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St Petersburg information

General info

The section contains general information on St Petersburg, including weather, money exchange, Russian cuisine and some tips for tourists. We hope that reading it will help you to get ready for your trip in a better way.  If it is going to be your first visit to Russia or our city, St Petersburg information we provide you with is advisable to review.  Planning your journey to Russia, make sure whether you are supposed to obtain a Russian visa to enter the country. One can find it out going to the official website of the Russian embassy operating in their countries. 

Weather

Summer weather in St Petersburg  and Moscow can be quite varied, with sudden showers and temperatures fluctuating between the 13°C  and 26°C.

During the summer months, from May till early September, Saint Petersburg remains fairly warm with the average high of 22°C while the low temperature fluctuates between 13°C and 16°C. The season gets a moderate level of precipitation. August is considered the wettest month of the year.

The month of June in St Petersburg is characterized by rising daily high temperatures, with daily highs increasing from 18°C to 22°C over the course of the month. Daily low temperatures range from 8°C to 13°C. Chance of rain – 50%, so do bring an umbrella for sudden showers.

During the summer months, from May till October, Moscow waits for the tourists with much enjoyable temperature with the average high of 23°C while the low fluctuates between 8°C and 13°C. Nighttime may remain somewhat chilly as the temperature dramatically drops in Moscow. July is the hottest month of the year with more than +25°C.

June weather in Moscow is typically pleasant: temperatures can get into the low 12ºC at night and top 27ºC during the day. June is the wettest month in Moscow – chance of rain over 60%.

Clothing

For a summer trip to St. Petersburg or Moscow it is highly recommended to pack a light jacket or sweater (spring or autumn-weight) for when the sun goes down or when it rains.

Take clothes that you can layer and peel off as it gets warmer.

Also it is strongly recommended to bring an umbrella with you. Some hotels provide umbrellas for guests to use, but their number is limited, so there is some risk that in rainy weather all umbrellas may be taken by other guests.

If you plan on going to the theatre, opera, ballet, etc., you may bring along a classier outfit (suit/evening dress/sari). There is no dress code (lots of locals prefer casual dress), just make sure you stay away from shorts and funny t-shirts.

If you are planning to visit cities of Golden Ring, you should pay special attention to further information. During this trip you are going to visit monasteries, cathedrals and churches. The Orthodox Church has a dress code, this is why both men and women should come to Church in modest clothing which does not distract others from prayer.

Put on modest clothes if you plan to enter Russian Orthodox churches, which will require that men and women have their legs covered and women have their shoulders and hair covered. NO OPEN SHOULDERS OR MINISKIRTS OR SHORTS ARE PERMITTED! Men should take off their hats when they enter a church. Religious women usually put on scarves or hats before entering a church but this rule is not a must.

Money

The national currency is the rouble (Rbl). A floating exchange rate regime is currently underway in Russia. This means that the ruble exchange rate is not fixed. Average exchange rates are:

1 EUR = 60 RUB                                 1 US DOLLAR = 56 RUB

YOU DON’T NEED TO ORDER RUSSIAN CURRENCY IN YOUR COUNTRY!

You can change US dollars or Euros at banks, hotels and airport exchange bureaux in Russia. Most airports, hotels, restaurants and larger shops accept credit cards. There are ATMs in most major cities. You can bring some cash with you or withdraw it in the airport.

Travellers’ cheques are not widely accepted. It is illegal to pay directly for general transactions with dollars or Euros.

Consider informing your bank before you travel to Russia to avoid having a temporary stop on your card.

Documents and Migration cards

All foreign nationals entering Russia must sign a migration card, which is produced electronically at the passport control in the major airports. Some airports may still require you to complete the migration card manually. The card is in two identical parts. One part will be retained by the Immigration Officer on arrival. You should keep the other part with your passport; you will need it when you leave Russia. Also there are many hotels and hostels that will not check in guests if they don’t have the stamped white immigration card with them. If you lose the second part of the card you will be fined, and your departure from the country could be delayed.

It is advisable to carry the copy of your passport and to keep the original documents in the hotel safe. The police are allowed to approach anyone and check the documents.

Russian cuisine

Appetizers

Russia is famous for its ikra  (caviar), the snack of tsars and New Russians. The best is black (sturgeon) caviar. Much cheaper and saltier is red (salmon) caviar. Russians spread it on buttered bread or bliny  (pancakes) and wash it down with a slug of vodka or a toast of champagne. Most restaurant menus offer a truly mind boggling

array of salati (salads), including standards such as ovoshnoy salat (vegetable salad) containing tomatoes and cucumbers, or stolichny salat (capital salad) with beef, potatoes and eggs in mayonnaise.

First Course

Rich soups may well be the pinnacle of Slavic cooking.  Most are made from meat stock. The most common soups include borscht (delicious beetroot soup), shchi (cabbage or sauerkraut soup), okroskha (cucumber soup with a kvas – a beer-like drink – base) and solyanka (a tasty fish or meat soup with salty vegetables and a hint of lemon).

Second Course

The second course can be ptitsa (poultry), myaso (meat) or ryba (fish), which might be prepared in a few different ways. Russian pelmeni (dumplings) are usually filled with meat, although they may also come with potatoes, cabbage or mushrooms. Other staples include zharkoye (hot pot) – a meat stew served up piping hot in a little jug, kotleta po kievsky (better known as chicken Kiev) and shashlyk (meat kebab), all of which will usually be found on any restaurant menu.

Fish is extremely popular and freshly caught in St Petersburg, either from the Baltic or from Lake Ladoga. The range is enormous, but common staples include osyetrina (sturgeon), shchuka (pike), losos/syomga (salmon) and treska (cod).

Do’s

  • Bring the necessary adaptor  for electronic devises if needed (Russia uses 220v).
  • Experience Moscow and Saint Petersburg’s night life. Moscow and Saint Petersburg are 24-hour cities where life never stops. Many restaurants, bars and clubs work all night. This is a chance to meet nice and friendly people!

Don’ts

  • Don't drink tap water. It's safe for teeth brushing but not good for drinking. It's better to buy some bottled water.

Facts about Russia

Facts about Russia. Part 1.

Facts about Russia. Part 1.

Saint-Petersburg was the capital of the Russian Empire between 1712 and 1918.

Starting from the end of the 15th century Moscow played the leading role in the political, economic and cultural development of Russia, but in 1712 Peter the Great ordered to move the capital to the banks of the Neva. His aim was to built long-term political relations with European countries, to develop trade with ports of western Europe and to establish cultural exchange between Russia and the rest of the world. St-Petersburg, built right on the southern coast of the Gulf of Finland, was destined to become Russia's “window on Europe”.

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Facts about Russia. Part 2.

Facts about Russia. Part 2.

St-Petersburg is the birthplace of Russian porcelain

Porcelain first appeared in China between the 4th and the 6th centuries, in 1710 the first porcelain workshop in Europe was established in Meissen ( Saxony ). The technology involved in the manufacture of chinaware in Meissen was, as in China, a close-locked secret.

Russian chemist Dmitriy Vinogradov discovered the secret of porcelain production in 1746. It was at Vinogradov's pottery shop that first samples of russian-made porcelain appeared. Later on the workshop was expanded and accommodated the Emperial Porcelain Factory.

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Reviews

St. Petersburg and Moscow Tour

St. Petersburg and Moscow Tour

During out trip to Russia we enjoyed both cities – Moscow and St-Petersburg. Everything was very good & the guides were very cooperative.

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