About St. Petersburg


St. Petersburg was founded on 16 May 1703, by order of the first Russian Emperor, Peter the Great. For more than two centuries, it was the dazzling capital of the Russian Empire and is rightly considered one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.

The State Hermitage Museum, Mariinsky Theatre, Russian Museum, Peter and Paul Fortress, St Isaac’s Cathedral, and the palaces and parks of Peterhof, Pushkin and Pavlovsk together create the magnificent image of St. Petersburg. The entire historic centre of St. Petersburg is under UNESCO auspices.

In 2019, St. Petersburg won the World Travel Awards’ the prestigious international prize in the tourism sector in two categories: World's Leading Cultural City Destination 2019 and Europe's Leading City Destination 2019. The city has now won the title of World's Leading Cultural City Destination for four years running.

St. Petersburg has a well-developed tourism and hospitality industry, with an extensive infrastructure and high-quality service. Many hotels are located in historic listed buildings in the city centre.

International relations

More than 30 countries have consulates in St. Petersburg. There are also representative offices of such international organisations as the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly of the CIS, the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly of the Eurasian Economic Union, the Information Office of the Nordic Council of Ministers, representative offices of international foundations and unions, organisations of the UN system and offices and branches of international banks.

The city frequently hosts major international events. The St. Petersburg International Economic Forum has been held here every year since 1997. In 2015 and 2018, the city was the venue for the Eurasian Women’s Forum and it has also hosted the G20 Summit, the Ice Hockey World Championship, the 137th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the 23rd session of the UNWTO General Assembly, FIFA World Cup and other sports competitions, major international sectoral conferences, exhibitions and festivals.


For more information on how to get to St. Petersburg, read the section:

How to get to St. Petersburg

Mobile network

St. Petersburg operators offer a variety of mobile telecommunications services in the GSM, UMTS and LTE standards. Guests to the city may purchase SIM cards of local mobile operators. All mobile operators provide mobile Internet services.

The biggest mobile operators in St. Petersburg are:

Under Russian laws, a attendees must be physically present and show a Russian or other passport in order to purchase a SIM card and sign a contract for mobile communication services.

Visa support

A valid passport and visa are required for entering the Russian Federation.

To apply for an entry visa to the Russian Federation, the invited person must contact the appropriate consular office of the Russian Federation abroad in advance (information on locations of the Russian Federation’s consular offices can be found on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation )

It is not recommended to apply for an entry visa through intermediaries.

Reference information

Weather in St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg has a mild and humid coastal climate. The average temperature at the end of October can range from +5°С to +8°С.

Owing to the city’s geographical position and proximity to the Baltic Sea, the weather can change unexpectedly. The combination of high humidity and wind means that the weather always seems colder than it is so we advise guests bring warm clothing and an umbrella.

Time zone

Local time in St. Petersburg is UTC+3.

Exchange rate

For the latest exchange rates, please see the Central Bank of the Russian Federation website: www.cbr.ru.

Bank cards

Although most restaurants and many shops in St. Petersburg accept bank cards, it is recommended to carry cash as well.

Power supply (socket types)

The power supply in Russia is 220V (50–60Hz). Type C and F sockets are common. If you plan to bring electrical appliances requiring a higher voltage or if you might need another socket type, we suggest you bring an adapter with you.

Medical insurance

Attendees are advised to buy a voluntary medical insurance policy for foreigners, which can be ordered in advance or purchased on arrival.

Insurance of foreign citizens visiting Russia is a popular service offered by many insurance companies throughout the country.

Policies for foreign citizens may cover the following risks:

  • medical expenses;
  • luggage;
  • accidents;
  • other risks upon request

Useful telephone numbers in St. Petersburg

  • Rescue service (for mobile network subscribers): 112.

City emergency services:

  • Rescue service: 101 (from a mobile phone), 01.
  • Police: 102 (from a mobile phone), 02.
  • Emergency medical service: 103 (from a mobile phone), 03.
  • Free enquiry service (round the clock): 064.
  • Lost Documents Centre: +7 (812) 336 5109 (Mon – Sun, 10:00–20:00).
  • Enquiry service for tourists (Tourist Help Line): +7 (812) 303 0555 (Mon – Sat, 10:00–19:00).