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Essential information

At a glance

Best time to go
Current Time
GMT +3
area code

Money and costs

Daily Costs
Budget (up to)
  • Dorm bed: R800
  • Cafe or street-stall meal: R200–R500
  • Travel on buses and metro: R40-45
  • Double room in a midrange hotel: R3000-15,000
  • Two-course meal: R1000
  • Museum entry fee: R100–R400
  • City-centre taxi ride: R150
Top end (more than)
  • Double room in a top-end hotel: R15000+
  • Two-course meal with wine: R2000+
  • Ballet tickets: R3500
  • First-class train ticket, Moscow–St Petersburg: R7300


Nearly all visitors need a visa, which will require an invitation. Tourist visas are generally single entry and valid for up to 30 days.

When to go and weather


Getting to St Petersburg

St Petersburg is well connected to the rest of Europe by plane, train, ferry and bus. The vast majority of travellers arrive in St Petersburg by air at Pulkovo International Airport. Flight time from London and Paris to St Petersburg is three hours, from Berlin it’s a two-hour flight, and from Moscow it’s under an hour.

Train is also a popular way to get here – from Moscow there are pleasantly slow overnight sleeper trains as well as six to eight fast four-hour daytime Sapsan trains. See www.rzd.ru for details. From Helsinki there are four daily Allegro express trains that take you from the Finnish capital to St Petersburg in an impressive 3½ hours. See www.vr.fi for prices and timetables.

An increasing number of travellers arrive at one of St Petersburg’s five cruise and ferry terminals. There are regular connections between St Petersburg and Stockholm (22 to 24 hours), Tallinn (14 hours) and Helsinki (10 hours). Those who arrive this way also have the option of 72-hour visa-free travel. See St Peter Line for prices and timetables.

Flights, cars and tours can be booked online at www.lonelyplanet.com/bookings.

Flights to St Petersburg

The best price found from United States to St Petersburg is on November 12th, 2020, travelling with Allegiant Air. See more options, compare prices and book: search flights.

Wichita Mid-Continent
from $571.00
St Petersburg Pulkovo

Getting around St Petersburg

  • Metro Fastest way to cover long distances. Has around 70 stations and runs from approximately 5.45am to 12.45am.
  • Bus, Trolleybus & Marshrutka Buses are best for shorter distances in areas without good metro coverage; they can be slow going, but the views are good. Trolleybuses are slower still, but are cheap and plentiful. Marshrutky are the private sector's contribution – fast fixed-route minibuses that you can get on or off anywhere along their routes.
  • Tram With an ongoing upgrade, trams are becoming more useful, particularly in areas such as Kolomna and Vasilyevsky Island where there is little else available.

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