Worth knowing and ideas for your own excursion in the historical tsar city.
- Regular berth: Marine Facade
- Regular berth: Blagoveshchensky Bridge
- Port shuttle: not available/necessary
- Taxis: usually available at the piers
- Public Transport: very well developed route network with bus, tram and underground
- Car rental*: Sixt, at Pulkovo airport
- Car rental*: Avis, at Pulkovo airport
- Car rental*: Rent Motors, at Pulkovo airport
- Post office: Ploshchad’ Truda 4b, near the Blagoveshchensky Bridge
- Tourist-Info: at the Cruise Terminal and the Cathedral of Saint Isaac
- Banks and ATMs: in the Cruise Terminal and in the centre of Saint Petersburg
For the excursions of Meine Landausflüge the visa for St. Petersburg is already included.
- Entry regulations
In order to be able to move freely in St. Petersburg without a guide, you must have a valid visa in addition to your passport. This must be applied for in good time before the start of the cruise at the responsible Russian embassy or consulate. As a rule, proof of existing health insurance is also required upon entry. On the other hand, a visa is not mandatory for organized excursions and in connection with a boat trip. Usually, the tour providers like to take care of the formalities and with a timely application/booking, one gets a so-called tour ticket with which one is allowed to enter Russian soil during a guided excursion. Thus, one is not forced to book an expensive excursion of the shipping company and can also choose some cheaper excursions. A small selection of visa-free excursions can be found on this port info page. If not already laid out visa-free, you can then select in the shopping cart for the desired excursion the option "Visa free tour with one round transfer" book in addition. Information on general entry requirements can be obtained from Russian Embassy.
- Berths of the cruise liners
St. Petersburg's western outskirts on Vasilievsky Island is the port of call for many large cruise ships. The somewhat remote cruise port Marine Facade provides up to seven berths with four terminal buildings for the sea travellers. In the respective cruise terminal, there are tourist information offices, souvenir shops, ATMs with currency exchange function and at least one post box. At the port there is a bus stop of the line 158, which takes you into the city every 30 minutes. Another berth is available in the city, quite close to the centre, at the Blagoveshchensky Bridge. But this berth at the English bank can only be used by the smaller cruise ships. From there, one can easily reach many sightseeings on foot.
- Public Transport
St. Petersburg has a very well developed public transport network, which consists of metro, tram, bus and trolley-bus. The tram network of the metropolis is today considered the fourth longest in the world and is divided into 43 lines. Numerous buses and trolley buses extend the extensive public transport network. The fare for tram, bus and trolleybus is currently 30 roubles per person and must be paid directly to the conductor after boarding. If the conductor is not there, the costs are paid by the bus driver. You will receive a ticket which loses its validity as soon as you leave the respective means of transport. This means that when changing buses or when starting the next journey, a new ticket has to be bought. The bus stops are marked with a big "A", those of the trolley buses with a big "T".
The Metro of Saint Petersburg is considered as a very fast and popular means of transportation, which also has very nice underground stations and is also known as the deepest underground of the world. Currently, 67 stations are served, among which the partly very pompous stations of line 1 are specially worth seeing. The network of the subway extends over a total length of 113,6 kilometres and is divided into 5 lines that run on average in a depth of 60 to 65 metres. The deepest station is the Admiralteiskaja (Адмиралтейская) with 102 meters below the surface. Trains run daily on average every one to two minutes and in the time from 05:30-00:30. On Russian holidays, operations do not stop at night.
- Metro fares
The Metro fares are a little more expensive. For single trips, tokens are used that are available at the cash desks and automats of the respective stations and cost 45 roubles, thus approximately 0,65 euros. The token is then simply inserted at the turnstile/barrier and then gives access to the subway. A new chip is not necessary again after a trip until one has left a station on foot. Otherwise you can get in and out as often as you like. For longer stays in St. Petersburg, the Smart-Card Podoroschnik (Подорожник) may be useful. This card costs a one-time fee of 60 rubles and can be loaded with various tariffs, such as 10, 20 or 40 multiple trips. However, it is difficult for several people to use the card, as the cards are always blocked for 10 minutes after a debit/use.
- Official taxis
Taxis are not uncommon in the metropolis, but their use can be challenging due to a lack of or insufficient knowledge of Russian. The official taxis can be obtained almost
exclusively by telephone. The expected fare for the planned route and the license plate number of the vehicle are given in advance. The taxi drivers then know, even on arrival, where the journey
is to go. Moreover, one can assume to be transported in a vehicle that is technically ok. The costs amount to an average of 10 roubles per minute. Rarely it is possible to get a free vehicle on
the open road.
- Private cabs
It can be different with one of the many illegal taxis. Usually these are private drivers who want to earn a few rubles on the side with their vehicle. Usually it doesn't take very long until someone stops at the side of the road, after you have raised your arm. The prices are based on the official rates, but the drivers themselves determine the final amount. Therefore, you should agree on the final price before you start driving. It is not seldom the case, that tourists have to pay higher prices than the locals. Be careful if there are already several people in the car or the condition of the car makes a bad impression. Occasionally criminals take the opportunity and robberies occur. In general, one should also listen to one's gut feeling and not just get into the car with everyone.
- Neva bridges
Innumerable bridges span the course of the Neva, its tributaries, the Moika and the surrounding canals. The most important ones are flipped up at night to allow unhindered passage for shipping traffic. This means a restricted freedom of movement in the streets of the city, but on the other hand it also provides some great photo motives. The first bridge opens at 01:25 am and the last one is closed at 05:45 am. Usually the bridges are opened and closed daily at fixed times. For example, every night from 02:20-05:10 the Alexander-Newski-Bridge, from 02:00-05:00 the Bolscheochtinski-Bridge, from 02:20-05:30 the Finljandski-Bridge, from 01:40-04:45 the Litejny-Bridge and from 01:35-04:50 the Troizkij-Bridge are opened.
Here the visa for St. Petersburg is already included.
Excursion offers with "Back to ship on time Guarantee" from
One of the most important art museums in the world is located in St. Petersburg directly on the Neva River. This is the Hermitage, which is now housed in the
walls of the Winter Palace and four other adjacent buildings. These include the Winter Palais (Winter Palace), the Small Hermitage, the New Hermitage, the Old Hermitage and the
Hermitage Theatre. The mighty, magnificent building complex was used for decades as the tsar's residence. A good three million exhibits are kept in the museum's archives, of which around 65,000
are presented in six permanent exhibitions. The exhibition area extends to 350 rooms, which in turn are spread over three floors. The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10:30-18:00 o'clock.
Wednesday and Friday are open three hours longer and are closed on Mondays. The regular entrance fee for the entire exhibition is 700 rubles per person. Schoolchildren and students will receive a
free ticket upon presentation of appropriate proof at the ticket office. On the first Thursday of every month and on December 7, admission to the museum is generally free. As there are long
queues at the cash desks, especially in the summer months, one is well advised to buy the tickets in advance. It is not allowed to bring any food and drinks, a thing that is also controlled at
the entrances. A cafeteria is available for a small snack.
- Palace Square
Directly at the Winter Palace, on the side facing away from the Neva, is the largest and most important square in the city. The spacious Palace Plaza, in the centre of which there is a huge column, is surrounded by impressive buildings and has already been several times in the history books. For example, when in 1905 demonstrators were shot down and it became part of the October Revolution of 1917. The mighty Alexander's Column in the middle of the square was inaugurated in 1834 in honour of Emperor Alexander I. It is 47.5 metres high, weighs 600 tons and was made from a single piece of red marble. To the southeast, the palace square is bordered by the mighty facade of the General Staff buildings, which are centrally connected by a 27-metre-high double triumphal arch with a Roman quadriga.
- Nevsky prospectus
Only a few meters south of the Palace Square begins the 4.5 kilometer long Nevsky Prospectus. Originally designed only as a conventional connecting street between the Alexander Nevsky Monastery and the Admiralty, the magnificent boulevard is now one of the most famous streets in Russia and houses a variety of different shops, department stores such as the Gostiny Dvor, museums, cinemas, restaurants and cafés. Here you can find almost everything your heart desires and can be bought for roubles. In addition to exclusive boutiques, there are also small shops and stalls with all kinds of handicrafts. For example, it is no problem to have one or more of the popular matryoshkas packed for the journey home. There are a total of six subway stations at the Nevsky-Prospekt, whereby the green line 3 runs almost parallel to it. In addition, the buses and trolley buses of many lines run on the important road in St. Petersburg.
- St. Isaac's Cathedral
The largest cathedral in St. Petersburg has a gilded main dome with a diameter of 26 metres, is 101.5 metres high and can hold up to 10,000 people. Mighty 112 columns of red granite, each made of one stone, found their traditional place here during construction. This means the Isaac's Cathedral, which is located at the Isaac's place and can be reached from the central Palace Place in about 10 minutes on foot. The extremely impressive cathedral was built during a long construction phase from 1818 to 1858 on the remains of a massive predecessor building. The interior is very beautifully arranged and richly decorated. On the roof, a viewing platform leads around the large dome and provides great views of the roofs of the city. The access for this is exclusively via stairs and costs 150 rubles per person. The cathedral itself is accessible after paying a fee of 250 rubles per person. The Cathedral of Saint Isaac is open to interested visitors daily except Wednesdays, from 10:30-18:00.
- Peter and Paul Fortress
The origins of the city can be traced back to the Hare Island, which lies in the riverbed of the Neva. In 1703 the construction of the Peter and Paul Fortress was started here and with it St. Petersburg was founded. After its completion, the fortress was mainly used as a prison for political prisoners. The Peter and Paul Cathedral on the site, with its unmissable 122.5-metre-high gilded steeple, is one of the tallest buildings in St. Petersburg and today houses the last resting places of the tsar's family. In honour of Tsar Alexander II and his wife, their sarcophagi were made of red and green marble, the others are in noble white. Today, several museums can also be found within the mighty fortress walls. Every day at 12:00 o'clock traditionally a shot is fired from a cannon of the Naryshkin Bastion. In addition, every Saturday from May to October at 11:45 a.m. there is a change of guard, which is worth seeing, and sometimes it is moved to Sunday. The area of the Peter and Paul Fortress is accessible daily from 06:00-20:00 hours free of charge. There is a charge for visiting the interior of the Peter and Paul Cathedral and the museums. Single tickets are available for adults from 100 rubles per person and the available combined tickets can cost up to 450 rubles depending on the scope. Audio guides are also available for rent at the ticket offices, who speak five other languages in addition to German. The Peter and Paul Cathedral is open Wednesday to Saturday and on Monday from 10:00-18:00. On Tuesday it closes one hour earlier and on Sunday it opens one hour later. The local museums open their doors Thursday to Tuesday from 11:00-18:00 and are closed every Wednesday.
- Leningrad Zoo
Not far from the Peter and Paul Fortress, the city zoo is only a few minutes' walk away. The Leningrad Zoo, also known as the Leningradsky Zoopark, is located at Alexandrovsky Park 1 and thus in the historical center of St. Petersburg. It was opened in 1865 and today it houses about 2000 animals of more than 600 different species on an area of 7.5 hectares. It is open daily from 10:00-17:00. Adults from the age of 18 are charged an entrance fee of 500 rubles. Children and teenagers from 7 to 18 years pay 200 rubles each and children under 7 years are admitted free of charge.
- Artillery Museum
Directly next to the zoo, at Alexandrowski Park 7, there is a huge complex of buildings in the shape of a horseshoe. There you can find the Military
History Artillery Museum, which is one of the largest military museums in the world. Already in the freely accessible inner courtyard some rocket launchers, tanks and howitzers can be
visited. There is more to discover inside the building. The exhibition rooms and halls worth seeing are open Wednesday to Sunday from 11:00-18:00. Closed every Monday, Tuesday and the last
Thursday of every month. The entrance fee for adults is 200 rubles each.
- One of the first houses
Near the mighty Peter and Paul Fortress is one of the first and oldest houses in the city. It refers to a former accommodation of Tsar Peter
I., which today functions as a museum. The rather small log house was built within three days in May 1703. To protect it from the weather and to preserve it for posterity, it was later
rebuilt with a massive stone building. In the three rooms of the house today some personal belongings of Peter the Great (2.04 metres) are on display. Open is Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to
Sunday in the time from 10:00-18:00. On Thursday, visitors are admitted from 13:00-21:00 and closed on Tuesday. Also, the doors of the small house remain closed towards the end of the month, on
the last Monday. The regular entrance fee for adults is 200 rubles each.
- Battleship Aurora
If you follow the shore road in an easterly direction, you will find a side arm of the Neva not far from the house of Peter the Great. Here, near the main
stream, lies moored the symbol of the October Revolution of 1917, the armoured Cruiser Aurora. The former warship of the Russian Navy, now used as a museum ship, was last
extensively restored in Kronstadt between 2014 and 2016, after which it returned to its original berth in St. Petersburg. The impressive and historically significant Aurora can also be visited
from the inside, Wednesday to Sunday from 11:00-18:00 o'clock. For this, adults pay an entrance fee of 600 rubles and children 400 rubles each. On Monday and Tuesday, the ship is closed and can
only be visited from the outside.
- Park areas
In the centre of St. Petersburg there are extensive parks close to each other, which are also beautifully designed and well maintained. The Summer Garden, the Mars Field and the Mikhailovsky Garden, for example, invite you to take relaxing walks, which can easily be integrated into a trip on your own. In the northern part of the Summer Garden is the Summer Palace of Peter the Great, which was inhabited exclusively during the warm summer months. The Martian field bordering to the west consists to a large extent of lawns that are crossed by many paths. In the middle of the area, a memorial was erected in 1920 on the mass grave located there, which commemorates the fallen of the February Revolution of 1917. In 1957, an eternal flame was also lit at this place. At the edge of the Michailowski Garden, and close to the Michailowski Square, there are several interesting sightseeings, as for example the Saint Michael's Castle, the Russian Museum, the Philharmonic Orchestra Saint Petersburg, the Michailowski Theatre and the famous Blood Church.
- Blood Church
On 1 March 1881, Tsar Alexander II, who was in office at the time, was murdered on the site of the Blood Church. Thereupon, his son Alexander III had this imposing building with onion domes erected in memory of his father, modelled on the Moscow St. Basil's Cathedral. The elaborate action took a long construction period, which lasted from 1883 to 1912. The building that is also known as the Church of Resurrection or the Church of the Redeemer belongs to the most important sightseeings of Russia and should be on the list during an excursion on one's own initiative. The exterior alone, with its filigree mosaics, is a real splendour. The Blutkirche is open daily except Wednesdays from 11:00-19:00.
- Mikhailovsky Palace
Not far from the Church of the Redeemer, at Inschenernaja Street 4, you will find an extensive art collection with over 400,000 exhibits. Most of them are housed in the large Mikhailovsky Palace, which is now used by the Russian Museum. Inside, various, partly significant works of art from the past centuries are exhibited. But also, the impressive palace itself, with the garden that runs behind the building, is worth seeing. The construction of the Mikhailovsky Palace took 6 years and began in 1819, and from 1895 to 1898 the rooms and halls were redesigned to use the premises as a museum from then on. Only the spacious entrance area and the White Hall were spared from the conversion work and instead were extensively renovated. Today, the White Hall on the upper floor is in its original condition, along with the complete, former and reconstructed furnishings. A souvenir shop, as well as a restaurant, are open to visitors. It is open Monday from 10:00-20:00, Wednesday and Friday to Sunday from 10:00-18:00. On Thursday visitors are admitted from 13:00-21:00 and closed on Tuesday. The regular entrance fee for adults is 450 rubles each. Audio guides can be hired at the Russian Museum for 350 rubles each and can also speak German and English.
- Mikhailovsky Castle
Under the direction of the Russian Museum, there is not only the Mikhailovsky Palace but also the neighbouring Mikhailovsky Castle, which is also called the Engineers' Castle. The Marble Palace, the Stroganov Palace, the first house of Peter the Great and his summer palace are also part of the Russian Museum. The Mikhailovsky Palace was commissioned by Tsar Paul I and built from 1797 to 1801. Shortly after moving in, the Tsar was murdered, the family moved out again immediately and the building has been empty for almost 20 years. From 1820, the building continued to be used as the main engineering school. Permanent exhibitions of the Russian Museum today mainly show portrait paintings and sculpture portraits. From time to time there are also special exhibitions. The museum is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday to Sunday from 10:00-18:00. On Thursday visitors are admitted from 13:00-21:00 and on Tuesday the museum is closed.
- Stroganov Palace
Also part of the Russian Museum is the Stroganov Palace located at Nevsky Prospekt 17. The building was completed in 1754, was occupied by the Stroganov family and remained their property until 1917, when it finally came into state hands. At the beginning of the 1990s it was transferred to the Russian Museum, which has been presenting various permanent exhibitions there since 1995. On the ground floor of the enormous building, mainly changing special exhibitions and a waxworks cabinet are on display. In the inner courtyard there is a small restaurant. It is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday to Sunday in the time from 10:00-18:00 o'clock. On Thursday visitors are allowed to enter the museum from 13:00-21:00 and it is closed on Tuesday.
- Kazan Cathedral
Not far from the Stroganov Palace and also located at the famous Nevsky Prospect, the Kazan Cathedral can be found. The construction of the second largest church of Saint Petersburg took ten years and was finished in 1811. During the planning and the construction work, the design was strongly oriented on the St. Peter's Cathedral in Rome. The two side wings are supported by a total of 96 columns, each thirteen metres high. Initially also used as a place of worship, the building soon became a collection point for war trophies from the Russian campaign of 1812 with the victory over Napoleon that ended later. From 1932, the Museum of the History of Religion and Atheism moved into a few rooms, which were then used by the Museum of the History of Religion, from 1990 onwards. Admission to Kazan Cathedral is free of charge and services are held daily at 10:00 and 18:00.
Situated on the Gulf of Finland and about 30 kilometres west of St. Petersburg, the former summer residence of the Russian Tsars can be found. The extensive grounds of Peterhof were finally opened unfinished in 1723, after 9 years of construction, and consist mainly of the Great Palace, the Upper Garden and the Lower Park. With an area of more than 100 hectares, the Lower Park takes up the largest part of the area. All in all, the park and garden areas of the Peterhof are stylishly arranged and are in a very well-kept condition. Again and again, you will come across various statues, smaller buildings and great water systems with fountains, which are created by natural water pressure and can be constantly supplied with water without additional pumps. The biggest water feature was installed between the centrally located palace and the 400 meter long sea channel. The Great Cascade overcomes a height difference of fifteen metres, pouring impressively into the water basin in front of the dead straight channel. Some water fountains in the park area are not immediately noticeable and can unexpectedly wet the visitors. So, for example, one should be a little more attentive if one wants to stay dry, as there is a small oak tree with tulips and a white bench.
- Admission to Peterhof
Access to the Peterhof parking areas is permitted daily from 09:00-20:00 hrs. On Saturday also until 21:30 o'clock. In the winter months from
October to April the park closes earlier and all water features are closed. During this time, admission to the Lower Park is free of charge and to the Upper Garden is free of charge all year
round. The regular entrance fee during the summer months is 750 roubles per person. If you leave the Lower Park, the ticket you have bought is no longer valid. The Grand Palace is not accessible
to visitors during the winter months. During the summer season, it is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:30-19:00 and on Saturdays until 21:00 o'clock. For this, an additional 700 rubles per
person must be paid. Days off, however, are every Monday and the last Tuesday of a month. The other museums and exhibitions on the complex have different opening hours and entrance
- Catherine Palace
Located south of St. Petersburg in Pushkin, about 32 kilometers from the moorings, you can find the Catherine Palace with the famous reconstruction of the Amber Room. The original Amber Room was dismantled during the Second World War and is still considered lost today. The former tsar's residence is surrounded by extensive, magnificently designed parks and gardens, which cover a total area of around 600 hectares. The Catherine Palace itself was commissioned by Catherine I, the wife of Peter the Great, and was first completed in 1785. Besides numerous rooms and halls worth seeing, the Pushkin Museum can be explored in a side wing of the huge palace. Visitors can explore the palace Monday from 10:00-20:00 and Wednesday to Sunday from 10:00-17:00. It is closed on holidays, Tuesdays and additionally on the last Monday of each month.
- Excursion portals and excursion providers
Through the tour and excursion providers GetYourGuide*, Meine Landausflüge* and Viator*, you can book various excursions, activities, tours, tickets and admission tickets, which are often offered at much lower prices than comparable excursions offered by the shipping companies. This makes it easy to realize a variety of excursions on your own.
A small preselection of independent excursion offers
for, in and around St. Petersburg
we have compiled for you, here.
For cruise guests partly bookable with visa-free option and German or English speaking tour guide. If not already visa-free, you can usually book the option "Visa-free tour with a round transfer" in the shopping cart for the desired excursion.
- Cruises and special offers
If you have not yet booked a cruise, but would like to get to know St. Petersburg personally and go on excursions on your own, you will find great offers from the major cruise operators in the German-speaking world. Aida*, Costa* and Tui Cruises - Mein Schiff* offer attractive routes with their modern cruise ships, together with other interesting destinations. Book your next dream holiday directly with the shipping company at fair conditions.
All ocean and river cruises can also be booked conveniently and inexpensively online with the sea travel specialist Kreuzfahrten-Zentrale Astoria*. This means that you can choose from a wide range of up-to-date offers from various shipping companies. These include AIDA Cruises, Carnival, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean and TUI Cruises. Also attractive are the popular special offers, with which one can travel at a particularly low price and possibly also get a great bargain.
- Opening hours of the museums: Monday, Wednesday and Sunday from 10:00-18:00. Tuesdays are mostly closed.
- Opening hours of the post office: Monday to Friday from 09:00-17:00
- Opening hours of the banks: Monday to Thursday from 09:30-17:00 and on Friday from 09:30-16:00
- Opening hours of the tourist information office: Monday to Sunday from 10:00-19:00. In the Cruise Terminal after arrival of a cruise ship.
- Opening hours of the shops: Monday to Sunday from 10:00-20:00. Larger shops often close at 22:00 o'clock.
- Country code: +7
- Taxi St. Petersburg: Tel. +7 (812) 324-7777, 068 (068)
- Taxi St. Petersburg: Tel. +7 (911) 757-9877 (Daily Express)
- Taxi St. Petersburg: Tel. +7 (812) 600-8888 (New Yellow Taxi)
- Taxi St. Petersburg: Tel. +7 (812) 777-1777 (Taxi 777)
- Taxi St. Petersburg: Tel. +7 (812) 643-4273 (Welcome Taxi)
- General emergency call: Tel. 112
- Police: Tel. 102
- Emergency doctor: Tel. 103
- Fire department: Tel. 101
- Recommended vaccination: Tropical Institute Russia
- Safety information: Federal Foreign Office Russia
- Buses: Avtobus St. Petersburg
- Metro: Metro St. Petersburg (engl)
- Line network: Metro St. Petersburg
- Map of the city: St. Petersburg Map
- Climatic table: Saint Petersburg Climate
- Port occupancy: Cruise ships in St. Petersburg
- Official language: Russian
- National currency: Rubles, 1 Ruble = 100 Kopeks. Only the new banknotes and coins in circulation since 1998 are accepted.