A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Saint Petersburg vs. Helsinki for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Saint Petersburg or Helsinki?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Should I visit Saint Petersburg or Helsinki? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Where Should I go: Saint Petersburg or Helsinki?

Saint Petersburg

Saint Petersburg is a beautiful city that sits on the eastern edge of the Baltic Sea. Its historical city center is threaded with canals and architecturally impressive buildings, leaving little doubt as to why this city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is the second largest city in Russia, but perhaps a favorite among travelers. The metropolitan area has a population of over 5 million as well as an impressive culture with fascinating museums, restaurants, and architecture. The city has no shortage of sights and attractions, and many days can be passed while you wander its intricate streets.

Helsinki

Helsinki is the capital of Finland and dates back to 1550. Helsinki is an international metropolis with a diverse population, but also a small town vibe. The city itself has a population of just over 600,000 but the metropolitan area, including Espoo and Vantaa, has a population of more than 1.3 million. There are many outdoor bars and cafes that take advantage of the warmer summer months. During this time there are long days, and the population floods into the street after a long and cold winter, so visiting during the summer is a fun and lively experience.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Budget Tours to Finland, and The Best Tours for Seniors to Finland.


Which place is cheaper, Helsinki or Saint Petersburg?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Saint Petersburg is $66, while the average daily cost in Helsinki is $150. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Saint Petersburg and Helsinki in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Saint Petersburg $38
    Helsinki $78
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Saint Petersburg $76
    Helsinki $156
Compare Hotels in Saint Petersburg and Helsinki

Looking for a hotel in Saint Petersburg or Helsinki? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Saint Petersburg


Hotels in Helsinki


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Helsinki Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Saint Petersburg $7.66
    Helsinki $24
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Saint Petersburg

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Saint Petersburg:


  • Metro Passes
    $1.41

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Helsinki

Also for Helsinki, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • VIP Transfer Helsinki-Vantaa Airport to city in a Porsche Taycan: $137
  • VIP Transfer Helsinki : $142
  • Private Transfer: Cruise Port to Helsinki in Business Car: $92
  • Private Transfer: Airport HEL to Helsinki in Business Car: $97
  • Private Transfer in Helsinki: $76
  • Private Transfer From Helsinki Vantaa Airport HEL to Kotka Port: $64
  • Helsinki hotels to Vantaa Airport(HEL)-Departure Private Transfer: $42
  • Helsinki West Terminal to Helsinki Airport (HEL) - Departure Private Transfer: $40
  • Helsinki West Harbour Terminal to Helsinki hotels - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $63
  • Helsinki City hotels to Helsinki Airport (HEL) Departure Transfer: $42
  • Helsinki Airport (HEL) to Helsinki City hotel Round-Trip Transfer: $83
  • Guided Tallinn Day Tour from Helsinki / Include hotel transfers: $218

Is it cheaper to fly into Saint Petersburg or Helsinki?

Prices for flights to both Helsinki and Saint Petersburg change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Saint Petersburg $19
    Helsinki $37
Typical Food Prices in Saint Petersburg

For Saint Petersburg, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Lunch for Two
    $4.84

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Helsinki

For Helsinki, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • FOOD Tour with Roof Top Bar in Helsinki: $108

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Saint Petersburg $19
    Helsinki $29

Tours and Activities in Helsinki

For Helsinki, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Helsinki Highlights Tour: the Top Sightseeing Spots: $142
  • 3 Hours Helsinki Stopover Tour from Airport: $98
  • A Finntastic Walking Tour in Helsinki: $21
  • CITY Tour with Food Tasting in Helsinki: $163
  • City Sightseeing Helsinki Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour: $37
  • Grand Helsinki City Tour and Seurasaari Open Air Museum PRIVATE: $289
  • Half-Day Nature Adventure to Nuuksio National Park from Helsinki: $76
  • Happy Helsinki Walking Tour: $238
  • Helsinki : Private Walking Tour With A Guide ( Private Tour ): $59
  • Helsinki Airport Layover Sightseeing Tour : $141
  • Helsinki Canal Cruise: $29
  • Helsinki City Highlights Cruise: $29

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Saint Petersburg $10
    Helsinki $17


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Saint Petersburg and Helsinki, we can see that Helsinki is more expensive. And not only is Saint Petersburg much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Saint Petersburg would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Saint Petersburg and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Helsinki would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Helsinki than you might in Saint Petersburg.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Saint Petersburg Expensive? and Is Helsinki Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Saint Petersburg or Helsinki?

Saint Petersburg has a larger population, and is about 7 times larger than the population of Helsinki. When comparing the sizes of Saint Petersburg and Helsinki, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Saint Petersburg or Helsinki?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Saint Petersburg or Helsinki in the Summer?

Both Helsinki and Saint Petersburg are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. Also, most visitors come to Helsinki for the family-friendly experiences during these months.

Saint Petersburg is around the same temperature as Helsinki in the summer. The daily temperature in Saint Petersburg averages around 18°C (64°F) in July, and Helsinki fluctuates around 17°C (62°F).

It's quite sunny in Helsinki. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Saint Petersburg. Saint Petersburg usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Helsinki during summer. Saint Petersburg gets 267 hours of sunny skies, while Helsinki receives 275 hours of full sun in the summer.

In July, Saint Petersburg usually receives more rain than Helsinki. Saint Petersburg gets 77 mm (3 in) of rain, while Helsinki receives 58 mm (2.3 in) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Saint Petersburg 18°C (64°F) 
    Helsinki 17°C (62°F)

Should I visit Saint Petersburg or Helsinki in the Autumn?

Both Helsinki and Saint Petersburg during the autumn are popular places to visit. Also, the autumn months attract visitors to Helsinki because of the shopping scene and the natural beauty of the area.

In the autumn, Saint Petersburg is around the same temperature as Helsinki. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Saint Petersburg in October average around 6°C (42°F), and Helsinki averages at about 6°C (42°F).

In the autumn, Saint Petersburg often gets less sunshine than Helsinki. Saint Petersburg gets 70 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Helsinki receives 90 hours of full sun.

Saint Petersburg usually gets less rain in October than Helsinki. Saint Petersburg gets 65 mm (2.6 in) of rain, while Helsinki receives 71 mm (2.8 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Saint Petersburg 6°C (42°F) 
    Helsinki 6°C (42°F)

Should I visit Saint Petersburg or Helsinki in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Saint Petersburg and Helsinki. Also, the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine are the main draw to Helsinki this time of year.

It's quite cold in Helsinki in the winter. The weather in Saint Petersburg can be very cold. In January, Saint Petersburg is generally cooler than Helsinki. Daily temperatures in Saint Petersburg average around -8°C (18°F), and Helsinki fluctuates around -6°C (21°F).

Saint Petersburg usually receives less sunshine than Helsinki during winter. Saint Petersburg gets 22 hours of sunny skies, while Helsinki receives 39 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Saint Petersburg usually receives around the same amount of rain as Helsinki. Saint Petersburg gets 38 mm (1.5 in) of rain, while Helsinki receives 40 mm (1.6 in) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Saint Petersburg -8°C (18°F) 
    Helsinki -6°C (21°F)

Should I visit Saint Petersburg or Helsinki in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Saint Petersburg as well as Helsinki. Also, many travelers come to Helsinki for the natural beauty.

Be prepared for some very cold days in Helsinki. It's quite cold in Saint Petersburg in the spring. Saint Petersburg is much warmer than Helsinki in the spring. The daily temperature in Saint Petersburg averages around 4°C (40°F) in April, and Helsinki fluctuates around 3°C (37°F).

In the spring, Saint Petersburg often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Helsinki. Saint Petersburg gets 180 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Helsinki receives 183 hours of full sun.

Saint Petersburg usually gets less rain in April than Helsinki. Saint Petersburg gets 33 mm (1.3 in) of rain, while Helsinki receives 41 mm (1.6 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Saint Petersburg 4°C (40°F) 
    Helsinki 3°C (37°F)

Typical Weather for Helsinki and Saint Petersburg

Saint Petersburg Helsinki
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan -8°C (18°F) 38 mm (1.5 in) -6°C (21°F) 40 mm (1.6 in)
Feb -7°C (20°F) 31 mm (1.2 in) -7°C (20°F) 31 mm (1.2 in)
Mar -2°C (28°F) 34 mm (1.3 in) -3°C (27°F) 34 mm (1.4 in)
Apr 4°C (40°F) 33 mm (1.3 in) 3°C (37°F) 41 mm (1.6 in)
May 11°C (52°F) 37 mm (1.5 in) 9°C (49°F) 31 mm (1.2 in)
Jun 16°C (60°F) 55 mm (2.2 in) 15°C (59°F) 40 mm (1.6 in)
Jul 18°C (64°F) 77 mm (3 in) 17°C (62°F) 58 mm (2.3 in)
Aug 16°C (62°F) 80 mm (3.1 in) 16°C (60°F) 72 mm (2.8 in)
Sep 11°C (52°F) 69 mm (2.7 in) 11°C (51°F) 74 mm (2.9 in)
Oct 6°C (42°F) 65 mm (2.6 in) 6°C (42°F) 71 mm (2.8 in)
Nov 0°C (32°F) 54 mm (2.1 in) 1°C (33°F) 70 mm (2.8 in)
Dec -5°C (24°F) 48 mm (1.9 in) -4°C (26°F) 58 mm (2.3 in)