If you’re planning to travel to Russia and looking for the best areas to stay in St. Petersburg, Russia, you’re in the right place. In this post, I will share with you the best neighbourhoods and metro stations in my hometown, Saint Petersburg. I was born and lived in St. Petersburg for 22 years and I sill regularly come to visit my family and friends at least 3 times a year, so I still stay updated with the recent changes and developments in my home town. Some people are also wondering, whether St. Petersburg is safe and I’ll try to answer this question in this post as well.
Read my full local’s guide to St. Petersburg, Russia >>>
This post's overview:
- 1 Weekend break or a longer stay in St. Petersburg?
- 2 The districts of St. Petersburg explained
- 3 Is St. Petersburg, Russia safe? Areas to avoid in Saint Petersburg, Russia (no-go zones)
- 4 Best neighbourhoods to stay in Saint Petersburg
- 5 Best place for a short stay in St. Petersburg, Russia
- 6 Best area for a longer stay in Saint Petersburg:
Weekend break or a longer stay in St. Petersburg?
Let’s talk about the type of your holiday first, as you might enjoy different areas more or less, depending on your holiday type. If you’re coming for a weekend to St. Petersburg or on a 72-hour break with a cruise (you don’t need a visa for that if you come by cruise – read my post to find out more), you might want to stay in the city centre. If you’re coming for longer, e.g. a week or perhaps 2 weeks or a month – you might want to stay in a lovely quiet and well-connected place instead.
Read my post about the best itinerary for St. Petersburg for 72 hours (when you don’t need a visa) >>>
The districts of St. Petersburg explained
St. Petersburg consists of 18 districts or boroughs. Hence, you are likely to see the name of the district next to the street / hotel name when looking for the accommodation in St. Petersburg.
Where not to stay in St. Petersburg, Russia:
Following districts are purely residential – there is nothing to see and to do and the location is far from perfect:
- Kirovsky (the areas of Prospekt Veteranov, Leninsky Prospekt, Avtovo, Kirovsky Zavod)
- Petrodvortsovy (that’s where Peterhof palace is located, it’s just too far)
- Nevsky (don’t confuse with the main avenue – Nevsky Prospekt)
- Primorsky (some areas are good though)
All of these areas of Saint Petersburg are safe, so no worries, if you decide to stay there in the end. Let’s talk about the safety in St. Petersburg and then I will tell you where to stay in Saint Petersburg – about the best areas and neighbourhoods in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Is St. Petersburg, Russia safe? Areas to avoid in Saint Petersburg, Russia (no-go zones)
None of the areas
Best neighbourhoods to stay in Saint Petersburg
Let’s talk about the good areas to stay in St. Petersburg for a tourist. As promised, I will tell you a bit more about each area.
- Tsentralny district – this would be my preferred choice for a short stay in St. Petersburg. Tsenstralny district means “City Center Area” and literally spreads all over the main touristic spots in Saint Petersburg. One of my favourite areas in St. Petersburg is the area around the metro station Nevsky Prospekt / Gostiny Dvor, Vladimirskaya and Chernyshevskaya. Also, Admiralteyskaya is great – you’ll be just minutes away from the Hermitage.
My favourite opera and ballet theatre in St. Petersburg, Mikhailovsky Theatre is located steps away from the Nevsky Prospekt metro station as well.
Read my post about where to see opera and ballet in St. Petersburg >>>
- Petrogradsky district is charming in terms of the architecture and the location is also great. There are plenty of things to do in the area including Peter and Paul’s Fortress and the district is pretty walkable. Some of the best stations to stay next
to:Gor’kovskaya, Petrogradskaya, Sportivnaya. You will need to take the metro to get to the main landmarks, however, that won’t take more than 10-15 minutes. Also, the new stadium (where the World Cup in 2018 took place and where Euro Cup in 2020 will take place as well) is located on the same metro line as Sportivnaya, for example, so it’s quite easy to get there.
- Admiralteysky District – another of the best areas to stay in St. Petersburg, where you’ll be staying walking distance (although, around 20-30 min walking) from some of the main landmarks. Some areas near Pushniskaya metro station as well as Sennaya Ploschad are good.
- Vasileostrovsky District is another area to consider, however, I would recommend it for longer stays. This zone of St. Petersburg is less touristy, however, it’s very very beautiful and I love coming there in summer and just walking around. If you stay next to the Vasileostrovskaya metro station, you can get to the city centre in 10-15 minutes as well
. Moskovsky District – the last area to consider and for a longer stay again. However, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly accommodation in St. Petersburg or for a place close to the airport, Moskovsky district is your best bet. The airport bus comes directly to the Moskovkaya metro station (the ride from the airport takes 15-25 minutes depending on the traffic) and then you can jump into the metro and be in the city centre in another 20 minutes. Since it’s not the city centre anymore, the property prices are way lower there. Also, this area of St. Petersburg is very different from the city centre, as it looks very communist – the monument of Lenin, huge squares, Stalin-type buildings. You might actually like it. You can also easily hop on the minibus to the Tsarskoe Selo to visit the famous Catherine Palace (only if you stay close to the Moskovskaya metro station).
Read this post about the 15 best museums in St. Petersburg >>>
Where to stay in Saint Petersburg, Russia? Well, I hope you now more or less realise, which are the best places to stay in St. Petersburg. However, if it’s easier for you to see things on the map, you can see one below. The spots within the circles are the best areas to stay in Saint Petersburg.
Best place for a short stay in St. Petersburg, Russia
I hope you have a bit more clarity now and know a bit more about the districts in Saint Petersburg. If you’re looking for the best place for a short stay in St. Petersburg, you might want to look at the hotels / apartments next to these stations: Nevsky Prospekt, Admiralteyskaya, Vladimirskaya, Ploshad Vosstaniya.
Some of the hotels to look at:
If you’re looking for an apartment, Airbnb works very well in Russia. If you haven’t booked with Airbnb before, you could use my link to get some free credit for your first booking.
Best area for a longer stay in Saint Petersburg:
If you’re coming to St. Petersburg for longer, perhaps a week or even a month, you might want to find an area, where the properties aren’t so expensive, but at the same time, it’s a beautiful and quiet (and safe) area to stay in Saint Petersburg.
For this purpose, I would recommend staying near metro stations Vasileostrovskaya, Ploshad Alexandra Nevskogo, Chernyshevskaya and, perhaps, Petrogradskaya as well. There are lovely quiet but at the same time central areas that are great for a longer stay in Saint Petersburg.
I hope that now it’s easier for you to understand, where to stay or not to stay in Saint Petersburg, Russia and whether St. Petersburg is safe or not. Should you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.
I have more posts about Russia and you can find them all under this Russia posts category here >>>