ULTIMATE GUIDE TO SAINT PETERSBURG

GETTING THERE

  1. Airport
    by Bus: City Bus 39Ex, 39 or minivan tax K39. It will cost 40 rubs per trip, running between Pulkovo Airport and Moskovsky Metro Station.
  2. Train Station
    Grab a cab, take the metro or the bus, or simply just walk. The Moskovsky Train Station is located at the end of Nevsky Prospect, the main street of St Petersburg. Getting to most of the point of interests is very easy, just walk along Nevsky Prospect.
  3. Moscow: Train/Flight
    The train is my favourite way to get around cities. I will only suggest 2 types of train to get back and forth Moscow and St Petersburg. It will be either Sapsan –  the highspeed train or an overnight train. Sapsan takes about 4.5 hours while overnight trains take around 8.5 – 9 hours. The overnight trains are usually cheaper than the highspeed trains. They are rather comfortable and you will have a good night sleep.However, the flight tickets might be cheaper during peak season. I have encounter several occasions where the return flight cost half the amount of a highspeed train.

GETTING AROUND

  1. by foot

    It is very walkable in the centre of Saint Petersburg. I only find myself in the metro once, on the bus for once and a couple of taxi rides because of the rain.

  2. Metro

    I have seen a lot of Soviet metro station. Yes, they are like a free art gallery. They are extremely beautiful. However, seeing these metro stations on a daily basis after living in Moscow for more than 4 years, I have overlooked their beauty.

  3. Taxi

    Getting around St Petersburg by taxi is CHEAP. You could get around city centre with just 100-200 rubs ( ~$2-4 ).

  4. Bus

    It is my favourite way to see any city besides walking. However, St Petersburg is kinda small to get around by bus. I would prefer to get around by foot or simply by taxi or metro if I am going to somewhere far.

 

APPS

Thank me later.

After all the travelling, I came to the realization that Google Maps and Apple Maps do not work everywhere in the world. There are so many applications that cater directly to the locals which will help you to navigate thru the city or even the country easier or better.

  1. YANDEX.TRANSPORT

    This is my favourite app in Moscow. It shows almost perfect accuracy. I use it on a daily basis. It gives real-time tracking for buses. It shows directions. It is Yandex.maps + Yandex.Metro + the better version of them.
    iOS | Android

  2. GET TAXI

    I love using Gett more than Yandex Taxi or Uber for no significant reason. Just personal preference, though the other 2 platforms actually have a lower price.
    iOS | Android

  3. RUSSIAN RAILWAYS

    Moscow is just 4.5 hours away by highspeed train “Sapsan”. Here’s where you could book your next train to either the suburbs or other cities.
    iOS
    | Android

  4. YANDEX.MAPS

    In case you find moving buses annoying or you need it to navigate your drive, here you go.
    iOS
    | Android

  5. YANDEX.METRO

    Just an interactive metro map. It will show you the metro map, how to get from metro A to B and how long will it take.
    iOS | Android

  6. UBER

    Cheapest ride app you could find around Moscow. It charges half the price of Gett most of the time. There is more English speaking driver compare to the other 2 apps.
    iOS
    | Android

  7. YANDEX.TAXI

    I heard a lot of good things about it. I have yet personally tried it. I am annoyed by the fact that I could not track my driver. With the language barrier, it is easier to meet the driver by tracking the exact location thru the apps.
    iOS
    | Android

WHERE TO STAY?

BUDGET / HOSTEL

  1. Soul Kitchen

    Only if it is not full when I visited Spb. This is the place I really really wanted to stay. The strategic location, the interiors and all the good reviews. Too good.
    Dorm: from 1400 rub / night
    Private: from 5000 rub / night

  2. Friends Hostel


    Inspired by the sitcom Friends, the hostel has various branches across the city. We chose Friends by Dom Knigi which is a collaborative art project with Dom Knigi (House of Books). It has a view of the Gibroyedov Canal and the Savior on the Spilled Blood at the veranda.

    This picture brings no justice to how cool the hostel is. But just imagine, it’s a double storey loft with Alice in the Wonderland sort of theme, and their computers are hidden under a piano.

    It located next to the House of Book, opposite to the Kazan Cathedral. It is around 5 – 10 mins walk to the Hermitage. There are a lot of restaurants along the canal and nearby. Even though the streets around are quite busy at night, you can’t hear much from the room.

    The only cons, it’s on the fifth floor of the building and it has no lift. But it is all worth it.

    Dorm: from 600 rub / night
    Private: from 3000 rub / night

  3. Simple Hostel

    It’s a very trendy and hipster looking hostel.

    All the rooms have a view to Nevsky Prospect. It might be slightly noisy during the night with the window open as it is located right on the main street of the city.

    The location is very strategic. It’s within walking distance to most tourist attraction. It has some bars and clubs just around the corner. It’s also walking distance from the train station. There’s a lot of eatery and cafe nearby. And there’s an H&M next to it.

    Dorm: from 690 rub / night
    Private: from 1999 rub / night

  4. Bed and Bike

    Dorm: from 440 / night
    Private: from 1300/ night

    LUXURY / HOTEL

  5. W St Petersburg

    You can never mention anywhere without mentioning W Hotel. They always have one of the best location and views. And they always look trendy, cool and luxurious.

    It is towards the pricey side, but there’s no harm talking about how pretty the hotel is. And the amazing view on the bar of the hotel.

    Private: from 8000 rub / night

  6. Solo Sokos Hotel Palace Bridge

    I saw this hotel a lot on Instagram or from local lifestyle blogger. All I know is that they have a very pretty pool and a good view and it is located at Vasilyesky Island.

    Private: from 6500 rub / night


    OTHERS / LOCAL HOME

  7. Airbnb

    And of course, what’s better than living like a local with a host on Airbnb?