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Although St. Petersburg's metro does not have the elaborate design and decoration of Moscow's metro system, its good qualities are still substantial. Despite economic hardships, St. Petersburg has managed to maintain efficient, inexpensive service; the only drawback is that the stops tend to be far apart.
Stations are deep underground—the city's metro is the deepest in the world—necessitating long escalator rides. Some of them have encased landings so that entry is possible only after the train has pulled in and the secondary doors are opened.
A word of warning: avoid Sportivnaya station on Saturday, because it leads to the city's main soccer stadium and trains will likely be full of rowdy fans of the local club, Zenit. All central stations are infamous for theft and rank high in the city's list of pickpocket hot spots. Although the city police regularly trumpet successes and report arrests of more gangs, it doesn't seem to get any safer.
Fares & Schedules
To use the metro, you must purchase a token or a magnetic card (available at stations) and insert it, upon entering, into the slot at the turnstile. The fare (14R) is the same regardless of distance. Alternatively, you may purchase a pass valid for an entire month (600R) and good for transport on all modes of city transportation. You can also opt for a two-week all-inclusive pass (300R), well worth the convenience if you plan to use the metro often.
There's a monthly pass for the metro only (460R), and a choice of magnetic cards for 10 trips (82R) or 25 trips (194R). The price for tokens and passes has, in the last few years, been raised by a ruble or two each New Year, so if you are in St. Petersburg at around this time its best to check if there will be a fare hike. The metro operates from 5:30 am to 12.30 am, but is best avoided during rush hours. The nicer hotels often give out metro maps printed in English.
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