Below you will find some useful information about transport system of St.Petersburg and also the main city sights that you might like to visit
Photo tour around St.Petersburg
Most Petersburg residents get around the city by various kinds of public transport. The most efficient and fastest are the metro and marshrutka (mini bus). On above-ground transportation you can buy tickets on board from the conductor or the driver (21 rur for bus, tram, trolley and about 30 Rub for marshrutka. They run from around 06:00 to just after midnight.
Bus – Usually overcrowded, especially during rush hours and this is when you meet Russians at their best.
Electrichka (local train) – The cheapest way to visit the suburbs or villages outside Petersburg.
Marshrutka - These are those mini buses you see with the numbers on the front. They go just about everywhere within the city centre and out to the suburbs. They have set departure points, but otherwise, when you see the number you want, just hail it down like a taxi. To pay, hand your fare to the driver or to the person in front of you. When you want to get off, yell out loudly ‘ostanavites pazhaluista’, and the driver will, hopefully, come to a screeching halt.
Tram – According to the Guinness Book of the World Records, St.Petersburg has the most extensive tram system in the world. A total of 2,402 cars run on 64 different routes over 690.6 km of track. Think of that with some respect when your rusty old tram is rocking and shaking you all over!
Trolley bus – The trolley bus network is 525 km long and has more than 45 trolleybus routes.
Metro (underground) - The world’s deepest metro is over 100 km long. Fast and efficient, during peak time you won’t wait more than two minutes for a train. Rush hour is between 08:00-10:00 and 17:00-19:30. Petersburg has five colour – coded, numbered metro lines. Buy tokens (zhetoni) from the windows labelled kassa (25 Rub). You can also buy plastic cards for more rides (10, 20 or more) which you can use for a fixed period (7 days, 15 days, or more). To change lines, you usually need to change stations using the underground passageways linking adjacent stations like Nevsky Pr./ Gostiny Dvor. When you arrive at a station, it can be difficult to see where you are. You will hear the arrival station announced, followed by the name of the next stop. This can be confusing, so it’s best to count your stops. The metro works from 06:00 to 00:30, but if you want to be sure you catch your train, be sure to arrive by 24:00.
Here is our metro map:
What to see
City Tour Bus
Nevsky pr. 35, in front of Bolshoy Gostiny Dvor, m. st. Gostiny Dvor, tel. 718-66-10
Tracing a route around the city’s most popular spots such as St. Isaac’s Square, Avrora, Summer Gardens, these hop-on, hop-off buses are a great way to see a lot of in just a short time. The route takes around one and half hours and provides audio-guides in eight languages including Chinese and Japanese. Bus leaves every 30 min from Gostiny Dvor starting at 09:30 with the last departure at 21:30. Adults 450 Rbl, children 200 Rbl. Ticket is valid for one day and can be bought on the bus.
Peter and Paul Fortress
Petropavlovskaya krepost 3, m. st. Gorkovskaya (currently unavailable), tel. 230-64-31, www.spbmuseum.ru
The fortress is the cradle of the city; St. Petersburg’s first settlement. Now a tourist complex, it houses famous Cathedral of the Saint Apostles Peter and Paul, along with numerous museums, galleries and spectacular river-side views. The fortress is open 06:00 – 22:00. Museums open 10:00 – 19:00, except Tues 11:00-17:00, closed Wed. Cathedral opens daily 10:00 – 19:00. Roof walk Nevskaya panorama opens 10:00 – 22:00. Entrance to fortress is free. Admission cathedral and museums: Russians and foreigners 0-250 Rub, (ticket valid for all museums and re-entrance valid fir 10 days). Admission roof walk 50-100 Rub.
State Hermitage Museum
Dvortsovaya nab. 34 (entrance from Dvortsovaya pl.) m. st. Nevsky pr., tel. 710-90-79, www.hermitage.ru
The director of Hermitage once said, “I can’t say that the Hermitage is the number one museum in the world, but it’s not the second.” And with over three million works of art and treasures housed in five connected buildings along the Neva, the museum can’t fail to impress. If works by Picasso, Van Gogh or Rembrandt don’t make you gasp, then the interiors of theWinter Palace will. Open 10:30 – 18:00, Sun. 10:30 – 17:00. Closed Mon. Admission foreigners 0-350 Rub, Russians 0-100 Rub. Free admission international and Russian students with a student card. First Thu of the month FREE admission for ALL visitors.
Ul. Inzhenernaya 4/2, m. st. Nevsky pr., tel. 595-42-48 www.rusmuseum.ru
A dazzling journey from thirteenth century icons to the cream of Russian avant-garde, the Russian Museum is housed in various buildings and palaces. With a maze of beautifully decorated rooms, the main Mikhailovsky Palace is a delight for art-lovers, whatever their favoured genre. Widely acclaimed for containing the most outstanding collection of icons from ancient Rus, the Museum’s Benois Wing has an especially strong display of work from the turn of the twentieth century. Open 10:00 – 18:00, Mon.10:00 – 17:00. Closed Tue. Admission foreigners 150-300 Rbl, Russians 30-100 Rbl.
Universitetskaya nab. 3, m.st. Vasileostrovskaya, tel. 328-07-12
St. Petersburg’s oldest museum is also its strangest. Kunstkamera (which translates as art house) was founded by Peter the Great in 1714. It is also Known as the Peter the Great Museum of anthropology and ethnography. Peter’s Anatomical Collection with its severed hands and malformed babies in jars still draws the crowds. Open 11:00 – 19:00. Ticket office closes 18:00. Closed Mon and last Tue of every month. Admission foreigners 100-200 Rbl, Photography 50 Rbl.
Petrogradskaya nab., m. st. Gorkovskaya, tel. 230-84-40,
The battle ship, anchored off the banks of the Petrograd side, has become somewhat of a Soviet shrine. This is because blank shots fired from the Aurora are said to have been the trigger for the revolution of 1917. The ship was sunk during WWII, to protect it from German bombing, and, in 1958, it was made into a museum. Open Tue-Thu, Sat, Sun 10:30 – 16:00. Closed Mon, Fri. Admission free. Excursions: foreigners 50-200 Rbl, Russians 30-80 Rbl.
The suburbs are an unmissable part of St. Petersburg. Making a trip is a rewarding and memorable experience.
Tel. 452-15-36, www.pavlovskmuseum.ru
Pavlovsk is a wonderful place to get away from it all. While more humble and less touristy than the palaces at Petergof or Pushkin, the reconstructed palace at Pavlovsk is still very interesting, and the park is a great place to walk or have a picnic. Admission to palaces: foreigners 400 Rbl, Russians 60-200 Rbl. Admission to park: foreigners 150 Rbl, Russians 40-60 Rbl (free after 18:00). Getting there: From Zvezdnaya metro station, take marshrutka 479; or from Vitebsky station, take a train to Pavlovsk station (40 min). Palace opens daily 10:00-17:00. Park opens 24hrs (main gate 08:00-20:00)
Tel. 450-62-23, www.peterhofmuseum.ru
Hundreds of fountains and golden statues surround Peter’s Palace – Russia’s answer to Versailles. The palace, which was built between 1709 and 1724 by some 5,000 soldiers and slaves, was completely destroyed during WWII, and, in the 1950s, was reconstructed from photographs and maps. Park opens 09:00-19:00 (ticket office until 16:40 Mon-Fri, 17:40 Sat, Sun). Palace opens 10:30-18:00. Closed Mon and last Tue of the month. Admission park foreigners 150-300 Rbl, Russians 50-120 Rbl. Admission park free after 17:00. Admission palaces foreigners 60-500 Rbl, Russians 10-400 Rbl. Getting there: From Baltiisky station, take a train, bus 350,351,352,356,or marshrutka 404. From metro Avtovo, take marshrutka 224 or 424.
Pushkin Palace (Tsarskoe selo)
Ul. Sadovaya 7, tel. 465-20-24
Catherine’s Palace and the surrounding parks were created by Empress Elizabeth and Catherine the Great, which is why Pushkin was formerly known as “village of the tsar’s” (Tsarskoe selo). The palace, with its famous Amber Room, is an impressive post-WWII reconstruction. Palace open 10:00-17:00 (for individuals 12:00-14:00, 16:00-17:00). Closed Tue and last Mon of the month. Park admission foreigners 90-180 Rbl, Russians 50-90 Rbl. Getting there: From Vitebsky station, take a train to Detskoe selo station, form where you can walk to the palace or take bus #371 or #382. From Moskovskaya metro, take a bus #287 or marshrutka 286,299,342,545.
Kuzhnechny per.5/2, m.st. Vladimirskaya, tel. 571-40-31, www.md.spb.ru.
Dostoevsky's weathered corner-apartment is a two minute walk from the metro. The museum is divided into two sections: literary and memorial (his apartment and belong¬ings). The audio-guide will enrich the experience and lessen confusion. Displays include newspaper articles that inspired him and photographs of the house where The Brothers Karamazov story is set. Whether you are interested in Dostoevsky's brave character, turbulent life, or amazing work, this museum is certainly the premium place to go. Open 11:00 -18:00. Closed Mon. Admission foreigners 70-150Rbl, Russians 0-60Rbl.
Nab. reky Moiky 12, m. st. Nevsky pr., tel. 571-35-31, www.museumpushkin.ru.
Through the old oak doors you enter a tranquil courtyard, surrounded by 18th century buildings, to find a statue of Alexander Pushkin, strewn with fresh flowers. This is the place where he lived and where he died after his tragic duel. Pushkin's legacy is well captured; learn about his inspirations, life and character. His death-mask displayed in a glass case is certainly something to see, as is his beautiful library of over 2000 books. Open 10:30 -17:00. Closed Tue, last Fri of the month. Admission foreigners 80-200Rbl, Russians 40-80Rbl.
Aleksander Nevsky Monastery
Nab. reky Monastirky 1, m. st. Aleksandra Nevskogo, tel. 274-16-12, www.Iavra.spb.ru.
Founded by Peter the Great, in 1710, this orthodox monastery is the most important in St. Petersburg. The St. Trinity cathedral is worth a visit as is the cemetery, where you can visit the graves of Russian greats such as Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, Glinka and Dostoevsky. Open 06:00 - 20:00. Daily services at the Trinity Cathedral 07:00,10:00 and 17:00.
Kazanskaya pl. 2, m. st. Nevsky pr., tel. 570-45-28.
This cathedral, which was modelled on St. Peter's in Rome, is one of the city's most majestic. It was built from 1801 to 1811 to house the miracle-working Icon Our Lady of Kazan. The dome is 80-metres high and the colonnade facing Nevsky has 96 columns. Open 09:00 - 20:00. Daily services 10:00 and 18:00. Church admission free. Daily excur¬sions 150Rbl for foreigners and 50- 70Rbl for Russians.
St. Isaac's Cathedral
Isaakievskaya pl., m. st. Nevsky pr., tel. 315-97-32, www.cathedral.ru.
Fully restored inside and out, St. Isaac's is one of the world's largest and most ornate cathedrals. The interior is adorned with gold trim, mosaics and paintings. Designed by Auguste de Montferrand in 1818 the church was named in tribute to Peter the Great who was born on the day of St. Isaac of Dalmatia. If it is a clear day we recommend climbing to the dome's top; the panoramic view is absolutely worth the effort. Cathedral open 10:00 -22:00. Colonnade daily 10:00 -16:00. Closed Wed. Tickets for the cathedral and the colonnade are sold separately. Extra fee for photography. Admission Cathedral: foreigners 300Rbl (English, French, German guide extra 270Rbl/group), Russians 150Rbl (museum, included Russian guide); Colon¬nade: foreigners 70-300Rbl, Russians 70-150Rbl.
Church of the Saviour on the Spilt Blood
Nab. kan. Griboedova 2b, m. st. Nevsky Pr., tel. 315-16-36, www.cathedral.ru.
This Moscow-style church with richly colored onion domes looks a bit out of place in the European centre of St. Petersburg, but it's one of the city's most beautiful and memorable landmarks. It got its awkward name because it was built on the spot where Tsar Alexander II was murdered in 1881. Locals call it the mosaic church' because the interior is covered with magnificent mosaics, each wall with a particular Biblical theme. Used to store potatoes during Soviet times, it was renovated in the early 1990s and reopened as a museum in 1997. Open 10:00-19:00.Closed Wed. Admission foreigners 170-300Rbl, Russians 50-200Rbl.
PI. Rastrelli 3, m. st. Cherny-shevskaya, tel. 271-76-32,
The view over the city from this blue baroque cathedral is worth the climb to the top of one of the bell-towers. Smolny, once the centre-piece of a convent founded to educate young noblemen and women, is nowadays a concert and exhibition hall with an exhibition of Smolny's history on display. From the nearby neo-classical Smolny Institute, Lenin orchestrated the October Revolution in 1917. Open 10:00 - 18:00. Closed Wed. Admission exhibitions for foreigner 70-200Rbl, for Russians 20-50 Rbl.