Saint Petersburg will become the most northern city receiving the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup. For the Confederations Cup Saint Petersburg will become the main city of competition, the tournament final match will take place on the “Krestovsky” stadium. Within the World Cup in Saint Petersburg there will be the group stage matches, round of last16, the semi-final and the third place match.
“Krestovsky” Stadium on the Saint Petersburg map:
Saint Petersburg is the second city of Russia in its population, over 5 million people live there. According to this factor, Saint Petersburg concedes in Europe only to Moscow, Istanbul and London. Saint Petersburg is also the most northern million-strong city.
The city is considered the tourist capital of Russia by right. Every year the city is visited by over 6 million tourists (the tourist flow in Saint Petersburg is a bit lower than in the capital). Saint Petersburg is well-known for its beautiful historic center which remains almost untouched by modern structures and which was damaged not very strongly during the World War II, and also for its suburbs housing former residences of the Russian Tsars.
Airport Pulkovo Saint Petersburg is on the city edge in its southern part. The airport is the fourth in passenger traffic, conceding only to the three Moscow airports. The airfield on the place of the future airport was opened in far 1932. In 2013 the new passenger terminal was put into operation (for international flights), in 2015 reconstruction of the old terminal came to the end (for internal flights). After completion of all repair work, Pulkovo can serve about 20 million passengers a year. The new terminal is considered to be one of the most beautiful and convenient in the world.
For your convenience, especially for a big company of travelers, you can rent a car directly in the airport building on arrival in Saint Petersburg. You should book in advance on website RentalCars.
It is possible to get from the airport to the city by taxi and by bus 39 which goes from the Moskovskaya metro station with an approximate interval of 10-15 minutes.
In Saint Petersburg there are five railway terminals. From the Ladozhsky railway terminals trains go to Yekaterinburg (36 hours on way). It is possible to get to Kaliningrad from the Vitebsky railway terminals by train for 25 hours. You can get to other host cities of the World Cup by train from the Moskovsky railway terminals.
From Saint Petersburg it is comfortable to get to Moscow by train: tens of high-speed trains a day bring passengers from Saint Petersburg to the capital for 4 hours. It is rather convenient to go by train from Saint Petersburg to Nizhny Novgorod, the train is on way for about 15 hours. It is much more convenient to go to other host cities of the FIFA World Cup from Saint Petersburg by plane.
City transport in Saint Petersburg is presented by all types of ground-based transport, and also metro. It is very easy to get to the Krestovsky stadium by taxi or by metro. By the World Cup the new station “Novokrestovskaya” has to be opened near the stadium. Also, within walking distance from the stadium there is another metro station “Krestovsky Ostrov”.
Saint Petersburg, like no other city in Russia, is rich for various sights. It is impossible to describe even the main part of them within this article. First of all, the historic center of the city deserves your attention. The most part of buildings in the center of Saint Petersburg was built in the 17-20th centuries. They remain their original view up to now.
Neva river embankment at white nights
The city northern location provides the extraordinary length of light day. In the late June – the early July the city visitors can observe so-called “white nights” when the sun practically doesn't hide for the horizon line. The most picturesque place for night walks is the Neva River Embankment. Here are the beautiful granite embankment, many historical sights, and the city architecture are visible, as well as for a few hours they draw the bridges to let ships go from the Gulf of Finland to Lake Ladoga and back.
Earlier the Winter Palace was the Tsar residence. After the revolution in 1917 the palace was renewed into the State Hermitage Museum, one of the largest and unique must-watch for all who are interested in works of art and history.
Peter and Paul Fortress
The fortress is on the Zayachy (Hare) Island which began the city building. Initially the fortress was used as defensive works, and in its walls there was a prison. Now the Peter and Paul Fortress is open for tourists.
Saint Isaac's Cathedral
Another beautiful construction in Saint Petersburg. The top colonnade of Saint Isaac's Cathedral is open for visit. You should go upstairs and you`ll see the whole city form the colonnade.
Nevsky Avenue is the central street of Saint Petersburg. In the summer the street is crowded enough, therefore the best time for walks is at night. However, it is also fair for other places of the city: at night there are no people, facades are beautifully highlighted, and the white nights only strengthen impression.
Suburbs of Saint Petersburg
Suburbs of Saint Petersburg are of great historical and architectural value. They are Peterhof, Oranienbaum, Tsarskoye Selo, Gatchina, Pavlovsk. In these cities in the 18-19th centuries, in times when Saint Petersburg was the capital of Russia, Tsars of the Romanov' dynasty built their residences which excellently remains up to now. You should visit these cities being in Saint Petersburg.
Peterhof is the summer residence of Romanovs. In the huge park there are a number of fountains, streets and boulevards for walks, reservoirs and gazebos. In the building of the palace there is a museum now. From the center of Saint Petersburg it is possible to get here by high-speed boat “Meteor” across the Gulf of Finland.
Tsarskoye Selo (Pushkin)
Tsarskoye Selo is another picturesque memorial estate near Saint Petersburg.
The climate in Saint Petersburg is moderate marine. The late June and the early July is ideal time to visit Saint Petersburg. At this time warm weather is set fair in the city, and duration of light day increases up to 16-19 hours. In the late June in Saint Petersburg you can watch white nights when evening twilight smoothly flows into morning dawn. At this time the city is especially beautiful.