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About St. Petersburg, Russia

ST. PETERSBURG is a city of haunting magnificence, an imperial capital that seems to have been built as a monument to its own passing. Less than three centuries have passed since Peter the Great began building his grand city on the Gulf of Finland, but it is difficult to visit its vast, crystalline squares and palaces without feeling the enormity of the gulf that separates that time from our own. All of which, of course, makes St. Petersburg more evocative of Russia's past than any place except perhaps the Moscow Kremlin. This impression is only deepened by a more familiar acquaintance. The enigmatic homeliness of Peter's cottage and the city's placid canals may contrast with the brooding grandeur of the Winter Palace, but they share with it a graceful stillness that is difficult to forget.

As one of the world's most beautiful cities, St. Petersburg has all the ingredients for an unforgettable travel experience: high art, lavish architecture, wild nightlife, an extraordinary history and rich cultural traditions that have inspired and nurtured some of the modern world's greatest literature, music, and visual art. From the mysterious twilight of the White Nights to world-beating opera and ballet productions on magical winter evenings, St. Petersburg charms and entices in every season. Welcome to here to discover every aspect of this fascinating city.

Money and costs

ATMs are everywhere in St Petersburg, and generally accept all major credit and debit cards. You may save on fees by bringing cash in US dollars or euro with you and changing them at any bank or exchange office (обмен валют), where you'll often get a better rate than that offered by credit cards.

You can pay by debit and credit cards in most smarter restaurants and shops, but it's never a good idea to rely on being able to do so: always carry some cash.

Key Routes

  • Metro line 1 – every station between Ploshchad Vosstaniya and Avtovo is worth getting out to look at.

    Tram 6 – Great for travelling between areas north of the river without going through the centre: connects Vasilyevsky Island with the Petrograd Side and the Vyborg Side.

    Trolleybus 7 – Goes from Smolny along Nevsky pr, over the river, along the Strelka and to the Petrograd Side.

  • For ease of use, buy a smart card (R55) from a machine in any metro station and load it with prepaid journeys. Be aware that at interchange stations on the metro each station tends to have a different name.

  • Even if you're staying near a metro station, check local bus, tram and marshrutka routes as these can often be more useful.

  • When entering a metro station, be sure you're using the entrance (вход) rather than the exit (выход).