There you will find the answers for the second half of questions mentioned on the FAQ page.
- Patriotism of citizens
- Rules of politeness
- Side of the road to pass
- Smoking and drinking restrictions
- Toilets in the city
- Tourist offices and helplines
- Wheel-chaired travelers
Russian currency is the ruble. Currency exchanges are made in exchange offices of banks. The exchange points are located throughout and work, as a rule, from 10.00 to 20.00 hours. The most popular exchange office is situated in the city center, close to the big shopping mall Gallery – Центр обмена СКВ Лиговский . There are usually long lines, but they move very quickly. Warning – It is unsafe to exchange money through strangers in the streets or to count money on the street. Also, do not withdraw money from the ATMs standing on the streets, as that may be unsafe.
Advice – if you are going to exchange your money here in St-Petersburg (dollars or euro, it may be problematic to exchange other currency), do not forget that the banknotes from your currency should be clean. They should not be torn, should not be glued, should not have any marks on them , otherwise they will not be exchanged.
Average price: bottle of water in the shop -30 rubles, the ride on the public transport -25-28 rubles, on commercial transport– 36 rubles more. A business lunch with a set of 2-3 courses costs about 300-350 rubles per person. The entrance fee for the museums is about 300-400 rubles.
Patriotism of citizens
Entering the city (if you go from the airport to the place of your destination), you will see some history which will never be forgotten by the Petersburgers.
In order to understand the historical context for the city you should know some important information. For Russians, the war of 1941 – 1945 was the Great Patriotic War. The country was attacked by fascist Germany, but did not concede. Russia won the liberating war in the country and continued fighting in the general World War until the end. This war was liberating for the citizens, although a huge number of people were killed in battles and in the rear. As for St-Petersburg, lots of defenders died because of the famine in the blockade city, which was besieged for more than for 900 days. People still remember this feat of the city which earned St Petersburg hero status.
Petersburgers respectfully honor the memory of the past days. You will see monuments devoted to war everywhere in the city, pay attention to them, as they have great meaning to the city’s residents. For instance, at the entrance to the city there is a monument commemorating the breaking of the blockade. There is a special Stella on the main central street of the city – Nevsky Prospect. On the walls of the buildings there are the signs warning of the shelling.To the top
Rules of politeness
In cafes and shops the sellers and the customers greet each other with the phrase «Здравствуйте» (“Hello”) or доброе утро \ день \ вечер (good morning \ day \ evening), the word «спасибо» means “thank you.” (You can check the pronunciation at the russian-speaking section here).
In the restaurants, cafes, bars (in any places where you get service) a customary tip is 10-15% of the bill, or more if desired. Do not be too shy to thank the waiter for attention. In that way, if you had a great time, your tip is a well-deserved reward for good service.To the top
Side of the road to pass
Due to the rules of the pedestrian moving people should be moving in public places on the right side. If the person is on the escalator, he should stand on the right side and other passengers will pass him by from the left side. The same goes for going up on the escalator.
Advice -some of the traffic lights have a very long waiting time and show a very short time for crossing the road. Don’t panic while crossing the road – you are allowed to finish your walk.To the top
Smoking and drinking restrictions
Due to the last federal law, smoking is not permitted in public places (outdoors, indoors), including the restaurants, in public transport, at the distance of 15 meters to the entrance of any kind of transport stations (train stations, airports, subway halls). Now cigarettes can be bought in the shops only; sometimes you need to ask for them.
The drinking restrictions
It is not allowed to carry an opened bottle of alcohol outdoors. You may carry that in a bag, if you want and drink from the bag or pour the liquid into a glass. The shops sell alcohol to people older than 18 who can prove their age with an id. The time for buying the alcohol is restricted: from 11am to 10pm.To the top
Toilets in the city
In the city you can find the commercial public toilets (they can be of 2 types: the small houses and toilet cabins) and the free public toilets (one of them is located in the big yellow shopping mall “Gostiniy dvor” which stands in the middle of Nevskiy Prospect; another one is in a big shopping mall Galeria).
The food courts in all the shopping malls have free toilets.The fast food places such as McDonalds , KFC, Carl’s Junior are also attracting peoples’ attention for that purpose. The toilets are pronounced practically in the same way as in English; they have the following signs: Туалет, WC, ▲▼.
Tourist offices and tourist helpline
You can always use the tourist 24 hour English speaking helpline. The number is the following: +7(812) 300-33-33 or 8(812) 300-33-33.
The main functions of the help service:
- Providing information about various institutions (consulates, banks, exchange offices);
- Providing information about possible leisure (such as museums, showrooms, galleries, Internet cafes, restaurants, bars, coffee places, clubs, shops, shopping centers, sanatoria, pools, beauty shops etc);
- Transport (taxi call, car rent, any information on city transport);
- The organization of personal services may include escort of a translator, a call for a personal assistant for shopping, being a personal guide, planning sightseeing tours, personal round-the-clock protection, the order and delivery of a bunch of flowers, a call for a personal driver.
- Booking for hotel accommodations, plane tickets, train tickets etc., restaurant reservations, tickets for theatre, opera, cinema, philharmonic, etc.
- The help in emergency situations such as a call for a medical care, a police assistance , consultation in emergency situations, communication with departments: FSB, Federal Border Service, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Emergency Situations, Customs, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) (information is taken with www.ispb.info)
In order to get the map of the city or some extra printed information, you can go to one of the tourist offices at the following addresses:
- площадь Растрелли (8.30-16.00, Mon-Fr);
- Дворцовая площадь (10.00-19.00, daily);
- Аэропорт Пулково (10.00-19.00, daily);
- Кронверская набережная, напротив Петропавловской крепости (10.00-19.00, daily);
- Исаакиевская площадь (10.00-19.00, daily);
- Площадь Восстания (10.00-19.00, daily);
- Пассажирский порт «Морской Фасад» (9.00-18.00, daily from May to September).
From the list of city museums only the Hermitage, the Russian Museum, the Mikhailovsky Castle, Marble Palace, Erarta, Anna Akhmatova Museum in Fountain House have elevators and lifting devices for wheelchairs. Some stations of subways have the special accommodations (the list is there)To the top
I will be glad if you find this information useful for your trip or the trips of your friends. It will be easy to find the information if you share the article. Enjoy your trip!