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FAQs For Visiting Saint-Petersburg, Russia

Aug 17, 2007
Where is the city of Saint-Petersburg?

- Saint-Petersburg is located in Russia's Northwestern Federal District. The city rests on the delta of the Neva River, which is on the east end of the Gulf of Finland.

Wasn't Saint-Petersburg called something else before?

- Yes. The city of Saint-Petersburg was previously called Leningrad. Before that, the city was known as Petrograd.

I am visiting Saint-Petersburg in the autumn, how should I dress?

- The season of autumn in Saint-Petersburg is rainy and cool. It is not advisable to wear light cotton pants and short sleeve shirts, consider bringing a light jacket and a coat for the evening hours. The autumn tends to bring rain showers, so be sure to bring an umbrella as well. Autumn lasts from September to December.

I am visiting Saint-Petersburg in the winter, how should I dress?

- Late December brings winter to Saint-Petersburg and lasts through the month of March. The winter is extremely cold, usually around freezing temperatures with lots of snow and wind. Be sure to bring warm winter clothes, gloves, hats, scarves, and a coat. It is also important to make sure that your feet stay warm, so don't forget the wool socks and boots.

I am visiting Saint-Petersburg in the spring, how should I dress?

- Saint-Petersburg in the spring is a beautiful time to visit. From late March to late May, the spring can be quite chilly and even bring light snow. Be prepared for fair weather as well as cold nights. It is advisable to bring both a light jacket and a winter coat.

I am visiting Saint-Petersburg in the summer, how should I dress?

- Summertime in Saint-Petersburg lasts from the beginning of June to the end of August. The weather is mild making shorts and short-sleeves acceptable for daywear. Always remember pants and a light jacket for the evenings.

What airports are in or near Saint-Petersburg?

- There are two airports in the area of Saint-Petersburg. Pulkovo II International and Pulkovo I Domestic are commonly used airports.

Is there a seaport in or near Saint-Petersburg?

- Yes, the seaport features a passenger terminal on Vasilievsky Island.

What is there to do in Saint-Petersburg?

- There is plenty of history and culture to take in when visiting Saint-Petersburg including, but certainly not limited to the Hermitage Museum, the Mariinsky Opera and Ballet Theater, the Imperial palace, and many beautiful cathedrals including Trinity Cathedral and Smolny Cathedral. If you are visiting Saint-Petersburg in May, June or July, chances are high you'll experience the so-called "white nights" phenomenon, when twilight lasts all night long.

Are there any monuments to see while in Saint-Petersburg?

- Absolutely! In fact, Saint-Petersburg is home to many famous monuments. There is the monument to Catherine the Great, located in Ostrovsky Square. For the literature lover, the monument to Fiodor Dostoyevsky is located just off Vladimirskaya Square (and just a block away from the Dostoyevsky Museum). The city is also home to the famous Moscow Gate and monuments to Peter the Great, Nicholas I, Goethe, and Gogol. Make sure you visit the Rostral Columns, the Bronze Horseman and the Alexander Column, which join the list of the most famous Saint-Petersburg monuments.

I've heard about Saint-Petersburg's famous bridges? Are they worth seeing?

- The bridges in the city are architecturally stunning. The longest bridge in Saint-Petersburg is the Nevsky Bridge, measuring in at almost 906 meters. Other notable bridges include the Anichkov Bridge, the Bank Bridge, the Blue Bridge, and the Palace Bridge, to name a few.

How are the parks and gardens in Saint-Petersburg?

- The city is home to many gorgeous gardens and parks in which both locals and tourists enjoy spending their time. The Alexander Garden, named for Czar Alexander II, is the centrally located and features a musical fountain. The Botanical Garden features more than 12,000 species and varieties of plants, including the Queen of the Night, which blooms only once a year. Be sure to check out the Leningrad Zoo and Catherine Gardens as well. Summer Garden is the oldest and still the most attractive park in Saint-Petersburg, the plan of which was drawn by Peter the Great.

I'd like to go to a museum in Saint-Petersburg. Are there any?

- There is a reason that the city is often called the "Gorod Muzei", or "the city museum". Saint-Petersburg is filled with museums showcasing art and history. When in town, be sure to visit the Academy of Fine Arts Museum, the Hermitage Museum, the Dostoyevsky Memorial Museum, and the Cottage Palace before you go! The Russian Museum, Russian Ethnography Museum and the Kunstkammer also attract thousands of tourists all year round.
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