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The Nevsky Prospekt is pretty much the city's main street, filled with famous buildings and architecture. Watching the bridges open for the ships to pass by on the Neva is a passtime popular with both tourists and residents, and as the city is built on about 40 islands connected by bridges and boats, it's sometimes called the Venice of the North.

Although it's a city of 5 million inhabitants, St Petersburg is served by just one airport, Pulkovo. Book the cheapest flights to Saint Petersburg with

Why visit St. Petersburg?

  • From the Hermitage art museum to the 900-day Nazi seige which saw 2 million residents die, St Petersburg is suffused with history and culture!
  • The blood church is a sight to behold!
  • Rooftop bars and cocktails ensure you won't tire of the night-life!
Euro, EUR
Exchange Rate:
~1 ZAR: ~0.07 EUR
Time Zone:
UTC + 3 - There is a 1 hour time difference between St. Petersburg and South Africa
Dialing Code
00 + 7 + 812 + Local Number
Drive on the right side of the road.
St. Petersburg Pulkovo Airport – LED
Travel Adaptor:
Standard Adaptor Plug, Type C & F.

St Petersburg is famous for its White Nights, when the sun barely sets. These last from around 10 June to 2 July, and the city parties hard in the warmer weather. The average temperature then drops dramatically: for a real Russian winter straight from the pages of Anna Karenina, go in January.

Russian is the main language, although some residents speak Estonian or Finnish. Some English is spoken, but it is a good idea to familiarise yourself with the Cyrillic alphabet to help you decode street signs.

  • In the 20th century alone, St. Petersburg changed its name 3 times.
  • The museums display the Tsars' personal belongings.
  • Over 200 films have been made using St Petersburg as a set

The city centre and some of the suburbs collectively make up a listed UNESCO World Heritage site. The city may not have beaches but it does have ballet- the Mariinsky Theatre is one of the oldest and grandest venues to see it in Russia. There's so much to see here that it's been estimated that you'd need a whole month's time to see it all- there are a lot of museums.

There are plenty of upper-end eateries in St Petersburg, and lots of international cuisine too. For a more traditional experience, you must try the seafood: St Petersburg is a massive port and does seafood exceptionally well. The vodka, pickled herring, blinis, caviar and smoked salmon are all excellent.

Russia is a conservative country and brightly coloured clothes may make you stand out. Women need to cover their heads when entering Orthodox churches, and both genders need to dress appropriately (i.e. covering shoulders, chests, and legs) when entering religious buildings.

Carry your documents with you as local police have been known to target foreigners. The crime rate is generally low, so with the usual precautions most tourists don't have much to worry about. You need a visa to travel to Russia.

South African travellers do require a Visa to enter Russia. You can contact the Russian Embassy in South Africa (Telephone: +27 (0)12 362 1337/8) for more information on what documents are required in addition to Visa applications.

Republic of South Africa Embassy in Moscow.

Address: 1 Granatny Pereulok
Moscow. 18
Phone: +7 495 926 1177
Fax: N/A

Item Cape Town Johannesburg St. Petersburg
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant R90 R100 R130
Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught) R22 R20 R20
Cappuccino (regular) R19 R20 R35
Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff) R10 R12 R9
Pack of Cigarettes (Marlboro) R35 R35 R21

St. Petersburg Pulkovo Airport – LED

Food and beverage: Shokoladnica Café is the best place to grab a cup of coffee – there are branches in arrivals and departures.

Currency Exchange: You can change currency at Master-Bank desk or one of the Master-Bank ATMs.

Lost Luggage: Ask for a form at the Lost & Found desk in baggage claims, or at the information desk.

Airport Hotels: Hotels near to the airport include Park Inn by Radisson Pulkovskaya Hotel, Crowne Plaza St. Petersburg Airport, Grand Hotel Europe, TOP Helvetia Hotel and others.

Car Hire: Hertz, Avis and Sixt are all represented at this airport.

Airport Hub: St. Petersburg Pulkovo Airport (code LED) is a hub for Rossiya Airlines, serving flights to and from destinations across Russia, Europe and beyond.

The information on this page is correct as of November 2015. While every effort is made to keep information as fresh as possible, takes no responsibility for any of the information being out of date or incorrectly noted.

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