Fax and phones

Most hotels will, of course, have landlines in rooms. However, calls can be very expensive especially when calling out of the country so it's always worth checking at reception about prices before you make a call.

Apartments will normally be equipped with telephones, although your landlord may only allow you to make calls within St Petersburg, which is normally free. If the intercity/international service is not available and you wish to phone abroad, then you will need to buy phone cards, which are readily available from kiosks in metro stations or underpasses, and also from large computer stores. The best known brands are Zebra telecom, Westcall and Peterlink.

Faxes can be sent from any post office, costing a little less than $2 a sheet. Make sure that you write the full number with correct dialing code. Unfortunately, you won't get any confirmation of sending.

There are still some pay phones on the streets of the city, most commonly in metro stations.

If you are calling to a land line within the city, then you will just have to dial the seven-digit number. To call a different city within Russia, you need to dial "8", wait for the tone and then dial the city code and number (to call St Petersburg: 8�812 plus seven-digit number, to call Moscow: 8�495 or 499 plus seven-digit number). To call out off Russia you need to dial "8", wait for the tone, and then dial "10" followed by the country code, city code (with no zero at the beginning), etc.