General St Petersburg Information
Being the cultural capital of the Russian Federation and one of the most beautiful cities in the world, St. Petersburg has everything for a memorable and unforgettable travel experience. St. Petersburg was founded by Peter the Great in 18th century. The relatively young city has lavish architecture, its rich history and cultural traditions, which have inspired many world-famous poets, writers, musicians and artists.
The weather and seasons change in St. Petersburg throughout the year which will affect the list of items needed to be in your suitcase. In the winter time, temperatures reach minimum in February when it can be –15 /–20 degrees Celsius. In the summer, highs reach 25-30 degrees Celsius during July. The climate in St. Petersburg and in the Baltics is very humid making waterproof clothing necessary at any time of the year. The weather in the Baltics is the most unpredictable and it’s not very safe to rely on weather forecasts. If you are coming to the Baltic region in winter, it’s advised to take a jacket covering, a warm sweater and trousers, waterproof boots, wool socks, scarf, hat and mittens/gloves. Coming during the autumn/spring time, you don’t require too many layers of clothing, but you will certainly need a warm jacket, waterproof shoes, hat and gloves. It gets especially wet in spring which starts in March and lasts till the middle of May. During the summer season the weather might be quite tricky. It can be sunny and warm one day and then chilly and rainy the next. On most summer days in May, June and the second half of August the average temperature is usually around 15 degrees Celsius. For a summer trip, it’s recommended to pack a light sweater or jacket which you can take off if it gets warmer. The most important thing to bring with you is an umbrella, it may come in handy given that we get about 40-50 sunny days a year.
The ROUBLE is the national currency of the Russian Federation. Banknotes come in denominations of 10, 50, 100, 500, 1000, 5000 and there are 1,2,5 and 10 Rbl coins. The Rouble is always fluctuating what you can see following the link where the exchange rate according to the Central Bank of the Russian Federation is shown.
If you need to exchange money, there is no need to exchange it in your country. Please, just let your guide know that you would like to exchange your money and he/she easily will help you to do it at one of the bank’s branches or at an exchange office.
Traveling to St Petersburg is generally safe. Tourists are treated well, though you have to be careful in the crowded places and it’s better to avoid groups of beggars or gypsies, big crowds, street shops, metro as well as public transportation. It’s better to keep your passports and money in a safe place. If you don’t plan to buy anything it will be safer to leave them in the hotel. As in any country it’s better to avoid wandering alone in deserted places. You shouldn’t be afraid of walking in the day time. It is absolutely safe especially in the city center. In recent years efforts have been made to eliminate the risk from pickpockets, but they still exist and you should be aware of it even inside the museums.
St. Petersburg is the second largest transportation hub in the country after Moscow. The metro is the most popular mean of transportation among locals. About 4 mln.people use St. Petersburg metro everyday, which makes it one of the most crowded in the world. St. Petersburg metro is the most efficient way to get around the city. Other public transportation might be a bit difficult to use as they are no route maps which can help you to navigate in the city.
Below you will find summary of the transportation system:
The city has 5 passenger railway stations:
• Balric railway station
• Vitebsky railway station
• Moscovsky railway station (the main railway station)
• Finlyandsky railway station
St. Petersburg is the city teemed with a variety of gift shops. Here you can purchase almost everything connected with the Russian culture: valenki, matroshka, birch wood crafts, pavlovsky platok, shapka-ushanka, vodka, caviar, laquer boxes and etc. Our guides will help you to choose only the best souvenirs for you, your family and friends.
If you’re interested in clothing stores, we have different shopping malls ranged from the cheapest ones to the expensive shops.
We also recommend to visit Elisseeff Emporium as it’s known for its interior dated 19th century. It has been restored recently and now it is open for new guests. Here you can enjoy your shopping, relaxing music and pleasant environment.
Some common and useful Russian words and phrases:
No/yes Нет/да Nyet/da
Hello Здравствуйте zdravstvuite
Good Bye До свидания dasvidaniya
Thank you спасибо spasiba
Sorry извините izvinite
Please пожалуйста pazhalusta
I don’t understand Я не понимаю Ya ne ponimayu
How are you Как дела Kak dela
Nice to meet you Рад встрече Rad vstreche
Where is the ..? Где… Gdye…?
I don’t speak Russian Я не говорю по- русски Ya ne gavoryu pa russki
I love you Я люблю вас Ya lyublyu vas ( sounds like “yellow blue vus”)
restaurant ресторан restoran