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St.Petersburg is a big city, which means that sooner or later you are going to want to make use of its cheap and relatively efficient transport system. As well as the fast metro network, there are trams, buses and trolleybuses, taxis, route taxis, private cars. Transportation inside the city is based on the extensive metro system, which covers most parts of the city you're likely to visit. There are four lines in operation with 54 stations, which are marked with a large "M" and have separate doors for incoming and outgoing passengers. Trains run daily from 5.30 until 1 am, with services every one to two minutes during peak periods (8-10am and 5-7 pm) and every three to five minutes at night. Passengers are to buy a token, which costs 8 rubles (apprx. 23 cents), to slip into the turnstiles. Apart from these metallic tokens sold at any station, there is an elaborate system of plastic discount cards.

Apart from the Metro, in Saint-Petersburg there is a fully integrated network of buses, trams, trolleybuses, covering almost every part of the city. Aside from the antiquated and clapped-out vehicles, the overcrowding on some routes is such that you may find it impossible to get on board. The other big problem is that routes are often altered due to road works. Stops are relatively few and far between, so getting off at the wrong one can mean a lengthy walk. Bus stops are marked with an "A", trolleybus stops - with a squared-off "m". The ticket is available from the conductor and costs 7 roubles. Municipal transport is full to capacity, practically, during the whole day, that's why it is advisable to use other means of transport. For example, there are special express buses practically on all the routes. These are not to be confused with the minibuses - route taxis, which tend to leave from the metro or mainline stations and serve outlying destinations, like the airport. On both the price is not based on the distance; you pay the driver 10-14 roubles (apprx. 45 cents) and tell him the stop you need. Route taxis ("marshrutka" is Russian) are minivans with capacity from 12 to 20 people, perfectly suiting short trips in the city centre.

Nowadays there are official taxis with a chequered logo on the doors and a dome light on the roof, and private taxis, that come in all shapes and sizes. They usually work either with the tourists or with well-off russians at the airports, railway stations, hotels, some restaurants and clubs, that is why the rates offered by them are much more higher than the normal ones. Though many cars are equipped with taximeters, it is advisable to determine the cost of transportation before the trip. It is necessary to make it also because drivers prefer to establish their own rates, very different from the amount shown by the taximeter.

The easiest way to get out of St.Petersburg is by suburban train. Departures are roughly every 15 to thirty minutes, although there are longer gaps mid-morning and mid-afternoon. For some of the summer residences of the Russian Tsars, like Peterhof or Pushkin, express minibuses provide an alternative means of getting there. The ticket costs about 25 roubles, depending on the place of destination. In summer, one of the best ways of reaching Peterhof is by hydrofoil. These depart every twenty minutes (11am-5pm) from the Neva embankment outside the Winter Palace; tickets are sold on the spot.

If you want to get a romantic trip inside Saint-Petersburg, you may take a water taxi. It costs 150-300 roubles, but the enchanting view of the city from the upper deck of a boat definitely worth the money.

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