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 holiday) January 7 : Russian Orthodox Christmas (national holiday)
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 (national holiday)
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.March 8 : International Women's Day (national holiday)
Celebrated worldwide, this holiday honours all women. In Russia, men and boys give flowers, chocolate and small presents to their wives, mothers, daughters, sisters, girlfriends and female colleagues. Throngs of flower sellers and other vendors line the sidewalks in Saint Petersburg on this day. Men and boys jostle each other to stake their claim, as none will dare face the girls and women in their lives without a gift.Around May 1 : Labour Day/ Spring Festival (national holiday)
Celebrations of May Day lost their political meaning in Russia after 1991. Occasionally, political parties and labour unions have demonstrations on this day, but most Russians use this holiday for gardening or spending time with their families. If May 1 falls on a weekend, the public holiday is usually moved to the following Monday.May 9 : Victory Day (national holiday)
For Russians, this is the day the Great Patriotic War against Nazi Germany ended in 1945. Celebrations include a magnificent victory parade along Nevsky Prospekt, which ends with soldiers and veterans filling Palace Square (Dvortsovaya Ploshchad), and fireworks over the Neva in the evening.May 27: City Day (local event)
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 (national holiday)
Marks the day the Russian Federation proclaimed its sovereignty in 1990. Celebrated in Saint Petersburg with a fireworks display in the eveningFirst Sunday after July 22 : Navy Day (local event)
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 (celebrated nationwide)
|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||Good 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|
|June||12/54||20/68||64/2.5||Good period to go|
|July||14/57||22/72||78/3.1||Good period to go|
|August||13/55||20/68||77/3.0||Good period to go|
|September||8/46||14/57||67/2.6||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||Good period to go|
Saint Petersburg's Pulkovo Airport is located 23 kilometres (14 miles) south of Palace Square in the city centre. The airport has seen considerable growth in recent years. In 2014, it served 14.3 million passengers, thus nearly three times the number served in 2006.
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.
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 numerous bus stops dotted along all the city's main thoroughfares. Buses are thus very useful for getting around, in combination with the Metro. Tickets may be purchased from the driver on the bus. 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 30 per ride.
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.
Upon your arrival in Saint Petersburg, you can get in touch with local tourism professionals for further information and to help organize your stay.Saint Petersburg Tourist Information Bureau
Offers practical information and publications for tourists on the city of Saint Petersburg and its region.
See also the Tourist Information Bureau's official travel guide at http://www.visit-petersburg.ru
The Tourist Information Bureau also operates a number of information kiosks at various locations throughout the city, including:
The English-language website maintained by the Russian National Tourist Office, a tour operator with offices in London and Edinburgh, and representative offices in Moscow, Saint Petersburg and Yekaterinburg, provides a wealth of information for visitors to Saint Petersburg.
See your doctor before you travel. If you take regular medication, make sure you have a sufficient supply for your trip, to avoid any risks relating to counterfeit prescription drugs.Mandatory health insurance
In order to obtain your visa for travel to Russia, you will need to take out insurance covering both medical expenses and medical evacuation or repatriation.Vaccinations
There are no vaccination requirements for visitors to Russia.
The following vaccines are recommended for travel to Russia:
For more information, contact Air France's international vaccination centre:
Avoid drinking unpurified tap water. It is best to drink bottled water during your visit and even to use it for brushing your teeth.
Foreign nationals are required to be in possession of a visa in order to enter and stay in Russia.
For further information, visit the website of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: http://www.russianconsulate.info/visa_requirements.html
Here are a few basic Russian phrases that will make your stay in Saint Petersburg a little easier:
Hello / How do you do?: Zdrastvooytyeh
Good morning: Dobra-yeh ootra
Good day / Good afternoon: Dobri dyen
Good evening: Dobri vyechyer
Goodbye: Da sdveedanya
No, thank you: Nyet, spaseeba
Thank you very much: Bolsho-yeh spaseeba
I don't understand: Ya nyeh paneema-yoo.
Could you repeat that?: Paftareetyeh, pajalsta.
What time is it: Katori chas?
Excuse me: Eezveeneetyeh (to get past, to say sorry) / Prasteetyeh! (to get attention) / Eezveeneetyeh, pajalsta (to ask someone a question).
Train station: Vokzal
I'm (…): Ya (…).
I'm looking for (…): Ya ishtoo (…).
How much is it: Skolka eta sto-eet?
Do you have (…): Oo vas yest (…)?
Where can I find (…): Gde mozhna naytee (…)?
Where can I buy (…): Gde mozhna kupit (…)?
I'd like (…): Ya biy haytel(a) (…).
And what about tipping?
In Saint Petersburg, tipping is certainly not required but always appreciated. If you are satisfied with the service, you can tip about 10 percent of the bill in restaurants and bars.