. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Range of Good Hotel Options Makes St. Petersburg Trip Easy

Opera lovers, and anyone else for that matter, will find the City on the Neva an easy place to reach with an enticing range of places of stay.

For a five-star hotel convenient to everything, try the Astoria, located in a turn-of-the-century building right behind St. Isaac's Cathedral. A single room costs $215 in the main building and $195 in the Angleterre korpus, double rooms start at $240 in the main hotel and $220 in the Angleterre. Prices include breakfast and taxes. Airport pickups, theater tickets and excursions are available in the main lobby. (812-210-5757)

Another five-star option is the Grand Hotel Europe on Nevsky Prospekt. It offers single rooms for $243 and doubles at $276, while single semi-luxe rooms cost $309 and double semi-luxe are $342. All prices have a 20 percent tax added. (812-329-6000)

Then there is the five-star category, try the Nevsky Palace Hotel, a new establishment in the middle of Nevsky Prospekt, which offers single rooms at $288, doubles at $342, single deluxe costs $408 and doubles are $480. Tax and breakfast are included. (812-275-2001)

The Hotelship Peterhof is a modest-sized cruise liner moored in the Neva by Vassilyevsky Island in the center of the city. A single room at the Swiss-Russian joint venture costs $98, a double is $170; a single deluxe with mini-bar and television costs $170, a double deluxe is $270. Breakfast and taxes are included. The hotel offers a restaurant overlooking the Neva, nightclub, fitness center, sauna and beauty salon. (812-325-8888)

Substantially less fancy is the Moskva Hotel, a typical Soviet-era Intourist establishment at the end of Nevsky Prospekt right next to the Moskovsky railway station, where trains from Moscow arrive. A single room is $21 for Russian citizens and $80 for foreigners, a double room costs $30 for Russians and $100 for foreigners. Prices include breakfast. (812-274-2115)

The best price in town is perhaps to be found at the St. Petersburg Hostel, where guests share dormitory-style rooms with between three and five other people. One night in such a room costs $17 and includes breakfast. The hostel is located a three-minute walk from Moskovsky station. Reservations are wise and can be made by e-mail (ryh@ryh.spb.su) or telephone (812-329-8018).

The easiest way to travel to St. Petersburg is by train. Tickets for the nearly one-dozen daily departures to Russia's northern capital are usually available at the Leningradsky Station kassa next to metro Komsomolskaya.

Last-minute tickets can sometimes be obtained from speculators who congregate near the entrance to the Central Train Ticket Office at 5 Komsomolskaya Ploshchad between Leningradsky and Yaroslavsky Stations.

For foreigners, the easiest way to get tickets for next-day travel is through the GlavUPDK ticket office near the Kropotkinskaya metro station at 1/1 Kursovoi Pereulok. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p .m. on Friday. (202-4083, 202-2725, 202-1449)

Russians and foreigners alike who know their travel plans a few days in advance can reserve tickets through the Central City Train Ticket Office at 262-8684. Or visit the office at 6/11 Ulitsa Griboyedova not far from the Turgenevskaya and Chistye Prudy metro stations. Call 262-2566 for basic information about train schedules.

The price for a one-way ticket to Russia's second city in a coup? carriage costs 163,800 rubles ($35), and a first-class berth goes for 312,800 rubles ($63).

Because most people prefer to travel by train, tickets for the 40-minute airplane ride are usually plentiful. A first-class ticket by Aeroflot costs $126 one-way and $141 round-trip. Transaero recently starting serving the Moscow-St. Petersburg route and has prices ranging from $115 for a one-way, economy ticket ($210 round-trip), to $200 for a one-way business-class ticket ($400 round-trip).

Most Moscow travel agencies carry Aeroflot and Transaero tickets, but for one-stop shopping, try GlavUPDK, which offers guaranteed reservations up until the day before departure.