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Russia fact sheet

Capital City: Moscow

Location: St. Petersburg is located in the delta of the Neva River on the shore of the Gulf of Finland on the 60° of the northern latitude. Distance to Helsinki: 400 km, to Moscow: 650 km, to Tallinn 400 km.

Inhabitants: 4 730 000 (as per January 1, 1999).

Language: Russian. English is widely spoken.

Religion: Predominantly Russian Orthodox. But there are well over 300 registered religious organizations in St. Petersburg, representing various confessions and churches, including the Roman Catholic Church, the Buddhist Temple, the Mosque, the Evangelical Lutheran Church, the Synagogue, the Armenian Church, etc.

Local time:
St. Petersburg belongs to the Moscow standard time zone (MST), which differs from the Greenwich Mean Time (GMT): Summer MST = GMT + 4 hours. Winter MST = GMT + 3 hours.

Climate: Intermediate (from nautical to continental). The climate is quite mild and humid with frequent fogs and rains. Winters are long and cold as in most areas of Russia. Temperatures as low as – 20’C are not unusual. The Neva River freezes by the end of November and the ice is gone only by mid-April. Summers are hot and there can be dry periods in summer time, when the temperature goes up to +30’C. Average temperature: Jan: -7,1'C, March: -2' C, May: +15,1' C, July: +21' C, Sep: +10,8' C, Nov: -1,0' C.

Public holidays: January 1st (New Year's Day), January 7th (Orthodox Christmas Day), February 23rd (Defender’s Day), March 8th (International Women’s Day), May 1st (International Labor Day), May 9th (Victory Day), June 12th (Independence Day), November 7th (Day of Reconciliation and Concord), December 12th (Constitution Day).

Currency: The national Russian monetary unit is rouble (RUR). One rouble is worth 100 kopecks. Coins of 1, 5, 10, 50 kopecks, and 1, 2, 5 roubles and notes of 5, 10, 50, 100, 500 roubles, as per 1997 model, are in circulation. In Russia, payment for all goods and services is to be made in the national currency, or by credit cards.

Credit cards: Major credits cards are accepted at hotels, restaurants, shops and the leading banks.

Opening hours: Most of the banks are open to the clients from 9.00 to 13.00. Currency exchange offices are usually open from 10.00 to 20.00. Large hotels provide 24-hours banking services. Shops are open Monday-Sunday 10.00AM-07.00PM. Many supermarkets operate around the clock.

Telephone: IDD system is available at all hotels. Telephone cards are used in telephone automates; GSM and MNT net are in wide operation.

Photo service: 1 hour photo service widely available.

220 volts AC, 50 hertz.

Taxi: Taxis outside up-market hotels charge according to the meter or to agreed price. For private taxis the fare need to be agreed upon in advance. Fares can vary significantly.

Visa: is required to enter the Russian Federation.

Tax free: Tax free purchase is available in the airport upon departure.

Airport: Pulkovo-2 International Airport is situated 17 km from the city center. The airport has the capacity to receive large aircrafts.
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