With its wide streets and flat terrain, Saint Petersburg is a great place to get around on bicycle. It's already starting to get colder, but winter isn't here yet! So hurry up and take advantage of the fall weather to explore the sights and see the city from a different perspective. Learn where and how to go biking in Saint Petersburg.
Velogorod is Saint Petersburg's bike sharing program. With 55 stations all around the city - including one just a couple hundred meters from Derzhavin Institute - it's a convenient and easy way to get around. It is best for frequent, short trips.
To use Velogorod, you need to register with your Russian phone number and put some money in your account through Velogorod's easy-to-use app.
You can pay by the trip (45 RUB for the first 30 minutes, plus extra for additional time), by the month (599 RUB, plus extra for rides over 30 minutes), or by the season (1199 RUB, plus extra for rides over 45 minutes). The cost of additional time varies, but in it becomes more expensive per hour the longer you keep the bike.
Note that Velograd's season finishes October 31 and starts again in the spring.
Where to rent a bicycle
While Velogorod is ideal for getting from point A to point B, if you want to go for a longer ride on a nicer bike, renting one for a few hours or even the whole day might be a cheaper and more comfortable option.
There are many different places in the city that rent out bicycles. Two good places to start are Velohostel or Friends Hostel, which specialize in renting bikes to travelers in Saint Petersburg.
Velohostel offer one-speed city bikes and 24-speed sport bikes, and rentals include use of a helmet and bike lock, a city map, water, and a Velohostel sticker. Friends rentals include helmets, bike locks and a list of bike-friendly routes around the city. Friends also offers guided bike tours, and even rents out a 4-person bike (pictured).
Prices start from:
100 RUB / hour
300 RUB / day or night (день=10am-10pm, ночь=10pm-10am)
600 RUB / 24 hours (cутки)
Prices for city bikes:
150 RUB / 1 hour
250 RUB / 2 hours
50 RUB / each additional hour after 2 hours
450 RUB / day (10am-8am)
400 RUB / night (9pm-9am)
500 RUB / 24 hours
Bike rental shops usually require a deposit and your passport. If you return the bicycle in a dirty state, a few hundred rubles may be deducted from your deposit.
Where to bike around the city
Above is a good route to start with for cycling around the city center. The best places to bike are along the Neva river, in parks and on quiet side streets of the city center. It's better to avoid the main roads, where traffic can be dangerous to cyclists. Bike rental places will also be able to advise you on the best places to take your bike. Wherever you go, be careful and remember to wear a helmet!
Guided Bike Tours
If you're not confident getting around the city by yourself on bicycle, or simply want to make new friends and learn more about Saint Petersburg, you can consider taking a guided bike tour. These are usually only available during the summer months, but some run as late as November.