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COMMUNICATIONS
 

Mail | Telephones | Fax servises | E-mail and Internet services | Staying in touch when you travel | Cellular phones

 
Mail
 

Letters, cards and postage | Mailing your card or letter | Receiving mail | Central Post Office (Glavpochtamt) | Local post-offices | Express Mail



MAIL

Sending regular mail to/from Russia is not as complicated as it once used to be. The national mail system is gradually becoming more reliable and delivery times shorter. On average, a letter to/from USA takes about 3 weeks to be delivered, to/from UK - 10 to 14 days. If you need faster communications you will have to rely on express-mail, speedy mail arrangements or electronic communications (fax or e-mail). Nevertheless, it is always a good idea to send a nice card to someone you care about - and that usually is not urgent.



LETTERS, CARDS AND POSTAGE

Envelopes, postcards and postage stamps are usually available from small postal desks at tourist hotels. Alternatively, you can buy them at the Central Post Office (Glavpochtamt) or at one of local branch post-offices (over 400 offices throughout the city). Postcards and envelopes are also available from Rospechat newsagent kiosks, and cards can be found at most bookshops (e.g. Dom Knigi on Nevsky Prospect).

Always make sure that you pay the proper postage for your letters and cards. Though inflation in Russia is not as high as it was a few years ago, postal rates occasionally change at short notice. Here is a current quote on international postage (rubles/US$):

  Regular Airmail
Letters (under 20 grams) 14.70 / $0.52 17.30 / $0.61
Letter by recorded mail 36.80 / $1.30 39.30 / $1.39
Postcards   9.90 / $0.35 12.20 / $0.43
Postcards by recorded mail 32.00 / $1.13 34.50 / $1.22
N.B. Ruble prices subject to change on short notice

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MAILING YOUR CARD OR LETTER

Your hotel might have a postal desk, which is a good place to mail your cards or letters. Otherwise, the simplest way of mailing a letter with the right stamps attached is by putting it in one of the blue mail-boxes. These can be found near all local post-offices and at different locations throughout the city. Every post-office has another mail-box indoors.

A very conveniently located post-office is at Nevsky Prospekt near the Grand Hotel Europe and across the street from the Gostiny Dvor department store. Go inside and walk up the stairs. The stamps/envelopes/cards counter will be just in front of you and the mail-box is in the end of the hall near customer P.O. boxes.

You can mail your cards or letters at the Central Post Office (at Pochtamtskaya Ulitsa 9). Put your letters in the international mail-box in the lobby or take them to window 24, where a clerk will weigh your letters, put an Air Mail sticker and postage stamps on them (if necessary) and send them directly to the mail-processing room. Sending a letter from the Central Post Office might reduce your letter's delivery time by 1 or 2 days.

If you want to send your letter by speedy mail or express-mail, please refer to the relevant topics.

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RECEIVING MAIL

The American Express office at Grand Hotel Europe (Address: Mikhailovskaya Ulitsa 1) will hold mail and messages for card holders and users of American Express traveler's cheques. Mail (letters only, no parcels) will be kept at the office for up to 30 days. A mailing address for St. Petersburg is:

American Express
P.O. Box 87
SF-53501 Lappeenranta
FINLAND

Mail is brought from Lappeenranta to St. Petersburg's American Express office daily, at no charge. When you come to collect your mail bring along your AmEx card or traveler's cheques as well as your passport (or other ID). Office telephone number is 119-60-19.

Westpost at Dom Aktiora (Address: Nevsky Prospekt 86) offers post boxes in Lappeenranta with daily pick-up and delivery to its offices. Non-client visitors can have their mail delivered to: PL 8, SF-53501, Lappeentanta, FINLAND for a $1 fee. You can pick it up at the Westpost office. You can also become a Westpost basic client for $20

Post International at Nevsky Prospekt 20 offers post boxes in the USA from which mail is forwarded to you. The fee is $50.

For receiving faxes and e-mail see the relevant sections.

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CENTRAL POST OFFICE

Address: Pochtamtskaya Ulitsa 9

The Central Post Office (Glavpochtamt) is a huge post and communications center located in downtown St. Petersburg (one block West from St Isaac's Cathedral). Look for a two-storey yellow building with an arch over the street.

The Post Office is huge and every counter is for a specific task only. Here are some of the most useful counters:

Windows 7,8 Money transfers (Russia and CIS)
Window 9 Subscriptions (Postal code 190000 area only)
Window 12 Collection stamps
Window 13 Recorded mail
Window 14 Customs clearance for international parcels
Window 24 International ordinary and recorded mail counter
Window 28 Wrapping and packing small packages and parcels. Small packages counter
Window 29 Ordinary and recorded parcels
Windows 31,32 Parcels within Russia
Window 38 Telegrams, fax service, photocopying. SPT and BCL phonecards on sale
Window 46 International express mail "Euroletter" (in association with Swedish Post)
Window 47 EMS Garantpost - Express Mail of Russia
Window 48 E-mail. Direct mail advertising
Window 49 Fast mail to St. Petersburg, Leningrad Oblast (Region), Moscow, Krasnoyarsk, Norilsk
Window 50 Help desk. Your questions in Russian should be addressed here

Envelopes and cards can be purchased at the kiosk and windows 8, 13, 24, 39, 46, 51
You can by postage at the kiosk or at window 24 where you turn in your letters
Mail boxes are in the lobby. Look for the one with the sign "International Correspondence"
Currency Exchange is adjacent to the Lobby (near the exit)
BCL International card telephone is in the Lobby (Phone cards available from window 38)
Pharmacy kiosk is in the Lobby

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LOCAL POST-OFFICES

Local post offices can be found all around the city and normally the number of services they offer is proportional of their size. All post offices should be able to sell you envelopes and stamps, accept recorded mail and handle all correspondence addressed to Russia and CIS countries as well as cards and letters you want to send abroad. Every post-office has a box where you can post your international cards and letters.

International parcels should be sent from the Central Post Office (it seems to be the only place that provides customs clearance for parcels that need it). If you stay in a private apartment, parcels sent to that address will arrive at the local post-office. A note will be sent to inform you that a parcel is there for you to collect (If you collect a recorded parcel you will be asked to show some ID).

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EXPRESS MAIL

Several companies provide express mail services.

EMS Garantpost - Express Mail of Russia
Express "door to door" delivery to 184 countries in 48 -120 hours

Main office: Konnogvardeisky Bulvar (Boulevard) 4, entrance 2
Telephone: 311-96-71, 311-78-21
Fax: 311-92-88

Express mail counters:

The Central Post Office (Pochtamtskaya Ulitsa 9), window 48
Post Office # 11 (Nevsky Prospekt 42, Metro: Nevsky Prospekt/Gostiny Dvor)
Post Office # 28 (Liteiny Prospekt 29, Metro: Chernyshevskaya)
Hotel Moskva (Ploschad Aleksandra Nevskovo 1, Metro: Ploschad Aleksandra Nevskovo)
The International Business Center (Ploschad Proletarskoy Diktatury 6)

DHL Worldwide Express

Address: Nevsky Prospekt 57, Nevskij Palace Hotel (Metro: Mayakovskaya)
Telephone: 325-61-00
Fax: 325-61-16
E-mail: dhlled@sovam.com

2) Address: Izmailovsky Prospekt 4
Telephone: 326-64-00
Fax: 326-64-10
E-mail: dhlled@sovam.com

Federal Express

Address: Ulitsa Mayakovskovo 2 (Metro: Mayakovskaya)
Telephone: 279-12-87
Fax: 273-21-39
E-mail: fedex@irida.spb.su

TNT Express Worldwide

1) Address: Liteiny Prospekt 50 (Metro: Chernyshevskaya)
Telephone/fax: 273-60-07

2) Address: Shturmanskaya Ulitsa 12
Telephone: 104-38-41
Fax: 104-36-84

UPS - United Parcel Service

Address: Ulitsa Saltykova-Schedrina 31 (Metro: Chernyshevskaya)
Telephone: 327-85-40
Fax: 275-44-05

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St.Petersburg Guide
 
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