Eco-friendly travel guide to Saint Petersburg advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to explore the attractions in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
- Air quality: 3.5 / 5
- Exploring by foot: 4.5 / 5
- Exploring by bicycle: 4 / 5
- Public transportation: 4 / 5
- Parks: 4.5 / 5
- Outdoor activities: 4.5 / 5
- Locals' English level: 4 / 5
- Safety: 4 / 5
- Accommodation: US$50 - $300
- Budget per day: US$300 - $500
- 1 Responsible Travel
- 2 Air Quality and Pollution
- 3 Respect the Culture
- 4 Top 10 Places to Visit
- 5 Explore
- 6 Eat
- 7 Drink
- 8 Activities
- 9 Accommodation
- 10 How to Get There
- 11 Moving Around
- 12 Sustainable Shopping
- 13 Recycling
- 14 Work and Study Abroad
- 15 See Also
The city of Saint Petersburg in Russia gets people buzzing, and it is filled with regular travelers. Most people have heard many good tales about this place, and they wish to visit to experience it for themselves. Thus, it is not surprising that there is a high inflow of foreigners in this city regularly.
The issue is not to visit Saint Petersburg, but you need to know how to ensure that you travel responsibly while you are in the city. Do things like:
- Do not litter
- Use public transport
- Support local businesses
It is inevitable not to use public transportation while you are in a new place.
It is also advised that you learn some Russian phrases as instructions for most public transports are usually in the native dialect. If you are lost on anything, you should not be shy or scared to ask for help from any of the locals. It would be best if you are mindful when walking around as the streets are usually rowdy, and it is best to avoid bumping into others.
These little things and more would help you have responsible travel in Saint Petersburg.
Air Quality and Pollution
If you find yourself in a busy city like Saint Petersburg, it is not out of place to be curious and want to know about the air quality index or the city’s pollution rate. After all, getting knowledge about these would help you develop or practice means to stay safe while there.
If an evaluation is to be carried out, Saint Petersburg is not the worst city when it comes to air pollution, as other cities would rank higher than it. However, it is also not the best, which means that there is room for improvement.
The air quality of the city is moderate, making it adaptable for living. There are no severe health challenges that one would develop while there, which can be linked to air quality.
Different things affect the air in Saint Petersburg, and we can trace them to human activities. However, there are efforts to curb and minimize them so that the air quality index would grow from moderate to high.
It will be best to not entertain fear or worries about the air quality when in Saint Petersburg.
Respect the Culture
Every foreigner should have an unwritten rule at the back of their mind that they must be respectful to the people and customs when in a new city. It is the only way to have a delightful stay while you are there, and Saint Petersburg is not an exception.
Generally, the locals of Saint Petersburg are friendly, although it may not show in their expressions. However, you should not let it scare you away as you will notice their warmness when you have a conversation with any of them. You should not take this for granted, and you should always return the gesture by being polite. Respectful foreigners always have higher points in the books of any local.
If you want to try out local meals in the city, you should do it in a place with an abundance of locals, and you should not talk down on the food. This way, you will have a better and friendlier relationship with them.
It is also thoughtful that you take a gift when visiting a local as it shows that you appreciate the invite.
Top 10 Places to Visit
Some people may wonder why others would want to visit Saint Petersburg, and the sites of tourist are amongst the reasons.
Here are the Top 10 places you can see in the city:
- Winter Palace: One of the first things that anyone would notice at this place is the stunning nature of the building infused with history. It was once the palace of the Russian Emperors, and there is a lot of knowledge and information you will get by visiting this place.
- Mariinsky Theatre: Locals in the city would say that you have not enjoyed entertainment if you have not watched a concert at this place. By visiting it, you can enjoy operas and ballet performances.
- Rostral'naya Kolonna: Saint Petersburg has a reputation for its architectural sites, and this is one of the representations. It is sure to leave you in awe when you behold it.
- Griboyedov Canal: One of the best things any foreigner will do while in Saint Petersburg is to do a canal tour of this place. The view is always breathtaking, and the experience is mind-blowing.
- Zayachy Island: There are many expectations when people hear of Island, and this place allows you to visit one while you are in Saint Petersburg. We are sure that it would surpass your imaginations.
- Oranienbaum Palace: There is no reason why you should not visit one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites while in Saint Petersburg. If not for anything, its soothing gardens will put a smile on your face.
- Anichkov Litsey: If you have always had dreams about exploring a royal building, this place allows you to do it as they usually organize guided tours.
- Yelagin Island: There should be no much expectations from this place as it is not big. However, it is always refreshing to explore.
- Chizhik-Pyzhik: The story that surrounds this statue is always the highlight of visiting. Foreigners are usually intrigued by stories about their new city, and this is one of those stories.
- Scientific Archives of the State Museum-Reserve: It is a research facility and is usually captivating. Its attractiveness starts from the outside as the building has a golden spire.
If you ask some people why they are visiting Saint Petersburg, their response will be along the line of exploration. People always want to see something new, and exploring enters their to-do list when in a new city.
In Saint Petersburg, there are a lot of places for anyone to explore. You will notice that there are many royal buildings, although most of them are now museums with exhibitions. However, these places will help you know more about the city.
There are also landmarks in the city, and each of them has unique stories. These stories will stick with you for a long time, and you will see yourself sharing it with others years after you have left the city.
Another place you can explore while in Saint Petersburg is the parks, and you will get different options.
The ball is always in your court as some foreigners may get lazy and miss the opportunity to see these places. However, it is one of the biggest mistakes if you do not go out to see places, and you will be doing yourself a disservice.
One thing you should know about Saint Petersburg is that it does not lack parks. Here are some of the city parks:
- Moskovsky Victory Park: The name of this park was coined after the Second World War success. It is a peaceful place with numerous activities for people to do, including enjoying boat rides. Many people visit here to walk around and enjoy nature.
- Aleksandrovskiy Sad: It is an excellent place to visit, as you would see statues with different background stories. Through these stories, you can learn more about the city, helping you familiarize yourself with its history. One of its perks is that it is always clean and well-maintained.
- Catherine Park: There are two aspects to this park. There is the formal 18th-century Dutch-style garden and a natural English garden. Irrespective of the side of the park you decide to stay, the stunning nature would always appeal to you. As a foreigner, you will discover that it has many spots for taking pictures, and it is always soothing.
Still on the parks you can see in Saint Petersburg and explore, here are some of the national parks:
- Mikhailovsky Garden: Many people cannot describe how they feel when they visit this city because it leaves them in awe, but they usually recommend that people visit as it is best to have a personal experience. It has kiosks and shops around where you can buy things, so people do not mind spending all day relaxing there. The view from this place is always breathtaking.
- Peterhof: This place is vast, so you might not be able to cover all areas during a visit. However, all its parts are in an excellent state, and you will have a swell time while there. Some people describe it as a place out of a fairy tale, and you would not regret visiting it.
- Primorskiy Park Pobedy: You can rent bikes and scooters from the stores around this place, so cycling is one of the things you can do while there. The ambiance and environment are always refreshing, so this is one of the parks you can visit to have personal time.
Many people fantasize about spending time at a beach, and it could be that it is what you do when home. Thus, they are curious about beaches when in a new city.
If you fall under this category and visit Saint Petersburg, you are in for a treat as it has beaches for people to explore and relax.
- Beach Laskoviy: It is a beach in the city where people visit and have fun with games. There is never a dull time there, as everyone is usually hyper. Sometimes, people extend their stay because they feel like never leaving. It is an excellent place to visit when in Saint Petersburg.
- Yestroretskiy Plyazh: The surrounding natural environment of this place usually has people intrigued and captivates the mind. It is a peaceful place where people visit to have reflections amidst having fun. You would not regret seeing it.
- Plyazh Chudnyy: This beach is clean and beautiful, endearing it to the hearts of many. You will see many people at this place, making it one where you can establish relationships. It is one of the excellent places to explore in the city.
In simple terms, we can say that a landmark is a high or long structure that people can quickly locate, helping them keep track of places. When there is a landmark around, it helps with directions and eliminates losing your way.
Foreigners are usually happy and gleeful to know of landmarks in the city, and you would see them trying to keep it in mind as no one loves losing their way while exploring.
Some of the landmarks that would help you in Saint Petersburg are:
- Peter and Paul Fortress: As a fortress, you already know that it is a high building and you can see it from different city points. If you are curious about the name, you can get the background story when you visit it, as it holds many historical facts.
- Bronze Horseman: It is a statue of great significance in the city and serves as one of the landmarks that can guide people. There is also a historical story that surrounds this statue as with some others in the city.
People say that it is sometimes impossible to keep count of the number of museums in Saint Petersburg as there are many. The idea of the city is to preserve adequate information for the coming generations and to help foreigners with knowledge about the city.
If you love to know about the cities you visit, we know that you will love or desire to pay a visit to any of its museums. Some Saint Petersburg museums are:
- State Hermitage Museum: There is a lot for you to see and know at this place, and you may sometimes need a return visit to finish the exploration. The State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg stands as one of the five largest art museums in the world. Lovers of European art would see this museum as a treasure.
- Russian Museum: It is proper for the city to have a place that disseminates information about the culture of the Russians, and this museum serves the purpose. When you visit it, you will get more insights and understanding, which would help you relate better with the locals.
What do you think about local cuisines? Some people love them because it helps you get a better experience of the city. Thus, it is not out to place to see people desiring to eat traditional meals when in Saint Petersburg.
Although some people may be hesitant to try it at first because they are not used to it, you should know that it is a package that follows being a tourist. If you want to explore, you should do so to all aspect of the city, including its food.
If you love doughnuts, you should try Pyshki when you are in Saint Petersburg. It is almost like a doughnut, but with a traditional unique difference, and serves as one of the major desserts in the city. Lovers of pancakes are also not left out as there is the Saint Petersburg variation called Pancakes with Caviar. It takes on the typical pancake style with a different mix.
The local soup of this city is also satisfying, so you should try the Leningradsky Rassolnik. They make it with pickles, and you will find yourself requesting for more.
Traditional Local Restaurants
The local meals of any city are usually a delight as it helps your taste buds explore. Below are some of the traditional local restaurants in Saint Petersburg, where you can enjoy the perfection of these meals without any regrets:
- Severyanin Restoran: We can say that this restaurant is friendly for foreigners to visit as it has a warm atmosphere and the reception given to tourists is usually superb. Since they know that you are not familiar with the local meals, the waiters are usually patient, delivering top-notch services. There is almost no traditional food you desire that you cannot get here.
- Mari Vanna: Great commendations are given to the interiors of this place as it is catchy and intriguing. Many people love to spend their time here because of the reception they get, and the tasty meals. You would have to regrets visiting this restaurant as it always delivers.
- Pelmenya: There are many Russian meals to try in Saint Petersburg, and you would get them at this restaurant. It is also an excellent place to mix with the locals as the aura is always friendly.
Vegetarian and Vegan
If you are a Vegetarian, you do not have cause to bother when in Saint Petersburg as there are restaurants that specially focus on vegan meals.
Some of them are:
- Auroville Café: The organization of this place is commendable as they find ways to ensure that each customer is treated like royalty. There is the provision of live music to ensure that there is an energetic vibe, and it helps people relate better. Their menu contains many vegetarian options, and you would not regret visiting it.
- Vegetarian Café Laor: Not only does this place have vegan options, but the meals are also tasty that many people want to try them. The services rendered are also top-notch, and most people do not have any complaint about it. It is one of the restaurants you should ensure visiting when in Saint Petersburg.
- Botanika: Many people say that it is one of the best in Saint Petersburg, and going there to validate the claims is not out of place. However, we assure that they have an array of options that would leave you licking your fingers.
We understand that many people are lovers of street food, so we cannot ignore highlighting the choices they have when visiting Saint Petersburg.
Although you can get these street foods from kiosks and stores, you can also get them in some restaurants. It is not hard to find as almost everyone in the city is eating one of them.
Shawarma is one of the street foods you will find in Saint Petersburg. It is a mixture of flatbread with meat, chicken, or fish. Sometimes, people do a mix of all with spices and vegetables. It is always a delight to eat, and we know that it is also common in some other cities worldwide.
If you love eating cakes, you should try the Leningrad Cake Set when in Saint Petersburg. It is not much different from standard cake preparation. However, you will notice some extras that will make you happy while eating it.
Fried smelt is also amongst the famous street foods in Saint Petersburg, and we urge that you try it while there, also not forgetting to try Pirozhki.
While you are exploring and enjoying the traditional local meals in the city, it is also expected that you have a swell time with the drinks.
The people of Russia are known for their love for drinking, so you can find both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks in Saint Petersburg. One of the commonest drinks you will see is Vodka. Many people are used to this in their various cities, so it does not come off as strange you will also see wines and beers in addition to the vodka, so you can choose from the varieties.
If you want to drift away from alcoholic drinks, you can take Kvass, a carbonated drink found in the city. It is usually refreshing, and people take it to cool their bodies. Another non-alcoholic option is Ryazhenka, made from boiling milk. The clause to this is that the milk is boiled for nothing less than 8 hours, and it is left to ferment.
There are many drink options in Saint Petersburg the same way there are food options. Thus, you will always have a lovely experience.
One of the most frequent questions that foreigners ask concerning the state of their holiday city concerns the water if it is suitable for drinkable.
If Saint Petersburg is the city you are travelling to for a holiday, we will encourage that you make the conscious effort of boiling your water before drinkable. The source of water in Saint Petersburg is questionable as it is said to have high levels of metal, so it is unsafe for drinking and even brushing. You will not be extra or doing too much if you boil your water before using it to brush. After all, it is best to safe than to be sorry.
If you think that the process of boiling is stressful, and you would not be able to keep up, you should buy bottled water while there; it will serve the purpose of drinking and brushing.
In all that you do, please do not use the tap water in Saint Petersburg as it is also said to cause Giardiasis, a parasitic infection that affects the small intestines. The aim is to enjoy the city, not to get infections.
Do you love patronizing organic cafes? Here are some of your options when you visit Saint Petersburg:
- Veggie Box: If you are looking for an affordable place in the city, this is one of your best options. It is inside a complex, and the view is excellent. The options of the menu are also fantastic, and you would have no regrets visiting it.
- Mir: One of the perks of this place is how it can balance its designs with the present society. Most people can relate to the atmosphere, which makes it more comfortable. The food options are also perfect and tasty, so there is always steady traffic of persons to this place. The menu has an array of options so that you can pick from varieties.
- Mantra Bar: It is an excellent place with professional staff which endears it to the hearts of many. The food is also excellent, and you see people adding this to their list of top organic cafes in Saint Petersburg. It is one of the places you should consider as they do not miss in the adequate preparation of their meals.
Saint Petersburg stands as one of the cities of drinks worldwide. There are no restrictions on the number of drinks a person can take, and there are no laws or regulations against drinking. Thus, you are at liberty to take either alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks while in this city.
Drinking is a way of bringing people together in the city, and you would see it in the number of available bars, breweries and distilleries. It is always easy to strike up a conversation at these places as the drinks make everyone more relaxed, and the atmosphere is friendly.
Some people say that it is not a complete visit to the house of any local if you have not been offered a drink. Thus, it is safe to say that there are many breweries and distilleries in Saint Petersburg.
Since these people do not joke with their drinks, you are sure that you will get to select from many excellent options.You can add touring of breweries and distilleries to your to-do list while in Saint Petersburg.
It is easy for foreigners to get bored when in a new city as it is not their terrain. However, this will defeat the aim of going on a holiday as you should be able to engage in different activities that would keep you busy.
Understandably, it is not every time that new ideas of things will enter your head to do. Allow us to save you the stress and tell you that you can engage in either fishing, canoeing or kayaking while in Saint Petersburg as there are available water bodies to help with this.
It does not matter if you are professional or novice in these activities. You will find it easy if you are a professional, but beginners will see it as an exciting process as it allows them to learn something new.
The locals of the city as always ready to teach people the ropes of these activities, and it paves way to friendships. If you spend time learning any of these activities, the idea of being bored will be eliminated. Thus, you should engage in them while in the city.
Yoga and Retreats
Still on the topic of activities and things you can do in Saint Petersburg is engaging in yoga. Some people have the misconception that this activity is only for females, but all genders can get involved in it.
The yoga process is exciting to learn, especially as it helps to soothe and relax your mind, taking all the stress away. Some people say that it feels like they are in a different world while they are doing yoga. Thus, there is no reason why you should not do the same, also.
There are many yoga centers in the city that is open to both professionals and newbies. However, these places are friendly grounds, and the instructors are also warm. If you are looking forward to making new connections, it is feasible at these places.
You may doubt if it is exciting to do yoga, but you will never know except, you try it. The fear of the unknown holds people back from doing a lot of things, but you should not allow it to affect you and your decisions.
One thing that everyone would agree is that accommodation is very crucial in the plans of anyone who plans to visit a new city. When you go to a new place, you would need where to rest, and if you did not make adequate plans for preparation, you would be stranded.
It is always challenging to be stranded in a different environment, and the feeling in draining. When such happens, people start having regrets and wishing they did not embark on the journey initially. However, you can avoid all these with proper planning.
One of the first things you should do when you decide to visit a foreign city is to keep a specific amount aside for accommodation. It serves as your budget and would help you determine the type of places you would search.
Different types of accommodation have different prices, but you would not go astray if you have a budget.
If you work with your budget, you will make a decision faster, and it helps you to be stranded when you get there as you already have plans in motion.
A green hotel is an accommodation space function like a typical hotel but has facilities in place that help to protect and conserve the environment.
Some of them in Saint Petersburg are:
- Radisson Royal Hotel: As the name implies, anyone who lodges at this place usually gets a royal treatment. It is a hotel with an indoor bar and spa, and people give high commendations to the spa. The staff usually make themselves available to help customers and ensure that they have a lovely experience. The location of this place is also strategic as there are many surrounding places of entertainment such as pubs. This hotel is one of the best in the city.
- Four Seasons Hotel: We cannot say that this is the cheapest hotel in the city, but it has adequate facilities in place that gives you value for your money. It is located in the center of the city, which makes it strategic, and also offers people amazing views. Its surrounding environment is always buzzing, so you will never have a dull time there.
Hostels and Guest Houses
If you decide to lodge in a hostel or guesthouse when you visit a new place, it is a cheaper option than some other types of accommodation.
The setting may be smaller than an option like the hotel, but it is usually comfortable.
Some available hostels and guest houses in Saint Petersburg are:
- Hostel LikeHome: As the name implies, this place aims to ensure that lodgers are comfortable and get a feel of their home. There are different lodging options at this hostel, such as private dorms or shared rooms, and you may sometimes have to share a bathroom. However, the hostel is usually quiet and clean, so you can have serene personal moments. The staff are always friendly, and they also offer free Wi-Fi to lodgers.
- Layk: Although it depends on the amount you pay and the type of room, some people get free breakfast at this place. It is a small and cozy but relaxing hostel that gives you a place to stay when in Saint Petersburg. The price is also considerable, and you have the assurance of a comfortable stay.
Another accommodation option that is available to tourists in Saint Petersburg is by lodging in an apartment. It is one of the closet feelings of home you will find in a new city.
Some of these apartments are:
- Boutique Apartment: If you want to enjoy your stay in Saint Petersburg, this is one of the best apartments to lodge as it has numerous facilities in place. It is always warm, and you will get a welcoming reception. Everything is always clean and orderly, leaving you to have no room or cause for complaint while there. There is a market close to this apartment, and there are also places where you can enjoy live music. You can never go wrong by lodging here.
- Hilton Saint Petersburg: One of the perks of this apartment is that it has an indoor pool, which is not something you would see in all apartments of the city. Thus, lodging here is always relaxing as you get to cool off and refresh whenever you desire. They also offer free Wi-Fi to their customers, making it a comfortable place to lodge.
The amount of some accommodation options scarce people away, and it is something that has hindered many people from travelling to foreign places. However, there is a saving grace in Couchsurfing.
With Couchsurfing, you do not need to bother about spending your money on accommodation. What you need to think about is how you would adapt to the lifestyle of the locals.
If you are confused, Couchsurfing is a system that pairs you with a local willing host during the duration of your holiday. If you do not have the means to pay for accommodation and you desire to travel, you can check if they do Couchsurfing in the desired country.
It is a regular thing to see people indicate interest in Couchsurfing in Saint Petersburg, and there is a website that assists in getting a local host. Willing locals sign up on it, while foreigners check through and follow steps and instructions on how to get paired.
The comfort you will feel during Couchsurfing might not be compared to what you can get from your house, but you should remember that it is only for some time, and it is better than being stranded.
Although camping is not an actual form of accommodation as it cannot serve long-term, it still falls under accommodation as it helps for the period of days that anyone would engage in it.
By camping, you are leaving the comfort of your immediate environment and going to a place that is in tune with nature. Most times, these places do not have the luxury of beds, and campers end up sleeping in tents.
However, there are some campsites with adequate lodging facilities that almost liken it to a hotel.
Some people do not understand why anyone will leave the luxury of their homes and decide to camp. However, those who have ever had a camping experience can explain that the feeling is different and fulfilling.
People share jokes and stories while camping, and it is a way of establishing new friendships. The stories will always keep you company, and some of them may be based on historical facts concerning the city.
Camping is an activity that is common amongst the locals of Saint Petersburg, so you can join them on it.
How to Get There
If a person decides that they want to leave their home and visit another city, one of the thoughts that would run through their mind is how to reach the place. The same way a person would make accommodation plans is the same way there would be preparation for movement.
Understandably, it is not all means of transportation that might be available from your home to the city you want to visit. In the case that Saint Petersburg is your destination, you should know that there are many ways of getting into the city. But, it is not all means that might be suitable for you.
The proper thing that any tourist should do is to research on the available means of transportation to Saint Petersburg from their current location. That way, you would know the options you can use, and it would help you make a choice.
There are different reasons why a person might prefer one means of transportation over another, so we know that different people have various choices.
However, we are sure that you will see a means of transportation you will like to use and reach Saint Petersburg.
Many people would agree that using air is the fastest means of transportation to anywhere, so we know that this would be the top option on the mind of some people when they want to visit Saint Petersburg.
Luckily, the city has an airport that receives international flights. The Saint Petersburg airport gets nothing less than 100 international flights weekly, and it keeps expanding because this city is famous amongst tourist. Thus, it is not hard to reach the city.
If you desire to travel to Saint Petersburg by air, you need to check your home city for the available Russian flights. There are more Russian flight options available worldwide, so it should not be a hassle finding one that operates from your current location, especially if you are within Europe.
The prominent problem people encounter if they want to use air to Saint Petersburg is not getting a direct flight. In such cases, you would fly to another country or city, and get a connecting flight to Saint Petersburg. The perk is that flying by air takes lesser hours, so the journey is not stressful.
It is possible to use a bus to Saint Petersburg, but you cannot get this from all locations worldwide. Your best bet if you desire to use a bus is to enter the city from any other European country.
Some people love using buses because it gives them views of the landscape while travelling, and they find it exciting. However, others would not like to use a bus because it takes long hours, and there is no adequate space. When this occurs, people tend to get cranky, and it might affect their mood when they get to their destination.
One thing you should know is that some bus companies have made great improvements to ensure that people are always comfortable whenever they use them. Thus, it is not every time that you would face inconveniences when you use a bus.
The bus station in Saint Petersburg is a few minutes away from the city center, and it has taxis operating from there. Some people who love being adventurous might want to walk from the bus station to the city center, but it is not advisable as you do not correctly know the terrain. So, it would be best if you take a taxi.
The process of taking a train to Saint Petersburg is almost similar to using a bus. Both are forms of land transportation, but using a train is usually slower, and many people would agree with this.
However, you would get more time to appreciate the views and nature when you use a train as you desired means of transportation. The best thing for anyone to do when using a train is to engage in other activities like reading a book or playing games to whirl away time.
There are four train stations in Saint Petersburg that accept long-distance trains, but this does not mean that they operate worldwide. Similar to the bus system, you can only use a train down to Saint Petersburg if your current city is within Europe.
Many people love enquiring if these train stations are far from the city center and what available option they have to reach the city. One thing you should know is that each of the train stations is close to metro stations, so you should locate one once you alight from the train.
Hitchhiking is also amongst the means of transportation you can get to Saint Petersburg. However, the clause of it happening is if you are within surrounding cities.
The idea of hitchhiking is to stay on the road and flag down a vehicle going your direction. Some drivers might not want to stop for strangers, but you would get a ride as someone would be compelled to stop.
Some people love the idea of hitchhiking because they think it is a way of getting a free ride and saves them cost. However, we would say that hitchhiking is a means of getting fast transportation as it saves you the stress of queuing up at bus and train stations or trying to get a ticket.
It may be that you can hitchhike for free is some other places, but it does not work that way in European cities. If a driver stops for you and agrees to carry you, they will ask you for payments. So, your money should be ready, or you will be stranded on the road.
Another means of getting into Saint Petersburg is through cruise ships or ferries. We usually see this when a group of tourists decide to visit the city.
In such cases, it would be that they have a tour guide waiting for them, and they are ready to have an adventurous experience. If you have never been on a ferry, it may be time to check for those who wish to visit Saint Petersburg around you, so that you all would use it as a means of transportation to the city.
The same way a person would want to know how they can reach Saint Petersburg from another location is the same way they would be curious to enquire how movement works within Saint Petersburg city. It is one thing to arrive in Saint Petersburg city, but what happens next after that?
Understandable, people will always be moving from one place to the other, and tourist would always be curious as it is a new area. The idea is to help them tailor their movement as they would not want to get lost or do something out of line because they do not have adequate information.
As a foreigner, you should make it a habit of asking the locals questions when you are in a new city. As we earlier mentioned, the people of Saint Petersburg are friendly even if it does not show in their facial expressions.
As a way to calm your mind, let us tell you that Saint Petersburg is considered a safe city so you should not have fears if you desire to move around, and there are many available transportation means.
The easiest means of moving around sometimes is by walking as you are the one to set the pace, and you can quickly turn around if you get tired or do not feel like exploring any more. A perk of walking is that it would not cost you as you do not need to pay for any means of transportation.
However, we know that it is not always easy for a foreigner to walk around a new place due to the fear of missing your way. When you are in Saint Petersburg, you should have your map handy as you walk around. Also, please take note of the various landmarks as they will be your guide. If you need further clarifications on direction, you should not hesitate to ask any of the locals and ask questions.
Walking around helps to ease the mind, and you will notice that the atmosphere and serenity of Saint Petersburg are alluring. It would be best to also have a camera as there are many attractions worth snapping as you walk around. You can also tell a local to help take pictures of you at these places.
We have noticed that some people have a preference for using bicycles to move around, and this does not change when they are in a new city. The question on their mind is usually where or how they can rent a bicycle, and if it is safe to use it on the roads of the city.
If Saint Petersburg is your destination city, you should have no worries about cycling around in the city as the roads are in an excellent state which assures you of your safety. As a plus, you should also rent helmets when you are renting a bicycle as one can never be too safe.
There are many bicycle rental shops in the city, so it is easy to get a bicycle and ride around. Once you have paid the rental fee, you do not need to bother about spending money on transportation as the bicycle would help you out.
You will notice that there is absolute happiness that comes with cycling, and you can also explore different places using a bicycle.
If you love using electronic vehicles to move around, it is not a hassle in Saint Petersburg as there are many places where you can rent a bike. However, we would advise that you have prior experience using one before you decide to rent it.
The process of using an electronic bike is almost similar to using a bicycle as the excellent roads assures you of your safety. But, this does not mean that you should go around on top speed as you need to be careful always. As part of safety procedures and guidelines, anyone who desires to use an electronic bike should always ensure that they are wearing a helmet as it is better to be safe than to be sorry.
The feeling you get while moving around on a bike is soothing and one of a kind, which makes it understandable on why many people desire to use one. It will help if you have a map with you while using a bike so that you would not lose your way while moving around.
Using a public bus is the most standard means of moving around in Saint Petersburg, and the advantage is that it is cheaper than other forms or means of transportation you would find. However, it would help if you understand Cyrillic as most of the bus signs are written in it, making it confusing for foreigners.
Tourists usually depend on the help of the locals for understanding when it comes to languages and signs that they do not understand.
Asides from the regular buses, you would also see trolleybuses in Saint Petersburg. Both buses are similar, but there is usually a T sign on the trolleybuses for differentiation. The trolleybuses are more environmentally friendly than regular buses, so you should use them if you want to be eco-friendly. However, these buses cannot change their lanes, so there might be delays if there is congestion.
Typically, most buses in Saint Petersburg are usually crowded as people rush them since it is a cheaper means of moving around. There are also smaller buses in the city called marshrutki.
Tram, Train and Subway
If you do not know, the locals of Saint Petersburg refer to this city as the city of trams because it has more trams than any other city worldwide. If you want to debate this, you might want to approach them with facts as they are sure that their claim is valid.
Using trams is another means of moving around in Saint Petersburg, but it is usually slow, so people only use it when they are not in a rush to go somewhere. If you are hurrying somewhere and get on a tram, you would be frustrated as the slow movement would ensure that you miss your appointment.
It will help if you understand Russian or bits of it before using a tram as its operations are in that language and it gets confusing for foreigners. Many of the trams in Saint Petersburg are not up to modern standard yet, and there are hopes for improvement.
A typical tram in Saint Petersburg operates from 6 am until midnight, so you can always use them if you desire.
Sustainable shopping is a means of patronizing and buying the local craft of the people. Undeniable, there are always unique things that would catch your eyes when you visit a new city.
In Saint Petersburg, it may be their Imperial Porcelain, and you can take it back home as a memorial of your stay in the city. It may also be their Lacquered Boxes, from their skills in iron painting, or something from Nevskaya Kosmetika, a leading cosmetics brand in the city.
The need to buy food or patronize a food market is always there, irrespective of whatever city you visit.
Some of the food markets in Saint Petersburg are:
- Arakhisovaya Pasta Kupit' Spb: If you ever want fresh food items, this is the market you should visit in Saint Petersburg. Research has shown that they do not add chemicals or any extras to their products, so it is beneficial for your health.
- Polyustrovskiy Rynok: It is one of the famous markets in the city and always has an array of things that people can buy. As a plus, these things are always fresh.
If you are looking to patronize a flea market in Saint Petersburg, here are some of your options:
- Bloshinyy Rynok Na Udel'noy: Most of the items you would find here are usually vintage, and you will discover that they have historical backgrounds. Thus, they are traditionally precious and appealing, and you cannot resist buying something. Although they might be old, it is usually in a perfect state. There is almost nothing you desire that you cannot find at this place, so it is generally busy.
Second Hand Stores
Here are some of the second-hand stores in Saint Petersburg:
- Ambar Vintage Shop: It is one of the shops you should visit for anything clothing. Some people say that it is the best vintage clothing store in the city, and it would be best for you to visit it and verify the claims personally.
- Спасибо!: If you want to buy thrift items that are of high quality, this is the store for you. You would also see something you desire when you visit it.
Eco-fashion is a means of making clothes that are helpful to the environment. Everyone is always trying to be eco-friendly in different capacities, and designers make their effort in the clothes they make. However, it is left you to buy it and also play a part in the system.
We always encourage that foreigners should play a role in being eco-friendly when they visit any city, and subscribing to eco-fashion is one of the ways for anyone. The styles are also in vogue, so you do not have any worries.
Recycling occurs in Saint Petersburg, and some of the people are passionate about it. One of the most typical things they recycle in this city is bottles. It could be glass or plastic, but it is always recycled, especially as many of the people buy bottled water.
The idea is to ensure that the city stays clean and innovative as they can make other useful things from the recycled items. By subscribing to recycling while in Saint Petersburg, you are an eco-friendly tourist.
Saint Petersburg is not the dirtiest city in the world, but they need to put in more efforts when it comes to waste management. The government and many organization advocate against littering as they strive to keep the city clean always and avoid health issues. However, some people are stubborn and usually violating such advocates.
It may be that strict laws need to be put in place for them to comply, but we urge all foreigners to ensure that they effectively manage their waste by disposing them only at designated areas.
Work and Study Abroad
If you are an international student who wishes to work while studying in Saint Petersburg, it is possible. The government advocates that you do it during your free time so that it does not affect your studies.
Also, the locals do not discriminate and are willing to pay international students adequately if they effectively render their services.
It is left to you to know how to balance your school and work schedule so that none is affected. We advocate that your studies should be the main priority.
There are many universities in Russia and Saint Petersburg that partner with schools in other countries to have a student exchange program. Thus, you should check if your school partners with anyone in Saint Petersburg if you desire to visit the city.
During the student exchange program, you get the opportunity to learn Russian thoroughly, and is a plus as you also get to explore the city.
Many students usually jump on this opportunity, and you can do so as well.
If you are studying in Saint Petersburg, it is understandable if you want to get a job to argument your finds. We also understand that it is not always easy to find these jobs, and this is where the idea of au pair comes to play.
For cities that subscribe to the au pair idea, there is usually a website or forum where people can register and get paired with local host whom they can work for. This exists in Saint Petersburg, so you should jump on the opportunity.
A reason why some people visit other cities is that they want to be volunteers. They get satisfaction by volunteering and helping out in different capacities.
We do not think that there is any city that is not open to the idea of volunteers, and it happens in Saint Petersburg. There are many areas you can volunteer while in the city, so you should research and choose a focus. By volunteering, you are playing a role in being eco-friendly.