Everything You Need to Know About St. Petersburg’s Free E-Visa and How Much a Visit Will Actually Cost You

Pack your bags for the cultural capital of Russia.

Starting October 1, Philippine passport holders can visit the Russian city of Saint Petersburg with a free electronic visa. Instead of having to apply for a visa months in advance, Russia is now allowing Filipinos to obtain an e-visa online, which will only take up to four days.

Everything you need to know about the Saint Petersburg e-visa

How do you get an e-visa? Simply fill out the e-visa application form on the Russian embassy’s website. You don’t need to visit the embassy to pick it up as a confirmation e-mail will be sent to you with the e-visa attached. Print the e-mail and visa just to be safe. Once you’re at immigration in Saint Petersburg, its system should automatically read the e-visa issued to your passport.

When should you get it? Since it takes four days to process, you should get your e-visa 20 to four days prior to your trip. The e-visa will only be valid for 30 days after its approval. If it expires before you travel to Saint Petersburg, you’ll have to re-apply for it.

How long can you stay? The visa is valid for up to eight days.



Where can you go? You can only stay in the Saint Petersburg and Leningrad Region.

What can you do? The purpose of your trip must be tourism, business, or humanitarian reasons.

Why did Russia change its policy? In a bid to promote tourism in Leningrad, its cultural capital, Russia has loosened its visa requirements for 53 countries, including the Philippines. The Russian government also allows for e-visa entry to Kaliningrad, a beautiful city on the coast of the Baltic Sea that Filipinos can also visit with only an e-visa.


Photo by WIKIPEDIA .

Everything you need to know about traveling to Saint Petersburg

How much do flights cost going to Saint Petersburg? The cheapest flight departing Manila International Airport for Pulkovo Airport (Saint Petersburg) will cost about P29,646 for a one-way flight in October. A round-trip flight might cost you about P41,000. There are no direct flights from Manila to Saint Petersburg.

How long will it take to fly there? The average flight time will be about 18 hours. Note that Manila is five hours ahead of Saint Petersburg.

How much is a hotel? Hostels start at about P500 per traveler per night, while a room at a three-star hotel starts at about P3,000 per night.

How much is food? One inexpensive meal will cost you around P250 to P400, street food is about P60, and one McDonald’s Big Mac is about P105.

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How much is transportation? Uber rides don’t go over P250, a bus ride costs about P33, and a one-day metro pass is about P150.

What is there to see in Saint Petersburg? Short answer: Everything. Saint Petersburg isn’t called the cultural capital of Russia for nothing. Before the Russian Revolution, Saint Petersburg was the capital of the Russian Empire and home to the Russian Imperial family. The city houses some of Russia’s most sought after museums, like the Hermitage Museum, Russian Museum, and the F. M. Dostoyevsky Literary Memorial Museum. It’s also home to the Mariinsky Theatre and Catherine Park. Unlike the cosmopolitan scene in Moscow, Saint Petersburg is known for its grand architecture, a remnant of the last days of the Russian Empire.

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Anri Ichimura
Section Editor, Esquire Philippines
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