Short Track Racer
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Please stop raining Seattle
5 days in St Petersburg Russia
I just got back from 5 days in the 2nd biggest city in Russia St. Petersburg. Here is my insight for anyone wanting to go to that city and by themselves without help of tour or local.
1. The ride to town from airport- The taxi ride is about 1200 to 1300 ruble or around 40 bucks US. There is no such thing as fixed priced as the offical taxi stand claims. One driving wanted around 80 bucks to town, I offered 25 to start and most will accept 40 as lowest cost. They kind of get pissed at westerners who try to beat them at their own game I noticed.
You can take bus than subway for under 2 bucks to town at your peril of getting mugged and having all your travel possession gone, though I highly doubt that will happen. I get the feeling the subway and bus is just as safe or safer than any US big city. I should have done that actually. Next time if there is one.
2. Bring your antacid or stomach ucler med with in your suitcase. The first day I got stomach acid build up and virsus and spend the night at the public hospital via ambulance. Total cost was 96 USA bucks for ride, food, all the test, bed, x rays, EVERYthing. The Russians have 2 systems public and private hospital. I chose public and slept in the hallway with 4 to 5 other patients, the bathroom didnt even have a mirror. When you get the bill you will overlook all the incoveince of a Russian public hospital.
The drugstore are like China's you cant touch the merchandise, you have to ask for stuff like asprin, ex lax whatever. You have to ask and they person most likely speaks no English.
3. Bring your walking shoes, its will take one day or two and you will be sick of taxi drivers that you much rather hike than pay the non metered price.
4. Dont bring a empty suitcase thinking you will be buying clothes, gifts back home. In the city their is no such thing as Cheap shopping. Everything is cheaper in the states if you are in the St. Petersburg from jeans to nice shoes forget it just go window shopping. No clue whether this applies to the suburbs or small russian cities which I much rather see next time.