St. Petersburg is recognized as one the world's most beautiful cities with all the ingredients for an unforgettable travel experience: Magnificent architecture, beautiful courtyards, splendid parks and over 250 unique museums. St. Petersburg has several informal names: The Northern Capital, the Venice of the North, the Northern Palmyra, Peter’s City, the City of White Nights, the City on the Neva, and the oldest - Piter.
Location: Eastern Europe, the Eastern shore of the Baltic Sea (Gulf of Finland) Founded: 16 (27) May, 1703
City's birthday: celebrated each year on May 27
Population: 5.2 million (as of 2015)
Main river: Neva. The city is located in the delta of the Neva River on numerous islands, a fact which prompted some observers to call it "The City on 101 Islands"
Main natural phenomena: White Nights, Floods
May, 1703 - August, 1914: St Petersburg
August, 1914 - February, 1924: Petrograd
February, 1924 - July, 1991: Leningrad
July, 1991 - Present: St Petersburg
Zones: 20 administrative districts, including satellite towns under St. Petersburg's jurisdiction
Airports: Pulkovo (Terminal 1)
Sea port: Passenger terminal on Vasilievsky Island
Pulkovo Airport is the third in Russia in terms of traffic after Domodedovo and Sheremetyevo. It is located 23 km/14 miles from the center of Saint Petersburg.
How to get to Pulkovo airport by public bus:
Bus 39 leaves to Pulkovo every 10-20 minutes from the Moskovskaya metro station from 5:24 to 1:04, from Pulkovo airport from 5:22 to 1:36
Bus 39e (express) departs to Pulkovo every 25-30 minutes from Moskovskaya metro from 5:28 to 0:23, from Pulkovo airport from 5:30 to 0:13
Minibus K 39 leaves every 5 minutes from 7:00 to 23:30
The fare on the bus or minibus – 40 rubles. (2018) The departure zone of Saint Petersburg airport bus in the new Terminal-1 is located on the upper level of the ramp, and the arrival zone is on the lower level. The bus first drives into the upper level and disembarks passengers, then drives into the lower level to pick up those who go to the city.
Parking at Pulkovo Airport The airport has several paid parking. Cost – from 450 to 1000 rubles per day. The exact cost, see the official site. There is no free parking near Pulkovo Airport (April 2018)
St. Petersburg's public transport network is actually extensive and efficient, if often overcrowded. The metro is undoubtedly the best bet for visitors, and covers nearly all of the city, with new stations opening almost every year. It also has some spectacular station architecture.
Overground transport is bewilderingly varied, but not difficult to use with the help of a few pointers and St. Petersburg's latest transport project means that you can even use the city's waterways to get around. The only real disadvantage of the public transport system is the lack of nighttime services, so if you plan to stay out after midnight, you will have to rely on taxis or your own two feet to get home. fares for all forms of public transport are comparatively low (around $1 or less for any single journey), but if you are staying in the city for longer than a week, it is probably worth investing in a travel card.
Metro: Although not as extensive or extravagant as Moscow's Metro, the St. Petersburg Metro leaves most other underground rail systems in the dust, and is efficient as well as beautiful.
Tram: St. Petersburg has a relatively extensive system of trams, although most of them run outside the city centre, and services can easily be disrupted by roadworks.
Bus: The bus network in St. Petersburg is cheap and very extensive, but not particularly easy for foreigners to use, especially if you cannot decipher Cyrillic.
Trolleybus: Almost indistinguishable from buses (although much more environmentally friendly), trolleybuses are in operation throughout St. Petersburg.
Marshrutka: Private minibuses running a fixed route, marshrutki are an essential aspect of St. Petersburg's transport system, and particularly useful for getting to the suburbs.
Taxi: here is an abundance of taxis in the Northern Capital, especially along the major thoroughfares. You can flag a taxi, which is usually distinguished by a checkered bar on the rooftop, but you'll likely have to negotiate a fare. You can order a taxi cheaply (less than a $1) if you speak some Russian by phoning 089.
Aquabus: A new public transport initiative, these inexpensive water taxis now run on one route through the city.
Capsule Hotel: Located in Saint Petersburg, 11.2 miles from Aleksandrovsky Park, Capsule Hotel Pulkovo provides air-conditioned rooms and a bar. Located around 13.7 miles from Mariinsky Theatre, the capsule hotel with free WiFi is also 13.7 miles away from St. Nicholas Naval Cathedral. The accommodation features a 24-hour front desk, an ATM and currency exchange for guests.. Cost: From $6/Night.
Kamchatka Hostel: Situated in Saint Petersburg, within 3.1 miles of Anna Akhmatova Museum and 3.1 miles of Faberge Museum, Kamchatka Hostel features accommodation with a shared lounge and as well as free private parking for guests who drive. The property is around 3.7 miles from State Russian Museum, 3.7 miles from Saint Isaac's Cathedral and 3.7 miles from St. Nicholas Naval Cathedral. The accommodation offers a 24-hour front desk and a shared kitchen for guests. Cost: From $8/Night.
Апартаменты Елизарова: Featuring free bikes, shared lounge, garden and free WiFi, Апартаменты Елизарова is set in Saint Petersburg, 1.8 miles from The St. Petersburg Masterskaya Theatre and 3.7 miles from Anna Akhmatova Museum. Boasting family rooms, this property also provides guests with a children's playground. The accommodation offers a shared kitchen, a concierge service and organising tours for guests. Cost: From $12/Night.
VGosti: Featuring a shared lounge, VGosti is set in Saint Petersburg in the Saint Petersburg Region region, 1.3 miles from Chapel of St. Xenia of St. Petersburg and 1.4 miles from Lenexpo Exhibition Complex. The property is around 1.8 miles from Mariinsky Theatre, 2 miles from Petrovsky Stadium and 2.1 miles from St. Nicholas Naval Cathedral. The accommodation offers a 24-hour front desk, airport transfers, a shared kitchen and free WiFi throughout the property. Cost: From $12/Night.
Peter Hostel: Peter Hostel is located in Saint Petersburg, a 15-minute walk from the State Hermitage Museum and Palace Square. Free WiFi access is available. Gostiny Dvor Metro Station is a 5-minute walk away. The bright rooms are soundproofed and come with a hairdryer. Bathroom facilities are shared or private. Various cafés and shops are a 5-minute walk from Peter Hostel. St. Michael's Castle is a 5-minute walk away. Moskovsky Train Station is 1.6 miles from the hostel. Pulkovo Airport is 11.8 miles away. Cost: From $7/Night.
Undoubtedly St. Petersburg's most famous visitor attraction, and universally acknowledged as one of the world's greatest treasuries of art and antiquities, the Hermitage is a name to be conjured with, and reason enough on its own for many travelers to book a trip to St. Petersburg.
The Hermitage Museum now spans several sites, but for most visitors it is the main collection in the Winter Palace that is an essential component of any St. Petersburg itinerary. Here you'll find not only centuries of European fine art and a rich collection of Greek and Roman antiquities, but also the astonishingly opulent 18th and 19th century state rooms of Russia's imperial family
St. Petersburg's other internationally renowned cultural institution, and for some visitors an even greater draw than the Hermitage, the Mariinsky Theatre has profited in recent years from the financial and creative turmoils of Moscow's Bolshoi to become the undisputed preeminent musical theatre in modern Russia.
Renowned for the impeccable discipline and devotion to tradition of its ballet company, and blessed in Valery Gergiev with one of contemporary classical music's most exciting and exacting conductors, as well as international stars of ballet and opera including Ulyana Lopatkina, Diana Vishneva and Anna Netrebko, the Mariinsky Theatre is a world-class venue for ballet, opera and orchestral music.
There are a number of ways to explore the city by boat especially if your visit falls between May and October. From taking the hydrofoil to the suburban palace and park at Peterhof to enjoying dinner and live jazz on an evening cruise along the Neva. When the weather conditions are decent, visitors should really take any opportunity to get out on the water, but even the shortest visit to St. Petersburg in summer should include one boat trip along the city's central rivers and canals. There is a wide range of different offers available at the various quays on or near Nevsky Prospekt, with larger boats offering guided tours (some in English) and on-board refreshments, and smaller boats that you can rent by the hour, choose your own route, and bring your own food and drink. All routes through the centre take in some portion of the Fontanka and Moyka Rivers and the Griboedov and Kryukov Canals....
Home to not one but two vast 18th century palaces, surrounded by beautifully landscaped parkland with a rich variety of follies and monuments, Tsarskoye Selo is a testament to the immense wealth and lavishness of the Romanov Imperial family. The rococo Catherine Palace by Bartolomeo Rastrelli, a sister building to his Winter Palace in the city centre, is the most famous attraction, particularly thanks to the extraordinary Amber Room, but there are many other highlights to see, with almost every great St. Petersburg architect of the 18th and early-19th centuries contributing something to the ensemble.
There's nothing finer than Nevsky Prospekt, at least not in St. Petersburg." So begins Nikolay Gogol's famous tale of St. Petersburg's central avenue. While that story may end in disillusion and despair, there's little doubt that Nevsky is one of the world's greatest streets. Running 4.5 kilometers from the Admiralty in the west to the Alexander Nevsky Monastery in the east, Nevsky Prospekt has a hardly single building dating from after 1917. Highlights include the magnificent Art Nouveau Singer Building, the baroque Stroganov Palace, Kazan Cathedral with its curved neoclassical colonnade, the Horse Tamers statues on Anichkov Bridge, and the 18th century shopping arcade Gostiny Dvor.
Nowadays, St. Petersburg's most exclusive shopping area is actually the eastern end of Nevsky, beyond Ploshchad Vosstaniya. As well as landmark buildings and up-market boutiques, however, Nevsky Prospekt also offers an electric atmosphere and energy. Especially in summer, Nevsky is bustling no what the hour, and an increasing number of bars and cafes without outdoor seating give you a better opportunity to enjoy the avenue's living theatre.
St. Petersburg’s rapid transit system is about more than just getting from A to B. The stations here are opulent and rival the palaces and cathedrals above ground for their intricate architecture. Although walking is often the best way to see a city, don’t miss out on taking the metro – even if it’s just to be astounded by the beauty of the stations! What to do there: Moscow’s subway was the first built in Russia and St. Petersburg’s system was designed to mimic its beautiful architecture. All 8 lines on the first line built-in 1955 are considered places of cultural significance. Check out the grand marble and glass columns of Avtovo Station and the sport-themed Sportivnaya. Spending a day on the metro may seem boring, but not in St. Petersburg!
located 45 minutes from the city, you’ll need to dedicate at least half a day to visiting Peterhof Palace. However, it’s well worth it! Situated on the Gulf of Finland, this opulent palace is also known as the “Russian Versailles”. It’s not hard to see why, whether that’s down to the gilded domes, or the fountains throughout the extensive landscaped gardens. Unbelievably, there are more than 60 fountains and 200 sculptures throughout the gardens at Peterhof. The most famous, The Grand Cascade, is a St. Petersburg must see!...
A small promontory of land at the eastern end of Vasilevskiy Island, the Strelka ("Spit") is right in the middle of the Neva River Delta, with magnificent views on all sides, including the Winter Palace, Palace and Trinity Bridges, the Peter and Paul Fortress and St. Isaac's Cathedral. A perennially popular site for wedding parties and bus tours to stop and take photos, the Strelka also has landmarks of its own, specifically the magnificent Rostral Columns, with their gas beacons lit for public holidays and maritime anniversaries, and the elegant classical temple of the St. Petersburg Stock Exchange, all works of the French-born architect Thomas de Thomon...
St. Petersburg's most famous public monument, this equestrian statue to Peter the Great is not only one of the most instantly recognizable symbols of St. Petersburg - like the Statue of Liberty for New York or the Eiffel Tower for Paris - it is also the subject of one of the greatest poems in the Russian language, Alexander Pushkin's The Bronze Horseman: A Petersburg Tale. Completed in 1782, the statue took 12 years of work by the French sculptor Étienne Maurice Falconet, recommended to Catherine the Great by Denis Diderot himself. The pedestal of the monument, the "Thunder Stone", is purportedly the largest ever moved by man..
Accessible from the city centre in around 20 minutes by metro, Yelagin Island (also known by its Soviet-era name as the "Kirov Central Park of Culture and Leisure") rarely finds a place on tourist itineraries. It really should be more popular, however, offering not only a (comparatively) small but very elegant Imperial palace by Carlo Rossi, but also attractive parkland, a boating lake in summer and outdoor skating in winter, and the surprisingly avant-garde wonders of the Museum of Glass Art. The lack of cars on the island and the small entrance fee make it a secluded a tranquil spot, and its probably the best of the green spaces within the city if you're looking for somewhere to enjoy a relaxing walk...
The White Nights Festival is an annual summer festival in Saint Petersburg celebrating its near-midnight sun phenomena due to its location near the Arctic Circle; each year between around April 21 and August 21, the skies only reach twilight and never reach complete darkness. Organised by the Saint Petersburg City Administration, the festival begins on June 12 with the "Stars of the White Nights" at Mariinsky Theatre and ends on July 2. This phenomenon caused by St. Petersburg's very northerly geographical location - at 59 degrees 57' North (roughly on the same latitude as Oslo, Norway, the southern tip of Greenland and Seward, Alaska). St. Petersburg is the world's most northern city with a population over 1 million, and its stands at such a high latitude that the sun does not descend below the horizon enough for the sky to grow dark. In fact night becomes curiously indistinguishable from day, so much so that the authorities never need to turn the city's streetlights on!
If you’re heading to Moscow, the capital of Russia, and hoping to experience the nightlife for yourself, these are the unmissable clubs to visit for an epic night out:
VNVNC: Dance club with a church-like decor hosting rappers & DJs spinning hip hop. Service options: Dine-in · Curbside pickup · No-contact delivery A 3-min walk from the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood Address: Konyushennaya Ploshchad', 2, St Petersburg, Russia, 191186
Lomonosov Located in: Sankt-Peterburgskiy Gosudarstvennyy Ekonomicheskiy Universitet Address: Ulitsa Lomonosova, 1, St Petersburg, Russia, 191023
Stackenschneider A 3-min walk from the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood Address: Konyushennaya Ploshchad', 2, St Petersburg, Russia, 191186
Zavist Cabaret-Bar Service options: Dine-in Address: Sadovaya St, 11, St Petersburg, Russia, 191186
Zависть Service options: Dine-in, Night Club Located in: Era Khaus Address: Bolshaya Konyushennaya St, 29, St Petersburg, Russia, 191186
Fidel Bar Snug, low-lit haunt with Fidel Castro-themed art, novelty shots & an energetic dance floor.