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Home > Miscellaneous > Street Naming Convention in Russia

How Addresses Are Written
in Saint Petersburg

For a popular tourist destination very few street names and sign posts in St. Petersburg have been transliterated or translated into English.

Street sign in St. Petersburg Russia

The minority of central thoroughfares that have been transliterated have obviously been done so by company sponsorship agreements - as immediately below the street name is a company name – this approach is great for people who have difficulties with Russian and provides a good means of advertisement for the company. Street names are usually presented on relatively small plaques and mounted high on building façades.

In Russian the address is usually written with the street name followed by the number, however for clarity when transliterated the number precedes the street name. The type of thoroughfare i.e. avenue, street, lane... usually takes its abbreviated form – if it has one.

English translation Transliteration Russian
Street Ulitsa (ul.) Улица (ул.)
Avenue Prospect (pr.) Проспект (пр.)
Line Linya (lin.) Линия (лин.)
Boulevard Bulvar (bul.) бульвар (бул.)
Lane Pereulok (per.) Переулок (пер.)
Embankment Naberezhnaya (nab.) Набережная (наб.)
Highway Shosse (sh.) Шоссе (ш.)
Square Ploshchad (pl.) Площадь (пл.)
Drive Proezd Проезд
Bridge Most Мост
Island Ostrov (O.) Остров (O.)

St. Petersburg includes numerous islands the largest being Vasilyevsky Ostrov and the area Petrogradskaya Storona are often abbreviated to V.O. and P.S. respectively.

Street numbering
Buildings are numbered - not their individual entrances. In many cases buildings may have more than one entrance - the apartment or office number narrows down the address to a particular doorway.

Odd (1, 3, 5...) and even (2, 4, 6...) numbers are separated by the road, i.e. odd numbers down one side of the road and even down the other.

When an address number features a slash "/" it indicates that the building is on the cross-road of another street – basically on a corner. The number before the slash is the number associated street name.

Nevsky Prospect, 4/24 could just as well be written as Nevsky Prospect, 4 the additional " /24 " assists in finding the building as this indicates that it’s a corner location.

When an address features a dash "-" the following number identifies a specific apartment

Nevsky Prospect 123–12 - the address is building 123 on Nevsky Prospect apartment number 12

Finding an apartment or office
At the entrance to many buildings is a basic apartment index. For residential buildings this is traditionally a blue plaque with handwritten white text. The floors or levels are written in Roman numerals and to the right is a list of apartment numbers found on that particular floor.

Postcode (zip)
Unlike in the UK where each street is given a unique postcode (zip code), the postcode known as the "index" in Russia is a unique 6 digit number that encompasses an area. Several streets can have the same index – subsequently a long street can have different index numbers.

Floors, levels or storeys
Russia uses the same convention as North America – from the street you enter the building on level 1, go up and the next level is 2 and so on. There is no "ground" level as used in the UK convention.

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