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The city's capacity for overnight visitors is small, but growing. By 2010 St. Petersburg plans to have added dozens of new hotels. What the city especially lacks are two- and three-star hotels, which would be a welcome alternative to the predominance of expensive ones, although mid-range hotels are opening all the time.
On an organized tour, you're likely to land in one of the old Intourist standbys, which used to belong to the Soviet tourist agency that enjoyed a monopoly. Most U.S. and British tour operators take advantage of the discounted rates at the Moskva, the Pribaltiyskaya, or the St. Petersburg. The main reason to choose one of these hotels is their lower rates; note that many of them are not convenient to the major attractions. Almost all of the hotels with Web sites have online booking facilities, though you should confirm via phone.
An expanding number of realty agents can organize a suitable and safe apartment rental, usually in the center of the city. The prices for such apartments usually run the level of three-star hotels, but they often have much more space. Another budget stay option is the mini-hotel; they are as close as Russia gets to bed-and-breakfasts.
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