Today I will share the info about travelling to St.Petersburg.
Prior to travel I advise checking the weather forecast for St.Petersburg. Baltic Sea has big influence on weather in this city, fresh wind in summer and cold heavy wind during other seasons is a standard thing. Temperatures in Northern capital of Russia are from + 30 C / 86 F to -25 C / -13 F. It could be quite hot, but during June, July and August. Please mind that indoor temperature in hotels, offices, shopping centers, restaurants, cars and other facilities is comfortable around the year.
RUSSIAN ENTRY VISA
Similar to Moscow - for citizens of most World countries entry visa for Russian Federation is required. In order to obtain it I suggest calling INTOURIST office (former government travel agency), Aeroflot Russian Airline or a local travel agent in your country and ask them how to obtain Rus visa.
Rus visa service will cost probably about 50-100 USD.
It is also possible to deal directly to Rus consulate following local consulate procedure.
For first visits I suggest obtaining Rus tourist visa, which takes just a couple of days, in case of more frequent travels to Russia, it is better to obtain 1 year multiple entry visa, which takes about 20 days just to get invitation.
HOW TO CHOOSE HOTEL IN ST.PETERSBURG
Also similar to Moscow - you can use World leaders for hotel booking such as booking.com, hotels.com, airbnb.com or other.
From my point of view the best location to stay in the city is close to State Hermitage Museum, among the rivers Neva, Moika in old parts of the city or at Nevsky Prospect - central avenue of St.Petersburg.
Type of hotels
There are a lot of International hotel chains but also there are many small and medium sized private hotels around the city, inexpensive with quite good level of services.
Use TripAdvisor for references.
Prior to book a hotel, please contact them and ask about tap water condition, in some hotels tap water is slightly brown.
AIRLINE AND AIRPORT
There is one International airport in St.Petersburg – Pulkovo.
Please mind that air traffic to other countries could be not on daily basis. If you are missing flights at required dates, you can fly to St.Petersburg via Helsinki (Finland) or Moscow (Russia), both cities have regular flights and in takes less than 1 h to get to St.Petersburg.
CUSTOMS AND BORDER
Usually it is sufficient and fast. Customs service usually is friendly. In terms of cash you should declare sums from 10.000 Euro in cash.
TRANSFER FROM AIRPORT TO HOTEL
There is not railway express service from Pulkovo airport to city center, you can take a taxi. There are a lot of local taxi companies, I would suggest using three taxi leaders in Russia: Get Taxi, Uber or Yandex. You can order taxi on your smart phone or ask your hotel to help you with it.
Taxi service at the airport is usually couple of times more expensive than to book a taxi via Internet or at the hotel.
Payment for taxi is possible by credit card, cash or on-line if you register a credit card in Get Taxi, Uber or Yandex application at smartphone.
Average taxi rate from Pulkovo airport to the city center is around 20 USD.
You can move around the city by taxi, Metro, public transport or walking.
If you have smartphone, you can download St.Petersburg metro map at Itune program Metropolitan (red square with white letter M). It will show you the route, travel time and station for change the train. St.Petersburg underground / Metro has flat rate per single journey about 0,8 USD (it is not depending on the travel distance). You can buy metro token at any station, credit cards are accepted.
Working hours of most of metro stations are from 6 AM up to 00:30 AM. In general it is quite safe in Metro just be careful of pocket thieves.
If you get lost in underground - please do not hesitate to ask local people, a lot of them can speak English and will be glad to help you.
Concerning taxi service - it is quite inexpensive = average trip fee in the city is about 5 USD.
Walking around city is also quite safe.
St.Petersburg was built at the beginning of 18th century by Russian tsar Peter the Great with support of World famous architects from Europe and Russia - Francesco Rastrelli, Domenico Trezzini, Giacomo Quarenghi and other specialists.
From my point of view St.Petersburg is one of the most beautiful World cities and if you have some spare time, it is definitely worth visiting Hermitage, Russian Museum of fine arts, Peter and Paul fortress or other wonderful sights of the city. Please mind in June - July there is white nights season, daylight practically around the clock, which looks pretty amazing.
There are number of boat trips among St.Petersburg rivers and canals.
Welcome to St.Petersburg!
RME/Russian market entry services
P.S. If you have any questions related to a visit to St.Petersburg, do not hesitate to contact us at www.rusmarkets.com