Where is the best place to stay in St Petersburg? I was born in St Petersburg and we are going there very often to see my family and friends. There are many good places to stay in St Petersburg. In this blog post, I have written all you need to know about hotels, districts and areas in St Petersburg. So, let’s see together:
- The main districts where to stay in St Petersburg, as well as the areas to avoid for the first trip;
- The good hotels that we know;
- How to choose your hotel in Saint Petersburg, and for what budget according to seasonality (very strong impact in St Petersburg).
Districts where to stay in St Petersburg and what to avoid
The hyper-center of Saint Petersburg. During a first trip to Saint Petersburg, we tend to misidentify the hyper-center. When we see the map of Saint Petersburg, we have the reflex to think that the center is located on the banks of the Neva. Besides, a bit like Paris. However, it is not true. The Neva is very wide. For example, it takes at least 8 minutes on foot to cross it. Although the city of Saint Petersburg is based on Zayatchy Island, where the Peter and Paul Fortress is located, the current hyper-center is located at Nevsky Avenue. Also, for example, the hotels near Mariinsky Theatre are a little bit far from the hyper center.
Good to know. The most central point of Saint Petersburg is the intersection between Nevsky Avenue and the Griboyedov Canal: in summary, where the Kazan Cathedral is located. You can then take this point as a point of reference for your research.
Map of the area where to stay in Saint-Petersburg during your first trip
Description of the districts
Nevsky Prospekt is the city’s main avenue. The proximity of Nevsky is therefore quite important, because it is a very busy street and an important axis of transport. On the other hand, it is a fairly noisy avenue: double glazing or better yet – the courtyard side, and you are saved!
The Golden Triangle is the most expensive area of Saint Petersburg. By reading my article What to visit in Saint Petersburg, you immediately understand why: many monuments to see are concentrated here. On the other hand, it is not necessarily the best area where to stay in Saint Petersburg, because you will come across only very few locals.
On the quays. The quays of the Fontanka river (Фонтанка) and the Griboïedov canal (канал Грибоедова) are very pleasant so that you can immerse yourself in the atmosphere of Saint Petersburg in the morning.
Best hotels in St Petersburg according to our experience: where is the best place to stay in St Petersburg?
Our criteria. For us, comfort is just as important as price and geolocation. The hotels we will mention below are not necessarily the cheapest, but they are all fairly comfortable and above all well located.
Prices. Hotel rates vary widely in St. Petersburg. For example, during White Nights hotel prices can double or even triple. I tackle this subject in particular in the blog article when going to Saint-Petersburg. So, to display the right rates, choose your dates of stay.
Here are the St. Petersburg hotels where we have stayed and where we were satisfied. Click on the hotel name to find out more.
Hotel a stone’s throw from Nevsky Avenue in Saint Petersburg
We stayed at the Nevsky Contour Hotel in February 2020. It was a great discovery. This is one of the hotels in St. Petersburg that we have preferred the most so far. The hotel is located in the heart of the city, 2 steps from Nevsky Avenue, but in a courtyard and therefore quiet. By cons, we had breakfast in cafes (many in the area) and not at the hotel. Blackout curtains, clean room. On the other hand, the hotel is not very easy to find: it is located on the 3rd floor in the same building as the Anabel hotel which is rather well indicated for it. We haven’t tried them yet, but it looks good too. It is a good place where to stay in St Petersburg.
Little advice. During the White Nights (approx. From May to the end of July), the sun does not set long. It is therefore “day” in the middle of the night. If the light bothers you to sleep, I advise you to provide an eye patch in case.
Hotel on the Griboyedov Canal
Gogol Hotel is a 4 star hotel, with a large breakfast buffet. The geolocation is really top, because it allows you to move around the city center on foot and at the same time have a metro station nearby to go, for example, to the Catherine Palace (one of the most beautiful palaces in St Petersburg). It is therefore a very good place to stay in Saint Petersburg. The icing on the cake is that most of the rooms overlook the canal. We have stayed there already 5 times: the cheapest was in November, for 37 euros per night; the most expensive during White Nights – for 110 euros per night. On the other hand, the curtains at Gogol Hotel are not sufficiently occupying for the White Nights: eye patch strongly recommended. It is our number 2 in TOP places where to stay in St Petersburg.
Hotel in the Golden triangle of Saint Petersburg
Italyanskaya 29 Inn is a small hotel very well located: close to Nevsky Avenue, but at the same time in a quiet courtyard, in one of the main districts of Saint Petersburg. The design of the rooms is quite modern. We paid € 80 a night in August 2018. We did not have breakfast at the hotel. They offer one, but in the room. We preferred to go to a cafe. Italyanskaya 29 Inn could be our best place to stay in St Petersburg. But unfortunately only one-two nights, because it is more expensive then the others hotels we stayed in.
Russ Hotel, a hotel in an authentic district
Much like the Gogol hotel, Russ Hotel is a typical Russian hotel. The decor is not very modern (dark wood), but the furniture is clean and in good condition. Breakfast is a large buffet with a wide choice and good quality. All the area near the station Tchernyshevskaya is one of our favorite districts in St Petersburg.
M-Hotel, sleep in peace near the main avenue in Saint Petersburg
M-Hotel is a 3 star hotel. It is located in a courtyard and therefore not very noisy. Breakfast is buffet style, quite good. It is one of the good places where to stay in St. Petersburg.
Apartments. From time to time, we also go through the AirBnB site, where the locals offer short-term rentals of their apartments. It is a way to dive deeper into local life. If you go through this link, you can benefit from a reduction of 25 euros on your reservation, and we will also receive a reward.
Tips for choosing where to stay in Saint Petersburg
I also wanted to share with you two important things to know when choosing hotels in Saint Petersburg.
Walking distance and public transport in Saint Petersburg
- It is easy to count 15 minutes on foot between each metro station.
- Nevsky Avenue is an important transportation route. Many buses and trolleybuses circulate there.
- The metro is very fast, but deep. If you take the metro just for a station, it will easily take three times as long to get on and off than on the journey itself.
- Find out more about Transport in Saint Petersburg
Bridges open in St. Petersburg
The city also has nearly 800 bridges, some of which open at night during the navigation period, approximately from mid-April to mid-October. It is a very beautiful sight to see! On the other hand, from a practical point of view, it is not ideal in terms of travel. During this period, at night, the Vasilyevsky and Petrogradsky islands are cut off. Therefore, if you are searching where is the best place to stay in St Petersburg, I think the Vasilyevsky and Petrogradsky islands could be the great places, but more for a second trip.
What budget to stay in St. Petersburg?
Strong seasonality. Chosen as Cultural Destination in 2016 and also in 2019 by World Travel Awards, Saint Petersburg is a city that attracts more and more travelers. As a result, there is today a lack of supply compared to the ever increasing demand, mainly in high season (summer and especially during White Nights). Outside this period, it is not saturated.
Positive. The ruble is low at the moment (60 rubles for 1 US dollar). We therefore take advantage of fairly attractive rates.
In high season. From the beginning of June to the end of August: the closer you get to the arrival date, the less choice there is. In addition, prices double, or even triple. This is much less true in low season, where you can take advantage of very good rates and, in addition, have the choice.
How do we select hotels in St. Petersburg?
We generally go through Booking.com. Here is how we do for the selection:
- Indicate the dates
- Limit the budget per night
- Filter the dwellings with a score higher than 8 out of 10
- Add the “breakfast included” filter. [There are a lot of cafes in Saint Petersburg with breakfast options (and even late breakfast, after 12 noon), but we prefer to take it instead.]
- Look at the result on the map. Searching on the map is ideal for better targeting accommodation according to geolocation.
If you didn’t like any of the hotels we know, here is the map of all the hotels offered at Booking:
Hope this post gave you some ideas of hotels and districts where to stay in St Petersburg. Please share with us your good adresses in St Petersburg in comments!
Interesting in St Peterburg:
- Hermitage Museum: all you need to know (tickets, best days, tips)
- Things to do in St Petersburg: what to see and to visit in 2 or 5 days?
- Visiting the Peterhof Palace: tickets, how to go there
- Airport transfer: how to get from airport to hotel?
- Trains from St Petersburg to Moscow: how does it work and cost?