Important: if you consider coming, but are not sure yet, please, e-mail Natalia Slioussar (firstname.lastname@example.org) as soon as possible. St.Petersburg State University has a security system, and they want to have the list of participants well in advance. To be on the safe side, we would like to include all potential participants and let them make up their minds about registration later.
Most travelers will need a Russian visa. Only the citizens of CIS republics, Turkey, Israel, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and Serbia are exempt (but still need an invitation). Unfortunately, St.Petersburg State University will not be able to provide visa invitations. Unlike everywhere else in the world, universities cannot issue such invitations themselves in Russia, everything needs to be done via the police, so the university administration provides visa support only in extraordinary cases. We are very sorry about that. 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.
St.Petersburg has only one airport: Pulkovo (LED). From there, 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. More information can be found here. And here is some information on getting around the city (note that ticket prices went up a little bit since January 2013).
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 State University. The university has an out-of-town campus, but many departments are located in the center of the city. The Bobrinsky Palace is in one of the quieter corners of the center. 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 or take one of the many buses going to Ploschad’ Truda, or Labor Square. The most important landmark in the neighborhood of the Bobrinsky Palace is the Mariinsky theatre. Here is a Google map we created for SPE6.
St.Petersburg is a beautiful city, a popular tourist destination, and June is the very best time to visit it: the weather is nice, and you can see the white nights. 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, which we use ourselves. If you find a place close to a subway station, it will not be difficult to get to the Bobrinsky palace. In June, there are more people on the streets and in the hotels, but the subway is less crowded than usually. The center 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.