Where to stay and how much to pay?
We have to admit, that St.-Petersburg hotel prices are far from being the lowest in Europe – the closest ones to compare would be those in Paris or London.
Being an attractive tourist destination with impressive historical heritage and cultural events, St.-Petersburg also hosts many important business events, e.g. International Economic Forum.
Foreign tourists spend around € 850-900 during their stay in St. Petersburg, which usually covers accommodation (most of the expenses), sightseeing and entertainment.
Hospitality business of St. Petersburg depends on a season – the city may be absolutely packed during the white nights season (mid of May – September), while autumn and winter leave more room for those seeking shelter from chilly weather in the wide variety of theatres and museums.
Having no friends or relatives to stay with, you may need to spend some time looking up a convenient and affordable place to live. Choosing a hotel, look through the reviews (booking.com or tripadvisor) and photos (especially those made by foreign tourists) – prices and stars do not always guarantee the level of comfort you may expect based on your experience.
International hotel chains
The following international hotel chains have their hotels in St.Petersburg: Rezidor Hotel Group, Sokos Hotels, Marriott International, InterContinental Hotels Group, Accor Group, Rocco Forte Collection, Corinthia Hotels & Resorts, Orient-Express Hotels, Kempinski Hotels, Best Western International, Fairmont Raffles Hotels International, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, Starwood Hotels & Resorts and Domina Hotels & Resorts.
Staying at international hotels will cost you quite a penny, but you’ll get the service you expect.
Soviet era hotels
There are a lot of big ex-Soviet (those of 70-80’s including Russian chains – Azimut, Turris, some other) hotels in St. Petersburg – the level of service at such hotels may vary from Soviet to European standards, which makes it all a bit of a gambling, but still may offer a very good deal at a decent price.
The city with its historical and cultural live concentrated in the very centre has always needed and recently got lots of mini-hotels of different price range – perhaps, this is the best option for the accommodation, as most of them are in downtown, have been renovated and offer a good service at competitive prices. Mini-hotels are usually converted heritage buildings, which take several floors – please, check facilities, if you need a hotel owned parking or a lift for disabled visitors.
Hostels are usually the cheapest option to stay in St. Petersburg, and there are plenty of them in the city downtown, which provides an easy access to most of places of sightseeing and a certain level of quality guaranteed by Hostelling International certification.
Indicative price range for accommodation in St. Petersburg hotels (double room, RUR)*
Please, bear in mind, that the price is only indicative and may vary depending on a specific hotel and the season (e.g. major cultural and business events in the city- International Economic Forum, the City’s Day and white nights). On the other hand, you may enjoy an up to 60% discount outside of the seasonal peaks.
We’d recommend you to use booking-systems to find good seasonal offers – e.g. booking.com, hotels.com, hrs.com, expedia.com and others. Tripadvisor is also very useful, when it comes to price comparison and reviews.
Stay for free
If you are down on your luck, yet, still keen to see St. Petersburg, try couchsurfing.org – you may find not only a free place to stay overnight and have a good time, but also get a chance to learn something new about the city from locals. As usual, be aware and follow the common sense rule – pick hosts with good feedback left by previous lodgers.
Translation by Svetlana Serebryakova