Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Sleep Cheap in St. Pete

St. Petersburg seems to be serious about becoming tourist-friendly. For several years city authorities have been trying to increase the number of affordable hotel rooms by supporting private "minihotels." Most of them are former communal apartments that have undergone yevroremont, or Western-style renovation, and offer rooms with en-suite bathrooms, a breakfast room and accessible kitchen. A few are walk-ups through rather scruffy hallways; some are accessed by elevators. At the other end of the comfort scale, a couple of them are cozy private hotels filled with antiques. All of them provide some form of Internet and an array of concierge services. The great news is that they are right in the city center, and once the high season ends in October, they offer single rooms from 1,750 to 3,500 rubles ($68-$137). With Moscow hotel prices topping four digits, it makes you want to send all your visitors to the northern capital.

Former Communal Apartments

Central Inn

This minihotel is right next to St. Isaac's Cathedral, with 14 modern rooms, minigym, sauna, and pleasant breakfast nook. Single -- 2,100 rubles, double -- 2,800 rubles.

2 Ul. Yakubovicha, apt 14, (812) 571-4516,

Comfort Hotel

Located in the same building as the Herzen House, Comfort Hotel is accessible by elevator, with 14 modern rooms. Single -- 3,300 rubles, double -- 5,900 rubles.

25 Ul. Bolshaya Morskaya, (812) 570-6700, fax: (812) 571-6724,

Herzen House

This former communal apartment is accessed by elevator and has 20 modern rooms with high ceilings and all the amenities. Standard (sleeps one or two) -- 2,600 rubles.

25 Ul. Bolshaya Morskaya, (812) 571-5098, fax: (812) 314-6406,

Nevsky Inn 1 and 2

These small bed and breakfast inns (seven and four rooms, respectively) are comfortable and inexpensive, with some of the most friendly and accommodating service in town. The Kirpichny Per. address (Nevsky 1) is a fourth-floor walk-up; the smaller Nevsky 2 is on the second floor around the corner on Malaya Morskaya. Singles from 1,750 rubles, doubles from 2,275 rubles.
2 Kirpichny Per., apt 19, (812) 972-6873; 9 Ul. Malaya Morskaya, apt 3, (812) 312-2686,

Alexander Belenky / MT
At the Old Vienna hotel, you can imagine you are back at the turn of the 20th century, when a bohemian cafe was at this site.

Old Vienna

This hotel is on the site of one of St. Petersburg's most renowned bohemian cafes at the turn of the 20th century. The fawn-green halls and rotunda cafe-breakfast room are decorated in style moderne. The only downside is that you need to climb up three floors through paint-chipped halls to get to it. Single -- 2,600 rubles, double -- 3,600 rubles.
13 Ul. Malaya Morskaya (entrance on Gorokhovaya Ul.), (812) 312-9339,

Antique Hotel Rachmaninov

Another third-floor walk-up, the Rachmaninov (pictured previous page) has halls of whitewashed brick, rooms with pine furniture and wooden floors and a sunny lounge filled with antique furniture. The large Rachmaninov Suite, where the composer lived as a child, has a tiny balcony with a fabulous view of Kazan Cathedral and Nevsky Prospekt. Single 2,850 rubles, double 3,400 rubles.
5 Kazanskaya Ul., (812) 571-7618,

Residence on Gorokhovaya

This tiny, four-room minihotel is a walk-up through rather run-down hallways, but it is bright and cheerful with a friendly staff. A standard room (sleeps one or two) costs 2,750 rubles.
8 Gorokhovaya Ul., (812) 312-7377,

Pushkinskaya 10

This eight-room minihotel is a bit hard to find, since the neighbors in this rather elegant building didn't want any signage to mar their entryway (look for the discreet sign on the doorbell). But this bed and breakfast (accessed by elevator) is a good bargain, with a cheery kitchen, sauna and eight rooms in different styles, from modern to antique. Single 1,950 rubles, double 2,700 rubles.
10 Ul. Pushinskaya, apt 27, (812) 320-0983, fax: (812) 320-0982,

Boutique Hotels

Moika 5

Part of the Hotels on Nevsky group, Moika 5 is a bright little yellow house with 24 modern rooms of various classes (including duplexes with Jacuzzis, mansard roofs and great views of the city). The public spaces have an antique decor. Single -- 3,500 rubles, double -- 4,200 rubles.
5 Nab. Reki Moika, (812) 601-0636

Pushka Inn

Pushka Inn is located in a superbly remodeled 18th-century house next to Alexander Pushkin's museum apartment. Its public spaces retain the building's original details and are filled with antiques. Some of the 35 modern rooms overlook the Moika River. Single -- 2,500 rubles, double -- 4,000 rubles.
14 Nab. Reki Moiki, (812) 312-0957,

fax: (812) 314-1055,