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Fine for the main attractions - otherwise hopelessly outdated
on 21 April 2014
This concerns the 6th edition, published in March 2012 (see price tag on the back). On the edition which was published before the one I am reviewing here, it says " 5th Revised Edition (April 2008)", and one wonders whether this 6th edition (2012) has been revised at all since 2008.
For the main attractions, I would recommend this guide. However, I would highly recommend you to check opening hours of museums, theatres, and the like online before you go, as the information in this guide is sometimes rather outdated.
Hopelessly outdated is much of the information concerning night-life, bars, and restaurants. For example, the second half of the information about "Nightlife in St Petersburg" (p. 28) is useless: Dumskaya ulitsa ist not at all "St Petersburg's unofficial drinking street" anymore. In fact, apart from a couple of cafés, there are no bars/pubs left at all. Instead, I would highly recommend nearby Rubinshteyna ulitsa where you now find interesting places. Also, the bars and clubs on the recommended Lomonosova ulitsa are at best 'morally doubtful', if you know what I mean - maybe suitable for a gang of young lads. Many highly recommended places are entirely gone (e.g. "Tinkoff", to name just one of many) or are in fact boring now (there was not a single customer in "Dom Beat" at 11pm), or the opening days/hours have changed ("Loft Project Etagi", "Ligovski", "Pushkinskaya 10, "Barakobamabar" and many, many others), so I urge you to ALWAYS check online whether a restaurant, club, or pub actually still exists, and what the opening hours are.
The area maps in this guide are very useful and you don't need any other map(s) really - especially because the guide book comes with a very useful pull-out map in addition. What I did not like about the area maps though, is this: You look at the map and see (for example) the symbol for a restaurant or bar. You then have to look at the page before or after, so that you find out the name of it. To know what kind of bar/restaurant it actually is, you then have to find its description - which is somewhere else in the guide. Good luck finding it! My suggestion would be to put page numbers in brackets.
So all in all not a bad guide at all - but with lots of room for improvement.