St. Petersburg is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and one of the most touristy in Russia, if you are planning to visit it, you will be interested in knowing which are the best areas to stay in St. Petersburg , read on and we will explain you how to stay in St. Petersburg and give you some tips.
St. Petersburg or the City of St. Peter was founded in 1703 – the beginning of the Age of Enlightenment – by Tsar Peter the Great, precisely to bring Russia closer to Western Europe with a modern city that became, in fact, the capital of the Russian Empire.
This capital lasted more than 200 years until 1918, after the Russian Revolution, the capital was moved to Moscow, during those two centuries the city was called St. Petersburg to Petrograd between 1914 and 1924 and then, after Lenin’s death, Leningrad , to recover its original name in 1991, after the dismemberment of the Soviet Union.
St. Petersburg is the second most populated city in Russia , with just over five million inhabitants, is bathed by the Baltic Sea and has many canals linking the river Snow with the sea, which has led to St. Petersburg is considered the Venice of the North.
This is not an exaggeration, firstly because the city sits on an area of marshes and, secondly, because it has more than 300 bridges over numerous canals and the river Nevá itself.
All this history and these attractions caused that in 1990, the UNESCO declared World Heritage Site the old city, an area that brings together the districts that we will talk about below and the characteristics of their accommodation.
St. Petersburg, besides being a tourist city, is a population with great economic and industrial activity due to the export sector of gas and oil.Therefore, especially in high season (from May to September), the demand for accommodation exceeds the supply.
If you visit the city in these months, it is advisable to book at least a couple of months in advance to get the best prices and, even, not to run out of rooms.If you want to find a good place for to sleep in St. Petersburg keep it in mind.
In a more detailed way, the months with the highest number of visitors are May and June , weeks with the highest concentration of events such as the White Nights Festival, close to the summer solstice where the sun hardly sets all day for several days and when, due to flood of visitors , the prices of accommodation reach their maximum.
Beyond the high season, the tourist industry in the city makes a great effort to get the maximum number of visitors with considerably lower prices and secure availability of places.
The accommodation in St. Petersburg consists of four main types: the hotel conventional from 1 to 5 stars; the tourist apartments in residential houses; the mini hotel is – composed of hostels and pensions – and, generally, fitted out in old residential buildings, and the hostels , ideal option for groups and with the most economical prices but shared bathrooms and rooms and not always with kitchens.
As for the average prices, the most expensive ones are located in the central area , around Isaac\’s Cathedral, especially because in this part of the city -the most monumental one- there are the highest category hotels with four and five stars.
The best areas to stay in St. Petersburg
When choosing one area or another, especially if you want to enjoy the centre and at night, you should take into account that the river Nevá surrounds the tourist area of St. Petersburg on the west and north side and, during the summer, Between 1 and 5 in the morning, the bridges that connect the eastern and western areas and the north of the island with the mainland are raised to allow the transit of boats, leaving the historical center isolated by road with the areas beyond the river Nevá .
This must be taken into account if accommodation is booked on the eastern or northern side of the river Nevá, where the cheapest accommodation is located .
The best areas to stay in St. Petersburg are concentrated in three main areas: the historical center on the mainland, the oldest area, where the biggest tourist attractions are located, which corresponds to the districts of Tsentralny and Admiralteyskiy ; the island of Vasileostrovsky district , in the northwest; and the island of Petrogradskiy , in the north.
The most visited district, with the largest number of restaurants and leisure areas is Tsentralny, surrounded by the river Nevá to the west and north and the Obvodny Canal to the south.
You will find mini hotels for around 30 euros a night, hostels for 15 euros per person or four star hotels further west in the district for prices up to 50 euros in the low season prices increase significantly .
In addition to Nevsky Avenue, this district has other places of great interest such as the Hermitage Museums and Theatres, facing the river Nevá and in the palatial area of the city; the Church of the Saviour on the Spilled Blood, or the beautiful, neat and baroque Smolny Cathedral, to the northeast.
This is the first district you should look at when looking for an area where sleeps in San Petersbrugo .You will have everything: you will be in the center, tourist attractions, shopping, bars and restaurants, and places to go out for a drink.
– Accommodation in Tsentralny
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West of Tsentralny is Admiralteyskiy, another district with large influx of tourists , somewhat quieter and with less accommodation available.This is the oldest part of the old town and where you will find monuments like St. Isaac\’s Cathedral, Moika\’s Palace or Mariinski Theatre.
The district is crossed by three canals, the river Fontanka to the south, and the river Nevá itself to the north, making it the ideal place to sail its waters in small boats, an attraction and an area that, precisely, makes St. Petersburg known as the «Venice of the North».
In this case, although the tourist offer is still very varied , the average price is higher, especially in the area around the Cathedral of St. Isaac. To find more affordable prices, you should be located in the southern part of the district, around the Canal Obvodnyy , where there are a good number of mini hotels and apartments for prices up to 15 euros per room in low season.
Both Tsentralny and Admiralteyskiy are the best options for to stay in St. Petersburg so if you find something that suits you in these areas don’t keep looking.
– Admiralteyskiy accommodation
The fork of the river Nevá in several courses creates several islands north of the city, and one of them is the island Vasiliesvky that belongs, together with other smaller islands, to the district Vesileostrovskiy.
This area, more residential than the south and populated by students, has several four and five star hotels in the east, around the Ménshikov Palace, while the most common accommodation is tourist apartments spread all over the island.
Both the usual accommodation and the apartments have an average price lower than in the central area , on the other side of the river. It is a recommended area to stay in St. Petersburg for visitors who do not want to be in busy places, and have accommodation somewhat cheaper than in the center.
– Accommodation in Vasilieostrovskiy
The other big tourist district of the city is Petrogradskiy, which unites to several islands of which Petrogradskiy itself is the main one.As with Vesileostrovskiy, the number of accommodations is significantly lower than in the central area, with only one five-star hotel.
90% of the accommodations are apartments and mini hotels and the highest density is concentrated on Bolshoy Avenue and in the southern part of the island, around the War Museum.It is also worth mentioning the Fortress Island of St. Peter and St. Paul, the Botanical Garden of the city, the Leningrad Zoo or the islands to the north that have several leisure and theme parks.
It is a district suitable for sleeping in St. Petersburg essentially for families and quiet stays.
– Accommodation in Petrogradskiy
Cheap accommodation in St. Petersburg
There are four aspects that influence the price of accommodation in St. Petersburg .the first and very important is the time of travel.For example, mini hotels in the central area can vary in price from 30 euros per room in low season to several times in high season , especially in the summer months when St. Petersburg receives 70% of tourists all year round.
The second aspect that reduces the price of accommodation is the area where it is located.In general, it should be remembered that the tourism sector in St. Petersburg is relatively young, and that there are still hotels from the Soviet era, which have not been remodelled and are usually in the most peripheral areas. These are usually the cheapest, but the service is of lower quality.
A third aspect that influences the price of accommodation is whether it is contracted together with a tourist package with a flight included or it is done individually.doing it with tourist package can reduce the cost of accommodation enormously although choosing the area is more complicated and, as the summer approaches, the cheaper offers move away from the centre.
If you are looking for cheap accommodation in St. Petersburg the best option are hostels which are the cheapest option, followed by apartments, very common in the city and with great price competition.
– Cheap accommodation in St. Petersburg
Apartments in St. Petersburg
Almost 80% of accommodation in St. Petersburg is made up of apartments , and most of them recently refurbished by private initiative.In addition to the price, there is the advantage that they are located in the most touristic areas.
Although the price per room in low season can be less than 30 euros, you should take into account that you can share bathroom, kitchen and common areas with other tenants, since most of the apartments are really houses transformed into tourist accommodation.
In any case, if you are travelling in a group or with your family and the stay is for more than one week, renting the whole apartment can be the most interesting option for to stay in St. Petersburg both in price and in freedom to organize your holidays.
If you book in advance to visit the city in high season (when prices can go up to 130 euros per room) and in group, it is certainly an option much cheaper than the traditional hotels .
As for the apartments equipment , most have WiFi, fully equipped kitchens, iron, washing machine and full bathrooms.Their sizes are also varied and there is a room for a couple or for large groups and families with several rooms.
All of them have tourist information about what to do in the city or are associated with tourist agencies with which you can hire a guide, excursions around the city, boat trips on the canals, etc.
To conclude, it should be said that the tourist phenomenon in St. Petersburg is in full swing and development so, in general, the quality-price ratio of accommodation is lower than in other European cities such as Vienna, London or Rome. This does not detract from the fact that the city continues to be one of the most interesting places in Europe on a cultural level.
– Apartments in St. Petersburg
What is the best area to stay in St. Petersburg
The historical center of the Russian city and its surroundings are the best area to stay , since they have luxurious four and five star hotels and tourist apartments that meet the most demanding expectations, precisely, the historical center and the monumental sites attached to it are World Heritage for over two decades.
The most emblematic buildings of this imperial city, concentrated mainly in the old town, combine different architectural styles, such as baroque and neoclassical, and the historic centre houses, among other icons, the Fortress, the Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul, the Winter Palace, Lenin Park and the Church of the Saviour on Spilt Blood.
Therefore, the historical centre of this beautiful city, bathed by the Neva River and full of islands and canals (it is known as the «Venice of the North»), is the most interesting option for accommodation due to the wide range of hotels available and the fact that it has the most emblematic places in the city and a wide variety of restaurants and nightlife venues.
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The city centre, the best area to stay in St. Petersburg
Although it is not the capital of Russia, St. Petersburg is the most touristy city in the country, an important economic and political centre, and the second most populated city.
The vast historical centre of the city, which concentrates an infinite number of varied accommodations adapted to the needs of the visitor, can be explored on foot or by taking some public transport, such as the bus, the train, a ship connecting the different islands that make up Saint Petersburg, or the popular and efficient subway, which is worth a visit in itself, since it is the deepest in the world (it reaches 110 metres) and many stations have a careful and rich decoration that depicts some relevant historical event of the country or some historical character.
Located on a marshy area on the Neva River, is the Fortress of San Pedro and San Pablo, the original nucleus of the beautiful city, where a defense bastion was built around which the rest of the city was constructed.To get there, you must cross the San Juan Bridge (one of the 700 bridges in the city), which leads to the San Juan Gate, which in turn leads to the San Pedro Gate, the main entrance to the site, surrounded by beautiful and extensive gardens that house the statue of Tsar Peter the Great, the creator of the city and who gives his name to the church inside the Fortress, the Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul.This is a Russian Orthodox temple that was the city’s cathedral church until 1859 (now it is the Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan), and has been converted into a museum, although religious services are sometimes held here as well.The bell tower is separate from the body of the church itself, which is characteristic of Orthodox temples, and from the Trubestskoi bulwark you can enjoy a beautiful view of the city.
The Winter Palace, the official residence of the Russian Tsars, is a flamboyant building built to reflect the grandeur and power of imperial Russia.’, ‘The current palace is the fourth to be built, after having been remodeled on several occasions for various reasons, such as a fire that almost completely destroyed it.the lavish palace, whose baroque facade of a peculiar green color is 150 meters long and up to 30 meters high, has 1.
Hotels in the Centre of St. Petersburg
Located in St. Isaac’s Square and with a height of 101.5 meters, St. Isaac’s Cathedral, the largest of the city’s churches, is also one of its main tourist attractions.Next to this square there are other places of interest, such as the Senate Square with the «Bronze Rider» and the Mariinsky Palace, the last Russian imperial palace of neoclassical style built in St. Petersburg.another relevant building is the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, undoubtedly one of the most touristic.Built on the site of the assassination of the Russian Tsar Alexander II, this temple stands out for its multicoloured decoration and its five domes plated with copper and enamel in different colours, making it a prominent and distinctive point in the architecture of Saint Petersburg.
This last church is located very close to Nevsky Avenue, a showcase of economic wealth enjoyed by a few, and along this commercial and financial street there are plenty of cafes (such as the historic Café Eliseevski), restaurants, clothing and jewelry stores.On this majestic avenue, which links the Admiralty, a former 19th century shipyard, with the Aleksandr Nevsky Monastery, which houses two baroque churches, is also the Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan, the main cathedral of St. Petersburg.inspired by St. Peter’s Cathedral in Rome, the Cathedral was built in the early 19th century and dedicated to the Virgin of Kazan, Russia’s most revered icon.In the Cathedral’s esplanade you can also visit the Little House of the Boat and the Mint, which contains an excellent exhibition of numismatics, and behind which there are two former prisons, the Catherine’s Curtain and the Trubeckoj Bastion, where political prisoners were tortured.
Passing through the Vasilevskiy Gate you arrive at the Lenin Park, located on the island of Petrograd.This immense urban lung is worth a walk and houses the Zoo, the Planetarium and the Arsenal, home to the Military History Museum of Artillery, Military Engineering and Military Communications with a collection of weapons from the time of the Scythians and Sarmatians to the Second World War.