Things to do in St. Petersburg during FIFA World Cup 2018
Do's and Dont's How to interact with RussiansHow to exchange currency in RussiaBe aware of pickpockets and frauds Top 5 Museums to see in St. PetersburgTop 10 Memorable things to Do in St. Petersburg Best Foods to Eat Expensive and High Class Restaurants Nice and Very Affordable Restaurants Cheap Places to Eat in Saint Petersburg Nightlife of St. Petersburg Top 10 nightclubs Metros, Buses and Taxis Best Places for Shopping
Do’s and Don’ts in St. Petersburg Russia
Oh yes! Only we care to share with you about the Russian norms and tricks to impress Russian people. Follow our tips for dos and don'ts for visiting Russia and we really wish you to have a pleasant time on your trip to Russia!
What to do when you visit Saint Petersburg, Russia
Check for Russian closed days
We recommend you to keep an eye on Russian holidays. Its is very important to save yourself from unwanted troubles.
Some holidays may bring parades, concerts or other fun activities. But mostly you will find historical places, museums and churches closed or having short visitors' hours.
Bring gifts for your Russian hosts If you are invited at a place of a Russian host then you must bring some gifts for them. Flower, cakes, wine anything. Visiting someone with empty hands is considered impolite in Russia.
It is also a good idea to present flowers. Always buy flowers for Russians in odd numbers because even numbers are reserved for funeral.
Put some extra food in plate If you are eating with Russian families then at the end do put down some extra food in your plate. This shows that you have eaten very delicious food and now you are full. Making wine sip in between the food is also considered good in Russian traditions.
Follow Russian brands in Russia Always try to present Russian branded gifts to your hosts unless you have something really very special from some other country.
Wear black in night club! Planning to see thenightlife in Russia? Dressed up in Russian styles as Russian are very formal in their dressing behaviors.
The dress code is black for men while for women it is short skirts with high heels. This will get you hitched with Russian quite easily.
Tip the waiters Its is very courteous that If you have a meal in hotel or restaurants then always tip the waiters. They are expecting this from you.
Cheap internet and calls If you want to have cheap mobile internet and local calls then we recommend you to buy a sim-card of local mobile operator Megafon or MTS. However, wi-fi is also available in every hotel and in many cafes and restaurants.
Formal greeting for everyone Greet your Russian friend with shaking hands in formal meetings and if you are meeting informally then being a man tap and embrace your male friend.Female friends kiss each other to greet.
You an simply say “ Zdrastvuite “ and “Kak dela? “ to greet Russians.
What not to do when you visit Saint Petersburg Russia.
Do not put your money in back pockets Russia has a common problem of pickpockets. You can lose your stuff any time in busy and crowded streets. So do not put your money, mobile phones and other valuable things in the back pocket of your trousers or bag.
Do not start eating first If you are having meal with your Russian friends then wait until everyone starts eating. It is not a very good manner when you begin to eat alone. ....Wish bon appetite to your company.
No elbows on dining table If you are habitual to put your elbows on dining table or in your lap, then avoid it doing in Russia because it considered as a bad manner in Russia. People here respect your personal space everywhere and at the dining table, too.
No empty bottles on table Russians are superstitious nation.You can never find empty wine or beer bottles on the table here, it brings bad luck, according to local belief. So do not leave them after finishing your drink. Always put them on the floor.
No yellow flowers Yellow color is a symbol of friendship in World. Russians behave differently for yellow flowers. Russians take it as symbol of separation between two people. So never try yellow flowers on Russians.
No hand shakes at door Do not greet or handshakes at the door in Russia. It is not pleasant. Go inside the room for the greetings.
No similes and hands in pockets Do not smile on strangers in Russia. Unknown smiles are a sign of hypocrisy in Russia. Pointing with finger is also not a good gesture in Russia.
What’s more, if you are a habit of standing with keeping your hands in the pocket then try to avoid it in Russia. They think it as not very polite.
Traditions of Russian people are little different from the traditions of Europeans and Asians.
For example, in Russia people do not smile to the strangers in the transport, in public places or on the streets. But if you are introduced to each other Russians start to show more involvement, more emotions and will help you willingly.
There is a myth that Russian people kiss each other 3 times when they meet. It is not very true. Russian people do not kiss people whom they have never met.
They kiss their close friends or family members 1 time when they meet. But it is not obligatory. Men always shake hands to say hello and good-bye.
If you are invited to a Russian house and when you enter the house , it is better to take off your shoes, hat and coat right away. Normally Russian people will suggest you a pair of sleepers.
Russians also don’t shake hands or pass something to each other over the doorstep. You have to get inside and then greet a person.
Unfortunately, not so many people in Russia can speak English. If you want to ask something on the street it is better to address young people. English language is obligatory in Russian schools from 1990-s. Or simply use navigator of your mobile telephone if possible.
Try to learn at least some useful Russian words as greetings, excuses and thanksgiving. That will help you a lot to start a good interaction with local people. Good luck!
How to exchange Dollars and Euros in Russia
Exchanging money is not a big issue in Saint Petersburg. Normally all banks exchange currency. Mostly all hotels have currency exchange facility.
On Nevsky prospect (the main city street) you can use this facility 24 hours. But please mind that your currency note (dollar or euro or any other currency) must be clean and without any stamps or mark on them, even the most little and almost invisible for unaided eye.
The bank will not even accept the small pin holes. If you have these type of currency then you need to go to special banks and they may charge 10 to 15 percent. It will cost you, So kindly avoid to bring these types of foreign currencies.
Actually even any extra symbols and signs, confirming the banknotes are true due to words of officers of foreign bank, issued for your such banknotes, make your banknotes exchangeable with extra commission.
Touching them with non-clean hands can also make banknotes stained, visible only under ultraviolet. That’s why banknotes must be absolutely perfect.
Be aware of pickpockets and frauds
St Petersburg is normally safe city for tourists and foreigners. Travelers are not likely to be victims of stealing or theft. Please immediately report if you face any such incident.
Please always carry your passport with you for identification. It’s very common in Russia and even local Russian people carry their passports with them.
Kindly avoid groups of beggars or gypsies and be careful and protect your valuables items. As in any country, foreigners and tourists should use common sense and avoid wandering alone in deserted places.
Women traveling alone report few problems compared to similar sized cities in Europe and North America. But this city is very safe as compare to other European cities. Just you need to be careful, don’t put your wallets in back pocket.
In current years efforts have been made to reduce the danger from thieves who used to plague the city center. Reports of thefts of wallets and purses have dropped dramatically in the last 2 years. As a precaution it is advisable not to carry a wallet in an exposed back pocket. If you faced any sort of incident please inform police immediately.
We also highly recommend not to contact with any persons offering to sale to you some goods out of any store. Actually they can cheat you both with its real price, its real origin and its real quality.
Specially please never trust to any persons offering to exchange any currency under quite good rate, then it’s set in official exchange points.
Walking in some places like markets, where usually citizens from countries former the USSR work, always keep your hands in the pockets where you hold wallet. Better just not to attend such markets and places like these.
If you hold your wallet in separate bag, constantly keep the bag in front of your eyes. Allow to nobody and never to touch it.
Never allow any person around you to touch somehow. They can rob you quickly, abruptly and absolutely invisibly for you.
Top 5 Museums to visit in St. Petersburg Russia
The Magnificent View of Hermitage Museum Russia
The State Hermitage is real pride of Russia. It is the largest cultural and historical museum in the country. It occupies 6 historical buildings.
Today it includes almost 3 million exhibit items, among which there are works of art, graphics, sculpture, artware, collection of numismatics and archeological monuments.
State Russian Museum
State Russian Museum in Saint Petersburg Russia
The State Russian Museum is the world largest collection of Russian art. For the moment its collection counts more than 320 000 exhibit items. You will surely enjoy the greatest collections of Russian Art since XI century till up to present days.
Peter’s the First House
Peter’s the First House Saint Petersburg Russia
Peter’s the First House is the unique building saved since first days of Saint-Petersburg. Build by soldiers in just 3 days. It served as first residence of the Tsars on the side of Neva river. In the tsar’s cabin, you will see the exquisite belonging of the Emperor.
Tour to Cruiser Aurora Saint Petersburg Russia
Cruiser Aurora became one of first museum-ships in St.-Petersburg. It has been protecting Russia during 2 wars: Russian-Japanese War 1904-1905 and the First World War 1914-1918 where it participated in cruisers team of Baltic Fleet.
It's a must visit if you are warfare lover!
The Kunstkamera Museum
Kunstkamera Peter The Great's Antropology and Ethnography Museum, St. Petersburg
Anthropology museum named after Peter the Great (or the Kunstkamera Museum) is one of the largest museums of such kind. Its collection includes exhibit items of culture and household of the world’s nations, but the most of all it’s known thanksgiving to its collection of “freaks of nature” - anatomical rarities and anomalies.
Top 10 things to do in Saint Petersburg Russia during summer
Walk in the White Nights
Every year citizens and guests can enjoy wonderful time from beginning of June till beginning of July which is called “White Nights of Saint-Petersburg” when the night twilight turns into morning twilight.
It is caused by St. Petersburg's very northerly geographical location. As a result it is not getting dark at night and you can stay outside all night long. You must watch the festival of classic music named “White Nights”.
What could be more romantic than a walk along the banks of the city's rivers and canals in almost broad daylight, no matter what the time of day?
Walk along Nevsky prospect
Saint-Petersburg is impossible to imagine without Nevsky prospect. It is the main street of the city with fabulous historical buildings, churches, cathedrals and squares as well as luxurious hotels, restaurants and shops.
You will also find lots of beautiful places and sights on the streets near to Nevsky. If you want to enjoy a tasty meal or good drink then you will find many restaurants, cafes or so called “gastrobars” (which are becoming very popular now). Most favourite cuisines here are Russian, Italian, Japanese and Chinese.
There is a choice of places to eat for vegetarians, too. If you are looking for modern nightclubs and bars with live music or karaoke (which is so popular here) you will find large variety with high, low or medium prices.
Visit a theatre
Russian Classical Stage Dramas in Bolshoi Theater Saint Petersburg Russia
Saint-Petersburg is known as the cultural capital of Russia. It is impossible to imagine its life without a number of famous theaterswhere you can spend an unforgettable evening.
Watching a ballet or listening to opera or orchestra concert at classic theatres such as Mariinsky Theatre (with old and new stages), Alexandrinsky Theatre, Mikhailovsky Theatre, Baltic House, Musical comedy theatre and tens more for all tastes.
See the open bridges
Opening bridges over the Neva-river
Opening bridges over the Neva-river is the most fascinating view in Russia. Thousands of people come every season just to see this view.
Opening bridges are the iconic view of Saint Petersburg. You can view daily after midnight in the spring-autumn period from the embankment or from the boat.
Be very careful with the schedule, mind that once the bridge is opened, you can’t get on the other side of the city and should wait till early morning. Bridge opening starts around 1.00 a.m. and they close around 4.00 a.m., meanwhile, every bridge has its individual schedule.
Metro is opened until 00.00.
Visit festivals and concerts
Local festivals and summer celebrations
Yearly Saint-Petersburg hosts numerous cultural and music events, such as concerts, festivals, exhibitions for adults, young people and children. Among them historical parades, live music events (opera, rock and pop-music festivals), food festivals of ice-cream, flower festivals, etc.
Many of them are held outdoor on the central squares and streets and you can visit them free of charge.
Take a cruise tour
St.Petersburg, Russia - May 28, 2011: River cruise ships to berth quay in St. Petersburg on a cloudy summer day
Great opportunity to observe the city’s breathtaking views from water! There is a big chain of canals and rivers in Saint-Petersburg, so no wonder, they call it “the Northern Venice”.
There are dozens of river buses with professional guides who will tell you all about main historical places and events of the city.
Visit museums and art galleries
Amber Room in Catherine Palace Russia
It’s hardly possible to mention all museums in Saint-Petersburg. Of course, the most famous and biggest museum of Russia is the Hermitage with numerous historical and art exhibitions.
There is a big list of cathedrals, palaces, art galleries and museum-apartments of famous writers worth visiting. We also recommend you new and technically equipped museums
In the last 5 years this is a very famous entertainment among local people and tourists.
An experienced guide will take you and a group of people on the open roofs of the historical building of Saint-Petersburg and tell you many facts, stories and legends about the city.
See Saint-Petersburg from bird’s eye view
Beautiful evening view of Saint Petersburg City
If you want to enjoy the unforgettable view of the Northern capital from the height of 43 m, then go to the colonnade of St. Isaac’s Cathedral and be ready to rise 262 steps on feet, since there is no elevator inside.
Salsa Dance on the street
Not to miss the Russian Salsa Performers
Every year from late spring till autumn they dance social Latin American dances (salsa, bachata) in the very heart of the city under the Rostral columns of Vasilievsky Island with a great chance to observe the Neva river and its embankments.
You can dance or simply enjoy the music and atmosphere 6 days in a week from Tuesday till Sunday from 8 to 11 p.m.
Walk under the rain
Enjoy Russian rains with your loved ones !
Saint-Petersburg is world known for the cloudy and rainy weather even in summer period.
However, local people consider it romantic to go outside under the rain, spend a wonderful relaxing evening in the café with a cup of tea or hot chocolate and read a book of legendary Russian writers Fyodor Dostoevsky or Lev Tolstoy.
Watch a movie in original
"Dom Kino”, “Kino bez popkorna”, “Lumier cinema” and “Astoria Angleterre” are the famous Movie Cinemas in Saint Petersburg
There is a number of cinemas (“Dom Kino”, “Kino bez popkorna”, “Lumier cinema”, “Astoria Angleterre”) which show old famous and brand new movies in original or with subtitles in English.
If the weather is not good enough for a city tour this can be a good option for the leisure time.
Have a picnic at the sea
Make a special family day on a Russian beach
Saint-Petersburg is located on the cost of the gulf of Finland, it’s a sea-port, too. If you are little tired of the big city life-style and have visited too many overcrowded places, picnic at the seaside is the best idea.
Just grab some sandwiches and catch a bus or local train to the suburbs (it will take you 30-40 mins). You will enjoy some relaxation on the amazing beach surrounded with pine trees and you can also practice some wind-surfing on a windy day.
Also there are many cafes on the seaside which suggest some refreshments and freshly cooked barbeque.
Visit show-museum “Grand Maket Russia” (Layout of Russia)
Visit to Grand Maket Russia to enjoy amazing miniatures of Saint Petersburg Russia
It is a relatively young museum that was founded 10 years ago and is a unique representation of the Russian Federation in a miniature on the square of 800 m2 with reduction of 1:87.
You can observe the layout of all climatic zones of Russia from South to North, from East to West with rivers and seas, mountains and forests, fields and deserts.
You can recognize the capital and main cities with their most outstanding landmarks. You will be surprised to see all the little figures of people, cars, trains, ships and even helicopters are moving!
Moreover, you can witness that every hour the “day” turns into “night” and the big country goes to sleep. Another interesting fact is that exposition is regularly updated and new spots are added. Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Average bill will be 3850-4000 rub for 1 person without drinks ( Around USD 70)
Restaurant with interior of the beginning of XX century. Under mosaic ceiling of Benois authorship you can look at divertisement by ballet dancing within “Evenings of Chaikovsky” or listen to living jazz.
There are in menu dishes of high kitchen. For example, golden albino sterlet caviar or steam black bank cod.
Average bill will be 850 rub for 1 person.( Around USD 15 )
Business lunch, coffee-to-go, WI-FI.
Specialties of the cafe are: Menu in English, tabletop games, closing under banquet.
The cafe will meet you with entourage of Soviet classic dacha with its charming: pots with pickled products and jam on stacks, lace tablecloths, paunchy refrigerator and old moped at the stack of wood.
Average bill will be 700 rub for 1 person without drinks.(Around USD 15 )
Outstanding hookah lounge. All elements here - from interior till music are compelled to idea of carefree relaxation.
Despite of famous opinion about hookah lounges it’s possible to refresh there fully by hot items, soups and salads as well as dishes “with accent”, for example envelopes made of pitta with different filling.
Saint Petersburg was the first city in Russia which adapted the clubbing culture in late 80’s. The club movement was started in Soviet period with underground rock clubs and art centres.
Nevertheless, in mid 90s the club culture started to boom and that was when the most famous clubs, like Fish Fabrique, Moloko, Mama, Tunnel started to become popular in the city. And they are still popular because they are the pioneer of this culture.
Currently, Saint Petersburg is the place to go for live alternative and rock music concerts, as well as for jazz and "arty" clubs, where you can have a beer and meet a lot of people during one evening. Dance clubs are also popular, moreover the atmosphere of clubs are relaxed and easy-going.
Night life is not only about club and dancing, this city offer lots, for example there are lot of Drama theatre as well as cinema theatre are also available.
Stylish and modern Bar is first legendary cocktail bar in St.-Petersburg.
It offers to its guests more than 300 of classic and exclusive formulations.
All its barmen are graduates of Petersburg Barmen Association as well as participants and winners of different bar competitions. Bar-manager of the bar is admitted as “the best barman” in the Governmental competition “The Best in Profession”.
Located in historical center of St.Petersburg, near the Saint Isaac’s Square and Yusupov Palace, it is ideal place for business meeting, time spending with friends, late dinner, nice weekend, family’s way out. Atmosphere of old Petersburg of XIX cent will create feeling of harmony and comfort.
Nice background music belongs to Classic, Jazz, Retro. Tabletop games for guests and English-speaking staff.
Russian kitchen, vegetarian kitchen. There are marine products in menu.
Bar with reputation of tenderloin district with good meaning.
Great place for everybody wishing to reload himself! Good place with achievable prices, firing music and heterogeneous audience.
Menu offers different, but not craft beer. One can say here is visually dirty and untended, with uncharming smell and nowhere to drop the things, but its hearty atmosphere will force you to forget these tiny details to dance til the morning.
Timing is Sun-Thu 20:00-06:00, Fri-Sat 18:00-06:00
Good bar with 16 cocks of excellent beer and cider, half of which is English, German and Belgian classics (Fuller's, Schneider, Mort Subite etc.) and second half - from the most interesting of Russian, European and American craft beer.
More than 100 sorts of Russian and European beer and cider in bottles and tins plus own liqueurs.
On Fridays and Saturdays - modern DJ-sets from DJs, musicians and simply nice persons.
Timing is Mon-Thu 17:00-02:00, Fri 17:00-06:00, Sat 16:00-06:00, Sun 16:00-02:00.
Wonderful club for persons who want to reminisce far 80ths-90ths and spend evening and night with pleasure. Nice music, DJ, backup dancers will guarantee for you deep relax.
Timing is Fri-Sun 22:00-06:00.
Metros , Buses and Taxis
Train is arriving to Russian metro station
You can go everywhere in Saint Petersburg by using public transport like metro, buses, trolleybuses or trams and by private commercial transport buses, minibuses and taxis.
There is no light rail system in Saint Petersburg city. You can explore the city in the best way by using metro (subway).
The easiest and the cheapest way for paying is a travel card (called Podorozhnik in Russian) with option of a timely limited tickets (weeks, and monthly passes) that is very useful payment option for all types of public transport.
Monthly pass for St petersburg Metro
Saint Petersburg Metro (subway) is absolutely the best means of transportation for people, and cover almost whole city, with new stations opening almost every year and city has some spectacular station architecture.
There are 5 metro line working in Saint Petersburg, Red Line (1), Blue line (2), Green Line (3), Orange line (4) and Purple Line (5). Actually in the nearest time a few new stations are expected to be opened for its passengers.
Metro fare for one way journey is 45 Rouble and one way fare for bus, trolleybus, trams is 40 Roubles. But if to use for paying Podorozhnik, then cost of 1 trip can be less down to 36 Rubles.
The most popular taxi services in Saint Petersburg are Uber and Yandex. You can book your taxi via using their apps, it is very handy to use.
St. Petersburg Metro Map in Russian And English
Shopping centers of St. Petersburg Russia
The Main shopping Center of the city is Galeria Mall and it is situated near to Metro station Ploschad’ Vostania and nearby to Nevsky Prospect. The Galleria mall has the outlets of numerous brands. There are also very big food courts with much type of foods.
Galeria Shopping and Entertainment Center Saint Petersburg Russia
For shopping and having fun and food it is a great spot near the touristic locations of Saint Petersburg. A really well build shopping mall with a superb range of boutiques and services, especially the Ginza Project: a Georgian restaurant on the fifth floor. The whole space is clean with a discount supermarket in the bottom and large food court in the top.
Inside Galleria Mall SPB Russia
The main street of Saint Petersburg is Nevsky prospect. On this street you will see so many people as well as out lots of restaurants and fast food with so many shopping stores, etc. A great "Main Street" with lots of shopping and cafes and restaurants. Make sure you look into the side streets, they hide many wonderful buildings.
The most famous Shopping centers are!
Galerea near Ploshad’ Vosstania metro station,
Gostiny Dvor universal store
Trade Center Passage opposite Gostiny Dvor metro station
Trade Complex Sennaya at the Sennaya Square
Trade and Entertainment Complex Neptun near Zvenigorodskaya metro station
Trade Centers Nevsky Atrium
Olympic Plaza near Mayakovskaya metro station
Trade Center Moscow at Ploshad’ Aleksandra Nevskogo metro station
Vladimirsky Passage at Dostoyevskaya metro station
It’s highly recommended to look for them using Yandex map.