If you're planning a visit to watch Zenit in Russia's most beautiful city there are a few things you should know when planning your trip.
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Getting to St.Petersburg
St.Petersburg is serviced by Pulkovo airport, a modern facility only a short drive from the south of the city. Many international airlines fly directly to St.Petersburg but if you are unable to find a direct flight, coming via Moscow or Helsinki are good alternatives. There is no rail link direct to the airport but a taxi from Pulkovo to the city centre should cost no more than 1500 Roubles ($25), a bus or Marshrutka (private mini-bus) to Moskovskaya metro station takes around 15 minutes.
Zenit's airline of choice is Rossiya Airlines, part of the Aeroflot group and based in St.Petersburg. Rossiya Airlines handle all Zenit's flights across Russia and Europe and are a great provider of flights to the Northern capital.
St.Petersburg also has four major/international train stations, Moskovsky Vokzal, Vitebsky Vokzal, Finlandsky Vokzal and Ladozhsky Vokzal, all of which are next to metro stations are a good way of arriving in the city. Russian Railways have an online booking system and the new high-speed Sapsan train can get you to Moscow in less than 4 hours.
A number of coach and bus companies operate lines to the city with most terminating at the central bus station at Obvodny Canal, a few Metro stops from the city centre.
Travelling around the city
St.Petersburg has excellent public transport and moving around the city is cheap and easy. The most popular way for tourists and locals to get about is to use the Metro. The underground train system is clean, efficent and safe, it costs only 45 Roubles (about 75c) for a single journey to anywhere in the network. The Petrvosky stadium is serviced by Sportivnaya metro station. The metro has all its signs in Russian and English and is not difficult to use.
An extensive bus and tram network also operates across the city with each journey costing 30 Roubles, however signs and announcements are often only in Russian.
Where to stay
Zenit's recommended hotel is The Corinthia at 57 Nevsky Prospekt in the heart of the city. Offering every conceivable modern luxury for the discerning international traveller, Corinthia Hotel St Petersburg creates an unforgettable guest experience.
What to do
The historic centre of St.Petersburg is a UNESCO World heritage site and with a population of around 5 million it is one of Europe's largest and most active cities. If you're looking for things to do on the days before or after the match there are dozens of museums, historical sites and tourist attrcations in and around the city. Take a look on the official St.Petersburg city guide for more information on what to do in the city.
If you're looking for entertainment before or after kick-off you have Nevsky prospect, the Northern capital's main street a few miles away from the stadium. If you're looking for something closer to the Petrovsky, try Vasillovski Ostrov (island), just over the bridge from the stadium. It has numerous bars and restaurants where you can try traditional Russian cuisine and drinks as well as other international dishes.
The area on the stadium side of the river also has many places to eat, drink and shop. Walk around Bolshoi Prospect and its surrounding small streets and you're sure to find what you're looking for.
Stadium St. Petersburg
Zenit’s new stadium is a marvel of modern engineering, with a retractable roof, moveable pitch and climate control. It is one of the most comfortable and impressive sporting stadiums in the world and a great place to watch football. The 56,000 seater arena (rising to 68,000 for the World Cup) is situated on Krestovsky Island in the centre of St. Petersburg and is next to the Divo Ostrov theme park. It is a short walk from the Krestovsky Ostrov Metro Station (Purple line) and a purpose-built metro station is currently being constructed for the World Cup right next to the arena.
How to get there
Buying Zenit tickets and merchandise
You can buy tickets for Zenit home matches online, from the club ticket office at Arena Hall, from the stadium on matchdays or from the automatic machines in the club shops which are located across St.Petersburg. There are 5 official Zenit club stores which sell a range of Zenit items. One within the Petrovsky stadium, 3 across the centre of the city at 57 Liteiny Prospect, 20 Nevsky Prospect, Moskovsky Vokzal train station and one in the south of St.Petersburg at Mega-Dybenko Shopping Mall.
World Cup 2018
St.Petersburg will be one of the host cities for the 2018 World Cup and will host one of the semi-finals as well as other important games. An excellent guide to the 2018 World Cup is available here: 2018 Russia.