Cost of living in St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg is the second most important city in Russia after its capital – Moscow. Naturally, the cost of living here is fairly high. Just a few years ago, according to the research made by Mercer Human Resource Consulting, St. Petersburg held the 28th position in the list of the most expensive cities in the world. But now, with the devaluation of ruble, Saint Petersburg became much more affordable for both living in and travelling.
By the way, Moscow held the 4th place in the same rating, after Tokyo (Japan), Luanda (Angola) and Osaka (Japan), and so it was the city with the highest cost of living in Europe. While conducting this research, the Mercer Company compared the prices of 200 consumption goods in each city, like rent, transportation costs, price of food and entertainment, etc.
Sample prices in St.Petersburg as of spring 2016:
1-room flat rent – 20 000 Rub
Dinner/lunch in a good restaurant – 1 200 Rub/person without drinks
Cup of coffee – 100 Rub
Gas, 1l-95 – 38 Rub
Car rent, 1 day – 2 000 Rub
Speed exceed penalty 20 – 40км/h – 500 Rub
Parking, 1h – 60 Rub
Metro ticket – 35 Rub
Ticket to cinema/theatre/museum – 400 Rub
1l of milk/water – 60 Rub
Bread – 45 Rub
1kg of apples – 110 Rub
Where to stay?
A lot of specialists who come to St. Petersburg to hold a contract for a long time prefer to stay at the hotels. It solves all problems with cleaning, meals, etc. Get more information about the hotel services of St. Petersburg in this article.
If you are moving to St. Petersburg or you just need some domestic comfort then you’d rather consider a rental flat option. Basic price forming factors of the rental pay in St. Petersburg are:
Location (downtown, outskirts, the prestige of the place);
Condition of the flat (presence and level of refurbishment);
Flat stuffing (presence and quality of furniture, household appliances, bathroom equipment, alarm system, video observation, telephone, Internet, Wi-Fi, etc);
Condition of the house, including staircases and surrounding area;
Quantity of rooms in the flat;
NB! In Russia it’s common to provide the whole quantity of the rooms, not only the bedrooms like in Europe. For instance, 1-room flat means 1 room+1 kitchen.
Type of a house.
The average rent in St. Petersburg depending on a quality (Rubles/month)
Some lessors include the household running costs to the rent. We advise you to clarify in advance who is responsible for these payments.
Household running costs can be:
2700 Rub and more per month for the Economic category
3500 Rub and more per month for the Comfort category
10000 Rub and more per month for the Elite category
This doesn’t include the electricity bill.
How to move around the city?
The traffic in St. Petersburg, like any big European city, is rather heavy. If you decide to rent a car, you should also consider the rent of a navigator.
Car rent per 24 hours (without a driver)
Approximate gas prices in St. Petersburg are the following (prices are subject to change):
Eu92 – about 30 Rub/liter.
Eu95 – about 38 Rub/liter.
There is a plenty of companies that provide the taxi services in St. Petersburg. We recommend you to get several phone numbers of different companies for you to be able to get the car fast. The price of a drive inside the city is usually not more than 1000 Rub. The drive from Pulkovo airport to the city will cost you around 1 000 – 1 500 Rub.
One metro ticket in St. Petersburg is 35 Rub. Bus ticket is 30 Rub. Minibuses (called “marshrutka”) are widely spread in St. Petersburg. One ticket is 40 Rub.
For more information check our article about transport in St. Petersburg.
Sightseeing, excursions and entertainment are also in the tourist’s list of the expenses in St. Petersburg. Average food and entertainment expenses are around 4500 Rub.
One meal in fast-food restaurant (Teremok, Subway, Carl’s Jr., McDonald’s, Sbarro) is around 300-400 Rub. The price of a lunch or a dinner in a more prestigious restaurant is usually 2000 Rub and more.
Almost every club in St. Petersburg requires an entrance ticket. It can be from 300 Rub (small clubs) up to 1000 Rub. Read this post for one of the most popular street to spend night out.
Basically there are 3 types of purchasing food:
The most popular marketplaces of the city center are Kuznechniy (Vladimirskaya station), Sennoi (Sennaya Ploshchad’ station), Maltsevsky (Ploshchad Vosstaniya station), Sitninskiy (Gorkovskaya station), Troitsky (Tekhnologichesky Institut station), Vasileostrovskiy (Vasileostrovkaya station). The product quality is higher than in the chain shops, especially concerning meat, dairy products, vegetables and fruits, but the prices are corresponding.
The experts calculated that 80% of the retail trade is conducted through the chain shops. There are around 800 hyper- and supermarkets and discounters in St.Petersburg. A lot of researchers admit that it’s too much for the city of 5 million people. Most famous hypermarkets are: “O’kay”, “Lenta”, “Karusel”, “Perekrestok”. Small chain shops are “Pyaterochka”, “Semiya”, “Dixi”.
Food prices are as follows:
bread 43-90 Rub,
1 liter of milk 50-90Rub,
1 kg of cheese 250-900 Rub,
500 grams of pasta from 50 Rub,
100 grams of leaf tea from 90 Rub,
100 grams of instant coffee 250 Rub,
500 grams of olive oil 400 Rub,
1 kg of pork: from 270 Rub,
1 kg of beef: from 350 Rub,
1 kg. of tomatoes: from 120 Rub.
Ordering food online
If you don’t have a car, opportunity or wish to leave your home or you just don’t want to waste your time on shopping, then online order and delivery is a perfect solution for you. “Okey” hypermarket offers delivery service – check out their website www.okeydostavka.ru.
We would like to say a few words about the insurance before stating the prices for the medical services.
Policy of obligatory medical insurance, which the employer must subscribe up for his employee by law, gives the foreign citizen the right for following services:
– medical help at the medical emergency service
– medical help in outpatient departments and hospitals in case of a sudden health disorder or accident to the extent of the elimination of a life threat or acute pain
– transportation by means of a medical transport from a place of health disorder or accident to a medical establishment
– posthumous repatriation of the remains
Foreign citizens wanting to get a wider set of medical services are provided with such a possibility by means of the voluntary medical insurance. This insurance can be conducted by the employer (legal body) for its employee or simply by individual with the insurance company. The list of medical organizations, their services and prices of these services is the appendix for this contract and it depends on the price of the voluntary medical insurance itself. Dental services can be either included to the insurance or not. Because of this it is hard enough to set the price of the insurance, it depends on a lot of factors. Roughly, the cost of the basic policy including ambulatory medical help, help at home and ambulance is 16 500 Rub and more per year for adults and from 28 000 Rub for kids.
The approximate cost of commercial medical services in St. Petersburg
1 hour of ambulance service – 4 000 Rub and more, depending on the case
Traumatology centre (some basic services)
Appointment, consultation, medical examination – 1 000 Rub
Small and medium plaster – 2 500 Rub
X-Ray – 900 Rub.
Appointment, consultation, medical examination – from 800 Rub
Glasses adjustment – 450 Rub
Appointment, consultation, medical examination – from 800 Rub
Caries treatment – from 3000 Rub
Dermatologist’s, venereologist’s consultation – from 800 Rub
The list of private clinics with European standard service you may find on expat website
Translation by Salvatore Gagliarde