There is a new attraction in St. Petersburg. A helium-filled balloon rises to the height of 150 meters (circa 492 feet) over the city center to provide you a breathtaking view of some of St. Petersburg’s main sightseeings. The balloon, launched this week, operates in the winter and is reported to be the only attraction of this kind in Europe active throughout the year.
The balloon run by Aerolift company is located a bit outside of the historical center of St. Petersburg, in front of the Saint Petersburg hotel (address below), which, perhaps, doesn’t affect the view from above as you are anyway in the city let alone the fact that the height of 150 m. makes it possible to see almost any part of the city.
What you will see: the Peter and Paul fortress, the Isaac’s Cathedral, the cruiser Aurora (an iconic symbol of the 1917 Russian Revolution), the Spit of the Vasilievsky island, the Neva river, the streets of historic city center, the Mosque, the Smolny Cathedral.
The gondola accommodates up to 17 persons. The balloon operates every day during the daylight hours with the speed of wind being no more than 10 m/s. There are some rules to obey while onboard, but they are not much specific, mostly relate to common sense.
Ticket offices are located on the ground floor of the hotel Saint Petersburg. Open 10.00 – 20.00.
Times for ascending and descending: 15-20 minutes, observation time – 15-20 minutes.
Regarding the safety the company says that the attraction is absolutely safe with all the required papers and permissions obtained (getting the approval took four years). An interesting fact: the balloon is officially an aerial vehicle with its “driver” being called a “pilot” and a trip being called a flight. This definitely gives some taste of the romantic appeal.
Opening hours: 10.00 – 20.00
Address of ticket-offices and the balloon: 5/2, Pirogovskaya embankment. The nearest subway station is Ploshad Lenina.
Cost of a flight: adults – 1000 rubles (about $17), children – 500 rubles (older than 5 years or higher than 110 cm), children under 5 years or lower than 110 cm – free.
P.S. You can see pictures of the city taken from Aerolift here.