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Talk:Saint Petersburg

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This article was the Collaboration of the week between 1 September 2007 and 1 October 2007.


I moved this page to have a disambiguator. I realize that the Russian city is much larger and well-known than the Floridian one, but I figured if we needed a disclaimer at the beginning of the page, it was worth putting a full disambiguation page in.

I didn't know the next-higher region to use for the disambiguator. When we get Russia's geographical hierarchy straightened out, it may make sense to move this article again. --Evan 12:47, 27 Jul 2004 (EDT)

I couldn't trace down how this got moved, but I moved it back. Is there a conversation I missed? It seems like this city is not sufficiently more famous than Saint Petersburg (Florida) to justify dropping the disambiguator. --Evan 10:22, 27 July 2006 (EDT)
Also: I was going to change all the links here, but I realized it's probably good to let the discussion go for a while before doing that. --Evan 10:26, 27 July 2006 (EDT)

Years later, this has been moved back per discussion at Talk:Saint_Petersburg_(disambiguation)#Improper_disambiguation. --Peter Talk 17:27, 23 February 2010 (EST)

Getting into the Hermitage[edit]

I think the advice in the Getting into the Hermitage box is a good one, but I was there last week and I found it simpler than what the box suggests. After talking to other people that had been there before I have the feeling that things might have changed since that was written.

In my case it was like this: in the archway that connects the Palace Square with the inner yard there's a door on the right that says "Tours Office" (in English). I went inside, there were two windows and another door. I opened that door and asked for tours in English. They told me (in good English) the time for the next tour, and I bought the ticket right there. It was 400 rubles for the entrance plus 200 for the tour itself. The photography fee was not included.--Pendulum 15:51, 13 September 2011 (EDT)

Stay safe section[edit]

The STAY SAFE part is to be revised, please! There are typical precautions for every big city (5 mil+) and these do not ESPECIALLY refer to "wild" Russia.

Hi! (Privet!) I'm not rigistered yet, but made some edits to article. Please check it, cause my Enklish is not good. I'm live in St Petersburg so if you want to know something about living there please write to [email protected] Good luck! (Udachi!)

"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."

Sorry, but I don't think you can compare the safety standard of US cities with Western or Central Europe at all. US cities have their share of gang wars, mafia activity and high crime rates, too and I would not recommend downtown areas in cities like Baltimore, Detroit or L.A. after dark. In comparison Saint Petersburg is somehow in between Western European standards (where unpleasant experiences with hooligans, neo-nazis, etc. also occur...) and most US cities (maybe except from NYC).


The Sibelius and Repin trains from Helsinki terminating in St. Petersburg will switch back to using the Finland station in September 2006. The Tolstoi train from Helsinki via St. Petersburg to Moscow will presumably not be affected.

The price range indicated for Allegro trains between Helsinki and St Petersburg was starting at a much higher price (59€) than the cheapest tickets which are actually sold online. I have travelled on the allegro several times in recent months and found tickets for as low as 29€. Changed the price range to reflect this 09:37, 21 July 2018 (EDT)

Article's status[edit]

Although some sections are incomplete, in my recent trip to St. Petersburg, I found this guide very useful. I didn't need any other guide. Is it still so small it has to be an outline? I mean, all the important sections have lots of info, I think it should be changed to 'usable'. Anyone have any objections?EmbrunOntario 15:57, 26 July 2006 (EDT)

The status criteria for city/town/village articles can be found at Wikitravel:City guide status. It's not unusual for an article to be improved enough to qualify for a higher status, so if you see one that meets the criteria (and this one does), plunge forward and upgrade it. Note that when you get above "outline", the tag gets more specific about what kind of article it is: in this case it would be {{usablecity}} or (with a little clean-up and more contact info in the listings) {{guidecity}}. - Todd VerBeek 17:37, 26 July 2006 (EDT)
Note that I wasn't encouraging you to mess with the article title. This can be discussed (if you don't mind) on Talk:St. Petersburg (disambiguation) - Todd VerBeek 09:15, 27 July 2006 (EDT)
I've been contributing to this article for a while, and I'd like to pick up where this discussion previously left off - there's plenty of information on St. Pete and no reason it can't at least make it to Guide status soon. In my estimation, here are the tasks I see remaining before this article becomes a Guide:
  • Reformat layout so that text does not scroll off the screen (DONE - another user did this last week by removing the text boxes regarding bus travel; I think it is an improvement, and the current layout is much easier on the eye ... and on the printer)
  • Get In: shorten by moving visa/immigration information to the country-level article where it is more appropriate (DONE - I did this today)
  • Get Around: provide a link to the bridge schedule, if available
  • See: Two years on, this section still should have more contact info and should use the standard listing format for each element * <see name="" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price=""></see>. Also recent confirmation of the Hermitage tips in the text box would be nice.
  • Do: I'd like to revamp this section. For starters, I think the Mariinsky Theater's name can stand alone without such a wordy explanation, although tips like theatergoing with children have value. Likewise, movie viewing tips can be consolidated. I propose subdividing this section with three subheadings (1-Opera/Ballet/Symphony, 2-Movie Theaters, 3-Canal Boats) with a few listings for each, in standard listing format - after all, the Mariinsky is not the only worthwhile theater in town, but music is certainly one of the highlights of any visit to St. Pete. I could probably also scrounge up some info on canal boat tours in English.
  • Learn: can also be reformatted for standard listings, and there are a couple others I can add. (DONE - and thanks to those who started the reformatting, too. I removed since it didn't really fit there within Wiki guidelines, but the site does have some interesting info.)
  • Work: Finding work here - and especially work permission - is not easy. Can anyone provide information, or can we plunge forward to Guide status without this section?
  • Eat: Listings could stand to be converted to standard listing format, and I wonder if there's any interest in pulling out vegetarian restaurants into a subheading of their own?
  • Drink: Nightclubs don't have the standard listing, but the article can survive with or without for the moment, I'd say.
  • Sleep: Mostly in good shape, a few listings could be reformatted, and I'm surprised no one has listed the Astoria/Angleterre on St. Isaac's Square.
  • Contact: In addition to the text that's there, I propose listings for some internet cafes. St Pete seems to be underserved in this field, compared to other European cities its size, so knowing where the handful of cafes are would be nice. (DONE - I added 4 listings recently, Oct09)
  • Stay Safe: There's quite a lot of text here already - much of which is already under discussion - but I notice some other articles are helpful in listing hospitals and clinics foreigners commonly use; I could add some listings here. (DONE - I added 4 listings recently, Oct09)
Any reactions to the above, or any other projects to take on before making this article a Guide? --Andrewsyria 04:54, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
Well, this is absolutely fantastic work you're doing—the article was really messy from a formatting perspective, last time I looked at it.
In response to several of your comments: 1) I don't think there's any Piter-specific info for work that doesn't just duplicate what is/should be written in the Russia article. 2) Internet cafes are/were really important for travel here, and I remember there were a few cafes on Nevsky back in 2003 opening up with free wifi. 3) Regarding get around info, we've got a ton of Russian language content on this that I'll try and bring over here. 4) Hospital listings would be really useful; I can take a crack at the prose—I know a fair amount about security issues here (hopefully not outdated, from 2003-4).
I lived here for a while, and it's probably my favorite place on Earth, so I'm a bit persnickety on some issues. Before I'd be ok with calling this a guide-level article, we'd need: 1) a more robust drink section; it's not possible for this to be a guide article without, for example, the Stray Dog. 2) Way more eat listings. Petersburg is a great city for foodies and our current coverage is but spittle in the ocean. There should be at least three Uzbek places I can think of, some great Chinese, endless sushi options—I'll at least make a point to add several more really good splurge options. (I hope my places haven't closed, though—I was devastated to hear about my beloved Wooden Pub from 2003!) In general, I'll try and take a closer look at this article over the next week or so, and see what I can help out with via research (and digging through memories). But in short, it's not so much the quality of current content that seems to me a problem, but rather the lack of very significant bits of content.
Lastly, we've got a bunch of work going on for this article on the Russian version. When there's enough info there for each of the districts referenced below, I'm planning to translate the content wholesale and districtify this article, and add detailed Wikitravel street maps. That will probably result in another status change! --Peter Talk 04:14, 22 August 2008 (EDT)
Wanted to add: this site is a great resource for research, if you read Russian. --Peter Talk 10:17, 5 September 2008 (EDT)

Looking at this more, I'm convinced there's just way too much information missing to call this at guide status. A visitor could use this guide and have a great time, no doubt, but there's such an incredible wealth of things to see in this city, and far too few are listed here. Once we get down to the candy colored Church by the Stalinist monument to the Blockade, then I think we'll be approaching guide status. I don't really think we will until we've developed a good 6 usable district articles. On the upside, a lot of work is also going on on the Russian version, from which I'll eventually translate a lot of good material. --Peter Talk 13:23, 5 September 2008 (EDT)

different from Western world -- StPete or Russia?[edit]

Any objections against moving this to Russia?

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 very different,and, at times, a bit intimidating.

What is so specific about StPete here that doesn't apply to the rest of Russia? --DenisYurkin 17:57, 24 November 2006 (EST)

Stay Safe section[edit]

Judging from a local's point of view, present StaySafe section in present condition extremely dramatizes the real situation. Every fear rumored through a newspaper and every small incident happened once in a decade became like "Always Happen Everywhere Like This, Even More Dramatic Than I Say". I wonder is there anyone watching for this article who supports the current level of dramatization? If I won't hear anything in a week, will try to find few local enthusiasts to make it closer to reality--not sure I have enough time (and energy to argue) alone. --DenisYurkin 18:12, 24 November 2006 (EST)

Totally agree. "Stay Safe" and "Stay Healthy" section do NOT describe the real situation. Should I mutilate Copenhagen's "Copenhagen remains one of the safest cities in the world" ([[2]]) after some guy tried to rob me near the railway station? No, because it IS typical that one can be robbed. Tourist should take TYPICAL precautions for a BIG city.
Yes, police is a problem sometimes, so one should always cary a photocopy of passport(the original is to be kept in the hotel's safe locker). Yes, stay away from Romany people(Gypsies). Yes, watch your pockets -- like everywhere else. Drinking water from the tap is not a good idea, but brushing teeth is bloody okay.

I changed the warning to watch out for street children and Gypsies in this section because it unfairly singled out Gypsies as being criminals. It now says only to watch out for street children. I only wish I could remove the anti-Gypsy slander in the above secion on this Talk page. What is with people that they have to continue the centuries-long demonizaztion of the Romani? User: Spiff666 -- 12:03, 14 May 2008 (EDT)

That's really a very interesting article. Probably I should write a guide on London about the dangers of ethnic criminals, constant fer of muslim terrorist, which are numerous in London, ugly women everywhere and the worst food in the world for pretty solid money. What's really interesting is that the high murder rate does not have anything to do with street crime and "gangs".


I think there's a confusion over the term "suburb" in this article. Suburb is a term used to describe an area adjacent to a city, while no being a part of it. Yet, there's a picture of a street with a clear view of St. Isaac's in the background, that is described as a "suburb". Clearly this is not Sestroretsk. I think that whole portion of the article needs to be re-written.

Stay Safe-pedestrians[edit]

I took liberty to revert an edit by

  • I believe pedestrian traffic lights info is important for a traveller
  • I didn't find it much useful to say it's just the same as in Eastern Europe and Balkans--any objections?

--DenisYurkin 06:06, 23 June 2007 (EDT)

Agreed. Russian drivers are way more aggressive than anything I've seen in E. Europe. Jpatokal 10:18, 23 June 2007 (EDT)
I found the drivers in Piter almost comically aggressive towards pedestrians. If you try to cross a larger street against a light, drivers will actually rev their engines and aim at you! --Peter Talk 01:22, 24 June 2007 (EDT)
Comical from the driver's seat, perhaps, less so on the receiving end. There also seemed to be a distinct positive correlation between aggressiveness and the expensiveness of the car. Jpatokal 05:18, 24 June 2007 (EDT)

Eat[edit][add listing]

I removed the McDonalds and KFC mentions from this section. I don't think it's appropriate to have multinational junkfood companies on a tourist guide to a Russian city. --HJV

I tend to agree, but I'm trying to remember--does McDonalds have free public restrooms in Piter? If so, we should probably put their locations back in for precisely that purpose. Pizza Hut, on the other hand, does better pizza than anywhere I visited in the city (although it's still woefully inadequate) and should stay in the article unless we can come up with better ones. --Peter Talk 19:45, 25 July 2007 (EDT)
As it was, the article didn't have any addresses, making the listings particularly useless... Jpatokal 22:59, 25 July 2007 (EDT)
Good point. --Peter Talk 23:02, 25 July 2007 (EDT)


Why is Saint Petersburg still the CoTW? It should have changed about 3 weeks ago. Cupcakecommander 07:37, 24 September 2007 (EDT)


We are districtifying the Saint Petersburg article on the Russian version, and I thought people might like to see the region breakdown here as well, in case we decide to eventually districtify the English version (which will probably make sense once we have a good base to translate from Russian). We are excluding sections of the Federal District considered suburban towns/cities, which will instead be linked from Saint Petersburg (district).

--Peter Talk 16:31, 7 March 2008 (EST)

I have renamed Vyborg Side to North Saint Petersburg in ru:Санкт-Петербург in order to a readers has been mix up with Vyborg Side (historic area more smaller then defined on a map) -- Sergey kudryavtsev 05:57, 17 April 2008 (EDT)

Would anyone object if I go ahead and districtify this article? Despite the fact that we don't have a ton of content (outside of "see") yet? I think I would merge North & Right Bank for the time being, as I'm not sure I could really fill a Right Bank article well. I ask because I'm tempted to finally start working on really turning this into a great guide, and prefer to break things down into more manageable chunks when working on them. We also have a ton of content on the Russian version that I could translate, including district maps. --Peter Talk 19:04, 23 February 2010 (EST)

Peter, and what about our recommendations on when to districtify? ;-) Maybe we could start with filling with enough content and splitting it into subsections within a single article? BTW, as I could see in a minute, Russian version has much content only on See and, for downtown, on Sleep--but otherwise it doesn't add much: every Buy and Eat is merely a list of chain eateries or malls (both of them are quite disputable to list as we saw recently in WT:Listings discussions).
But I would definitely be happy to see the article grow significantly. --DenisYurkin 00:24, 24 February 2010 (EST)

Forgotten CotW[edit]

Here's the CotW suggestions, which kind of got lost in the morass that was the CotW before it was the CotM:

  • Saint Petersburg (Russia) - huge tourist destination and the largest city in northeastern Europe by far, which is way too light on information, but easy to research --Peterfitzgerald Talk 23:14, 4 June 2007 (EDT)
    • Lots of MoS clean up
    • Lots of famous and less famous sights missing
    • Copy-edit as much of its content was written by non-native speakers
    • Do section is empty, but easy to research—the city has a world-class performing arts scene
    • As a city of 5 million, it might be a good idea to come up with a way to split the city into districts
    • Eat section needs a lot of work—there is a lot of good eating in this city
    • Understand section is very underdeveloped
    • It may be hard to acquire source material compatible with the copyleft, but a city map would be great; a hermitage map would be a big plus as well. If anyone could find suitable source material, I would be glad to do the map myself
    • Here is the official web city guide, with lots of info to mine

--Peter Talk 13:20, 5 September 2008 (EDT)

  • Here is a Saint Petersburg yellow pages directory. It can help you to find a contact information.

And one practical advice to a en-contributors: When i was develop Sleep section ru-article, i found many substitution sites of big hotels (i.e. non official site ownered by booking agencies) maked professionally and high ranked in search engines. It was very difficult to determinate where official and where non official site. Be very careful with hotels sites. -- Sergey kudryavtsev 02:52, 29 September 2008 (EDT)


Hi. I deleted this-

As I could not find any info on it in Russian or English. If anybody does know of it, please write a listing for it. Thanks. --MarinaK 15:32, 8 October 2008 (EDT)MarinaK.

Few mentions I found in blogs, if you read Russian: [3], [4], [5]. Plus a review found via Google Maps: [6]. I think these opinions make it worth restoring. --DenisYurkin 16:58, 8 October 2008 (EDT)
I searched with Yandex Blogs first--it gave me blog entries mentioned above. And then checked Yandex web search and Google--both gives at least tons of reselling agencies. And how have you searched for info on it? --DenisYurkin 17:08, 8 October 2008 (EDT)
SPb Yellow Pages list it: [7] (on Russian) with same contacts.
PS: I don't have personal opinion about it. -- Sergey kudryavtsev 08:31, 9 October 2008 (EDT)

I've undeleted the original listing in the article. --DenisYurkin 03:06, 10 October 2008 (EDT)

I stayed in this hostel in July this year, and I thought it was pretty good. Couple of minutes walk off Nevsky Prospekt, and located above a pub. It should definitely be included here.--CoastOfYemen 07:16, 18 October 2008 (EDT)

I should also say that I stayed in Nordhostel. The only good thing about this place is the location. The access door is hard to find, I wasn't told the number to unlock the door at night, and my mattress was crawling with bedbugs. It's also not the cheapest. --CoastOfYemen 07:22, 18 October 2008 (EDT)