]. checkin: 14.00; checkout: 12.00. An elegant, small, luxury hotel in a nice neighborhood off the main drag. Rooms come with LCD TV-sets with satellite channels, tea/coffee makers, WiFi, DVD players. Non-smoking. from 1500 rubles per night.
  • Dom Dostoevskogo, St. Petersburg, 61/1 Griboedov channel (3 underground stations are within 2 minutes walk: Sennaya, Sadovaya, and Spasskaya.), +7(921)947-76-56, fax: +7(812)314 82 31 (), [80]. checkin: 14.00; checkout: 12.00. A small and comfortable mini-hotel in the centre of St.Petersburg, in the same building where the famous Russian writer Dostoevsky used to live. 10 cozy rooms with plasma TV sets, safe, and free wireless internet. from 2000 Rubles per night.
  • Alexander House Boutique Hotel, 27 Kryukova kanala emb., +7(812)334-3540, [81]. checkin: after 14:00; checkout: before 12:00. A 4 star boutique Hotel close to the Mariinsky (Kirov) Theatre on the embankments of the Kryukov Canal . The hotel features designer interiors, and a homey atmosphere. Each of the 19 rooms is individually furnished and designed. from 116 euro per room per night. (59.9189,30.2996)
  • Northern Lights, Bolshaya Morskaya st.50/6, +7(812)571-91-99 (, fax: +7(812)570-64-09), [82]. checkin: 13:00; checkout: 12:00. A small, beautifully designed hotel located in the historical center of St. Petersburg. The hotel is Western owned and managed, ensuring that services are up to the highest international standard. Continental breakfast, free internet access, visa support, airport transfers and more, they have created a comfortable, home like atmosphere for their guests.
  • Bed & Breakfast Sabrina, Bolshaya Morskaya st.21, +7(812)314-76-02 (, fax: +7(812)314-76-02), [83]. A family-run bed & breakfast perfectly located 1 block from Nevsky Prospect and the Hermitage. Basic, but very clean and comfortable. A bit difficult to find as it is on the fourth floor of an apartment building. Code for building entrance: 2230#. Prices are from 40 to 100.
  • Ermitage Hotel, Millionnaya st.11, +7(812)571-54-97 (), [84]. checkin: 14:00; checkout: 12:00. A small hotel with genuine St. Petersburg spirit. Located in the historical center, close to the Hermitage and the Marble Palace. Offers 4 double rooms that allow usage of a fully equipped study and a magnificent hall with fire-place - and with the whole staff of the hotel at your disposal. The price is from 4300 rubles.
  • Herzen House, Bolshaya Morskaya st.25, +7(812)315-55-50 (), [85]. checkin: 14:00; checkout: 12:00. A newly opened hotel right at the historical center. An ideal place for business or tourist trip. 20 rooms of different types, TV, bathroom,phone, wi-fi, air-condition in each room. 24-hours English speaking reception. Excellent breakfast (buffet) is included in the price, free internet access for guests. Room price - from 3100 rubles.
  • Kamerdiner Hotel, 6 Ozernoi Pereulok (Metro: Ploschad Vosstaniya), +7(812) 273-0113, 272-5027 (), [86]. checkin: 14:00; checkout: 12:00. Small cosy hotel located in a quiet, leafy lane a short walk from the Moscow Railway Station. Walk along Ulitsa Vosstaniya from Nevsky and take first right after small park. Seven spotless rooms in lavishly restored former mansion looking onto monastery, very friendly service and attentive staff. Continental breakfast, Wifi, satellite TV, fridge, safe, air-conditioning, 24-hour security, visa support, theatre bookings, guided tours, airport transfer. Price: 5200 rubles, seasonal discounts.
  • Comfort Hotel, 25 Bolshaya Morskaya Ul. (2 blocks off Nevsky Prospekt between the Moika and Admiralty), +7 (812) 570 67 00 (), [87]. Small hotel (18 rooms) with attentive service. Central to public transportation and walking distance to St. Isaacs Square and Palace Square. Rate includes breakfast buffet and free internet. They have English-speaking staff, above-average security and credit cards are accepted. 3200 to 7500 Rubles, depending on room and season.
  • Nevsky Forum Hotel, Nevsky pr., 69 (800 m from Moscow Railway Station), +7(812)333-0-222 (, fax: +7(812)571-64-43), [88]. checkin: 14:00; checkout: 12:00. Just in 5 minutes walk from Moscow railway station. The hotel offers 29 rooms different categories. All rooms are equipped with: bathroom with bathtub or shower, Satellite TV, Telephone, Air conditioning, mini-bar, Internet (LAN/Wi-Fi), electronic safe-box, hair-drier. 24-hours receptions & Room-Service, Business & Conference facilities, Transport & Excursion service, Visa Support & Registration sevice, Laundry. The Price is from 5000 rubles per night.
  • Matisov Domik, Matisov Island, [89]. A small, cosy hotel located a short walk away from the Mariinsky Theatre. The hotel has excellent service with large, clean rooms and satellite television (all but one News Channel, Russia Today, are in Russian). The hotel is a jewel in an otherwise poorer area of the city, however this should not put potential visitors off as it is the perfect way to see both perspectives of the city.
  • Moskva Hotel, 2 Alexander Nevsky pl (Metro Ploschad' Alexandra Nevskogo), +7(812)274-4001, [90]. Incredibly gargantuan concrete monolith that continues to carry forward the Soviet traditions of former monopoly operator Intourist. Ugly and user-hostile, but the location right above a subway station is excellent and the price can be right, especially if booked in a package.
  • Nevsky Grand Hotel, 10 Bolshaya Konyushennaya St, +7(812)703-38-60 (fax: +7(812)703-38-60), [91]. Just around the corner from Nevsky Prospect, 5 minutes from the subway and a 10 minute walk from the Hermitage Museum. Ideally located for city tours and excursions to the city's surroundings. Free and very reliable wi-fi access in all rooms (very speedy: 5Mbps), and air conditioning in every room. Rooms are very small, but functional. Staff speak English well, and breakfast is included in the room rate (available from 7AM til 11AM). Shortcomings: no fridges in rooms; steep staircase at the entrance is difficult for a stroller. From €80 for double; frequent special offers.
  • Petro Palace, 14 Malaya Morskaya, [92]. A clean, very efficient, and ideally located hotel. It has a spa, swimming pool and gym (but only free for guests before 11AM) and the rooms maids are very efficient - appearing to clean rooms several times a day. It is within a few seconds of several excellent restaurants, coffee bars and a small shop.
  • Hotel Vera, Suvorovsky prosp. 25/16, 5th floor (close to Grand Hotel Emerald), +7(812)702-72-06 (fax: +7(812)271-28-93), [93]. checkin: 2pm. Up-to-date and cozy rooms; 4th to 6th floors of an old building. Staff speak English by default, not Russian--which is quite rare. 6th floor features mansard windows. Some rooms have poor sound isolation from the corridor (eg. 514, 604). Free internet over wire, cable supplied. Breakfast: No-frills; no hot plates but fresh fruits; no espresso, only American coffee.
  • Old Vienna, mini hotel, Malaya Morskaya13/ Gorohovaya 8, +7 (812) 314 35 14 (), [94]. checkin: 13; checkout: 12. A both stylish and "home-cozy" mini-hotel of buisiness class level, located just in the centre of St. Petersburg. 400 m. to Hermitage, 300 m. to St. Isaac's Cathedral.All 14 rooms of the hotel are equipped with: Air conditioning, Internet (Wi-Fi),bathroom, Satellite TV, Telephone, mini-bar, hair-drier, DVD. Breakfast(buffet)and Internet are included in the price.
  • Sonya Radisson. Good value for money. Free wireless broadband internet (20MBps). Difficult to find a place to eat nearby if you arrive after midnight on weekday.

Splurge

  • Grand Hotel Europe, 1/7 Mikhailovskaya st., +7(812)329-60-00 (, fax: +7(812)329-60-01), [95]. A five-star hotel in the centre of town on Nevsky Prospekt. Hosts Ballet, and several restaurants. Many rooms have great views over the city. Well worth a visit.
  • Hotel Astoria, 39 Bolshaya Morskaya, +7 812 494 5757 (, fax: +7 812 494 5059), [96]. Hotel Astoria is a five-star hotel. It is located on Saint Isaac's Square, next to Saint Isaac's Cathedral and across from the historic Imperial German Embassy.
  • Radisson SAS, 49/2 Nevskiy pr., +7(812)322-50-00 (, fax: +7(812)322-50-01), [97]. A five-star hotel located on Nevskiy Prospekt. The hotel boasts a fitness centre, sauna and massage parlour. Conveniently located.
  • W St. Petersburg, 6 Voznesensky pr., +7(812)610-61-61 (, fax: +7(812)610-61-60), [98]. Ultramodern and chic hotel, located next to St. Isaac's Cathedral. Opening March 2011. Hosts Bliss Spa and mix restaurant by Alain Ducasse.

Contact

There are four GSM 900/1800 networks (MTS [99], Beeline [100], Megafon [101] and Tele2 [102]) and a CDMA 2000 network (SkyLink [103]) and the coverage is quite sufficient (every built-up area and most of the country roads). If you stay for a few days or more and need to make local calls it is advised that you buy a pre-paid SIM card (you may be asked for a passport) and a cell-phone if you don't have one matching local standards (possibly a used one) which is going to be much cheaper than roaming in most cases. A SIM card with a balance will cost you less than $10. Cell outlets are plentiful around the city (numerous at every subway station and shopping center). You can pay for your talks at most supermarkets, cell-phone shops and ATMs. The emergency service number is 112.

For international calls, consider buying a calling card which allows very cheap calls (a few rubles for a minute to Europe or the US). Calling from a hotel room may result in rather painful bill.

The following internet cafes offer computers with internet, gaming, and WiFi as noted.

  • CafeMax, Nevsky Prospekt 90. 24 hours. Large, well-lighted, and clean. Also offers copying, scanning and faxing services. 120 Rubles/hour for internet computer. Free WiFi with food purchase..
  • Shangri La, Nevsky Prospekt 98. 24 hours. 90 Rubles/hour for internet computer. 100 Rubles/hour for WiFi..
  • Players, 26/27 Kazanskaya Ulitsa (A few blocks behind Kazan Cathedral in the direction of Sennaya Ploshad). 24 hours. No WiFi service. 60 Rubles/hour for internet computer..
  • Tvoyo (TBOE), Liteyniy Prospekt 63 (Northeast corner of Nevsky Pr. and Liteyniy Pr., entry off Liteyniy), [104]. 24 hours. Also serves drinks & snacks for only a few rubles. This cybercafe used to be known as "Quo Vadis." 70 Rubles/hour for internet and WiFi..

Also there are so-called computer clubs with dozens of computers for network gaming (usually crowded by kids playing CounterStrike) which also offer internet access in separate rooms for a little charge.

Free wifi is available in most hotels, business and shopping centers. In restaurants and pubs, wifi is really everywhere--thanks to huge amount of Finnish tourists that are used to it.

WiMAX (new generation 4G internet) is offered by Yota [105], with excellent coverage within city boundaries. 900 rubles/month (or 90 rubles/day). Must buy Yota USB modem (2,390 rubles) to access the 4G network.

Also you can buy a USB-modem with a pre-paid SIM card of any mobile network operators mentioned above. It will cost about 1200 rubles for GSM operators and 3900 rubles for SkyLink. Note that MTS, Beeline and Megafon offer high-speed UMTS interconnection, but Tele2 offers only standard GPRS. Plans start at 1 rub/Mb for GSM operators and 0.30 rub/Mb for SkyLink. (Prices as of 2009)

Stay safe

Saint Petersburg has a somewhat undeserved dangerous reputation. Things have calmed down since the Wild West (or Wild East) days immediately after the collapse of the Soviet Union, but some common sense is still required, as pickpocketing and other petty scams are fairly common in tourist areas and the metro.

As with most other major cities, avoid traveling alone at night, and do not get into altercations with drunks. If traveling at night, it is recommended to stay on the main sidewalks and avoid any dark alleys or yards. Gypsy cabs are not recommended in any circumstance, especially those that linger near bars where expatriates and tourists congregate.

Downtown, western and south central parts of the city are safest. Suburbs like Kupchino, Kolpino and Ligovo are struggling with criminality and poverty.

As a general rule, the farther you are from the city center, the more dangerous it is.

Gangs are a problem, although mafia gang wars are unlikely to affect tourists. Some gangs, however, such as neo-Nazis or angry hooligans, are out looking for problems and commit crimes that can affect tourists. After the war with Chechnya and terrorist attacks in some Russian cities, local hatred is growing toward people with darker complexions, and neo-Nazism is a concern. St. Petersburg, and Russia in general, can be regarded as a seriously dangerous destination for tourists of darker complexions so travelling in groups is highly advised.

Also, Saint Petersburg's football club, Zenit Saint Petersburg, is one of the biggest clubs in the country, and has its own band of hooligans. If you decide to visit the football stadium to watch the club play, you should buy tickets to center sectors. If you do not do this and a fight starts, you are likely to get dragged into it by either the hooligans or the police, since both will think you are part of the brawl.

SERIOUS THREAT : Take care of money, documents, cameras, mobile phones, and anything of value because of pickpocketing. Especially watch out on the Metro during busy times, as people start pushing at the train doors, and pickpockets are frequent, particularly (but not only) at Gostinyy Dvor Metro Station. When riding the Metro, keep in mind that robbery is a real threat; you should constantly watch what is going on around you and who is standing very close to you. This almost aggressive robbery technique is a daily issue and can be surprising even if you have been warned - BE CAREFUL IN THE SUBWAY.

Thefts of photo technique are really big problem is Saint Petersburg. Usual photo bags never save your camera, it can be opened in 1,5 seconds. Cameras must be kept in bags slung across the body at all times, with your hands keeping a firm grip on them, and no watches or jewelry should be visible at all. Quite obviously, do not show in public that you have a lot of money. Robberies are not uncommon and many foreigners have been threatened at gun and knife point. However, foreigners are not targeted, and robbers attack both foreigners and tourists that openly show that they are wealthy.

Take special care on Nevsky Prospekt, particularly the area with the city tour buses, a favorite spot of pickpockets and particularly of those after photo equipment. On the bright side, "Nevsky Prospekt" is the safest concerning physical abuse.

Russian driving is wild. Drivers attack their art with an equal mix of aggressiveness and incompetence. Guidelines are lax and rarely followed. As a pedestrian, take great care when crossing the roads, as pedestrian crossings are in 99% of cases ignored (even by police). If you are thinking of driving yourself, bear in mind that the Russian traffic police are extremely corrupt, even by Russian standards.

Saint Petersburg has a relatively big problem with street children who make their living out of stealing. They could be a hassle and can beg you aggresively. Act like any other Russian would. Say no then just ignore them and go away.

Homosexuals must practice extreme caution while staying in Saint Petersburg as attacks often occur. Some Russian people really hate public demonstrations of homosexuality.

Bar fights do occur. In the center of the city and around Nevsky Prospekt, they are unlikely to happen. However, in the suburbs and local pubs, fights occur almost daily. If you are staying with locals living in these areas, it might be a good idea avoid these bars. Police are unlikely to show up as they consider fights as small, unimportant, regular and a waste of time, and they will probably laugh at you for calling.

Another one danger can catch you up in winter time. Poor harvesting of snow and ice is a big problem of city. It's better to abstain from being in Saint Petersburg in snowy winters cause of gigant ice blocks from roofs can fall on your head. In addition, ice on streets will be a serious obstacle for your travel.

Overall, be warned that if you are used to living in the US and/or Western Europe, Saint Petersburg, as well as the rest of Eastern Europe, will seem different, and, at times, a bit intimidating. Russian people are extremely friendly and welcoming towards foreigners, and nothing should happen to you unless you really want it yourself. If you don't care about them, they don't care about you and nothing should be in your way of having a great holiday.

Stay healthy

The below private hospitals have English-speaking Russian doctors (very few, if any, hospital staff are expats). Depending on the type of service provided and the terms of one's insurance policy, these hospitals may be able to arrange direct billing with European and American medical insurance companies.

  • American Medical Clinic, Moyka Embankment 78 (Just west of St. Isaac's Square), +7 812 740 2090, [106]. 24 hours. Includes dental clinic and pediatric unit.
  • Euromed, Suvorovsky Prospekt 60, +7 812 327 0301, [107]. 24 hours. Multi-specialty medical center that provides a full range of medical services,applying international standards and protocols of diagnostics and treatment. Includes it's own laboratory and pharmacy units, in-patient department with comfortable 5-star hotel class wards, ambulance team. English-speaking personnel provides direct insurance billing and any administrative support to the patient(accomodation,visas,transfers,medical evacuatuons).
  • MEDEM, Ulitsa Marata 6 (near Mayakovskaya Metro), +7 812 336 3333, [108]. 24 hours. Includes dental clinic, pediatric unit, and other services.

The city's water-system is not ideal because of a number of old pipes and as a result does not provide 100% clean water. Some locals boil or also filter tap water before use; you might want to buy it bottled if water quality affects you.

In Saint Petersburg cold water is cleaner than hot, also there isn't hot water for 3 weeks every summer.

There are numerous public toilets, most of which are attended by a person who will charge about 15 rubles for entry. It is a good idea to take your own toilet paper, as it is not always provided. The toilets are typically extremely dirty by Western standards. If you are a Westerner, you can get away with wandering into the Western hotels, which have lovely bathrooms— the Grand Hotel Europe in particular. Just don't ever push your luck with suit-clad men guarding the hotel entrances, they are tough as nails if provoked. Many restaurants also allow tourists to use toilet without being a customer.

Cope

The first 24 hours in Saint Petersburg may be a shock to the system. The welcome from immigration officials seems like a hang-over from Communist times- don't expect to be spoken to or even looked at by officials. Flying into Saint Petersburg may seem unusual, with the sight of old concrete tower blocks and factory chimneys. The suburbs of the city are a contrast to those with which you may be familiar. Nevsky Prospekt is the most 'Westernized' street in the city and would be more familiar to Westerners traveling to Saint Petersburg. If you are from a Western country, you will find this either shocking or amusing.

Saint Petersburg is plagued by a number of mosquitoes during the summer, as the swampy surroundings of the city give the mosquitoes excellent living conditions. In budget accommodation with few countermeasures against the mosquitoes, this can be a problem at night, putting your well deserved sleep at risk.

Consulates

  • Ao-flag.png Angola, Shpalernaya street, 36, office 324 (entrance from Chernyshevskogo Prospekt), +7 (812) 272-0994 (fax: +7 (812) 272-0994). Mon-Fri, 9 AM - 5-30 PM.
  • Am-flag.png Armenia, Dekabristov street, 22, ap. 13, +7 (812) 571-7236 (, fax: +7 (812) 710-6620). Tue-Fri, 10 AM - 2 PM.
  • As-flag.png Australia, Italianskaya street, 1, +7 (812) 325-7333, 315-1100 (). Mon-Fri, 9 AM - 6 PM.
  • Au-flag.png Austria, Furshtatskaya, 43, room 1, +7 (812) 275-0502, 275-0496, 272-4117 (, fax: +7 (812) 275-1170). Mon-Fri, 9 AM - 1 PM.
  • Aj-flag.png Azerbaijan, 2nd Sovetskaya street, 27A, +7 (812) 717-3991 (, fax: +7 (812) 717-3986). Mon, Wed, Fri, 10 AM - 2 PM.
  • Bg-flag.png Bangladesh, 3rd Line, 8 (Vasilievsky Island), +7 (812) 328-5538, 323-9233, 328-5516. Mon-Fri 10AM - 6PM.
  • Bo-flag.png Belarus, Bonch-Bruevicha street, 3а, +7 (812) 274-7212, 275-8130 (, fax: +7 (812) 273-4164). Mon-Fri 2PM -3PM.
  • Br-flag.png Brazil (Honorary Consulate), Moyka bank, 75, +7 (812) 703-7458 (fax: +7 (812) 326-6677). Mon-Fri 9AM - 5PM.
  • Bu-flag.png Bulgaria, Ryleyev Street, 27 (Metro Station Chernyshevskaya), +7 (812) 273-4018 (common), (812) 273-3134 (consulate) (, fax: +7 (812) 272-5718), [109].
  • Ci-flag.png Chile (Honourary Consulate), 9th Line, 34 (Vasilievsky Island), +7 (812) 702-1280 (fax: +7 (812) 702-1271).
  • Ch-flag.png China, Naberezhnaya Kanala Griboedova, 134, +7 (812) 714-7670, 713-7605 (fax: +7 (812) 714-7958).
  • Cy-flag.png Cyprus, Furshtatskaya street, 27, +7 (812) 380-7800 (, fax: +7 (812) 380-7900). Mon-Fri 10AM - 5PM.
  • Ez-flag.png Czech Republic, Tverskaya street, 5, +7 (812) 271-0459 (, fax: +7 (812) 271-4615). Mon-Thu 1-30PM - 4-00PM; Fri 1-30PM - 3PM.
  • Da-flag.png Denmark, Kamenny Island, Bolshaya Alley, 13 (Chernaya Rechka metro station), +7 (812) 703-3900, 703-3902 (, fax: +7 (812) 703-3900). Mon-Thu 9-15AM - 4-30PM; Fri 9-15AM - 3-30PM.
  • En-flag.png Estonia, Bolshaya Monetnaya street, 14, +7 (812) 702-0924, 702-0920 (, fax: +7 (812) 702-09-27). Mon-Fri 10-30AM - 1-00PM.
  • Fi-flag.png Finland, Preobrazhenskaya square, 4 (Chernyshevskaya metro station), +7 (812) 331-7603 - visa issues (10-00 - 12-00), (812) 331-7600 - stay permit issues(9-00 - 10-00) (, fax: +7 (812) 331-7601). Mon-Fri 9-00AM - 3-30PM.
  • Fr-flag.png France, Naberezhnaya Moyki, 15, +7 (812) 332-22-83 (14-00 - 17-00) (, fax: +7 (812) 332-22-80). Mon-Fri 9-30 - 12-30.
  • Gm-flag.png Germany, Furshtatskaya Street, 39 (Metro Station Chernyshevskaya), +7 (812) 320-2140, +7 (812) 279-3242 (, fax: +7 (495) 2306431), [110].
  • Gr-flag.png Greece, Chernyshevskogo Prospekt, 17 (Metro Station Chernyshevskaya), +7 (812) 334-3586 (fax: +7 (812) 334-3587). Mon-Fri 10AM - 1PM.
  • Hu-flag.png Hungary, Marata Street, 15, +7 (812) 312-64-58, 312-67-53, 312-9200, for visa issues - (812) 314-5805 (, fax: +7 (495) 312-64-32). Tue, Wed, Fri, 10-00 - 12-00.
  • Ic-flag.png Iceland (Honourary Consulate), Telmana street, 24, +7 (812) 326-8580, 326-8585 (, fax: +7 (495) 326-8588). Mon-Fri 9AM - 6PM.
  • In-flag.png India, Ryleyev street, 35, +7 (812) 272-1731, 27219-88, 579-3002 (, fax: +7 (812) 272-2473). Mon-Fri 9-30AM - 6PM.
  • Id-flag.png Indonesia (Honourary Consulate), Kamennoostrovsky prospekt, 15, +7 (812) 237-0883 (fax: +7 (812) 237-0883). Mon, Tue, Wed, Fri 10AM - 4PM.
  • It-flag.png Italy, Teatralnaya square, 10, +7 (812) 312-32-17, 312-31-06, 718-80-95 (, fax: +7 (812) 312-28-96). Mon-Fri 9AM - 1PM.
  • Ja-flag.png Japan, Naberezhnaya Moyki, 29, +7 (812) 314-1434 (, fax: +7 (812) 710-6970). Mon-Fri 9AM - 6PM.
  • Kz-flag.png Kazakhstan, Galernaya street, 11, +7 (812) 312-0987 ().
  • Kg-flag.png Kyrgyzstan (Honourary Consulate), Suvorovsky pr., 40 office 18, +7 (812) 400-2280.
  • Lg-flag.png Latvia, 10th Line, 11 (Vasilievsky Island), +7 (812) 336-3454 (, fax: (812) 336-3452). Mon-Fri 8-30AM - 5PM.
  • Lh-flag.png Lithuania, Ryleyeva street, 37, +7 (812) 327-3167, 327-0230, visas 327-26-81 (3PM to 6PM) (, fax: (812) 327-2615). Mon-Fri 9AM - 3PM.
  • Lu-flag.png Luxembourg (Honourary Consulate), Nevsky Prospekt, 58, +7 (812) 718-3450, 718-3451, 311-1219. Mon-Fri 10AM - 6PM.
  • Mt-flag.png Malta (Honourary Consulate), 8th Krasnoarmeyskaya street, 6A/5, +7 (812) 449-4780, 449-4781 (fax: +7 (812) 449-4780). Mon-Fri 10AM - 5PM.
  • Nl-flag.png Netherlands, Naberezhnaya Moyki, 11, +7 (812) 334-02-00 (, fax: +7 (812) 334-02-25). Mon-Fri 10-00 - 12-30.
  • No-flag.png Norway, Nevsky Prospekt, 25, +7 (812) 336-6420, visa service - (812) 336-6423 (, fax: +7 (812) 336-6421, visa service - (812) 336-64-22). Mon-Fri 10-00 - 12-00.
  • Rp-flag.png Philippines, Bolshoy Prospekt, 103 (Vasilievsky Island), +7 (812) 326-1355 (fax: +7 (812) 326-1357).
  • Pl-flag.png Poland, 5th Sovetskaya street, 14, +7 (812) 336-31-40, 336-31-41, 274-43-14 (, fax: +7 (812) 274-43-18). Mon-Fri 10-00AM - 1-00PM.
  • Ro-flag.png Romania, Gorokhovaya street, 4 (Nevsky Prospekt metro station), +7 (812) 312-6141. Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri 11-00AM - 4-00PM.
  • Lo-flag.png Slovakia, Orbeli street, 21 building 2, +7 (812) 244-36-66 (). Mon-Fri 10-00AM - 3-00PM.
  • Si-flag.png Slovenia (Honourary Consulate), pereulok Antonenko, 6-а, office 208, +7 (812) 314-4185. Mon 15-00 - 17-00, Fri 12-30 - 14-00.
  • Ks-flag.png South Korea, Nekrasova street, 32-а, +7 (812) 448-1909.
  • Sp-flag.png Spain, Furshtatskaya street, 9, +7 (812) 327-3634 (, fax: +7 (812) 327-3634). Mon-Fri 10AM - 5PM.
  • Ce-flag.png Sri Lanka (Honourary Consulate), 17th Line, 60 (Vasilievsky Island), +7 (812) 305-0185. Mon-Fri 11AM - 6PM.
  • Sw-flag.png Sweden, Malaya Konyushennaya street, 1/3, +7 (812) 329-1430 (, fax: +7 (812) 329-1450).
  • Sz-flag.png Switzerland, Prospekt Chernyshevskogo, 17 (Vasilievsky Island), +7 (812) 327-08-17, 327-08-19 (, fax: +7 (812) 327-08-29). Mon-Thu 9-00 - 12-00.
  • Th-flag.png Thailand (Honourary Consulate), Bolshoy Prospekt, 9 (Vasilievsky Island), +7 (812) 325-6271, 325-6371, 213-2538 (fax: +7 (812) 325-6313). Mon-Fri 11-00 - 13-00.
  • Up-flag.png Ukraine, Bonch-Bruevicha street, 1-V, +7 (812) 331-5163/66 (, fax: +7 (812) 331-5169). Mon-Fri 9-30AM 6-30PM.
  • Us-flag.png United States, Furshtatskaya Street, 15 (Metro Station Chernyshevskaya), +7 (812) 331-2699, 331-2600 (, fax: +7 (812) 331-2852), [111].

Visa Centers

  • Be-flag.png Belgium, Shpalernaya street, 38, +7 (812) 665-03-44 (). Mon-Fri, 9 AM - 4PM.
  • Ca-flag.png Canada, Parkovaya street, 4, office 326, +7 (812) 449-77-52 (). Mon-Fri, 10AM - 5PM.
  • Nz-flag.png New Zealand, +7 (812) 642-3124 (fax: +7 (812) 642-3124), [112]. Mon-Fri, 9-30AM - 5PM.

Get out

One-day excursions are popular with travellers to Saint Petersburg. Taxicabs and buses are the most common forms of transport and trips can often be organised either with the holiday operator e.g. Intourist, before traveling to Russia, or from your hotel. Several tour bus companies have kiosks in front of Gostinyy Dvor, with some tours (but not all) offered in English. Some of the most popular excursions include:

Oreshek fortess, a view from the right bank of Neva River
  • Gatchina — Big park and museum. Can be reached by train from Saint Petersburg Baltiskiy station to the Gatchina's Baltiskiy railway station, which is situated fairly close to the palace. One can also take a bus from near the former Warsaw station (next to Baltiskiy station) in St. Petersburg.
  • Ivangorod and Narva — Two towns on the Narva river (border between Russia and Estonia). Twin castles (Russian, established Grand Duke Ivan III, and Danish/Swedish). Clarify your visa status before crossing to Estonia, as you may not be able to come back on single-entry Russian visa.
  • Kronshtadt — Old seaport town on the Kotlin island. Main Russian naval base from early 18 century. You may take a hydrofoil back to the Hermitage for 100 RR.
  • Lomonosov (AKA Oranienbaum) — Park with museum honoring Michael Lomonosov. Not far from Peterhof (15 minutes by car). Station name is Oranienbaum. TIP - You may also visit Kronshtadt and take a hydrofoil back to the Hermitage for 100 RR, an inexpensive alternative to the more expensive ones leaving from Peterhof.
  • Novgorod — Ancient town with churches and museums. About 180 km. from St. Petersburg.
  • Oreshek fortess — a medieval russian fortess at Orekhovy Island in the mouth of Neva.
  • Pavlovsk — Lusicous green park where you could feed the squirrels from your hands. Can be reached by train from Vitebskiy station (not the main hall, but the smaller hall for local trains, which is on the right side as you face the station). Pavlovsk train station is close to the northwestern gate to the park, and from there it is a long (but pleasant) walk though the park to the palace.
  • Peterhof — Home of the sumptuous "Russian Versailles". Fountains, parks, museums. Can be reached by train from Baltiskiy station for 43.50 RR, although figuring out which station you want to arrive at can be tricky if you can't read Cyrillic. Station's name is Noviy Peterhof. You may also try going on the red line to Metro station Avtovo, and from there, take a 'Mashrut' Bus to Peterhof for 50 RR. Travel time: 35 minutes without traffic. If you've got plenty of time, consider visiting Oranienbaum / Lomonosov, visiting Kronshtadt, then you may take a hydrofoil back to the Hermitage for 100 RR.
  • Pushkin (A.K.A. Tsarskoye Selo) — City 25 km south of Saint Petersburg, with beautiful parks and palaces, most notably the Catherine Palace built for Tsarina Catherine I. Can be reached by train from Vitebskiy station (not the main hall, but the smaller hall for local trains, which is on the right side as you face the station). Take the train to Detskoe Selo station, but be advised that the palaces are still about a 20-minute walk through town from the station.
  • Repino — House-museum of the artist Ilya Repin, located just off the Gulf of Finland, where he lived and worked. To get there: Elektrichka train from the Finland Station (round trip fare 120 RR, eleventh stop on the westbound line — check in advance to make sure the train you board stops in Repino — then from the station cross the main road and walk down the path to the left of the supermarket through a resort complex to the next major road. Turn left and walk about 1.5km to the gate marked Penaty. The walk takes about 45 minutes. The museum and grounds close at 3PM, or earlier if there are no visitors.
  • Staraya Ladoga — the first capital of Russia is a pleasant little village four hours away with an incredible wealth of historical sights, including its own stone kremlin and church frescoes by the hand of none other than Andrei Rublev.
  • Vyborg — town situated on the Karelian Isthmus near the head of the Bay of Vyborg, 130 km to the northwest of St. Petersburg, 38 km south from Russia's border with Finland, where the Saimaa Canal enters the Gulf of Finland. Swedish built castle, started in the 13th century and extensively reconstructed by Russians in 1891–1894. Mon Repos, one of the most spacious English parks in Eastern Europe, laid out in the 19 century. Fortifications of the Mannerheim Line (built by Finland against the Soviet Union) are close by.
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