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FESTIVALS, HOLIDAYS AND OTHER ANNUAL EVENTS IN St. Petersburg

There are a number of festivals, holidays and other events celebrated in Saint Petersburg each year. The main ones are listed below.

January 1: New Year's Day (national)

January 7: Russian Orthodox Christmas (national)

The Russian Orthodox Church follows the Julian calendar and thus celebrates Christmas thirteen days after it is celebrated by most Christians in the rest of the world.

February 23: Defender of the Fatherland Day (Den' Zashchitnika Otechestva) (national)

Previously commemorated the anniversary of the creation of the Red Army in 1918. Today, it is celebrated as the Russian equivalent of Father's Day, on which women and girls give presents to their male relatives of any age, whether they have served in the Russian armed forces or not.

May 1: Spring and Labour Day (Pervomaï) (national)

May 9: Victory Day (Den' Pobedy) (national)

Celebrates the Russian victory over Nazi Germany. Thousands of people gather on the Nevsky Prospekt (Neva Avenue) for a large military parade and a magnificent fireworks display.

May 27: City Day (Den' Goroda) (local)

Celebrates the founding of Saint Petersburg by Peter the Great on this day in 1703. A large variety of events are organized, including a parade, brass bands, folk dancing, etc.

June 12: Russia Day (Den' Rossii) (national)

Celebrates the anniversary of the First Congress of People's Deputies adoption of the Declaration of State Sovereignty of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic in 1990. Streets and buildings are adorned with flags, while concerts, military parades and other events take place, followed by a fireworks display at the end of the day.

July 25: Navy Day (Den' Voenno Morskogo Flota) (local)

One of the world's great sea-faring cities, Saint Petersburg pays tribute to its sailors each year on this day. Submarines and torpedo boats, festooned with flags and bunting, gather along the Neva and engage in mock battles.

December 25: Christmas (national)

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CLIMATE AND WEATHER IN St. Petersburg

Saint Petersburg has a humid continental climate. Winters are cold, while summers are fairly hot and humid, with stark contrasts between the seasons. In the summer, the average temperature hovers around 20°C (68°F) while in winter it varies between −8°C and −4°C (18°F–25°F). The city is blanketed in snow for about a third of the year, and days are very short in the winter!

Month Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Average Rains (MM) Best Time to Travel
January -9/16 -4/25 40/1.6 Not the best period to go
February -9/16 -3/27 31/1.2 Not the best period to go
March -4/25 2/36 35/1.4 Not the best period to go
April 1/34 8/46 33/1.3 Not the best period to go
May 7/45 16/61 38/1.5 Good period to go Good period to go
June 12/54 20/68 64/2.5 Good period to go Good period to go
July 14/57 22/72 78/3.1 Good period to go Good period to go
August 13/55 20/68 77/3.0 Good period to go Good period to go
September 8/46 14/57 67/2.6 Good period to go Good period to go
October 3/37 8/46 65/2.6 Not the best period to go
November -2/28 2/36 56/2.2 Not the best period to go
December -6/21 2/36 49/1.9 Not the best period to go
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Saint Petersburg Pulkovo International Airport

Getting from the airport to Saint Petersburg and back:

  • By car
    • Accessible via Moskovsky Prospekt, then the Pulkovskoye Shosse highway to the marked airport exits. It takes about 35 minutes to reach the city centre.
    • Several parking facilities are available at the airport:
  • Short-term parking: P2 and P3 (RUB 150 for 30 minutes, RUB 250 per hour then RUB 200 per extra hour).
  • Long-term parking: P1 (RUB 1,000 for the first six hours, RUB 800 for one day during the week, RUB 650 for one day on the weekend), P4 (connected to the airport terminal with a shuttle leaving every 15 minutes, RUB 400 per day, RUB 1,700 for one week, then RUB 200 per extra day), P13 (RUB 1,000 for the first six hours, RUB 600 for one day).
    • Several car rental companies have counters at the airport.
  • By bus
    • Express City Bus 39Ex leaves every 25 to 30 minutes, from 5:25 a.m. to 12:20 a.m. (a 30-minute ride) and City Bus 39 leaves every 12 to 20 minutes from 5:30 to 1:30 a.m. They connect the airport with the Moskovskaya, Tekhnologuitcheski institout and Pouchkinskaya metro stations in the centre of Saint Petersburg (in about 40 minutes). RUB 40 for a one-way ticket. The bus stop is located right across the arrivals hall.
  • By taxi
    • The airport has an official taxi service, with payment accepted by credit card or cash (RUB 900 to RUB 1,100 depending on your destination). It takes 30 to 60 minutes to reach the city centre.
    • Avoid accepting rides from illegal taxis. Official ones are Pulkovo taxis.
  • Services: shops, bars and restaurants, bank, post office, and free Internet access (Wi-Fi) available in the airport.
  • Telephone: +7 812 337 38 22 / +7 812 337 34 44
  • Website: https://pulkovoairport.ru/en/

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GETTING AROUND St. Petersburg

There are several excellent options for getting around Saint Petersburg, including metro lines, trams, buses and trolleybuses. Saint Petersburg's public transport system also includes “river buses”, small boats taking several routes along the Neva and the city's canals, an especially delightful option in the summer months.

By metro

The Saint Petersburg Metro is the best way to get around the city quickly. And it is also an opportunity to discover the city's monumental and ornately decorated stations! Each day, nearly 3.5 million people use the Metro.

  • There are five lines with 67 stations open from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. (all night long on some occasions).
  • During the day, metros run roughly every 100 seconds.

Fares:
  • Single ride: RUB 55 (a second RUB 55 ticket must be purchased as a supplement if you have luggage)
  • Pass with 40 rides (valid for 30 days): RUB 1,350

The Podorojnik, a rechargeable pass, is also available. It allows you to use the Saint Petersburg transportation system on a budget. The pass can be purchased in metro stations, from registers or automated machines. The card costs RUB 60, and you can credit it with unlimited access packages: RUB 185 for 1 day, RUB 265 for 2 days, RUB 355 for 3 days and RUB 705 for 7 days. For further information, please visit www.metro.spb.ru/en

By bus, trolleybus, tramway and minibus (marshrutka)

There are numerous bus stops dotted along all the city's main thoroughfares. Buses, trolleybuses and trams are thus very useful for getting around, in combination with the Metro. Tickets may be purchased from the driver on the bus. A single ticket costs RUB 45.
Minibuses follow fixed routes, but collect and drop off passengers anywhere along the way. You just need to ask the driver to stop when you are about to reach your destination. Allow about RUB 50 per ride.

By boat

A boat cruise along the Neva or the city's canals is also an ideal way to discover Saint Petersburg, sometimes known as the Venice of the North. Several companies offer cruises, with or without a guide. Allow at least RUB 800 per person for a 1-hour cruise.

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Visitor information

Upon your arrival in Saint Petersburg, you can get in touch with local tourism professionals for further information and to help organise your stay.

City Tourist Information Bureau

Offers practical information and publications for tourists on the city of Saint Petersburg and its region. Here are the main addresses:

  • Main office
    • Address: Sadovaya ulitsa 14/52, 191023 Sankt-Peterburg
    • Telephone: +8 812 242 39 06
    • Website: eng.ispb.info

The Tourist Information Bureau also operates a number of information kiosks at various locations throughout the city, including:

  • Sadovaya ulitsa 37
  • Millionnaya ulitsa 25
  • Rastrelli ploshchad (Rastrelli Square)
  • Ligovsky prospekt 10-1
  • Petropavlovskaya krepost (Peter and Paul fortress)
  • Aeroport Pulkovo (Pulkovo airport)
  • Morskoy passazhirskiy port (Marine Facade cruise port terminal)
  • Vosstaniya ploshchad (Vosstaniya Uprising Square)
  • Dvortsovaya ploshchad (Palace Square)

Visit Russia - Russia travel guide

The English-language website maintained by the Russian National Tourist Office, provides a wealth of information for visitors to Saint Petersburg.

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Medical information

In order to travel in the best conditions and for your health and safety, we invite you to check all information regarding preventive measures and best practices to be respected, available on the official website of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs: https://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/country-files/

Your comfort, well-being and health are at the heart of Air France's concerns, and we want to help you prepare for your trip in the best way possible. Find out more about the measures taken to ensure safe travelling on our website: https://www.airfrance.fr/FR/en/common/page_flottante/information/coronavirus.htm#notre-engagement-sanitaire

See your doctor before you travel. It is also recommended to take out insurance covering medical expenses and repatriation before your trip. Saint Petersburg counts several hospitals and medical institutions, as well as quality medical practitioners and health specialists.

Vaccinations

There are no vaccination requirements for visitors to Russia. However, the following vaccines are recommended for travel to Russia:

  • Booster doses for protection against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and polio, plus vaccines against typhoid fever, hepatitis A and B, influenza, meningitis and rabies (depending on the length of your stay and hygiene conditions)

For more information, contact Air France's international vaccination centre:

Water

It is recommended to drink bottled water in Saint Petersburg.

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Administrative formalities

Entry requirements for Russia

Foreign nationals are required to be in possession of a visa in order to enter and stay in Russia.

Electronic visa (E-visa) to enter Saint Petersburg

Starting from October 1, 2019, nationals of 53 foreign States may be granted an e-visa to enter the territory of Saint Petersburg and the Leningrad region. Free and valid for 30 days upon delivery, it can be used for a maximum period of stay of 8 days and 7 nights in the Leningrad region. It can be requested between 20 to 4 days prior to arrival in Saint Petersburg. However, we recommend to allow for a minimum period of one week for delivery. To request an E-visa, you only need to use a passport and electronic photo, fill in the form available on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation: https://evisa.kdmid.ru/ There is therefore no need to make appointments with Russian consular agencies or visa centre to complete the procedure.

For further information, visit the website of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: http://www.russianconsulate.info/visa_requirements.html

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Useful addresses

To enjoy peace of mind during your stay in Saint Petersburg, visit the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country.

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Essential phrases

Here are a few basic Russian phrases that will make your stay in Saint Petersburg a little easier:

Hello / Good morning / Good afternoon: Sdrastvouité/ Dobroe Utro / Dobri Den' Hello / Good morning / Good afternoon: <em>Sdrastvouité/ Dobroe Utro / Dobri Den'</em>

Good evening: Dobryï vetcher Good evening: <em>Dobryï vetcher</em>

Goodbye: Do svidania Goodbye: <em>Do svidania</em>

Yes: Da Yes: <em>Da</em>

No: Niet No: <em>Niet</em>

No, thank you: Niet spasiba No, thank you: <em>Niet spasiba</em>

Thank you very much: Bal'shoye spasiba Thank you very much: <em>Bal'shoye spasiba</em>

Please: Pozhaluysta Please: <em>Pozhaluysta</em>

I don't understand: Ya ne ponimayu I don't understand: <em>Ya ne ponimayu</em>

Could you repeat?: Ne mogli by vi povtorit' ? Could you repeat?: <em>Ne mogli by vi povtorit' ?</em>

What time is it?: Katory tchass ? What time is it?: <em>Katory tchass ?</em>

Sorry / Excuse me: Izvinite Sorry / Excuse me: <em>Izvinite</em>

Airport: Aeraport Airport: <em>Aeraport</em>

Train station: Zheleznodorozhni Vokzal Train station: <em>Zheleznodorozhni Vokzal</em>

Taxi: Taksi Taxi: <em>Taksi</em>

Hotel: Otel' Hotel: <em>Otel'</em>

Hospital: Bolnitsa Hospital: <em>Bolnitsa</em>

Bank: Bank Bank: <em>Bank</em>

Telephone: Telefon Telephone: <em>Telefon</em>

I'm (…): Ya (…) I'm (…): <em>Ya (…)</em>

I'm looking for (…): Ya ichtchu (…) I'm looking for (…): <em>Ya ichtchu (…)</em>

How much is (…)?: Skolka stoït (...) ? How much is (…)?: <em>Skolka stoït (...) ?</em>

Do you have (…)?: U vass yest' (...) ? Do you have (…)?: <em>U vass yest' (...) ?</em>

Where can I find (…)?: Gde ya magu naïti (…) ? Where can I find (…)?: <em>Gde ya magu naïti (…) ?</em>

Where can I buy (…)?: Gde ya mogu kupit ' ? Where can I buy (…)?: <em> Gde ya mogu kupit ' ?</em>

I'd like (…): Ya by khotel (…). I'd like (…): <em>Ya by khotel (…).</em>

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Good to know

+7
+ phone number
1 : 00
of time difference with
Cairo
There is no daylight savings time in Russia.

BANKS
Usually open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
GOVERNMENT OFFICES
Usually open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
220 V / 50 Hz

Tipping
In Saint Petersburg as in the rest of Russia, tipping is certainly not required but always appreciated. If you are satisfied with the service, you can tip about 10% of the bill in restaurants and bars.

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