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Friday, August 14, 2015

7 Ways to Get Around St. Petersburg, Russia

7 Ways to Get Around St. Petersburg, Russia

Saint Petersburg, the historic city in Russia built by the legendary Czar Peter the Great, is today one of the foremost travel destinations in the world. However, the city does face one problem that may be a bit of a detriment in the eyes of many potential visitors: It has everything you could possibly think of to accommodate the needs of visitors except for a reliable, centralized public transit system. However, this will not be a fatal demerit in the eyes of a determined traveler to Petersburg. There are plenty of ways to get about in this legendary city, and this article will focus on seven of the best of them. 

7. Use the Petersburg Metro

St. Petersburg is home to many marvels, such as the State Hermitage Museum Hotel, as well as the former home of legendary Russian Fyodor Dostoevsky and plenty of others. There is no lack of things to do and see in great Petersburg. Although the metro system in the city is not set up quite as efficiently and ably as the subway in other European cities, such as Paris or London, you can still use the Petersburg metro to get around most areas of Petersburg with relative ease. Expect delays and the odd bum description on the official metro guide that you buy at the station.

6. Use the City Bus

Petersburg is equipped with a city wide bus system that, much like the metro, comes complete with its share of hiccups. Many natives of the city will advise visitors to get a room near the center of the city in order to cut down on the need to use Petersburg's rapid transit system but, in truth, things aren't quite that bad. However, once again, you can expect a few delays and a city bus guide that may or may not be quite accurate in all instances.

5. Hire a Cab

You can certainly hire a cab to get around Petersburg. You can hire an officially sanctioned company cab or a "gypsy" cab driven by an independent (and sometimes illegal) driver. Cab rates are rather expensive, so it may be a good idea to hook up with a gypsy driver that you can strike a deal with. As in all slightly dodgy situations occurring in a foreign country, proceed at your own discretion.

4. Use a Bicycle

You can rent a bicycle and use it to get around the city with relative ease and safety. However, be aware that there are no bike lanes in Petersburg. City conditions in winter make this option a relative non-starter.

3. Ride a Trolley or Tram

Petersburg still possesses much of its famous trolley and tram system, some of it left over from the days of the last Tsar. These quaint old conveyances are a lot of fun to ride, but service is spotty and subject to the same conditions and precautions as the metro and bus systems. 

2. Rent a Car

This is probably the best option for someone traveling to Petersburg on business. You can easily rent a car from a local company, or use the one your host provides for you. Road conditions are generally best in Petersburg during the spring and summer months.

1. Walk

If you really want to see Petersburg as the natives do, get out and stroll about. You'll observe all of the local color and detail of the place the way nature intended it, instead of seeing it whiz by you from the back seat of a car. If you possess an adventurous spirit, walk around the city and let the majesty of Petersburg sink into your soul. Good luck and happy traveling!

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