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The best of St. Petersburg
Written by: Anita Lišková & Todd Shaw
Photo by: www.isifa.com
Situated on the Gulf of Finland and spread over numerous islands
in the Neva Delta, St Petersburg is a city of arched bridges, winding
canals, elegant palaces, impressive squares and ornate churches.
It has an elegance comparable to European capitals, but beguiles
with a Russian charm all its own.
representative, MVM Agency
Favorite hotels: Hotel Moskva, 2 Alexander Nevsky
Ploschad, tel.: +7 812 274 4001
Comfort, 2 Chekhova str., tel.: +7 812 272 5408, - mini-hotel
in the city center
Favorite restaurant: Magrib, Nevsky Prospekt, 84, tel.: +7
812 275 7620 - Japanese, European and Asian cuisine
Favorite shop: Elissevsky, Nevsky Prospekt, 56, tel.: +7 812
Advice: Almost every building in St. Petersburg is a historical
monument. It's one of the most beautiful Russian cities, and
well worth the visit.
representative for Russia, Pumpa
Favorite hotel: Hotel Oktyabrskaya,
Ligovsky Prospekt 10, tel.: +7 812 277 6330
Favorite restaurant: At the Mushketeer's Place Pub, Admiralsky
Prospekt 8, tel.: +7 812 315 8732
Favorite attractions: The Winter Palace, The State Hermitage
Museum or The Summer Palace of Emperor Peter the Great.
Advice: St. Petersburg is centre of russian intelligentsia,
apart from Russian you can speak English, German and
even French there.
|Elena Bílá & Radomír
owners, CK J.R.Tour
Favorite hotel: Corinthia Nevskij Palace Hotel, Nevsky Prospekt
57, tel.: +7 812 380 2001, www.corinthiahotels.com
Favorite restaurant: Le Paris, Bolsaja Morskaya ul. 63, tel.:
+7 812 311 9545, www.leparis.ru
Favorite night club: London club, Nab. Chernoi Rechki 14,
tel.: +7 872 246 2005, www.londonclub.spb.ru
Favorite attractions: If you have a sense of humor, then
try the cruiser Aurora, every day with a different double
Divo-ostrov, entertainment park, www.divo-ostrov.ru
Best-kept secret: Discover the secret corners of the expansive
Russian soul, which often can't be grasped in only one visit.
Advice: Travel without prejudice and keep an open mind, and
your trip to St. Petersburg will pay off. For the first visit,
however, you should enlist the services of a travel agency.
Location: Leningradskaya Oblast, Russia
Dialing Code: 7
Ethnic Mix: Mostly ethnic Russians
Religion: Mostly Russian Orthodox with some other
Christians, Buddhists, Jews and Muslims
Time zone: GMT + 3 (GMT + 4 from last Sunday in March
to last Sunday in October)
Electricity: 220 volts AC, 50 Hz; round two-pin plugs
Average January temp: -7° C (-13° F)
Average July temp: 21° C (70° F)
Annual rainfall: 457mm (18 inches)
Where on the web?
For further information, we suggest the following websites dedicated
to St. Petersburg:
www.saint-petersburg.com/ - a sort of promotional site for this "living
petersburgcity.com/for-tourists/ - a useful little guide, with
info ranging from Visa requirements to an online phrasebook.
www.lonelyplanet.com/destinations/europe/st_petersburg/ - the folks
at Lonely Planet offer a more "insider's“ look at the city's
history and happenings.
www.waytorussia.net/SaintPetersburg/Guide.html - a sombre, well-designed
cache of interesting info and useful links.
=st_petersburg@151 - Fodor's online "mini-guide“ is a user-friendly overview.
o 1.0-liter bottle of mineral water: RUR 15
o 33-cl bottle of beer: RUR 10
o 36-exposure color film: RUR 50
o city-center bus ticket: RUR 5
o adult football ticket: RUR 29
o three-course meal with wine/beer: RUR 250-1000
10 Russian Roubles (RUR 10) = CZK 8.21; EUR 0.26;
GBP 0.18; USD 0.35
(Currency conversion rates as of press time.)
· Formal business etiquette is very important, and both men and
women should wear smart, sombre business suits. Visitors should
start each meeting with a handshake and business card exchange,
printed in both English and Russian. Always wait for the senior
Russian present to start the meeting, and participate only when
invited. Doing some research in advance about everyone at the meeting
is also advised (referring to colleagues by their first name and
patronymic is a reliable way to show some knowledge of Russian
· When shaking hands, foreign businessmen should never extend their
hands to a Russian businesswoman, unless hers is already offered,
as such a gesture is considered very rude.
· Normal office hours are Monday-Friday 10.00-18.00, with a lengthy
lunch break, usually 12.00-14.00, during which no work is done -
even telephones are left unanswered. A business colleague may offer
an invitation for a night on the town or dinner at his/her home.
If invited to a Russian's home, a small gift of wine or flowers (an
even number) is appreciated - and try not to discuss business until
the host initiates it.
· St Petersburg, the second-largest industrial center in Russia,
is a major manufacturing and research hub. The last few years have,
however, seen a major transformation toward modern technologies,
with new industrial leaders emerging, taking over old city-center
factories for conversion, or building new facilities on the eight
industrial zones on the periphery of the city. The main artery
of the city for business is Něvský Prospekt, with most offices
situated on or near it.
· St Petersburg also benefits from having a well-educated workforce,
coupled with world-class educational and research facilities making
it very attractive to inward investment, particularly in the field
of high-tech industries. It is also a major transportation hub
and the country's largest seaport. The leading industries are engineering,
shipbuilding, transport, food processing and paper processing.
Tourism is fast emerging as a chief contributor to the economy.
· Unemployment in the Russian Federation officially stands at 11%.
However, no account is taken of workers who are still registered
with employers but recei-ve no remuneration, as many Russian workers
continue to go to work but receive no pay, and some stop going
to workplaces that do not have the funds to pay their wages, although
they may still officially be on their books.