Yes, Uber operates in Saint Petersburg, Russia, however it is legally a joint-venture with a Russian taxi company Yandex Taxi.
Uber prices in Russia are quite low compared to other European countries. For example, a 30-minute ride from the center of St Petersburg to Pulkovo airport may cost you between 600 rubles and 1,300 ($8 to $17) depending on the service level.
In fact, Uber or another app taxi is a cheap way to move around the city. Taxi fares are quite comparable to public transit cost, especially if your travel in a group of more than 2 people.
Since Uber merged with Yandex in 2017, your Uber car may have a Yandex Taxi logo on it.
Use your normal Uber app that you use at home. I understood that Russian drivers do not like to call foreign telephone numbers registered with the app as these are expensive calls.
There are 5 service levels: uberX, uberSELECT, uberBLACK, uberVIP, and uberVAN. See the rates on the website.
There is a credit card and a cash payment option.
Uber to and From Saint Petersburg Pulkovo Airport
Use your normal Uber application that you use at home or register ay Yandex.Go..
At the airport, they recommend to make your order when you have picked your luggage. I suggest you follow this recommendation to avoid missing your car. Passport control lines can be long and luggage wait times may delay you considerably.
Once you know the car number walk out the terminal and wait on the side of the second lane until you spot your car.
Drivers are not allowed to idle waiting for you so they might leave if you are not there. The process of finding your Uber car or taxi may be quite hectic.
I previously had problems with internet connection at Pulkovo airport.
If that is the case you can pick an official taxi for 1,050 to 1,500 rubles ($12 to $20). The fares are set depending on the neighborhood you are going to.
Please approach a stand at the exit hall or just outside the exit hall. There is English-speaking staff. You can pay with credit card at the office or pay cash to the driver (in rubles).
Do not hire unofficial cab service!
Official taxi stand at the Pulkovo airport luggage hall
Other Taxi Options in Saint Petersburg Russia
Yandex Go is the incumbent online taxi service. You may want to download a local application if you are planning to use a lot of taxi in Saint Petersburg.
Yandex also offers a phone dispatcher at +7-812-366-66-66. They ask you for a pick point, your destination, give you a fixed price to pay in cash in roubles. Once you have ordered, they will send you an SMS and call you back to confirm the car number. This afternoon, I paid 152 roubles (about $2) for a ten-minute ride in the center of Saint Petersburg. Cheap and easy. One observation – they tend to provide older cars when you order by phone, probably to avoid lower ratings on the app.
Gett Taxi is another online option for taxi in Saint Petersburg.
There are offline taxi service options that you would need to call and talk to a dispatcher in Russian or order a cab on their website:
1. Taxi 068
3. Taxi 777
You may need to pay cash when using these cabs. Please confirm the payment method when placing your order.
There are small extra charges for waiting over 5 minutes, extra luggage, aminimas and a car seat. Toll charges may be extra as well.
Night rates are lower than daytime rates, except if you want to cross bridges across the Neva between 1 am and 5 pm. The detour options during these times may cost approximately additional 1,000 rubles.
If you wish to use an hourly rate, you can do hire a car with a driver for approximately 600 rubles ($8) per hour with mileage included. Inquire with the taxi dispatcher.
If you would like to arrange a private driver to meet you at the airport, one of these options may be useful
Normal taxi Fares in Saint Petersburg
Approximate one-way fares (daytime) that I pulled from the Uber estimator:
From Saint-Petesrburg (Ploschad Vosstania) to Tsarkoye Selo – 1,300-2,000 rubles
From Saint-Petersburg (Ploschad Vosstania) to Peterhof – 1,700-2,000 rubles
From Saint-Petersburg (Ploschad Vosstania) to Gatchina – 1300-1,800 rubles
Are Taxis safe in Saint Petersburg Russia?
In my experience, the online or the official taxi service in Saint Petersburg is quite safe. I have not encountered any cheating or overcharging. You should be fine, as long as you use official service.