Visiting St.Petersburg to watch European football

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.

Visa Requirements

You may require a visa to be able to enter Russia, this depends on your passport so please check with your local Russian embassy or Tourist Office. Getting a visa is different in each country, a visitor from the UK can find information here: UK Visa info, a visitor from the US can find information here: USA Visa info.

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 2000 rubles. There are buses and Marshrutka (private mini-bus) that run between the airport and Moskovskaya metro station, they take around 15 minutes and cost around 50-55 rubles per trip.

There are a number of private taxi apps you can download on your phone on arrival in Russia and these also work in English. This can be a good way of getting from the airport to your place of stay.

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.

The Gazprom Arena

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 (which rose to 68,000 at 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 Zenit Metro Station on the green line which is right next to the stadium. Various city buses also head to the stadium's location and can be caught from in Petrograskaya area.

More info:

You can also take a tour of Europe's greatest stadium, be that in a group or as an individual. Take a look at to check availability and prices.

Buying matchday tickets and Zenit merchandise 

You can buy tickets for Zenit home matches online, from the club ticket office at the Gazprom Arena on matchdays, or from the automatic machines in the club shops which are located across St. Petersburg. The main store at 20 Nevsky Prospect is the largest and has the best selection of blue-white-sky blue goods. Other small stores are located at Moskovsky Vokzal train station, in the south of St.Petersburg at Mega-Dybenko Shopping Mall and in departures at Pulkovo Airport.

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, efficient and safe, it costs only less than 1 euro for a single journey to anywhere in the network and even less if you purchase a repeat use travel card. The Gazprom Arena is located on Krestovsky Island and is served by Zenit Metro Station on the green line or Krestovsky Ostrov on the purple line. 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 55 rubles. City bus announcements are also in English in the centre of St. Petersburg.

Where to stay

St Petersburg has no shortage of hotel accommodation and is used to accommodating millions of tourists every year. In 2017 the city hosted a record 7.2 million tourists. There are numerous websites that list hotels or local host families and you can find accommodation to suit all budgets in St. Petersburg.

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 attractions in and around the city. Take a look at 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 Gazprom Arena. If you're looking for something closer to the stadium, try Krestovsky Island for its pleasant parks and calm surroundings. Vasillovski Ostrov (Island), just over the bridge from our former stadium, the Petrovsky, has numerous bars and restaurants where you can try traditional Russian cuisine and drinks as well as other international dishes.

Petrogradka Island, the area on the same side of the river as our former stadium, 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.

Some of the main tourist attractions in the city

Saint Isaac’s Cathedral

The city’s largest cathedral and the fourth-largest capacity cathedral in the world. This European style place of worship was completed in 1858 and can house up to 14,000 people. At over 100 meters tall this building is an imposing part of the St. Petersburg skyline and the guided tours that take you up to the outside of the dome are not to be missed.

Nevsky Prospekt

The city’s main thoroughfare and one of the most beautiful streets in the world. The majority of the city's shopping hotspots and nightlife are located on Nevsky Prospekt or in one dozens of side streets that run off the avenue. From the Winter Palace at its West end, right to Alexander Nevsky Square at its East, you'll have no problems filing your time on Nevsky Prospekt. The 5 kms of Nevsky Prospekt have everything a tourist could hope for and will provide hours of entertainment. Nevsky Prospekt is served by Admiralteyskaya, Nevsky Prospekt, Gostiny Dvor, Mayakovskaya, Ploshchad Vosstaniya and Ploshchad Alexandra Nevskogo metro stations and information on the street is freely available on the internet. Don’t forget to visit Zenit’s main store at 20 Nevsky Prospekt on your visit.

The Hermitage

One of the World’s largest art galleries and museums, the Hermitage is perhaps the biggest must-see in the city, (after The Gazprom Arena of course!) They say it would take a lifetime to look at every one of the collections 3,000,0000+ exhibits, all located in the former Winter Palace. You’ll be able to see everything from Ancient Egyptian artifacts to the French Impressionists and beyond.

World Cup 2018 and Euro 2020

St. Petersburg was one of the host cities for the 2018 World Cup and the delayed European Championships. At the World Cup, we hosted one of the semi-finals, the third-place playoff as well as many other big games, while we hosted seven games at Euro 2020, including one quarter-final. An excellent guide to the 2018 World Cup is available here: 2018 Russia if you want to refresh your memory of this wonderful tournament.

We hope to see you all soon at the Gazprom Arena!