Cost of Living

Last year, St. Petersburg was ranked second in Russia, 11th in Europe and 246th in the world as far as the cost of living. It’s pretty open to a variety of budgets, and there are numerous ways to save on everything from groceries to public transport. Here’s what to expect.

Local Registration

Even though you’re done with the visa part, you’re not done with the immigration bureaucracy and will still need a local registration. ITMO will help you with yours, but we thought you might like to know how the process works.


Saint Petersburg has a vast transportation network that is easy to pay for and use. You can get around town using the metro (“so deep it goes below the permafrost”), buses, trams, trolleybuses, commercial minibuses called “marshrutka” and many taxis. Here’s a primer on how to get anywhere without breaking the bank. You might find useful tips on how to navigate public transport and learn its unspoken rules.


Carving the freshest fruits? Specialty foods? We’ve done some scouting on where to get the best groceries for your budget. Don’t feel like leaving the house? Check out meal delivery services and shop online for just about everything.

Getting a Cell Phone

We know you can’t live a second without your cell phone so we thought you’d like to know how pick a local cell phone provider and upload money on your simcard.

Student Perks

From discounts on movie theaters to cheaper metro fares, here’s how to save on all sorts of activities while you maintain your student status in St. Petersburg. It’s so much fun that it comes in Part I and Part II.

Think you’re the only one experiencing the joys of culture shock or think it’s weird that your local friends have gone mushroom picking? You’re not alone. On Mondays we run the Do It Like a Russian series to help you fit right in.

You might as well make the most of your time in Russia’s cultural capital, so we try to keep you social calendar full with This Weekend in St. Petersburg series that runs on Wednesday.

Kick off your weekend with Movie Fridays and Unexplored St. Petersburg - a perfect antidote to your studies-packed week.