Living in St. Petersburg and Moscow
Can I buy a local SIM card?
Yes, you can buy prepaid SIM cards at our frontdesk in the school.
Why are bridges raised every night in St. Petersburg?
To allow passage for cargo boats on their way to Moscow or the Volga region. From the beginning of May until mid-November, all bridges over the Neva are raised from about 1.30am until 5am.
Should I be afraid of the Russian Mafia?
The answer is a definite “no”. The organised criminal structures (which do exist) are not interested in foreign visitors. If you do not get involved in illegal activities, you will be just as safe as in any other European metropolis.
Can I walk alone at night?
We don’t recommend it. Take a taxi!
What do taxis look like?
Official taxis look the same everywhere. A cheaper alternative is the private taxis or tchastniki. Before getting into a tchastnik’s car, ask yourself three questions: Is the driver sober; is he alone; and can you agree the destination and price with him? If the answer is “yes” to all three, you can get into the car with an easy mind. All the same, we advise women not to take a taxi ride alone.
Can I approach Russian police if I am lost?
If you speak Russian, yes – at least during the day. Please avoid the Militsia at night. If you bump into a police patrol after leaving a night club, stay calm and polite but do not hand over your mobile phone or cash!
Does Vodka in the evening guarantee a hangover next day?
No, as long as you don’t mix it with other alcoholic drinks. Never ever drink beer after vodka!