By Plane, Saint Petersburg
St Petersburg's main airport is Pulkovo, whose brand new, all-singing, all-dancing single terminal opened in February 2014, replacing the outdated terminals 1 and 2. The airport is located about 14 miles (23 km) south of the city centre and regular bus services link it to the Metro at Moskovskaya.
I've only flown in once, so far, with Air Baltic from Riga which was a very pleasant flight - only about an hour in the air, followed by a relatively swift disembarkation. I found passport control a little confusing since there are different sections depending upon your nationality, which I assume correspond to what your visa status is. Once I'd worked out which section to use the passport checks take about 3 to 4 minutes per person and in my case as a Brit, I was issued with an immigration slip which I had to keep with my passport as an exit permit to leave the country.
The arrivals terminal is bright and modern with ATM's, a couple of cafes and an Irish pub. I think there's also a tourist office but I had no need to use that. My only minor hiccup was when after getting some cash from the ATM I realised I needed some small money for the 25 rouble bus fare to the Metro. The smallest note I had was a 500 and so I popped into the airport Starbucks for a quick coffee to break one of my larger notes. I then had a rush of blood to the head and added a sandwich to the coffee which brought the bill up to 490 roubles and so I ended up with another 500 note and a single 10 rouble coin. Not a disaster but it did mean I had to have my first beer of the day - the airport bar offering a small beer for 165!
Just note that if you exit the terminal you then have to back through a basic security check to re-enter.
Catching the bus to the Metro is simplicity itself. The public buses, #39 and a mini-bus service #39A both leave regularly from directly in front of the arrivals exit with the fares being, May 2014, RUB 25 and 35 respectively. I don't think there's much in it timewise between the two although perhaps during the city rush hours the minibus might be a better option. In both cases you pay for your ticket on the bus.
The Metro into the city is also easy to use, with a single fare of RUB 28. The barriers are operated by token which are obtainable from either the desks or the machines.
Website below has all the practical information you need.
Pulkovo is an international airport of SPB. It has two terminals. Pulkovo1 and 2.
All major airlines fly to/from here. Aeroflot is Russian airways and has many domestic flights all over the country. S7 is one of other big airlines.
Just wanted to put up a note for people about St Petersburg's Pulkovo airport....
Allow yourself plenty of time when leaving the city. When i left, i got to the airport about two and a half hours before my flight... but still only just got through to the gate in time to board my flight.... i just seemed to queue everywhere! Security check, then check in, then again at passport control.... and then at the final gate security check!!!
Obviously, this may have just been one of those days, and it may not happen all the time, but i just think it is worth giving it a mention.
St Petersburg's Pulkovo Airport is notorious for its dollar-thirsty cheating taxi drivers, demanding exorbitant prices for a ride to the city.
Local public bus # 13 costs next to nothing, and the bus stop is only a few dozen meters behind the taxi line. It runs regularly every few minutes, and will take you to Moskovskaya Station in the southern end of the city.
Admittedly, from there it's still quite some distance to the city center, but the Metro (subway) is just there, and so are lots of other bus lines, and even a taxi from there to your hotel will be much more reasonable.
I flew to from St. Petersburg to Moscow and back with Rossiya Airlines. And it was interesting, saying that it that way would be diplomatic. In my life in all the flying I have done around the world I have never prayed so much to return back to earth in one peace. The aircraft was an old Tupolev that was in the worst state an aircraft could be.
Hence take air travel with caution, since I would never jump on a Russian airline in a hurry again any time soon!
Helicopter tours are available and a good place to find out what tours are available is at the information desk at the Peter and Paul Fortress. They take off here just north of the fortress and cost may be about 1000 rubles.
Flying there from Switzerland nonstop can only be done once a week with Pulkovo International airlines. The problem is that they only fly in summer.
Otherwise, there are lots of airlines flying to St. Petersburg including Lufthansa, Austrian, SAS, Finnish, BA , Air Baltic etc.
To get to the airport with lugguage, it's best to order a taxi. I always used Taxi Blues, phone 271 88 88, which were quite reliable. Get someone to call for you in Russian. You need to tell them your exact address and where you want to go and they tell you the price. Also you need to give them your phone number as they call you back around 15 minutes before and tell you the number part of the car license plate (so you know which is your taxi). Then go and find your taxi on the street. At the end of the journey you pay the driver what you were quoted on the phone. If this is too complicated for you, you may want to book a transfer with a tour company.
Train is a much more preferable way to travel between Peterburg and Moscow than airplane. First, airports are a far from both cities, while train stations are located in their centers and are easily accessed by subway. Secondly, the TU-134 jets can be uncomfortably cramped for anyone above average height.
The flight takes over an hour, but the time needed to travel to and from the airports (and the fact that you have to arrive early to the airport) will negate the time advantage. Take the train!
So my trip to Saint Petersburg started at the airport of Schiphol near Amsterdam, Holland.
So it was an early wake-up (3 P.M.), and then a trip by car towards the Dutch National Airport (300 km - 3 hours by car).
It was a rather short flight, only 2.15 h.
Do not forget, that there is a difference of time, in St Petersburg it is 2 hours later then in Holland.
I paid 400 euros for this flight (taxes included).
So I missed my flight back to the U.K. because of the brunette. Luckily my visa was valid for a few more days and so I went to travel agents around Peter to try and get a cheapish return flight. Why doesn't easyJet fly here?
I came across an unusual travel agency, called 'Attica Holidays'. Far be it for me to comment on someone else's sexual persuasion, but the owner of the joint seemed to be the campest Russian I had ever met.
He had obviously travelled quite a bit around the world and wore gold ear-rings, had masses of gold rings on his fingers, had dyed blonde hair, and wore a kind of Egyptian style white kaftan.
Anyhow, the service was great and he happily rang up the airlines on my behalf. I can recommend the agency for that without reservation. Unfortunately the flights he quoted were a bit pricey so I went elsewhere, but anyhow, it was an experience.
Direct flights from London Gatwick with BA arrive to St Petersburg's Pulkovo Airport. When I flew out there I was offered Aeroflot as an alternative. Both prices were almost the same and BA had the better internal connection.
Pulkovo airport was much smaller than I had expected and there were limited facilities for purchase of duty free goods. It is arbout 6km out of the city centre and is accessible by bus. Taxis can be expensive (especially if you are a foreigner).
KLM, Swissair, BA and some other airlines have direct flights from their hub cities. Additionally, the local Pulkovo airline has direct flights to major European cities such as Paris, Stockholm and Amsterdam as well and it's not as bad as you might think!
St Pet is a big city, and walking around is quite a task, so use the subway for longer distances. It's dead cheap and trains run from 6am till 1am, every two minutes. Taxi's aren't expensive either, and they're a good choice of transport after dark. If you can't get an official taxi and are with a group, hail any car in the street, ask if the driver will take you to your destination and if so, fix a price. Usually 100/150 rubles will easily get you from the city centre to one of the suburbs. It sounds dodgy and I would not recommend this to women travellers, but it's definitely worth a try if anything else fails!
PulkovO International airport is located 17 km (10.6 miles) away from downtown. The Arrivals area is in the left wing while Departures is in the right wing. Though Russian border and customs officials are not the world's friendliest people (they sure scared the hell out of me), you should not have any problems unless you carry guns, drugs and other goods and substances forbidden for import into Russia, or bring multiple pieces of bulky luggage without knowing what's inside.
There are plenty of tours you can book by group, individual and river cruise tours.
By airplane from other major cities, or by bus or car if you come from Finland as Sct. Petersburg is rather close to the Finnish boarder.
By feet as there is so much to see;) And by the famous metro if your feet get too tired!
You can go to St. petersburg by plane (European biggest airports have direct flights) or throw Moscow by plane.
By train You can go from helsinki,Finland or from Tallinn, Estonia or from Moscow.
Some ferries staying in St Petersburg doing cruises on Baltic Sea.