Which St. Petersburg accommodation is more convenient?
Looking for St. Petersburg accommodation but you don’t know what to choose? Let me tell you my story.
A friend had an interesting idea. As he was packing to leave, we were talking about accommodations when travelling, is it better to rent a place, stay in a hotel and, when it came up that I’ll be here for two months – why would want to live in a hostel for so long?
“That’s the answer, yeah…… what if you bought a place then sell it when you’re leaving? Apartments aren’t that expensive here”. The idea was entertainable and I wanted to know how feasible that would be. After a quick search of apartments in the centre of St Petersburg, I found that the cheapest apartment to buy cost around 600,000 rub, which is $12822 CAD. That is less than what’s needed for down payment in Toronto. Then there’s the question of how you’d sell within the time constraint of your trip. Unless you kept the place, rented it out, etc. You could expand upon this and start talking about investing in properties in Russia – but that’s a subject for another post.
What’s probably more applicable to most of you reading this is the question of: Where to stay in St Petersburg for 1 month +?
St. Petersburg accommodation: 1) Renting an apartment
The average cost of a 1-bedroom apartment in the city centre was listed at 34,387.98 rub, which is 734.18 CAD a month (between 30,000 pyb and 45000 pyb). A room in an apartment on Airbnb amounts to about the price during the high season. If you’re looking for an apartment or a room in an apartment, I highly recommend finding a place early on as prices are significantly lower.
You have two options when renting. You can either rent from an agency which is guaranteed to handle things legitimately or rent directly from an owner. If you’re opting for the latter, it’s best to search through a website such as Airbnb to avoid anything dubious.
2) Staying in a Hostel
I’m paying less than one month’s rent for the two months I’m staying here. A lot of places offer discounts to those staying longer than a week, which amounted to about 40% off in my case. The downside is that you don’t have your own space and there’s a rush for the bathrooms in the morning. It’s not bad though – your bed provides a semblance of privacy and if you get up before 7 am, the bathrooms are usually clear and you get the common room to yourself for an hour or so. Make sure the place has the amenities you’ll need such as a kitchen, fridge and laundry.
3) Staying in a Hotel
Hotels in the centre of town are going to the most expensive and probably more suitable for a short term trip. Private rooms are going to be around 1000 rub a night, which is on the cheap side. Again, it is recommended that you reserve a room early on, especially if you want a place close to the centre of town, which is in high demand and subject to increased prices.
When you’re planning far ahead, your destination could seem abstract. This isn’t problematic so much if you’re flexible about spending but if you’re looking for something cheap, remember that you’ll have to actually live there. That’s why I recommend legitimate sites like Airbnb that display safe, affordable places. It’s all up to you in the end but if you’re deciding between being able to eat out this month and living in a 12 person room two buses from the city centre all summer, keep in mind your future comfort.