Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Cost of living in Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation

The information on this page is generally accurate as of December 16, 2010. Exchange rate of 1 United States dollar (USD) to 30.65 rubles (RUB) was close to the best one could find that day in Saint Petersburg (Sankt-Peterburg), Russian Federation. This rate is used for currency conversions below, unless otherwise stated.

General living information

According to year 2010 United Nations Development Programme’s Human Development Report, Russian Federation occupies 67-th place in the list of countries by standards of living (Human Development Index) with Gross Domestic Product of 15,719 year 2008 purchasing power parity US$ per capita.

As per Economist Intelligence Unit Saint Petersburg is number 56 by living conditions (livability) among the world's cities, while Moscow finished second in Russia, being number 70 in the world.

Pursuant to Mercer's Worldwide Cost of Living survey 2011 Moscow was rated as the 4th world's most expensive city. Saint Petersburg, the second largest city in Russia's with around five million (4869600 as of year 2011) inhabitants, was ranked as the 29th by the cost of living.

Official monthly living wage for Saint Petersburg in the second quarter (Q2) of year 2011 is 6,116.30 rubles (around US$200 as of September 18, 2011) per head, while in Moscow, 9.490,00 (around 310 dollars).


The following prices were effective in a “Pyatyorochka” store (logotype: Pyaterochka grocery Russia). This retail chain is one of the biggest in Russia, and its stores are available in most residential districts of Saint Petersburg (Sankt-Peterburg).
Prices rarely differ between “Pyatyorochka” stores by more than one per cent (1%) within the city.
Item descriptionPrice (cost)
Rubles Dollars
10 eggs, first category (55 – 64.9 grams (1.94 – 2.29 ounces) each), “Sinyavinskiye” brand 35.801.17
1 liter of milk, “Vologodskiye Kruzheva” (Russia), 1.5% fat, Tetra Brik package, 1 kilogram (35.27 ounces) 36.00 1.17
Milk, “Valio” (Finland), 3.5% fat, Tetra Brik package, 1 liter (33.81 fluid ounces) 46.20 1.51
Youghurt, “LATEO” (Russia), 1.5% fat, 490 grams (17.28 ounces) 29.90 0.98
Kefir, “Staraya Ladoga” (Russia), 2.5% fat, 910 grams (32.1 ounces) 37.90 1.24
Quark, “Letniy” (Russia), 2% fat, 18% protein, 180 grams (6.35 ounces) 20.90 0.68
Fish, Atlantic pollack, frozen, headless, gutted, 1 kilogram (2.20 pounds) 84.10 2.74
Chicken, first category, Russia, 1 kilogram (2.20 pounds) 82.90 2.70
Chicken legs, frozen, 1 kilogram (35.27 ounces) 100.00 3.26
Chicken legs, 1 kilogram (35.27 ounces) 109.30 3.57
Chicken liver (Russia), 1 kilogram (2.20 pounds) 129.90 4.24
Beef (Russia), hip, 1 kilogram (2.20 pounds) 409.00 13.34
Pork (Finland), shoulder, boneless, 1 kilogram (2.20 pounds) 189.00 6.17
Pork (Russia), shoulder, 1 kilogram (2.20 pounds) 311.40 10.16
Butter, “FIN” “Valio” brand, Finland), 79% fat, 200 grams (7.05 ounces) 53.50 1.75
Butter, “President” (France), 82% fat, 200 grams (7.05 ounces) 49.50 1.62
Butter, “Krestyanskoye” (Russia), 72.5% fat, 185 grams (6.53 ounces) 49.30 1.61
Cheese, “Svalia” (Lithuania), semi hard, 45%, 1 kilogram (2.20 pounds) 307.00 10.02
Cheese, “Gouda” (Russia), semi-hard, 45–49 (%), 1 kilogram (2.20 pounds) 234.00 7.63
Bread, “Gorodskoy”, first class wheat, 400 grams (4.11 ounces) 25.90 0.85
Spaghetti“Krasnaya Tsena” (Russia), first class wheat, 400 grams (14.11 ounces) 9.40 0.31
Capellini,“Pasta Zara” (Italy), 500 grams (17.64 ounces) 45.00 1.47
Rice, white, “Pyat Plusov”, first grade, 900 grams (31.75 ounces) 35.90 1.17
Buckwheat, groats, “Natsional” (Russia), export quality, 900 grams (31.75 ounces)
Note: after summer drought of 2010 the price of buckwheat soared 2–3 times in Russian Federation.
72.90 2.38
Sunflower oil, “Zateya” (Russia), refined, deodorated, 1 liter (33.81 fluid ounces) 59.30 1.93
Water, “Svyatoy istochnik”, sparkling, 1.5 liter (50.72 fluid ounces) 17.40 0.57
Mineral water, “Narzan” (Kislovodsk), naturally sparkling, 1 liter (33.81 fluid ounces), plastic bottle 34.10 1.11
Orange juice, “Ya” (Russia), made from concentrated juice, 1 liter (33.81 fluid ounces) 43.70 1.43
Tea, black, “Lipton” (produced in Russia), yellow label, first grade, 100 grams (3.53 ounces), 50 packs 76.70 2.50
Coffee, instant, “Jacobs”, Monarch, sublimated, 95 grams (3.35 ounces) 140.60 4.59
Beer “Baltika”, sort “Export” (# 7), light, can, 0.5 liter (16.91 fluid ounces) 29.90 0.98
Beer “Carlsberg” (produced in Russia), light, can, 0.5 liter (16.91 fluid ounces) 32.40 1.06
Beer “Bud” (produced in Russia), light, 0.5 liter (16.91 fluid ounces), bottle 37.90 1.24
Beer “Tuborg” (produced in Russia), “green”, 0.5 liter (16.91 fluid ounces), bottle 28.50 0.93
Wine, red dry, “Château Beauvoisin Costières de Nîmes” (France, Languedoc), year 2007, Syrah and Mourvèdre grape sorts, bottle, 12.5% alcohol by volume, 0.75 liter (25.36 fluid ounces)264.008.61
Wine, red dry, “Legenda Kryma” (Ukraine, Crimea), bottle, 10-13% alcohol by volume, 0.75 liter (25.36 fluid ounces) 135.00 4.40
Vodka “Putinka”, 0.5 liter (16.91 fluid ounces), 40% alcohol 125.00 4.08
Whiskey “Johnnie Walker”, Black label, 0.75 liter (25.36 fluid ounces), 43% alcohol 1,689.00 55.11
Cigarettes, “Marlboro”, red, Philip-Morris, made in Russia, pack of 20 43.40 1.42
Chocolate, milk, Alpen Gold (made in Russia), 100 grams (3.53 ounces)28.10 0.92
Pralines, Raffaello (Ferrero) with almonds and cocoa, 150 grams (5.29 ounces)139.40 4.55
Coca-Cola (produced in Russia), 2 liter (67.63 fluid ounces) 44.10 1.44
Pepsi (Cola), produced in Russia, 2 liter (67.63 fluid ounces) 36.90 1.20
Soap bar, “Dove”, fresh touch, 135 grams (4.76 ounces) 30.90 1.01
Soap, baby, bar, Moy malysh (Russia), 100 grams (3.53 ounces) 9.40 0.31
Shampoo NIVEA for men, 250 milliliters (8.45 fluid ounces) 76.20 2.49
Fruits and vegetables, all per 1 kilogram (2.20 pounds, 35.27 ounces)
Apples, Idared, Russia, special price (reduced from 49.90 rubles (1.63 dollars)) 44.90 1.46
Apples, Fuji (China) 79.90 2.61
Apples, Granny Smith 60.00 1.96
Apples, Jonagold 79.90 2.61
Apples, Red Chief / Red Delicious, from Italian Alps69.902.28
Apples, local, small size, special price (reduced from 44.90 rubles (1.46 dollars)) 20.00 0.65
Bananas, “Prima Donna” (Ecuador) 42.90 1.40
Beetroots (Russia) 18.90 0.62
Cabbage, select 34.40 1.12
Carrots 27.50 0.90
Cucumbers, small length 69.90 2.28
Cucumbers, medium length 69.90 2.28
Garlic (China) 92.90 3.03
Grapefruits 44.90 1.46
Grapes, red, Napoleon (Spain) 119.90 3.91
Lemons 49.90 1.63
Kiwis (Iran) 80.90 2.64
Clementines, Maroc (Morocco), select (first grade) 79.90 2.61
Onions 29.90 0.98
Onions, red 45.10 1.47
Oranges, select 53.90 1.76
Oranges, Frigocitrus (Argentina)39.901.30
Pears, Abbot 124.90 4.08
Pears, Conference, special price (reduced from 74 rubles (2.41 dollars)) 59.90 2.43
Pears, Chinese (Asian), China 49.90 1.63
Pears, Rocha 74.40 2.43
Persimmons (Spain) 99.90 3.26
Pomegrenates (Egypt) 80.00 2.61
Pomelos, category 1 46.00 1.50
Potatoes, young, imported 29.90 0.98
Pumpkin, cut 20.00 0.65
Radishes, green (Margelan) 28.00 0.91
Radishes, black 29.90 0.98
Tomatoes, Lady's Fingers sort 140.00 4.57
Tomatoes, special price (reduced from 87.90 rubles (2.87 dollars)) 79.902.61
Cost of living in Russia

Transportation and gasoline

For an updated version of this section please click here.

Public transportation

Means of transportation Price
City (urban) autobus 19.00 0.62
Tramway (street railway)
Underground railway (subway, metro) 22.00 0.72


A large taxi company Taxi SSSR” offers Ford Focus class cabs for 30 rubles (0.98 dollars) per kilometer, which is 0.61 dollars per mile. Minimum order is 270 rubles (8.81 dollars).

Gasoline (petrol)

Item description Price (cost) Dollars per US gallon
Rubles Dollars
LUKOIL station, as was shown on their display
EKTO-95 26.45 0.86 3.27
Euro-95 26.05 0.853.22
EKTO-92 23.85 0.782.95
Diesel 24.65 0.803.04
Shell station, as of December 25
Shell-98 30.95 1.01 3.82

Car insurance

Car liability insurance is required by law in Russia. In Saint Petersburg its yearly cost range is 2138.40 – 9,694.09 rubles (70 – 316 dollars), in Moscow 2,376.00 – 10,771.20 rubles (78 – 351 dollars).
Other types of insurance are freely available, although not obligatory. To insure a new Ford Focus 1.6 liter automobile with 115 HP for whole dealer list price of 600,000.00 rubles (20,000.00 USD), against damage and theft (casco), without franchise, for a 35 year old driver with 17 years of experience costs 34,400.00 – 40,700.00 rubles (1,150.00, – 1,350.00 dollars) per year according to quotes from five large insurers.

Vehicle tax

For every vehicle you own you will have to pay transport tax in Russian Federation. For the year 2011 its amount is as follows for passenger cars (per year):

Vehicle power Tax on each horse power
100 HP (73,55 kWt) or less 24 0.78
over 100 HP (73,55 kWt) to 150 HP (110,33 kWt) inclusive 35 1.14
over 150 HP (110,33 kWt) to 200 HP (147,10 kWt) inclusive 50 1.63
over 200 HP (147,10 kWt) to 250 HP (183,90 kWt) inclusive 75 2.45
over 250 HP (183,90 kWt) 150 4.89

Thus in year 2011 for 1.6 liter Ford Focus with 115 HP one will pay an equivalent of around 130 dollars, for Mercedes-Benz E350 (268 HP) 1300 dollars, for exotic Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 (562 HP) 2750 greenbacks.

Medical care

A common fee for a consultation of therapist in Saint Petersburg is 600 rubles (19.58 dollars); a Western style clinic with English speaking doctors charges 3000 rubles (97.98 dollars) for the same service.



By Russian federal law centralized heating starts when daily mean ((minimum+maximum)/2) temperature falls below 8 degrees Celsius (46.4 Fahrenheit) for five consecutive days, and finishes if daily mean temperature exceeds 8 degrees Celsius (46.4 Fahrenheit) during five consecutive days.

Monthly heating costs range from 13.97 rubles (0.46 dollar) to 20.48 rubles (0.67 dollar) per one square meter (10.763910417 square feet). Newer and reconstructed houses tend to have lower heating costs (within above mentioned limit).


Tariffs depend upon whether the house is appointed with an electrical oven in established order. Newer houses generally meet this requirement.

Item description Price (cost) per kilowatt hour
Houses appointed with electrical ovens 1.79 0.06
Other houses 2.55 0.08

Telephony & Internet

For an updated version of this section please click here.

A landline telephone with unlimited calls within the city costs 400 rubles, which is 13.31 dollars as of February 15, 2012 (currency buy rate: 1 to 30,05), per month.

Practically all cellular (mobile) telephone carriers (operators) offer unlimited incoming calls free of charge. Outgoing calls rarely cost more than 5 rubles (0.16 dollar) per minute, this charge can be as low as 0.65 ruble (0.02 dollar).

Among Saint Petersburg operators MegaFon (tel.: 949-10-10) offers the best quality of service, while Tele2 (tel.: 989-00-22) is the least expensive. A prepaid card of any operator usually costs within 10 dollars.

Cellular telephony section appended on Sunday, February 06, 2011, with currency conversion rate of 1 USD to 29,42 RUB:
It is generally cheaper to buy the telephone from the carrier with their SIM-card. For example, a Sony Ericsson J10i2 Metal Black apparatus costs 7,000.00 rubles (237.93 dollars) at MegaFon operator store, while its price is 7,180.00 rubles (244.05) at a large retail seller “Euroset” ( Not all models will be available, and some prices at Tele2 stores are actually higher than in Euroset, for example on Nokia N8-00.

Some telephone prices at Euroset stores:
Item description Price (cost)
Nokia 1280 840.0028.55
Nokia X3 blue 5,690.00193.41
Nokia N8-00 18,680.00634.94
LG P500 Optimus One 9,990.00339.56
Samsung GT-S5250 Wave 525 7,380.00250.85

The largest internet provider in the city (InterZet”) offers unlimited traffic with speed of 5 megabits per second for 450 rubles (14.68 dollars). This fee is for a month of service.

Recreation and sightseeing

For an updated version of this section please click here.

Cinema: the price of the tickets for “Tourist” movie (released on December 10, 2010) in the middle of January of 2011 was 90–250 rubles (2,94–8,16 dollars), depending on the day of week and time of show.

Mariinskiy Theater of opera and ballet
Tickets generally cost from 480.00 rubles (15 dollars) for Russian residents and 780.00 rubles (25 dollars) otherwise. The best seats cost 1,600.00 rubles (52 dollars) and 3,200.00 rubles (105 dollars) respectively. The price of the tickets for some performances can reach 5,400.00 rubles (175 dollars) and even more, especially during guest performances.

Ice hockey
Tickets for Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) matches cost 100.00–500.00 rubles (3.26–16.31 dollars).

Price-list of a cafe-bar in a typical residential (uptown, dormitory) district of the city as of January 23, 2011.
30.00 rubles was close to the maximal amount one could get for one dollar that day, so this rate is used for conversions in the table below:

Menu itemPrice (cost)
Sandwich with Atlantic salmon (wheat bread, butter and Atlantic salmon)60.002.00
Russian (Stolichny) salad (chicken, potatoes, eggs, green peas, pickles, carrots, mayonnaise, salt), 150 grams (5.29 ounces)100.003.33
Fried/scrambled eggs with bacon, onions, cheese and tomatoes, 200 grams (7.05 ounces)80.002.67
Cheburek (form of turnover) with mutton, 250 grams (8.82 ounces)100.003.33
Boiled shrimps (prawns) with Tartare sauce, 300 grams (10.58 ounces)160.005.33
Shashlik (form of shish-kebab), pork neck, with mushrooms, 200 grams (7.05 ounces) 80.002.67
Beef undercut (tenderloin) with vegetables and greens, 200 grams (7.05 ounces)330.0011.00
Beer, draught, “Baltika” (Russian brand), sort “Export” (# 7), light, 0.33 liter (11.16 fluid ounces)60.002.00
Beer, draught, “Baltika” (Russian brand), sort “Export” (# 7), light, 0.5 liter (16.91 fluid ounces)80.002.67
Beer, draught, “Tuborg Green” (brewed in Russia under license), light, 0.33 liter (11.16 fluid ounces)100.003.33
Beer, draught, “Tuborg Green” (brewed in Russia under license, light, 0.5 liter (16.91 fluid ounces)120.004.00
Beer, draught, “Velvet” (brewed in Czech Republic), semi dark, lager, 0.33 liter (11.16 fluid ounces)150.005.00
Beer, draught, “Velvet” (brewed in Czech Republic), semi dark, lager, 0.5 liter (16.91 fluid ounces)190.006.33
Pepsi, 7 Up, Mirinda, Irn-Bru, 0.25 liter (8.45 fluid ounces)50.002.67
Juice (orange, carrot or apple), freshly-squeezed, 0.25 liter (8.45 fluid ounces)80.001.67
Coffee, Espresso, 0.05 liter (1.69 fluid ounces)50.001.67
Coffee, Latte Aroma, 0.22 liter (7.44 fluid ounces)90.003.00
Milk shake, 0.25 liter (8.45 fluid ounces)50.001.67

Pub “Shamrock”, Irish style, European cuisine. Average bill: 500–1000 rubles (16–33 dollars).

The Hermitage museum
The entrance into the largest museum in the world costs 400 rubles (13.05 dollars) for non-Russian citizens.

Russian museum
For non-Russian citizens the tickets cost 350–600 rubles (11,42–19,58 dollars). The price depends on the number of exhibitions visited.

This section is under construction. Thank you.


Toilets: Free toilets (restrooms) are rare in Saint Petersburg, especially in its center. Most paid toilets cost 20 rubles (0.65 dollars) per visit.

Post (mail)
It costs 24.10 rubles (0.77 dollars as of November 24, 2012 (currency buy rate: 1 to 31,18)) to send an international letter, weighing 20 grams (0.705 ounces) or less, via Russian post Avia mail.
In my experience it generally takes 11 days for a letter, dropped into a street post collection box, to be received in Fort Lauderdale (U.S. state of Florida).

Live flowers (common prices as of March 23, 2011 with exchange rate of 28.25)

Item description Price (cost), per piece
Roses, 80 centimeters (2.62) feet long (Netherlands), different colours 130.004.60
Сhrysanthemums, different colours 100.003.54
Carnations, different colours 35.001.24

Real estate

For an updated version of this section please click here.


Average sale offer price of real estate in Saint Petersburg according to “Bulleten Nedvizhimosti” magazine (name translated into English as “Real Estate Bulletin”) at the end of December, 2010:

Item description Price (cost)
rubles per
sq. meter
rubles per
sq. foot
dollars per
sq. foot
In secondary market (previously owned)82,250.002,683.52249.31
In primary market (newly built)not more than 70,000.00not more than 2,283.85 not more than 212.18

Note: one square meter equals to 10.763910417 square feet.


Apartments in Russia are graded by the number of rooms. Bedrooms, living-, children's, dining-rooms, dens, et cetera are counted towards rooms number; corridors (hallways), bath- and toilet-rooms as well as kitchens are counted separately. Rooms can be both isolated (the entrance is from a corridor) or adjacent (the entrance is from another room).

At the end of December, 2010 average rental offer price (monthly) according to “Bulleten Nedvizhimosti” magazine was as follows:

Item description Price (cost)
One room apartment 18,700.00610.11
Two room apartment 25,500.00831.98
Three room apartment 33,800.001,102.73

For example, a one room apartment on the third floor of a six-storey building, located in the very historical center of Saint Petersburg, complying to Western standards, with the room itself being 26 square meters (280 square feet), at the end of December, 2010 was offered for rent at 24,500.00 rubles (799.35 dollars) per month.

For comparison with Moscow: according to “Azbuka Nedvizhimosti” real estate agency average rental payment in Moscow during January 03 January 09, 2011 was 69,900 rubles (2,636.96 dollars at the currency rate of 1 to 30.30) per month.
According to IntermarkSavills Elite Real Estate Agency Moscow's most expensive apartment in October, 2013 was a penthouse (620 sq m, without finishnig) on Ostozhenka - the most expensive street in former Soviet Union.  Its price was 36 million United States dollars.

Average salary

According to Federal Statistical Service of Russia average monthly salary in Saint Petersburg in November 2011 was 31,141 rubles per capita. This constitutes 1,036.31 dollars as of February 15, 2012 with the buy rate of 30.05 rubles to one greenback.

Average monthly salary in Moscow in year 2010 was 40,500 rubles, which comprised 1,456.83 dollars (1 to 30.45 rate as December 31, 2010).

Note: Unaccounted (grey) salaries are very popular in Russian small and even medium business for tax evading purposes. They are called salaries in envelopes due to the form of money transfer.
Thus, official earnings data tend to be lower than actual.
cost, living, Russia, prices, Saint Petersburg
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  10. Hey, it would be a good idea to update this. The public transport prices are WAY off (metro is 28 rubles now) and I imagine most of the other stuff is off too.

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