New Holland Island in St. Petersburg, Russia
New Holland Island in St. Petersburg, Russia
New Holland Island in St. Petersburg, Russia

St. Petersburg, Russia

By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on Sep 24, 2021

Summary: Russia's second largest city, St. Petersburg, is home to approximately 5.5. million people. The city has cold winters and cool summers (highs in upper 60s to low 70s). The cost of living in St. Petersburg is relatively low, but you will find some rentals that compare with New York and London rates (don't fall for them). If you're moving here, find a trustworthy Russian friend to help you search for an apartment and get settled.

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What do I need to know before moving to St. Petersburg?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to St. Petersburg, they said:

"Moving your personal effects: Don't! Air freight costs are outrageous and boat shipments aren't much better. Buying comparable items here has worked quite well for me. The prices for many articles are about 50% higher than USA prices but without the customs duty, VAT, paperwork and forwarding nightmare of dealing with shippers, delays, and local trucking co's. Choosing the neighborhood: Locate a real estate agent who can speak at least some English, it isn't difficult if you ask around. Expect to see many different properties! And watch your step! (literally!) In the US we don't think much about our footing because the floors are all level from room to room, or from street to entry. Here in SPb it is very easy for the tourist to fall because the streets and floors are all at different levels! Expect to step up and down often. Laundries are rare, indoor personal washers and clothes driers are rare but becoming more commonplace. You can pay to have a bought W/D unit installed but there may not be a heat outlet vent for the dryer. The bathtub becomes the usual instrument for washing one's clothes, air drying is common," said another person in St. Petersburg.

"You should have a trustworthy Russian mentor... someone affiliated with your company, or somehow known to someone you know. Either that or a very experienced expat contact. Deal only with a well-established reputable house agency recommended by your trusted contact. Don't be dazzled by an amazing-looking flat in a historic district without first checking out what'a available for groceries etc. nearby. Find out what public transport is available nearby. Try to locate walking distance to a subway (tube)," remarked another expat in St. Petersburg.

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How do I find a place to live in St. Petersburg?

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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder of Expat Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Some of Betsy's more popular articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Italy, 12 Things to Know Before Moving to The Dominican Republic and the Living in Panama Guide. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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New Holland Island in St. Petersburg, Russia
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St. Petersburg, RussiaGuide to Living in St. Petersburg, Russia

St. Petersburg, Russia: Cost of Living, Healthcare and What to Know About Living in St. Petersburg

Russia Forum Russia Forum
Meet other people living in St. Petersburg.

Healthcare in RussiaHealthcare in Russia

Information about healthcare and hospitals in Russia.

Real Estate St. PetersburgRentals in St. Petersburg

Rental listings in St. Petersburg. Plus, advice about renting and buying real estate in St. Petersburg

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Expats talk about what it's like living in St. Petersburg, Russia: Cost of Living, Healthcare and What Newcomers to St. Petersburg Should Know

ContributeContribute
Help other expats and newcomers by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in St. Petersburg.

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