Most travellers from abroad need a visa to visit Russia. Only the citizens of CIS republics, Turkey, Israel, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and Serbia are exempt (but still need an invitation). St.Petersburg University will provide visa invitations to all participants giving oral presentations. If you consider coming and need an invitation, please, e-mail the organizing committee at winter dot language at gmail dot com by December 15. All such invitations are prepared by a special police department, and it may take more than a month, so we would like you to receive them on time. Alternatively, here is an online guide to Russia that gives advice on how to get a Russian visa. This is a trusted source: we know many people who used it, and it is recommended by Lonely Planet and Rough Guides. Here is the information necessary for an invitation from the university. We will also need a scan of your passport.
St.Petersburg has only one airport Pulkovo (LED), which has three terminals: Terminal 1 and nameless ‘new terminal’ situated next to each other and Terminal 2 about 5 km away from them. From all these terminals you can get into the city by bus, which will bring you to the nearest subway station, or by taxi. Be careful not to use unauthorized taxi services – they might be ridiculously expensive. To take a taxi, either go to the taxi stand inside the airport or order by phone (some local numbers are 068, 7000000, 6005006, the last being the cheapest). More information can be found here. And here is some information on getting around the city (note that since January 2013, ticket prices went up a little bit and the new terminal was opened).
The conference will take place in the Bobrinsky Palace (Galernaya str., 58/60), occupied by the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences (Smolny College) of St.Petersburg University. The university has an out-of-town campus, but many departments are located in the centre of the city. The Bobrinsky Palace is in one of the quieter corners of the centre, important landmarks in the neighbourhood are Senate Square, St.Isaac’s Cathedral and the Mariinsky theatre.
The closest subway station is 2 km away: it is Admiralteyskaya, which is located in the very beginning of Nevsky Prospekt, St.Petersburg’s main street, and serves the Palace Square with the Winter Palace and the State Hermitage Museum. You may walk from there or take buses 3, 22, 27 or trolleybuses 5, 22 to Ploschad’ Truda, or Labour Square. For those arriving to Moskovsky Train Station, buses 3, 27 and trolleys 5, 22 could be especially useful – you can catch them at the stop right in front of the Stockmann/Nevsky Centre shopping centre (same side as Stockmann’s). From Vasilevsky Island (the nearest metro stop being Vasileostrovskaya) take bus number 6, minibuses K62, K124, K186. A walk from Vasileostrovskaya metro stop (south along the 6th/7th lines then across the bridge over the Neva, and then right into Galernaya St.) would take about 25 minutes (and can be very cold, especially on the bridge!). For taxi drivers, mention Ploschad’ Truda and then explain that you need to get into the further end of Galernaya. Here is a Google map we created for the conference:
St.Petersburg is a beautiful city and a popular tourist destination. This means that you should not delay booking your hotel. Here are several hotels and hostels next to the conference venue: Boutique Hotel Balzac****, Courtyard Marriott Pushkin Hotel****, Happy Pushkin Hotel***, Hotel History***, Benoua House (hostel), Hello Hostel. Otherwise, we can recommend searching on Booking.com. The centre of St.Petersburg includes Vasil’evsky island around Vasileostrovskaya subway station, Petrogradskaya storona and the whole area Nevsky prospekt cuts across (around the following subway stations: Admiralteyskaya, Nevsky prospekt, Gostiny dvor, Mayakovskaya, Ploschad’ Vosstaniya, Chernyshevskaya, Sadovaya, Vladimirskaya). Many less central districts are also nice, and it is cheaper to stay there. There are no dangerous areas that must be avoided.