As any seasoned tourist knows that if you want to see many attractions and spend a few days in the city, it’s best to get a room downtown, as close as possible to the historic part. The plus side is obvious: it often takes a few days just to see the tourist sights adjacent to the heart of the city and it would be a shame to have to skip them. Therefore, the faster you can get to them, the better.

There is, however, a downside to this clearly logical approach: hotels large enough to lease space downtown will be happy to make a room available to you, but at such an astronomical price that it will ruin your holiday. The small private hotels in the heart of beautiful St. Petersburg offer a way out of this predicament. The general rule – that the closer to downtown, the higher the price – does not seem to apply to them.

By taking a closer look at one of them, you’ll come to appreciate the affordability and the bonus they offer visitors to the city on the Neva. For example, mini-hotel Polikoff is just a stone’s throw from Nevsky Prospekt. This lovely hotel has several types of rooms on offer, more like contemporary, self-contained apartments, tastefully designed, finished in European modernist style. Since it doesn’t have to pay for an expensive chain hotel brand name and doesn’t take up an enormous area or use huge amounts of public utilities, the price is one that nearly anyone can handle. Of course, there are some special rooms, for people looking to really live it up on holiday. Still, even the price of these VIP suites won’t resemble a phone number. It is precisely due to their affordable rates that the mini-hotels in the city center are deservedly popular.

These hotels in the center of the city bring St. Petersburg closer to you. Imagine you are not staying in a standard room, designed with vulgar minimalism, or, conversely, in one of overblown gaudiness. It’s as if you were staying in your own high-class apartment, and it brings you a couple of steps closer to an understanding of the life of Peter’s city. Nearby, the river that is Nevsky Prospekt flows. The location of the mini-hotels is extremely unusual. It’s only a few steps to the city’s main street, but the owners know that visitors looking for a room don’t want the extra noise that comes with a downtown area packed with tourists. That’s why they choose the quiet little streets that meet Nevsky Prospekt in several places. There’s no hustle and bustle here, but there are wonderful cafes and restaurants, where you can enjoy a cup of coffee.

So what are we really talking about here? It’s time to break the stereotype of the northern capital as an expensive destination for tourists. You just need to know where to stay, in order to get a good look at the city from the inside, without spending all of your holiday savings on a hotel. Affordable downtown hotels are not a hallmark of St. Petersburg alone, but it was in this city that they became a vital part of the tourist’s life.