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Cash for 72 Hour Visa-free Visit to St. Petersburg

My wife and I will be St.Petersburg in May under the 72 hour visa-free rules. While we will have credit cards, I expect smaller, local shops, restaurants and food carts will require local currency (rubles). Can anyone suggest the amount of currency we should have with us for this three day visit?


Posted by
5487 posts

I used my ATM card to get Rubles in St. Petersburg on my 72 hour visit a few years ago - no problems. I used my credit cards most of the time, however.

Posted by
3947 posts

Don't overdo the Rubles , virtually everyplace in St Petersburg accepts plastic . Buses and trolley buses accept only cash , a single trip ticket is about 35 rubles .

Posted by
436 posts

Not only do they generally accept plastic (except AmEx), but also they sometimes get rather annoyed when you use your chip-and-pin card, as most customers tend to use touch-to-pay, which makes for a faster transaction.

On my recent two-week trip to Moscow, I had to use cash a total of maybe 5 times, two of them in a public restroom, and three to get local commuter train tickets (the machine temporarily didn't accept cards). Plus, all tips are always cash (the cheques don't have an extra entry line for tips).

As far as cash goes - I'd take out 4,900 rubles for starters - that should be enough to cover ongoing public transport expenses and a nice meal at a restaurant - and then see how it goes.