Visa Free travel to St Petersburg (Russia)

Travel Forums Europe Visa Free travel to St Petersburg (Russia)

1. Posted by ToddP (Moderator 225 posts) 44w 1 Star this if you like it!

Recently I came across some information about ability to travel to St Petersburg and stay in the city up to 72hr VISA-FREE. Russia (main-land) have been on my to-do-list for some time, but visa rules just made everything so much complicated. While 72hr rule will not give much time to visit other areas of the country bar St Petersburg but it's a start.

I am looking to share my 'informational-blog' and to hear more from travelers who did this trip. Every information update and fact will be added further to the blog for everyone to read and plan their future trip to St Petersburg.


2. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 1827 posts) 44w 1 Star this if you like it!

It's a good dodge. It makes use of an exemption intended for cruise ship pax to do shore excursions; back when I did this the authorities appeared to be stricter and we were told we must stay with the organised tour under supervision. Clearly now the boundaries of that have been stretched, and I imagine the authorities are happy to leave well alone if it brings in revenue.

St Petersburg is well worth a 3 day visit, I'd put it as one of Europe's highlights alongside Venice. For me it's about the architecture, such as the Church of Spilled Blood and the Sts Peter and Paul Fortress. Some people rave about the Hermitage but for me it was just dark medieval art and quite boring.

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6. Posted by Angie2019 (Budding Member 8 posts) 29w Star this if you like it!

Personally, I would spend more days in St. Petersburg. We enjoyed Russian Versailles, Peterhof and many others. I suggest you to take a boat tour and spend one full day in Hermitage. In the city so many attractions in a walking distance...Kazan Cathedral, The Church on Spilled Blood, St. Isaac’s.

7. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 1827 posts) 29w 2 Star this if you like it!

Quoting Angie2019

Personally, I would spend more days in St. Petersburg

That's not really an option in the context of this thread - ie 3 day visa free travel. Go above that and it's a lot of expense and hassle getting a visa - for example for us in the UK it's around £150 and a day to London or Edinburgh to visit the embassy and have fingerprints taken.

8. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1255 posts) 29w Star this if you like it!

Has any U.S. citizen applied recently for a three-year, multiple-entry visa to Russia and only was approved for a one-year visa? Did you use an agency to help apply for the visa? Russia is indeed a wonderful country to visit; but if a visa is required for entry, the procedure to obtain one can be complex (some would say daunting) and prove to be somewhat costly, particularly if the visit is a brief one.

For those visiting Russia's Far East (Petropavlovsk, for example) by cruise ship, there is visa-free entry during the port call. You don't have to purchase the cruise ship's excursion to get off the ship.