About St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg was the former capital of imperial Russia and the home of its czars. The city has many splendid architectural treasures, theatres and art museums and of course the world famous Hermitage. Saint Petersburg is the second largest Russian city with a population of almost five million people. It is the largest northern city on the planet. Saint Petersburg is often called the Venice of the North, because it lies on 44 islands which are divided by a web of 86 rivers and canals.
Over 100 palaces of the Russian nobility and a great many cathedrals and unique churches built by the greatest architects of the time still remain in Saint Petersburg. Most of them are open to the public now. Saint Petersburg is famous for its "white nights" - a period when there is as much light during night time as during the day time and many bridges are raised, so that numerous strolling romantics can enjoy the sight of ships passing down the Neva river city waterway all night long. The city has recently undergone an extensive renovation in celebration of its 300th anniversary in 2003. More than 80 museums and 40 theatres of St. Petersburg ensure that art, ballet, music, and theatre lovers will find the metropolis an endless source of cultural enjoyment.
Overview. To put it in just one word, St. Petersburg weather is variable. In this Northern city the weather is the topmost source of surprises. That is why even in the heat of summer many wise locals still carry their umbrellas with them. It does not rain all the time, but you never know when it will. It might get quite windy too. At any rate, weather forecasts on TV and radio always get the highest ratings.
St. Petersburg's climate is mild compared to that of the more inland areas of Russia. The city is on the Baltic Sea, which makes winters relatively mild, but summers are not particularly hot either. It is humid all year round.
Autumns start with reasonably warm days in mid-September, but by mid-October it is often chilly. The average September temperature is 12 C, and the average October temperature is 4.9 C. In November it might start to snow, but sometimes it does not snow until mid-December.
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St. Petersburg is easy to reach via many daily convenient flight connections from main European and American cities. St. Petersburg International Airport "Pulkovo-2" is 17 km away from the centre of the city.One can also come to St. Petersburg from Europe travelling by bus, car, ship or train.
St. Petersburg has a fast and comfortable Metro which is open from 05:30-06:00 in the morning till midnight. Metro one-way fare is paid with a token, which costs 12 RUR, or about 0.3 Euro regardless of the distance and number of stops.
Buses, trolleybuses and trams run from 05.30 a.m. till midnight. There are also taxi-buses and taxies. Public transport fares are accepted only in cash and vary from 10 to 20 RUR. Tickets should be bought from the conductor or the driver in express buses and taxi-buses. Each ticket is for a single route only.
St.Petersburg is situated in the Moscow standard time zone (MST), which differs from Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).
MST = GMT + 3 hrs.
The national Russian currency is ruble. All payments for goods and services throughout Russia must be done in rubles, or by major credit cards.
Foreign currency can be exchanged in banks or currency exchange offices at the airport, hotels or in the city. Exchange rates are always posted.
220 V plugs are standard continental European type. British and North-American appliances need an adapter.