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Guide for Foreigners: moving around the city, shopping
Moving around the city
The Saint-Petersburg metro operates from 05:30 to 00:30. Try to avoid travelling during rush hours of 07:00 to 10:00 and 16:00 to 19:00. Stations are indicated by a large "M". Turnstiles are automated and operate with tokens and cards which can be purchased from the small windows marked Продажа жетонов. Place your token in the slot, wait for the light to change and walk through.
Token gives you the opportunity of one pass, while you can have minimum 10 with the card. Moreover, cards are more convenient to have than tokens. The Saint-Petersburg Metro is easy to use. There are four colour-coded lines. As a train pulls into a station an announcement is made stating the present station first, then the name of the next stop.
Metro is the fastest way of moving around the city. Don't get upset when you are pushed or stepped on - there's just no getting around it and it's nothing personal. It's expected that you will give up your seat to the elderly and people with small children.
Trams, buses and trolleys
Above -ground transport operates from 05:20 to around 01:00 (on weekends it stops running earlier). The best way to find out any route is to acquire a Transport Routes map available in some kiosk and book stores. You can purchase tickets inside the transport.
They are the slowest of all Saint-Petersburg public transport and the least reliable (when one breaks down, it blocks the entire line). Stops are marked by a sign with a Latin "T" on a white board hanging over the tracks which also states the tram numbers. Remember, you can't step on the road until the tram stops.
Are electric buses. Trolleys are generally the most frequent and usually the most crowded form of public transport. Stops are marked by a large Cyrillic "T".
Bus stops are marked by "A" signs at the roadside. There are a number of express buses cruising around the city. They are several times more expensive and less crowded than regular buses. They will stop anywhere along their route for passengers to get on or off.
Hail a taxi by sticking your arm out and when a cab stops open the door and state your destination. The driver will either tell you to get in, name a price, ask you to offer the price, or say no and drive away. If you don't speak Russian the standard price will rise.
Think twice before getting into a taxi that has more than one person sitting in it. Taxis waiting outside restaurants, train stations charge higher rates. Just walk a hundreds up or down the street will lower the rate.
Tickets are cheap and can be bought at the appropriate stations at windows labelled " Пригородные кассы ". Not the most comfortable way to travel. These trains do not spend much time at stops and the voice that announces the stations is almost impossible to understand so know
Most of the shops operate from 10 am till 8 pm. Be careful and always check expiration date stamped on the products. Try to have coins and small denomination rubles, because use cash registers are out of money to break big denominations.
Source: Guide for Foreigners by St-Petersburg State Polytechnical University
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