Saint Petersburg is an amazing destination that is rich in culture and history. Most of the places are very well preserved. There are baroque palaces, royal gardens, sculptures, cathedrals, galleries, and museums.
Why should anyone visit the city?
St. Petersburg remained the home to the Tsarist era. The things belonging to that span of time are very well preserved. Mostly people plan the trip to the city to visit the amazing palaces, churches and cathedrals. They are many master pieces of history and beauty. The museums of the city also have a very fascinating contemporary art scene.
How does one get to the destination (airport, ferry or others)?
The main airport of Saint Petersburgwhich handles flights from major cities of the world is the Pulkovo airport.
Saint Petersburgis very well connected to the entire country with an extensive network of trains. Railway network also connects the city to Finland.
There are three bus terminals which operate intercity services and some nearby international destinations as well like Ukraine, Finland, Germany etc.
Scandinavian region and some European countries are very well connected to each other through waterways. St. Petersburgalso receives cruises from different places.
Is the city safe? What areas are not safe?
City is generally safe for tourists. Avoid interacting with gypsies, beggars and strangers. Take care of your belongings in the tourist areas. The unsafe areas of the city are south Pasadena, Palmetto, Pinellas Park, Gulfport, Bradenton, Largo, Sarasota, Tarpon Springs and Tampa. Carry your passport carefully with you all the time and report to the police if something happens.
What’s the weather like?
- November to March is extremely cold that temperature even falls until -6 degrees with winds. A little bit of snow falls almost every day.
- April to May is the start of the spring season. This time is also cold and windy whereas snowfall starts decreasing from the month of April. There are some hot days in the month of May when the temperature reaches 30 degrees.
- June to August are the months of average temperature. There are different types of days like cool, windy, rainy, hot and sunny. Maximum temperature rise is 30 degrees.
- September to November is the cool and rainy time of autumn. September is cold, October is snowy and November is cold and snowy. The days are very short during these months.
What languages are spoken in the area? Is English spoken?
Official language of Saint Petersburgis Russian whereas tourists find no difficulty in communicating because English is widely spoken in the country. Mostly signs are also placed in both English and Russian language so people find no problem in it.
What’s the local currency?
Is US Dollar widely accepted?
Official currency is Rubles that is accepted everywhere. You have to carry USD or Euro to Russia because you cannot get the currency easily in the other parts of the world. Paying directly in USD or Euro is illegal in Russia whereas there are plenty of ATMs and money exchange places. Some big international hotels and restaurants accept payments in Euros not USD.
What are the best areas or districts to stay in the city?
- Tsentralny District is the city center and the main historic area. There are many attractions, eateries and places to stay that make it the best option for any traveler. It becomes very expensive during high season.
- Moskovskiy District is also known as the southern gate of the city. It is ideal place for the business travelers because of the location, highways and Pulkovo international airport.
- Vasileostrovskiy District is a unique place with six bridges and many historic places. There are many museums and restaurants which remain open for almost 19hours daily.
- Admiralteyskiy District is a very entertaining place to stay with many important monuments, traditional eateries, cathedrals, squares and entertainment centers.
- Primorsky District is the largest and most important part of the Saint Petersberg. There are many hostels, hotels, apartments and eateries to stay, eat and explore the city.
What’re your top 3 hotels (budget, moderate, luxury) and why?
- Pulkovo hotel is located near the airport. It has a swimming pool, sauna and a restaurant. hotel offers free Wi-Fi, 24 hours help desk and hair dresser on site.
- Ibis Kaliningrad Center has a bar and restaurant. Rooms have safety deposit box, flat screen TV, fridge and bathrooms have hairdryer.
- Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace St. Petersburgis a luxury hotel located inside a 19th century palace. Rooms have marble bathrooms, espresso machines, flat screen TV, minibars and terraces. Hotel has three restaurants, bar, gym, spa and business center.
How does one get around the city? Taxi, Uber, similar apps, ATVs?
- Metro Public Transportation is fast and cheap to explore the city. You can recognize the station by a big M on the entrance of the metro station. Free maps are available at the ticket counter that you can get to know if you cannot recognize Cyrillic alphabet.
- Trams and trolley buses are very pleasant to ride and see the city. There are maps inside the vehicles and they are also placed on the stops. The details are written in Russian.
- Marshrutka is a type of minibus that replaced many bus routes after becoming popular in 1990. You can wave a hand for the mini bus if you want to ride it and can loudly say ‘stop’ when you want to get off.
- Taxi service is reliable and easy to hire by different helplines. Official Petersburgtaxi contact no. is 068, taxi park is 812/265 – 1333 or new yellow taxi that is 24 hours available is 812/600-8888. Uber was bought by Yandex in the city and it operates in the same way as Uber. Car rental service is also available.
Can you highlight the Top 5 MUST see sightseeing?
- Peter and Paul Fortress was constructed as a fortress to protect the city in the seventeenth century. However, instead of facing any combat it served as a prison and execution quarter in the 20th There are stone paths, beautiful gardens, a museum and a cathedral.
- State Heritage Museum belongs to the 17th century as an art place. It occupies six buildings and is considered as the second largest art museum in the world with the collection of more than three million products from 11th century to 19th There is a room of prehistoric art.
- Palace Square is a square located in front of the winter palace. It is historically very important because of the Alexander Column that is a memory of the victory of Alexander I against Napoleon, Alexander II was shot here, Bolshevik Troops started revolution at this place and many other major events of Russian history happened here.
- Peterhof Palace complex is the 18th century series of buildings, gardens, fountains and underground springs. You can plan a guided tour to see the amazing beauty of the gold colors, baroque style fireplaces, mirrors and lots of marble. The tour also includes the ride from Neva river to the views of the shoreline.
- Vasilyevsky Island is connected by two bridges and the metro line. There are many beautiful parks and landmarks on this small island. The attractions are Museum of Electric transport, the old St. Petersburgstock exchange, baroque Menshikov Palace, Heritage museum and the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography. They include the works and art from 17th the island also has the branches of The Russian Academy of Sciences and Institute of Russian Literature.
What’s the best place to take a photo?
The best place to click photos is the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood. It is a traditional Medieval Russian style multicolored church that belongs to the 18th century and was ordered by Alexander III. The mosaics cover walls and ceilings for over 7500 sq. meters. It was the memory of Alexander’s father assassination at the same place. Church was damaged from different places in Russian Revolution, then converted into morgue during WWII and then used as potato warehouse. It was restored and repaired to its original shape in 30 years and now it is used as the museum of mosaics.
What about the top 3 restaurants?
- L’Europe Restaurant – European and Russian fusion foods, Live music and champagne.
- Ginza – Japanese and Italian Cuisine cooked in the European style, popular party place for locals.
- Francesco – Italian family restaurant, rare spices and original homemade recipes.
What about the top 3 breakfast places?
- Cake & Breakfast – English breakfast, French breakfast, Pastry Shop and café
- Jerome – Italian, European fusion food, breakfast take away
- The Dreamers – Typical Russian breakfast, Pastries.
What’s the one thing you MUST eat in the city?
The dish originated in the 19th century and took its name from the noble and wealthiest family of Russia. It is called Beef Stroganoff that is made with beef, vegetables and sour cream sauce. It is served with different side dishes.
What about food markets?
- Sennoy Market – retail market in the historic city center. It is famous for its fresh fruits, vegetables and meat.
- Maltsevskiy Market – gourmet products, fresh seafood, milk and homemade products, herbs and fruits.
- Polyustrovskiy market – unique bird market, fur market, fishing material and food.
Where should one go at night? Any bar/nightlife areas or districts you recommend?
- Dumkaja street has many trendy and lively bars perfect for youngsters and party lovers.
- Rubinstein street is full of nightclubs, pubs and bars. Some of the places are calm and relaxing.
- Theatres and concert halls are best alternative for clubs and bars. Mariinsky theatre, Mikhailovskiy theatre and Saint PetersburgOpera have concert halls for the nightlife entertainment.
Any rooftop bars or restaurants that you recommend?
- Gastronomika rooftop bar – European and Asian food, located on the 6th floor of Olympic plaza mall
- Makaronniki- Italian food, located on the top floor of a business center
- Artist’s Attic Fondue Bar – European food, located on the top floor of an art gallery
- Sky Bar of Azimut Hotel – European Food
Can you recommend the best shopping areas? Best shopping mall?
- Galeria Shopping mall
- Shopping Entertainment Center Grand Kanon
- Gostiny Dvor
- Nevsky Center
- Leto Mall
Do you recommend any tours outside the city? Islands? Boat Tours?
- Peterhof Gardens
- Pavlovsk Park
- Catherine Palace in Tsarskoye Selo
- Pushkin Park
- Constantine Palace and aerial view of the Palace
Are Casinos allowed? Blackjack tables? If so, what’s the best Casino in town?
Gambling is allowed in Saint Petersberg. Some best casinos in the city are:
- Ocean Jewel Casino
- Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino
- Manhattan Casino Event Hall
- Treasure Island Casino
- Derby Lane St. PetersburgKennel club
- Tampa Bay Downs
Any last advice for people visiting the city?
- Do not smile on the public transport or at strangers because it is considered as a weird behavior. Some people assume that they are looking funny or there is something odd in their appearance.
- Remember the bus schedule because the announcement is in Russian. You can also turn on google maps to recognize your destination.
- Check the cruise schedule of the Vasilievsky Island especially if you are travelling at night.
- If you are out very late then keep enjoying because there are many places which remain open until morning.
- There is no problem in getting money because of plenty of ATM machines. Never forget informing your bank about the trip because leaving to use the card abroad.