Traveling can be a bit stressful if not knowing much the country of destination, its language and possible services you can get there. To make your trip in St Petersburg more pleasant and organized, read these articles.
If you want to know more about the financial side of the trip, i.e. exchange services in St Petersburg, continue reading. This post is for you! By the way, in case of questions or desire to book a private guided tour, contact me.
Cash and cards
Official Russian currency is the ruble. No other currencies are to be accepted in the shops, hotels and restaurants, so before coming to Russia it is beneficial to have some rubles or a credit card accepted in the country. If there is no chance to keep some local currency, bring euro and dollar. They are easier to change in St Petersburg.
The best place to exchange money is one of the official banks that have fairly good rates. Many tourists stick to Sberbank, as it’s the national savings bank of Russia. There are also VTB, Tinkoff, Raiffeisenbank, Danske bank and others.
You can also withdraw cash from ATM machines that are often located in stores, at the metro stations, most hotels’ lobbies or next to banks. Pay attention, some machines can take commission if your card’s assets are in other currency than the ruble.
You can always ask from the reception of your hotel for the nearest ATM machine or bank to exchange the money. It’s not recommended to get rubles at the reception itself (some might suggest), since the rate most likely will not be favorable.
Good news is that in St Petersburg many large shops, restaurants, great bars and nightclubs accept credit and bank cards. Visa and Mastercard are admitted almost everywhere.
Beware, some Western banks can block your card when you use it in Russia for the first time, so you should discuss the details with your bank so everything will be fine when you travel.