“A Clinic of Reproduction and Genetics “Next Generation Clinic” has been opened in a 18th -century mansion built in Baroque style by the famous Italian architect Domenico Trezzini”
The dream of every family couple to have a child sometimes crashes against a problem called “infertility”. But this is not a doom: our programmes of treatment of various types of infertility, their competent selection, ongoing monitoring and consulting help most of our patients.
The clinic has a bank of donor oocytes and sperm and offers the programmes of surrogate maternity. We have 350 donors in our base today, and it is growing. The possibility of incubating a child with the help of a surrogate mother will give a chance to the couples who are faced with impossibility of natural conception and pregnancy.
How to get to St. Petersburg
Russian visa requirements are complex but should not be feared. See the Get In section of the article on Russia for information. A visa is not required for a trip of less than 72 hours if you arrive in St. Petersburg by ferry or by cruise liner, provided you have a pre-arranged program of excursions by an approved local company.
By plain – Pulkovo Airport – Northern Capital Gateway LLC (~17km south from the center). www.pulkovo-airport.com . IATA: LED, serves many international and domestic destinations. A new terminal opened in 2014.
By train – Tickets can be bought at the train stations or online. Long distance train tickets are generally more expensive if bought close to the date of travel. There are five principal train stations in Saint Petersburg: Baltiysky Station, Finlyandsky Station, Ladozhsky Station, Moskovsky Station and Vitebsky Station.
By bus – the cheapest way of reaching Saint Petersburg from neighboring countries is by bus. There are 3 intercity bus stations in Saint Petersburg.
By boat – Passenger Port of St. Petersburg “Marine Façade” is the main boat terminal in St. Petersburg, and is where 90% of cruise ships dock. It was built on reclaimed land on the western shore of Vasilyevsky Island at the mouth of the Neva River, 8km west of the city center. With its 7 berths and 4 terminals, Marine Façade is able to handle 7 large cruise ships and more than 15,000 passengers per day. Bus #158 operates between terminal 3 and the Primorskaya metro station.
Saint Petersburg’s metro is the second largest underground railway system in Russia, second only to Moscow. The subway is a cheap and effective way to get around the city, and also a major tourist attraction in itself thanks to the beautiful decorations of the stations. Taking pictures was once prohibited, but amateur photography (without a tripod, etc.) is now allowed. – The trains are fast and run frequently (during rush hour, intervals between trains are 2-2.5 minutes). The metro costs 31 rubles per entry regardless of the distance. Brass tokens can be purchased from kiosks at station entrances and vending machines, and it is good to stock up in advance, since queues can be long. – Metro maps can be found in every train car and always have station names in the Latin alphabet. The station names on the platforms are also in the Latin alphabet, and many other signs are in English.
Station announcements on the train are only in Russian, but if you listen carefully you will hear the conductor announce the current station name and the next station as the doors are closing. – Stations are deep, and transfers between stations also involve long walks. There is little time saving to be made travelling between adjacent stations in the historic centre. – The Saint Petersburg metro can be unbelievably crowded during rush hour. Avoid traveling during this if not accustomed to big crowds. Be aware of your belongings and expect to have to push your way out upon arrival, or at least to be pushed during the trip.
The most obvious destination is the Winter Palace on Palace Square (right by the Admiralty and the Bronze Horseman), which houses the Hermitage Museum, and which was the winter residence of the Romanov Tsars and essentially the center of the Russian Imperial government. The Hermitage Museum is easily one of the top five art museums in the world, but even if you don’t care about art, wandering around the enormous palace itself is extremely rewarding. The nineteenth century, whimsical Church on the Spilled Blood nearby is another internationally recognized icon of the city, with a spectacular setting on the Griboedov Canal near the Mikhailovsky Garden, and filled—literally filled—with beautiful mosaics.
Speakings of canals, strolling the palace-lined banks of the Moika, the Fontanka, and the Griboedov Canal in the historic center is a must. During the summer months, you can also enjoy this magnificent architecture from the boat by joining any of the popular (albeit expensive) “channel tours,” or opt for a budget boat trip along the Neva river on a so-called riverbus, which is a tiny boat zooming along the river on several routes that are integrated into the system of public transport.
In the same neighborhood, walk down Nevsky Prospekt, which serves as Saint Petersburg’s main grand avenue for shops (especially the historic mall of Gostiny Dvor), theaters, and another realm of palaces and cathedrals, most notably the massive Kazan Cathedral. The Kazan Cathedral is functioning, so its easier to visit than the other big cathedrals (no lines, entrance fees, etc.). In the same neighborhood, but off Nevsky, are the Square of the Arts, where you’ll find the Russian Museum—an absolute can’t-miss for art lovers. The Mariinsky Theater is one of the world’s most beautiful performance venues, and you should check it out even if you can’t see an opera or ballet performance. Mammoth Saint Isaac’s Cathedral, with its impressive balcony views, is another obvious sightseeing destination.
Across the Neva River are more can’t-miss sights. The Peter and Paul Fortress on the Petrograd Side is easily one of the city’s top three attractions. Aside from its sheer beauty, visit it for its immense history as the final resting place of the Romanov Tsars, as well as its role as a notorious prison for the most high-profile political prisoners under their rule. On Vasilievsky Island, you must at least take a taxi over to the Strelka for the views by the Rostral Columns, across the street from the Old Stock Exchange, home to the Naval Museum, surely one of the best of this kind on the planet. Then take another ride along University Embankment before heading back across the river. Better yet, stop along the way at the weird and wonderful Kunstkamera museum of ethnology, home to Peter the Great’s bizarre collection of oddities.
Complicating the desire to see the city’s highlights in a short period of time are the magnificent suburban palaces at Peterhof, Pushkin, Lomonosov, Strelna, and Pavlovsk. Any tourists who visit Saint Petersburg and don’t see neither the Tsarskoye Selo palaces at Pushkin, nor the Bolshoi Palace at Peterhof, really should be a bit ashamed of themselves. It’s like going to Paris and skipping Versailles. Of the three, the Pavlovsk Palace would be the least unforgivable to miss, but if you have the time—go.
Eat & Drink
Nothing, absolutely nothing, tastes better than hot Russian crepes (bliny/блины, pronounced blee-NYH, or just bleen for one) with caviar, mushrooms, caramel, berries, or what have you with a cup of tea on a cold winter street. Teremok is the street-corner kiosk “chain” for bliny but it now has indoor fast food spots around the city, along with Chainaya Lozhka and U Tyoshi Na Blinakh.
The other really tasty local offerings for street food/fast food include pirozhki (one: pee-rah-ZHOK, several: pee-razh-KEE), shawarma, and pyshki. Pirozhki are fried buns stuffed usually with beef, vegetables, potatoes, and mushrooms, and are easy enough to find, but not quite as widespread as in Moscow. Shawarma is a decidedly Saint Petersburg phenomenon (i.e., you won’t find much of it in other Russian cities), served mostly by Azeris, and is everywhere—in cafes and on the street. Russians swear up and down that the street shawarma is either made of rats or will just make you sick, but by God, the street vendors cook up the most delicious kababs you’ll ever find. Pyshki are Russian doughnuts, wonderful with coffee, and are strongly associated with Saint Petersburg. The place to get them in the center is named, naturally, Pyshki, at Ul. Bolshaya Konyushennaya 25.
For restaurant dining, offerings are diverse. Forget whatever you’ve heard about Russian food—it’s delicious. A pretty unique place to eat Russian cuisine would be the attractive restaurant on the grounds of the Peter and Paul Fortress. International, Western European, Asian fusion (Russified Chinese food is really good, but requires a culinary dictionary to order), etc. are just as easy to find as Russian, and sushi is very popular. Some of the most exciting food to try comes from the former Soviet Republics. Georgian cooking, despite its obscurity, is one of the world’s great cuisines, and should not be missed. The Central Asian (usually Uzbek) restaurants are a lot of fun too.
The city acts as a beer destination for Moscovites visiting St. Pete for business or vacation reasons–hence its pubs frequently have a much wider choice of beers than an average pub in Moscow (not to mention other cities in Russia). St. Petersburg, being the fatherland of the most popular beer in Russia — Baltica, is considered the beer capital of the country, while Moscow is more of a Vodka Capital. Baltica, by the way, comes in a large variety of numbers. Numbers 7 and 8 (seem-YORK-uh, vahs-MYOR-kuh) are the most popular: seven is a lager, eight is a Hefeweizen-style wheat beer.
Saint Petersburgers know how to party. There is a wide and excellent selection of great clubs that will satisfy all tourists looking to spend the night out. The city hosts clubs of all music. Rock, pop, jazz, hip hop/RnB, and a lot more. The most popular trend within music and clubbing in Russia at the moment is house/techno.
Because of the difficulty in operating gay clubs and the social stigma associated with visiting gay clubs, many young men prefer to use gay iPhone applications like Hornet and Scruff to arrange to meet at coffee shops and more discreet locations. This change in technology and the new political issues in St. Petersburg is transforming how gays meet, from nighttime dark watering holes to public straight venues during the day.