I hope this is useful information for anybody planning a business trip to this beautiful city.
Firstly, St. Petersburg is the polar opposite of Moscow! People live more quietly, somehow more measured! Those who visit Saint Petersburg may feel there are certain similarities between the city and London. Not in appearance, but in the pace of life, and people’s demeanour. Moscow is of course totally different.
And we call it Peter (only colloquially, and probably best not to try this in front of Russians you don’t know very well…It would be like talking about Steve instead of Stevenage….)
And whilst “Peter” is probably considered the cultural capital, (as opposed to the business capital, which is Moscow), Saint Petersburg is very much open to new partnerships. One could even argue more open than in Moscow (of course that’s just an opinion).
First let’s deal with arrival in this glorious city. Flying directly is very easy; you can book a taxi through the hotel where you are staying, which ironically, might save you some money and hassle. If you arrive from Moscow, then why not use the very popular high-speed train? You go from the heart of one city to the heart of another, without the need to wait around at airports. The trains are very reliable and clean, and the service include at table service, WIFI, and everything else you would expect from a modern train service.
As with anywhere, choose a hotel, depending upon where you plan to meet your partners. Many hotels will be walking distance, but don’t assume you must be in the centre.
Saint Petersburg is more pedestrian-friendly than Moscow. Visiting several places may be easier with a car if places are far from each other; some companies, factories and so on usually have offices out of town. Albion often assists clients in this way. But otherwise, the metro and the occasional taxi will serve you well.
One rather interesting fact about Saint Petersburg may be that you can often bypass Moscow altogether. After all, this is an important city in itself and boasts a vast port and Customs infrastructure. That in turn underlines the great business relationship between the two capitals.
And above all, enjoy your trip. More on the regions at a later date!
Written by Artem Sukhorukov Albion (Overseas) Ltd Moscow