1. Visit in May. We think it’s the best time from price point of view with few people being in museums and hotels. And generally it’s warm.
2. When coming out take with you an umbrella and warm clothes, at least a jacket on a sunny day. About the St. Petersburg’s unpredictable weather read our post here.
3. Beware of icicles and slippery sidewalks in the winter and early spring. About other threats read here.
4. Do not take part in political protests or other political actions. Never know where you’ll end up a protest evening – in a police station or in your bed at a hotel.
5. Don’t neglect the requirements of registration. To know more about getting a permission for a stay read our post here.
6. Reserve at least 3-4 hours for visiting the Hermitage.
7. Take a boat trip.
8. Don’t discuss the theme of World War II and never make any jokes on the subject. If you are involved in a talk about it remember one main thing: USSR made the biggest contribution to the victory over the fascism. The Victory in the Great Patriotic war (1941-1945) is the most important holiday in Russia, being celebrated on May, 9.
9. Avoid visiting the city center on May 9 (The Great Victory day), May 27 (St. Petersburg’s birthday) and the festival “Scarlet sails” (The day of school graduates with evening dancing and night loud celebration) unless you like crowds. There are shows on these days (military parades, concerts, carnival), but the crowds of people will surely prevent you from watching the events. The celebration of the city’s birthday can be put on another day, if May 27 is a week-day.
10. Try to avoid discussing Ukraine-related themes. In Russia, people are generally divided by three categories: those who disapprove the actions of Ukraine authorities referring to them as to “fascists” and support those who seek independence; those who disapprove the independence supporters; those to whom it’s all the same (the largest group, about 90 per cent). You can meet a representative of any of these groups, and it’s good if this one belongs to the third group.
11. Take maps at airport of Pulkovo or tourist information centers containing the names of the streets in Cyrillic and Latin. The reason is that most streets are named only in Cyrillic, and the map only in Cyrillic or only in Latin will not help you much.
12. Read The Guide to St. Petersburg blog regularly and don’t hesitate to ask.
13. Don’t be afraid of Mr. Putin. We’ve seen him, nothing dangerous, really.
If you have any questions about St. Petersburg, ask us here