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Vacation apartments: Tips and suggestions

Guests planning to rent a vacation apartment for their stay in St. Petersburg are essentially paying for their own home in the city for the period of their stay, with all the corresponding advantages of freedom and convenience. There are, however, a few factors to be aware of when renting apartments, which we have tried to outline below.

Self-catering

Perhaps the biggest advantage of staying in a vacation apartment is that you will have a kitchen where you can prepare your own meals. Our shopping guide can help you find where to buy food and drink near your vacation apartment, and it is also worth reading our overview of food shopping in St. Petersburg to get an idea of what you can expect to find in Russian food stores and what you may need to bring with you if you have specific dietary requirements.

Kitchen equipment in your St. Petersburg vacation apartment will vary depending on the class of apartment you choose (see of vacation apartment classification system). As standard, you can expect to have a gas or electric stove, fridge-freezer and electric kettle. Most Russian households do not own a toaster, so this should not be expected.

Infrastructure

The majority of vacation apartments featured on this website are located in the historic centre of St. Petersburg, in buildings which are over 100 years old. Through the Soviet period and beyond, these buildings and the infrastructure serving them have suffered from sometimes chronic lack of maintenance. This is not to suggest that you are putting yourself in danger by renting a vacation apartment in St. Petersburg. However, it is worth bearing in mind that the quality of the apartment interior may differ significantly from the quality of the public areas and the exterior of the building. It also means that problems with water, gas and electricity supply are not unheard of.

In case of emergency

While a few hours without hot water is probably a bearable inconvenience, more serious problems, whether with utilities supply or with any other aspect of your vacation apartment, can occur and it is unlikely you will be able to deal with them yourself. The owner / manager of the apartment you rent should provide you with a contact number in case of emergency, but please remember that you can also call us for help on: +7-812-380-2478.

Internet access

While getting broadband Internet access is rarely a problem in St. Petersburg now, not all owners of vacation apartments consider it essential. Check carefully in our apartment descriptions to see if Internet is available. If the apartment you are staying in does not have Internet access and you are on an extended stay in St. Petersburg, you may want to buy a mobile modem and sign up for pre-paid Internet access with one of the city's mobile communications operators.

Neighbors and noise

Fortunately, most apartments in historic buildings in St. Petersburg (which includes most of the vacation apartments on our website) have solid walls and good soundproofing. You are extremely unlikely to be disturbed by your neighbours late at night, and you will also be expected to keep reasonably quiet after midnight. Particularly during the spring and summer, however, do not be surprised if you can hear your neighbours carrying out noisy home repairs (drilling, sawing, hammering, etc.). If work is carried out between 9am and 10pm, there is little you can complain about. If you are disturbed outside these hours, however, you should certainly contact the apartment owner / manager for assistance.

Registration

When you stay in a vacation apartment in St. Petersburg, the owner of the apartment or the management company is obliged to register you with the Federal Migration Service. This incurs a small fee that you will normally have to pay yourself (around $10). Depending on how you collect the keys to your vacation apartment, you may also be required to hand over your passport to the apartment owner or their representative for a short time so that they can make the necessary photocopies to register you.

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