Present Perfect, the Saint Petersburg festival of electronic music and contemporary art is hosting its fifth edition from July 26th through 28th, 2019.
The previous years have proven PPF to be the critical Russian event dedicated to progressive music culture. The claim has been supported by Western media and thousands of visitors from all over Russia.
For the second year in a row Present Perfect Festival occupies the Sevkabel Port, a territory that definitely struck a chord with the attendees. It's not hard to see why: a grand view of the Gulf of Finland from a well-designed embankment, massive ships and the far-reaching architecture of the Western High-Speed Diameter motorway. PPF became the first-ever event that made use of the full territory of the port (we're talking thousands of square kilometers of post-industrial beauty). Needless to say, Sevkabel Port got quite hyped after the 2018 edition and evolved into a lively cultural hub.
We are proud to say that apart from participating in a significant music event and witness its massive scale, Present Perfect Festival gives a unique chance to visit Here the most beautiful city of Russia for cheap.
Here what you got to know if interested!
It’s not that complicated though and really worth this.
To travel to Russia, foreign citizens (except for countries with which Russia has visa-free entry agreements) must obtain a visa corresponding to the purpose of the trip. The type of visa suitable for attending the festival and exploring Saint Petersburg is tourist visa.
To apply for a visa you will need a so-called invitation. Most hotels and hostels provide their guests with these invitations (you better ask if the chosen accommodation goes with this kind of confirmation before booking. Pretty much all the personnel of housing services in Saint Petersburg is tourist friendly and speaks english. We love our guests).
In case you plan to stay with your friends or at some apartment rented via Airbnb, you better apply for the invitation service to travel agencies. Just google “tourist invitation Russia”. So you are a click away from all the info needed about the documents, registration procedure and costs (sometimes the price varies from one applying country to another a bit: for EU citizens the cost of a non-urgent tourist visa will be within 60-70 euros including service fee; invitation costs another 10-20 euros). For your convenience we present some links to learn more about the peculiarities for the following countries: United Kingdom, Germany, France, Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, USA.
Apart from being pleasant experience sea travels have a significant advantage. For passengers of ferries and cruise liners arriving to the port of Saint Petersburg by sea, there are no visa formalities up to 72 hours of stay. Check out the procedure of applying for a visa-free regime on the website of the ferry operator.
You can get to Saint Petersburg by ferry from Helsinki, Tallinn and Stockholm. The trip from Helsinki will be especially convenient: the ferry arrives in the morning of the first day of the festival (Friday 26 July) and departs in the evening of the last day (Sunday 28 July). Prices and other useful information can be found on the website of the ferry operator St.Peter Line. Other cruise companies can be found here.
Pulkovo airport has well-established air service to most major cities in Europe, Asia and America. There are direct flights to Saint Petersburg from Berlin, Cologne, Paris, London, Prague, Tel Aviv, Helsinki, Stockholm, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Frankfurt, Rome and many more. You can check fligths and prices at any flight aggregator website.
Saint Petersburg is directly connected with Helsinki (travel time 3.5 hours), Tallinn (7 hours), Riga (16 hours). Check train schedules, fares and buy tickets on the website of the Russian Railways and the Finnish Railways. Please note - early booking will allow you to significantly cut the costs.
There are direct bus routes connecting Saint Petersburg with Helsinki, Tallinn and Riga. Schedule and cost should be confirmed on the web-site of the bus company Lux Express.
The distance between St. Petersburg and Tallinn - 300 km, St. Petersburg and Helsinki - 300 km, St. Petersburg and Warsaw - 600 km, St. Petersburg and Berlin - 1300 km. Check the procedure of crossing the Russian border by car (here link).
Booking accommodation in St. Petersburg will not be a problem for travelers with minimal experience of independent travel: huge range of hotels and hostels of the northern russian capital can be checked on the largest and worldwide known sources - booking.com, hotels.com, hostelworld.com and many others. Many hotels and hostels offer processing of visa invitations for their guests - please confirm this opportunity before booking. A wide selection of private apartments and rooms is presented on Airbnb.com. Please note that summer is a high season in St. Petersburg, book your accommodation in advance to get a wider choice and better prices.
Public transportation. Metro, buses, trolleybuses, trams and taxis allow you to inexpensive (one trip costs about 0.60 euros) and quickly move around the city. Google Maps provides accurate directions and up to date information. A convenient way to pay all the types of public transport is to use a pre-paid card “Podorozhnik”.
Taxi. Inexpensive and convenient way to move around the city. International taxi aggregators such as Uber, Gettaxi and their Russian equivalent, Yandex.Taxi offers attractive fares (from 2 euros per trip; a trip from the city center (Vosstaniya square) to the festival site will cost you 5-10 euros depending on the app you prefer and the time of the trip), transparent conditions of transportation and the possibility to order taxi even without knowledge of the Russian language. Rent a car. International operators of the car rental market are widely represented in St. Petersburg. You can order a car and its “delivery” to the address or get it on arrival at the Pulkovo airport.
Please note that finding a car Park in the city centre may not be an easy task, and road traffic is tougher and more stressful than in European cities (but still far from chaotic Asian traffic).